Top Ten TV of 2022

David Dylan Thomas
5 min readMay 21, 2023

It was a good year for genre.

10. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

She-hulk (Tatiana Maslany) meditates with He-Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).

Whether it’s the flawless comic timing of the unparalleled Tatiana Maslany or the cogent feminist critique or the true-to-the-comic embrace of full on metanarrative this one captures my heart from start to (especially) finish.

9. Stranger Things

Left to right, Robin (Maya Hawke), Steve (Joe Keery), and Eddie (Joseph Quinn) ride in a van in a scene from Stranger Things

Stranger Things just fucking brings it for an epic penultimate season pulling no punches and making money for Kate Bush to boot. Cannot wait for Season Five.

8. Ms. Marvel

Waist-up shot of Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) in her red, blue, and gold supersuit as Ms. Marvel with a glowing blue light around her outstreched arm with skyscrapers in the background.

Everything I love about the comic is here in spite of some serious plot deviation and that’s because the plot, per se, is not what I love about the comic. What I love about the comic is learning about this Muslim Pakistani-American young woman living in Jersey City and her family and her community. The superhero stuff is almost secondary (although that’s a lot of fun, too).

We even get an oft-ignored piece of history in a rare depiction of the partitioning of 1947 (the only other genre reenactment I’m aware of was on Doctor Who).

7. Abbott Elementary

Janine Teagues (Quinta Brunson) points at a whiteboard with Philly slang like “jawn” and “hoagie” on it in a scene from Abbott Elementary.

There is so much to love here. The spot-on Philly references. The deadpan humor. But what really impresses is the perfect balance of light, hopeful storytelling with 100% realistic challenges of the Philadelphia (and many other cities’) public school system. It’s not easy to be that honest and that hopeful at the same time, but Abbott Elementary pulls it off.

6. Peacemaker

Peacemaker (John Cena) stands in a brown toned room with photos and furniture in the background wearing a silver helmet that kind of looks like an upside down bedpan in a scene from Peacemaker.

It kind of pisses me off that James Gunn wrote this whole damn thing in about 8 weeks when locked down because of the pandemic. It’s almost offensively good in that regard. And given a broader canvas on which to paint his unique style of grotesque beauty, he’s able to go deeper with his characters to hilarious, poignant effect. Also: Best. Opening. Credits. Ever.

5. Our Flag Means Death

Blackbeard (Taika Waititi) and Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby) stand on the deck of a pirate ship in a scene from Our Flag Means Death

Also known as “the gay pirate show” Our Flag Means Death delivers on that and so much more. Again, taking fairly grim material and managing to be relatively honest about it while still maintaining a sense of hope, romance, and even whimsy, the show details the joys and sorrows of really getting to deeply know yourself and others in the most inclusive way possible (while also being fucking hilarious).

4. The Boys

Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso), Billy Butcher (Karl Urban), and Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid) look into a trunk in a scene from The Boys.

As if Season Two weren’t biting enough, The Boys goes even harder in its third season with merciless critiques of American exceptionalism and capitalist greed, and goes deeper on our heroes own trauma-informed hypocrisy with the introduction of an antagonist that doubles down on the themes introduced in the first two seasons (spoilery to get too much more into it here). If you liked the fist two seasons, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

3. Severance

Mark (Adam Scott) and Helly (Britt Lower) stand on either side of an elevator in a scene from Severance

We are, weirdly, living in the golden age of capitalist critiques that are, you know, really, really popular. Where Squid Game gave us the dystopian, kill or be killed struggle to survive, Severance gives us a somewhat more subtle, but no less troubling mental dystopia where (again, not wanting to spoil the premise) the idea of work-life balance takes on a whole new meaning. Including a season finale that rates as the tensest hour of television I’ve ever watched, Severance earns its place in the growing canon of late stage capitalism pop culture.

2. Reservation Dogs

Willie Jack (Paulina Alexis), Bear (D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai), Elora Dan (Devery Jacobs), and Cheese (Lane Factor) walk on a path by the woods in a scene from Reservation Dogs

Hitting with a Season Two somehow even more powerful than Season One, Reservation Dogs offers us a narrative of our heroes’ own separate journeys, simultaneously heartbreaking, heartwarming, utterly absurd, and funny as hell. Dallas Goldtooth’s “Spirit” somehow gets even funnier in this season and the whole thing builds to a dare-you-not-to-cry season finale. (Oh, and incredible payoff mid-season for something teased in the very opening shots of Season One).

  1. Atlanta
Earn (Donald Glover) stands in a bright orange pattern shirt in what appears to be a mall in a scene from Atlanta.

Churning out not just one, but two incredible seasons, including its final season, Atlanta cements its place as, for my money, the greatest television show of all time. Not hurrying to tie up loose ends, or even worry about them much, the final seasons continue to grow their characters while still making room for theme, even if it means excluding the characters from the story entirely. This includes a truly brilliant faux documentary in the next to last episode that just…you just need to see it, that’s all.

I am so glad that Atlanta chose to go out when it did the way it did (the ending is classic Atlanta) and not overstay its welcome and I look deeply forward to whatever Donald Glover, Hiro Murai, and the incredible cast get up to next.

Honorable Mentions: Harley Quinn, Moon Knight, Evil, Andor, What We Do in the Shadows



David Dylan Thomas

Big fan of treating people like people. Author, Design for Cognitive Bias. Founder, CEO, David Dylan Thomas, LLC. Speaker, Lots of Places.