The Best TV Shows Of 2022
Spoiler alert: Everyone in your life is trying to swindle you.
WeCrashed. Image: Getty.
It was the year of the con.
From those on Tinder to Silicon Valley SoHo House, 2022 was the year that we learned to trust no-one, especially if their enemies are trying to kill them and they need money NOW (#iykyk).
While 2022 was our first escape out of lockdown prisons, a longer-than-normal winter in Melbourne meant more nights on the couch, as well as the general COVID-19 hangover that left us all saying:
So, if you're looking for a fun show over the summer of '23, want to know what you missed before the Golden Globes, or you just want to get angry at me for not including Abbott Elementary, Dahmer, Wednesday or Superstore in the comments (hard pass on all), here, in no particular order, are the best TV shows you may have missed over 2022 to get you through to the next season of The White Lotus (HUSS).
Top tv shows to watch and stream
Best con: Inventing Anna (Netflix)
While she isn't the world's first con artist to swindle New York's social elite, she was certainly 2022's most talked about.
Based on a true story, Inventing Anna follows a reporter on the story of socialite Anna Delvey (performed with aplomb by Ozark's Julie Garner), a supposed 'German heiress' who has a tendency to break hearts and skip bills. Is she living the hustle culture of the American Dream, or is she a total con artist who deserves to be locked up?
Come for the hustle, stay for the wild accent and outrageous personality.
Watch it if you like: Imposters, The Bling Ring, The Dropout
Best second season: The White Lotus (Binge)
Like... how do you even try and follow up the devilishly debaucherous Season 1?
Well, creator Mike White has done it, and we're buckled up for Season 3! Cue intro music:
While not directly related to Season 1, there is a carry on character to The White Lotus Season 2 in MILF Jennifer Coolidge (listen, to 90s kids, she will always be the OG MILF Stifler's mom, I refuse to hear otherwise). This time, our guests descend upon The White Lotus Hotel in Sicily, where power games, gender politics, sex and relationships are explored amongst one overarching mystery: who dies at the end?
While of course you want to know, the characters and relationships between the guests are so compelling that you'll find yourself arguing over others over who you hate the most, rather than who doesn't make it.
I won't spoil the ending, but it makes for a hell of a ride.
Watch it if you like: The White Lotus S1, Why Women Kill, Desperate Housewives
Best batshit doco: The Tinder Swindler (Netflix)
I felt like this was 2022's Tiger King, yeah? Like, not as insane, but everyone watched it and made great memes:
Plus, kudos to the people who came up with the title. Mic drop moment, nothing else to see here.
The doco is an interview with three women who were conned online by 'the Tinder Swindler,' a man who flies them on private jets and whisks them to fancy hotels and restaurants, love-bombing the shit out of them, only to call and say that his 'enemies' are trying to kill him unless they send money immediately.
While some elements of this felt jaw-droppingly stupid, we forget that we are in the position of having seen this before on tv, movies and docos and can learn the tells. Unfortunately, not all are so lucky - but that doesn't mean it isn't a wild af ride.
Watch it if you like: LulaRich, Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult, Tiger King
Best secrets secrets lies lies: Bad Sisters (Apple)
Listen. If you're trying to fill The White Lotus gap, get around this. It's not the same, but it's a comedy-drama murder mystery with Irish sisters that'll keep you guessing til then end (I just need people to know here that I totally guessed it, because my manfriend doesn't believe me. I DID!)
Bad Sisters is centred around four adult Irish sisters with one thing in common: they fucking hate their brother-in-law, aptly nicknamed 'The Prick.' The opening scene shows us he is dead - but how did it happen? Who did it? Why?
In a series of flashbacks and flash forwards, life insurance investigators on their tail, relationships and jobs at stake, the question isn't so much who would want to kill him as much as - who wouldn't?
Watch it if you like: The White Lotus, The Undoing, Mare of Easttown
Best teen thriller: The Girl From Plainville (Stan)
Based on a true story, this is one of those rare dramatisations that really adds a lot more context, emotion and nuance from the newspaper article on the page.
As some may recall, The Girl From Plainville is the true story of Michelle Carter, the teenage girl who apparently successfully encouraged her teen boyfriend to commit suicide via text.
The series follows Carter (played excellently by Elle Fanning) both before, during, and after her relationship with Conrad Roy III, showcasing a picture of two teenagers clearly struggling - so does that make her guilty?
Watch it if you like: One Of Us Is Lying, Cruel Summer, Chloe
Best real crime on screen: The Dropout (Disney+)
MAN Amanda Seyfried was good in this, and 100 per cent deserved her Emmy win. Karen from Mean Girls is all grown up, this time playing disgraced Silicon Valley fraud Elizabeth Holmes.
Whether you listened to the podcast, read articles, watched the doco or none of the above, the series is a hell of a ride that is well worth the watch, and was probably one of my standout scam shows of the year. It follows the true story of Holmes' humble beginnings to billion-dollar tech company owner of Theranos - but was any of it real?
Watch it if you like: Inventing Anna, WeCrashed, The Social Network
Best scam show: WeCrashed (Apple)
Ooh guys, this was GOOD. Like, Anne Hathaway deserved an award too, but she can just cry into her Oscar about it. Anyway. THIS scam (told you was the year of the con) is about the rise and fall of WeWork, an American company that capitalised on co-working spaces.
It follows (delusional) founder Adam Neumann and his (horrible) wife Rachael as they build their company, becoming (and acting like) cult-like figures in the process. The life they built was large, and unfortunately, their bank accounts did not agree with the life of excess they promoted. A must-watch.
Watch it if you like: The Dropout, Inventing Anna, Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened.
Best fun murder mystery: The After Party (Apple)
A group of old schoolmates meet up at a high school reunion and head back to an after party, leaving one dead. Each episode is told from the point of view of a different character at the party - and their version of events not only differ in story, but style.
For instance, one tells his story through musical theatre. Another episode is told through a character's eyes as a comic, while another is an action hero.
It's clever and different, and with a host of familiar faces (Tiffany Haddish, Dave Franco, Ilana Glazer) and the regular high school trope (the cool girl, the will-they-won't-they couple etc) in the background, it makes for a fun viewing.
Watch it if you like: Veronica Mars, Why Women Kill, Glee
Best mindfuck: Severance (Apple)
How to even explain this show?
All I'll say is this - it takes a few eps, but don't abandon it, k? As one of the most interesting new shows to come about in 2022, Severance is set in the near future, where humans have the ability to 'sever' themselves between work and their personal lives. Essentially, your 'work self' stays at work, and your 'personal self' is free to live life.
The trouble is, the 'work selves' are in a dangerous situation in an environment that is part Wes Anderson, part Black Mirror. When a colleague appears in the 'real world,' things start to unravel.
Watch it if you like: Black Mirror, Upload, Russian Doll
Best comedy for couples done with arguing over what to watch: Acapulco (Apple)
Is this going to blow your mind? No, it's not a Channel 10 executive coming up with the idea for not one, not two but THREE Bachelors in 2023! But it's cute, fun, colourful, and your partner will probably watch it with you.
Acapulco is set in Mexico in the 1980s, where along with his best friend, a young Maximo gets the job of his dreams at Acapulco's luxury resort, Las Colinas. Along the way, he makes mistakes, falls in love, parties with friends and climbs the ladder as we watch his rise from pool boy to multi-millionaire. Plus, with fun 80s dancers, music, bright pink and great furniture and sexy Spanish accents, what's not to like?
Note: parts of the show are in sub-titles, so not exactly scrollable.
Watch it if you like: Friends, That 70s Show, How I Met Your Mother
Best teen comedy-drama: Heartbreak High (Netflix)
Am I too old for this? Probably. Did everyone in their 30s watch it anyway? Totally.
Now, I put it off for a while. I was too old, not cool enough, not woke enough. Buy guys, give it a go. A teen girl's introduction to a new guy by saying, 'What c*nt?' when he was staring at her almost made me spit out my old lady chamomile in laughter. Man I love Australia.
It's kind of Sex Education meets Skins and Looking For Alibrandi, making fun of private school boys and all. Plus, it's nice that our little Aussie show got almost 20 million views worldwide, so give it a go - the teen drama will have you Googling words like eshay and emotional vampire in no time.
Watch it if you like: Sex Education, Euphoria, Heartbreak High OG
Best female thriller: Chloe (Amazon)
Ooh, this totes deserved more love, and again, fits in my 2023 scam file. In this psychological thriller, Becky Green spends her time obsessing over the glamorous lives of others on Instagram, most notably Chloe, a rich fashionable socialite. But when Chloe is found dead, Becky sets off to find the truth - even if it means living a lie.
Watch it if you like: Inventing Anna, The Undoing, Cruel Summer
Best easy show to scroll your phone to: Life and Beth (Disney+)
Yay, it's Amy Schumer! That's...pretty much why I watched. In an inspired-by-her-life-in-some-bits miniseries, Amy plays Beth, a success career woman unhappy with the emptiness in her life. After a big change, she decides to take a proper look at her life from childhood to present to figure out why she is who she is - and who she wants to be.
Featuring 'George Michael Bluth' aka a grown up Michael Cera as a potential love interest, you'll laugh, you'll cry - and you'll really want a wine.
Watch it if you like: Fleabag, Inside Amy Schumer, The Mindy Project
Best Aussie comedy: Colin From Accounts (Binge)
You know what? Old Oz cleaned up alright this year. Coming out on the cusp of 2023, Colin From Accounts won't change your life, but it'll give you a laff, and that's all we need sometimes, isn't it?
Having pretty much nothing to do with the title, the show features real-life couple Harriet Dyer and Patrick Brammall as Ashley and Gordon, two strangers who are brought together by a cute but injured dog. It's witty, it's heartfelt, it's easy to watch and makes fun of itself - nothing more Aussie than that.
Watch it if you like: The Moodys, Upper Middle Bogan, Kath and Kim
Best Aussie drama: The Twelve (Binge)
This was great, and I'd put it on the level of any international show on there. The Twelve follows, you guessed it, 12 jurors on a murder trial for a woman accused of killing her niece.
As well as this over-arching mystery with flashbacks and witnesses changing your mind at every turn, we follow the lives of many of the jurors and how the case affects their personal lives - with Brooke Satchwell as an absolute standout. Add it to the queue.
Watch it if you like: The Flight Attendant, The Undoing, Mare of Easttown
Best hate watch: Emily In Paris S3 (Netflix)
It's totally a genre! We went in depth with Season 3 of Emily In Paris here, but overall, even though we all hate everyone and everything, it's a totally fun pleasure that I have no guilt in lapping up, big-time.
Watch it if you like: Sex and the City, Younger, The Bold Type
Best whodunnit: The Staircase (Binge)
Another one that fits in this year's scam/con/whodunnit genre we just couldn't get enough of was The Staircase. For those who didn't watch the doco a few years back, this totally cooked series follows the true story of author Michael Peterson, whose wife was found dead at the bottom of a staircase. Did he do it? Did she fall? Was there an intruder? An owl? (Yes, really).
The series explores all these options in flash back and forward, as well as an inward look at the relationship of Michael and his late wife Kathleen and those around them.
Watch it if you like: The Girl From Plainville, The Undoing, The Act
What wasn't that great (fight me):
Uncoupled. (Too serious).
Conversations With Friends. (Too slow).
Pieces of Her. (Too stupid).
Loot. (Too unlikeable).
Umbrella Academy S3. (Too repetitive).
The Thing About Pam. (Too hardcore).
Anatomy of a Scandal. (Too dumb).
Wolf Life Me. (Also too dumb).
Love Is Blind. (Too many awful people).
Blockbuster. (Too lame).
Paper Girls. (Too much all at once).
The Resort. (Too White Lotus wannabe).