After praising the year’s 10 best TV shows, it’s now time to honor the new 2022 series that, despite hitting the marketplace in a year boasting more television content than ever before, still managed to make their mark and connect with audiences.

It was particularly tough to do so at a time when so many beloved shows were taking their final bows (let’s pour one out again for Atlanta, Better Things, Better Call Saul and The Good Fight), and much of the oxygen around new shows was taken up by a pair of high-profile, eagerly anticipated fantasy dramas (which, spoiler alert, did not make the cut here).

Not surprisingly, this is a streaming-heavy list, with three entries from Apple TV+ alone. But the freshman lineup also includes debut entries from AMC+ and Freevee, as well as the first broadcast series to crack this list since 2019. Broadcast, cable, AVOD and SVOD outlets are all represented for the very first time on the same lineup, proving that there are more places than ever to find top-shelf TV.

Here are the 10 new shows that you definitely need to start binge-watching. (For series that aired on linear networks, we’ve also included the name of the platform they are currently streaming on.)

10. High School (Freevee)

Amazon Freevee

One year after Freevee (Amazon’s free, ad-supported streaming service, formerly known as IMDb TV) branched into original programming, the platform’s ambitious swing is already paying off with this poignant drama. Based on indie-pop musicians Tegan and Sara Quin’s memoir about identical twin teens (TV newcomers Railey and Seazynn Gilliland) growing up—both together and separately—in the ’90s, High School is already worthy of standing alongside television’s premier coming-of-age series like My So-Called Life. Whether or not you are familiar with Tegan and Sara’s music, the powerful stories told here about adolescence—and parenthood—will resonate.

9. Slow Horses (Apple TV+)

Apple TV+

When British intelligence agents flame out, they often wind up in MI5’s version of purgatory: alongside their fellow outcasts in a dead-end office called Slough House. The setting serves an ingenious twist on your typical spy drama—based on Mick Herron’s book series and boasting an enthralling turn from Gary Oldman as the squad’s bombastic leader who is as smart as he is slovenly. The first two seasons, both of which aired this year, offered up large helpings of taut twists and thrilling team-ups—and with two more seasons on the way, there should be plenty more of both to come.

8. Dark Winds (AMC, streaming on AMC+)


In the past year, TV has turned into an exciting showcase for Zach McClarnon, who graduated from a supporting role on Hulu’s Reservation Dogs to the lead in this gripping drama about 1971 Navajo cops in the Southwest, based on Tony Hillerman’s Leaphorn & Chee book series. As his Tribal Police lieutenant investigates a series of crimes that are seemingly unrelated, he quickly learns that nothing is as it seems to be—including his new deputy, played by Kiowa Gordon. Meanwhile, the show’s supporting characters are just as engrossing as the unfolding mystery. The series was overshadowed by higher-profile AMC debuts (and finales) this year, but there’s still plenty of time to discover it ahead of Season 2.

7. Somebody Somewhere (HBO, streaming on HBO Max)


HBO is home to some of TV’s buzziest shows, but don’t sleep on the network’s smaller gems. Among them, this extraordinary comedy from comedian/singer Bridget Everett, who struggles to fit in after returning to her Kansas hometown. A lesser series would play up the culture clash, or look down on the outsiders who welcome Everett’s Sam into their community, but Somebody Somewhere finds the heart and humor everywhere, and in everyone, as Everett’s Sam discovers her voice—literally and figuratively.

6. This Is Going to Hurt (AMC+)


TV already seems overstuffed with medical dramas, but none cut as deep as this show, based on Adam Kay’s bestselling memoir about an OB/GYN (Ben Whishaw) running on fumes and trying to stay afloat in the ramshackle health care system that is the UK’s National Health Service. The medical cases are as compelling as you’d expect, but the real tension comes in trying to determine whether Whishaw and the other case will be able to save themselves. Yes, this is going to hurt, but it’s also going to be unforgettable.  

5. Pachinko (Apple TV+)

Apple TV+

While its rivals loaded up on dragons and elves, Apple TV+ managed to pull off a truly epic series of its own without any fantasy elements. Soo Hugh’s poignant adaptation of Min Jin Lee’s bestselling novel—which follows a Korean immigrant family across four generations starting in South Korea in the early 1900s—was as nuanced as it was ambitious. Plus there were few TV moments more joyous this year than the show’s infectious opening credits sequence, featuring the entire cast dancing in a pachinko parlor to “Let’s Live for Today” by the Grass Roots.

4. Andor (Disney+)


It turns out the solution to Star Wars’ problem of diminishing TV returns was to scale down and keep things simple. Even though the Rogue One prequel (focusing on that film’s Cassian Andor, played by Diego Luna) is setting up some of the franchise’s most important moments, showrunner Tony Gilroy keeps the story grounded and personal, so the events never seem to be happening in a galaxy far, far away. Gilroy also brings character nuance and layers back to the Star Wars franchise for the first time in years: in just three episodes set in a prison complex, Andy Serkis deftly navigates a richer arc than almost anyone was given in the last trilogy of films.

3. Abbott Elementary (ABC, streaming Hulu)


Between The Office, Parks and Recreation and Modern Family, it didn’t seem possible that TV could make the mockumentary format feel fresh again, but that’s just one of many things that Quinta Brunson has reinvented and reinvigorated with her comedy set at a Philadelphia elementary school. The 22-episode broadcast season—more than double cable or streaming’s standard output—gives Brunson and her team ample opportunity to spotlight what has quickly become one of TV’s most reliable ensemble casts. Plus, Abbott Elementary gets extra credit for following up its breakout debut earlier this year with an even stronger, more confident sophomore season.

2. The Bear (Hulu)


I generally prefer a weekly release to an all-at-once binge drop, but some shows demand to be consumed in one frenzied sitting. That most definitely includes the FX-produced The Bear, where the extended immersion into the chaotic family sandwich shop in Chicago (run by Jeremy Allen White), elicits an emotional overload echoed by those onscreen—and a euphoria unmatched by any other series this year. It’s not the show to unwind with after a tough day at work; it’s the series to remind yourself what groundbreaking TV looks like when it’s redefining the genre and running on all cylinders.  

1. Severance (Apple TV+)

Apple TV+

The premise of this Adam Scott workplace drama is irresistible: who among us wouldn’t want to at least consider an all-play, no-work reality, in which our professional lives are completely separated from our personal ones so we never have to think (or worry) about work again? But then the real drama is what happens to those stuck on the other side of the equation: does all work and no play really make Jack a dull boy? Severance raises many intriguing questions—and so far, the answers have been equally rewarding. Time will tell how Severance ultimately stack up alongside standout “mystery box” shows like Lost and The X-Files, but its surreal debut season—who’s ready for another “Music Dance Experience”?—was the year’s most exhilarating discovery.

Honorable Mentions

These series also came close to cracking the best new series list, and merit serious binge consideration as well.

The Afterparty (Apple TV+)
Bad Sisters (Apple TV+)
Grand Crew (NBC, streaming on Peacock)
A League of Their Own (Prime Video)
Ms. Marvel (Disney+)
The Old Man (FX, streaming on Hulu)
Peacemaker (HBO Max)
Shining Girls (Apple TV+)
Welcome to Wrexham (FX, streaming on Hulu)
Winning Time (HBO, streaming on HBO Max)

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