2022’s Unexpected TV Delights

2022 Best Of, AMC, CBS, Listicles, NBC, Starz, Television

There’s nothing better than stumbling across something monumental on television.

That episode that gets you so excited, or that new series you want to talk about all the time. Sometimes it’s simply the ending to your favorite reality series giving you the most perfect ending imaginable.

2022 saw plenty of gratifying things happening on the small screen, and we’ve compiled a list of the top TV delights from a year full of them.

Come check out the best of the best 2022 had to offer.

Big Brother Season 24 Finale – CBS

As longtime fans of Big Brother, we’re used to not getting the ending we want. But this is now two seasons in a row where we were thrilled by the outcome.

Taylor Hale had a very rough time in the early weeks of the game, and she faced an uphill battle against a house that never gave her room to play the game in the beginning. But she batted back repeatedly and managed to find her footing over time through her amazing social game.

Once Taylor found herself in those final two chairs, we knew she had an excellent chance to bring home the largest prize in the show’s history. And she used every second of her time on finale night to remind the houseguests and America what a phenomenal human being she was and why she deserved another crown.

Taylor Mackenzie Dickens Hale, you deserved this and then some.

The Power Universe – Starz

The Power Universe has been a rousing success for Starz, and while there hasn’t been a bad season yet, we were plenty surprised at just how strong all three series were across the board during 2022.

Power Book II: Ghost Season 2 returned even better than its stellar freshmen campaign and ended its season on an incredible note that has had fans clamoring for the new season (which is coming in 2023!)

And Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 2 was equally as strong as Raq and Kanan’s relationship floundered, and we began to see flashes of the Kanan Stark we all came to know.

But Power Book IV: Force was the biggest delight of them all, with a brand new cast, in a new city, delivering us another masterful crime drama. We were all excited for ‘The Tommy Show,’ but Force exceeded our expectations and then some with a tremendous first act.

Interview with a Vampire – AMC+

The trailer was enough to get viewers hooked on a show they had yet to see.

Foremost, it was unashamedly gay. The show didn’t shy away from portraying a gay couple at a time when it was dangerous to be so. It undid the mistakes of the movie that SNL criticized as not being gay enough.

In the spirit of authenticity, it portrayed vampires in the classical sense of mystical, powerful, deranged bloodsuckers without empathy. It didn’t shy away from portraying scenes in a graphic manner, which made the weak of heart among its audience livid.

It didn’t dance around privilege, whether it came from gender, race, skin tone, or wealth. It is a show that is binge-able five times in a row and offers something new every time. Can we get an amen for the coming second season?

Minx – HBO Max

Who would’ve anticipated a series about the creation of an erotic magazine for women in the 70s would be such a colossal hit and gem of a series?

From the very first episode, Minx sinks its grip into you with dynamic characters, an unexpected take on feminism, and a montage of penises.

Ophelia Lovibond is excellent as Joyce, but it’s Jake Johnson as Doug, a seemingly sleazy businessman and hustler, who truly shines and steals the show.

Minx is the type of series that sneaks up on you and has you hooked from beginning to end. And we’re definitely hoping that it finds a new home so we can continue this story.

The Community Movie Announcement – Peacock

The prophecy — 6 seasons and a movie — will be fulfilled!

It’s disappointing that cast members Yvette Nicole Brown and Donald Glover aren’t attached to it, but let’s not give up hope of seeing Shirley and Troy again.

For now, it’s enough to know that class will be in session at Greendale Community College once again.

A League Of Their Own – Prime Video

The announcement of a series reboot of Penny Marshall’s beloved 1992 film had many of us skeptical. However, with the running time of a television season, we got a chance to delve deeper than a film ever could.

With a bright and diverse cast of characters, many inspired by real-life athletes, we celebrated their triumphs, shared their losses, and fell in love with them. A League Of Their Own was an unexpected, joyous celebration of queerness set in an era where it is woefully underrepresented.

It was everything the original film was and more — funny, feminist, and inspiring.

Salvation or Bust – Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 5 – NBC

In a break with the premise of the original series — that a leaper could only leap into lives within their own lifetime — Ben finds himself in 1898 in the body of a retired gunfighter.

Borrowing heavily from The Magnificent Seven, Ben (with Addison’s help) rallies the townsfolk to fight off an evil railroad corporation.

And here’s where the real delight kicks in. After a solid montage of trap-laying and weapons prep, the pièce de résistance is Ben channeling his inner Hannibal Smith and delivering the classic A-Team line, “I love it when a plan comes together.” Every 80s TV geek immediately freaked out.

Adventure Beast – Netflix

We tuned into this show expecting edu-tainment in the vein of Magic School Bus or Carmen Sandiego but did not expect such an absurdist R-rated delight.

One way that animation can surpass live action comedically is that blood and gore can be used in a fun way without the squick factor. This is Adventure Beast’s bread and butter.

The show centers around a kooky zoologist (based autobiographically on star voice-over actor Bradley Trevor Greive) who’s such an enthusiastic nature lover that he repeatedly lets himself be mauled in all sorts of entertaining ways just to protect them.

Joining him are two sidekicks who couldn’t be any more different: Hypochondriac Dietrich and foolhardy Bonnie. Each episode is a different part of the world, a different biome to learn about, and a different close brush with death.

The White Lotus – HBO

The series avoided the dreaded sophomore slump by shifting to a new country with a mostly new cast.

We also had some compelling relationship drama and mystery thrown in for good measure.

The end result was a confident sophomore season that highlighted this format can be renewed with new locations and characters as long as HBO is interested in keeping it around.

Reginald The Vampire – SYFY

Reginald The Vampire had its ups and downs throughout its first season, but we enjoyed the ride. Reginald, played wonderfully by Jacob Batalon, found himself thrown into the world of vampires, where he got discriminated against for his size.

The show managed to balance comedy, bloodsucking, and vampolitics (vampire politics) smoothly.

Reginald, Sarah, Claire, Ash, Maurice, Nikki, and even Angela won over our hearts, and the season finale proved the show deserves a chance at (undead) life.

All Rise Season 3 – OWN

When All Rise moved to OWN in Season 3, it evolved into a different series.

The series featured more controversial cases, including sexual assault cases and Luke’s first murder trial involving a chimera.

While they still focused on court cases, Season 3 also delved into the characters’ personal lives more, showing homes and intimate scenes.

We learned more about Lola’s past, Amy’s ex-husband, and Sherri’s family, with more reveals coming in the second half of the season.

The Sound of Silence sing-along – Only Murders In The Building – Hulu

On Only Murders In The Building Season 2 Episode 8, we got ourselves a good, old-fashioned New York City blackout. So, why not sing some Simon and Garfunkel?

The residents of the Arconia took part in an impromptu musical number that brought them all together, even if they were apart, and hit the perfect notes of eeriness and melancholy — and with a bit of yodeling from Howard (Michael Cyril Creighton) to keep the mood light.

It was a little touch of musical magic, giving the characters the perfect song to encapsulate the theme of loneliness that permeates the series.

Riches – Prime Video

Riches closed the year, sneaking in as a binge-able, frothy soap that scratches an itch for subterfuge and family drama.

Nina was a worthy protagonist you couldn’t help but root for as she juggled salvaging her late father’s haircare empire, uncovering all the secrets and scheming of her estranged family. And Claudia Richards was an entertaining antagonist through and through.

Now, all we need is a renewal!

Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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