EntertainmentThe 10 best series of 2022

The 10 best series of 2022

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From the intimate conflict to the big franchises. From fantasy blockbusters to stories tied to the land. Looking back at the 2022 series says a lot about the human being in today’s world. He wonders about his own identity and tries to deal with anxiety and mourning, and at the same time, he resorts to dreamy worlds to escape from day to day, search for answers or, simply (as if it were really simple), entertainment. 

Many of the most critically acclaimed titles in 2022 have deep and intimate reflections behind them. Anxiety and mourning dominate the protagonist of The Bear (Disney+) with the frenetic rhythm of a kitchen in the background. The search for human connection moves the characters of the comedy-drama Somebody Somewhere (HBO Max). The vindication of the memory of the grandmothers and the shared inheritance give their particular flavor to Pachinko (Apple TV +). The conflict over one’s own identity is behind the dystopia posed by Separation (Apple TV+). The vital anguish of a lost youth presides over Euphoria (HBO Max). And the exposure of the different ways in which racism manifests itself is the background of the surreal trip that Atlanta (Disney+) proposes. Religious conflicts torment the detective protagonist of Heaven’s Command (Disney+).

On the other side of the scale, one of the most celebrated series in the United States this year has been Abbott School (Disney+), a mockumentary-style comedy broadcast on free-to-air television and with public children’s school teachers as protagonists. Far from the bleak trends that dominate television today, her well-intentioned characters have made her a favorite among Americans. The three investigators and amateur podcasters of Just Murders in the Building (Disney+) also repeated their success with their peculiar combination of comedy and suspense.

To reach the general public, the platforms know that they have more options if they turn to already known brands. The two biggest blockbusters that have premiered this year on television had behind them titles settled in the collective imagination and fantasy worlds. The House of the Dragon (HBO Max), the prequel to Game of Thrones, transferred the family conflicts typical of a soap opera to the Targaryen house and its dragons. At the same time, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (Amazon Prime Video) traveled to the past of Middle-earth so that the viewer would meet again with elves, dwarves and hairy ones.

Fantasy has become strong this year with titles such as the adaptation of the Sandman comics (Netflix) or the continuation of the eighties classic Willow (Disney+). Fantasy, nostalgia and an increasingly dark touch mark the path of the young protagonists of Stranger Things, which dominated the conversation at the beginning of the summer with its fourth season. The Star Wars franchise has had two powerful representatives with Andor and Obi-Wan Kenobi, while Marvel has added Moon Knight, She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel (all of them on Disney +). And if we talk about the exploitation of well-known brands, we should mention the last great television phenomenon of the year, Wednesday (Netflix), which recovers the universe of The Addams Family.

Stories based on true events dominated the first half of the year. From The Staircase (HBO Max) to The Dropout (Disney+), through Pam & Tommy (Disney+), Victory Time (HBO Max) or Who is Anna? (Netflix), all have taken recent stories and characters as a basis to turn their almost incredible stories into fiction. The current queen of all series based on true events, The Crown (Netflix), has recently launched its fifth season with Lady Di and Carlos from England at the center. But if we look at those games with reality from fiction, it is impossible to curl the loop more than The Trials (HBO Max), a cross between a social experiment and a psychological analysis of the human being led by Nathan Fielder.

Better Call Saul put an end to the Breaking Bad era (Movistar Plus+) with a highly celebrated sixth season. More discreetly the zombies of The Walking Dead (Fox) left – although they will return in numerous sequels. This year Diane Lockhart’s laughter died out with the end of The Good Fight (Movistar Plus+) and the Peaky Blinders (Netflix) and the Byrde family from Ozark (Netflix) put an end to their criminal businesses on screen.

Spanish production has also followed similar patterns. Inner conflict, mourning, personal drama and the search for one’s own identity preside over bets such as Dias mejoros (Amazon Prime Video), Las de la ultima fila (Netflix), Intimidad (Netflix) or Self-defense (Filmin). Even the trip to 90’s Valencia in La Ruta (Atresplayer Premium) is dominated by the internal conflicts of its characters, and emotional reasons push the protagonist of I don’t like driving (TNT) to try to get the meat off. And meanwhile, the success of Entrevias (Telecinco) on free-to-air television was the resistance in a panorama populated by the dominance of Turkish fiction.

The 10 best series of the year

Only murders in the building

The challenge faced by last year’s revelation series was no less: maintaining the level without falling into complacency or nonsense. He has overcome it by betting on continuity, just wash and mark. The extraordinary chemistry of the leading trio, the crazy group of neighbors capable of stealing Shirley Maclaine’s plane and the Hawksian dialogues brimming with intergenerational quips (“it’s like watching The Squid Game without subtitles”) continue there. In this season, the Arconia shows the heart of it: the real one, the passageways behind the sumptuous wallpaper, and the metaphorical one, Bunny Folger; The chapter dedicated to his last day exemplifies the main strength of the series: his ability to combine tenderness, satire, melancholy, and vitriolic humor without losing balance.

Better Call Saul

The television universe created by Vincent Gilliam and Peter Gould from Breaking Bad finds its great culmination in this series. Better Call Saul was based on that great series (the eighth episode of the third season was called that and there are hundreds of cross references between the two) and intended to be a comedy. Six seasons later, the story of the racketeer lawyer Jimmy McGill (or Saul Goodman) has gone far beyond the simple spin off and has become one of the best series of recent times. An unclassifiable and risky product, but one that works and stands out in the era of series made as photocopies.

The Bear

The chef of a prestigious restaurant returns home to Chicago to take over his brother’s sandwich shop. The frenetic pace and extreme stress experienced in kitchens sets the pace in this suffocating and hypnotic drama with half-hour chapters into which all of life slips in, with the good and the bad. Shot with pulse and an almost naturalistic style, this series perfectly reflects the adrenaline and roller coaster of cooking and the ups and downs of life. While the protagonist tries to deal with his anxiety attacks and an incomplete grieving process that has left him with a million unresolved doubts, the life and way of being of the local workers are unraveling. The seventh episode, shot in sequence, is a display of television virtuosity.

Hacks

We arrived at Hacks at first because of the laughter, brilliant and acid, and we stayed to live in it because of its bitter and hidden tears. The two leading women of her, from very different generations and backgrounds, build a bond that goes beyond sisterhood around both of them. The various universes that separate two relatively close cities like Los Angeles and Las Vegas pit Ava, a wise-ass millennial TV writer canceled for a Twitter joke about a closeted gay senator, and Deborah, a veteran casino stand-up queen who leads decades struggling with nails, hairspray, sequins, heels and teeth to stay on top. From the initial confrontation we went to the joint odyssey on a bus, hit by failures and epiphanies. Cynical humor is for them only a momentary antidote against loneliness.

I don’t like to drive

A simple premise (a melancholic and embittered university professor recently separated who enrolls in driving school after 40) serves as the starting point for a comedy that knows how to be intelligent and funny, something that does not always go together in the genre. An excellent Juan Diego Botto leads a cast full of successes and with some outstanding supporting roles. Wonderful David Lorente as a teacher (he would say “educator”) totally dedicated and with some of the best lines in the script. The tone and the idea of ​​limiting it to six chapters plays very well. His creator, Borja Cobeaga, changes register again to hit the nail on the head.

The Good Fight

Since 2009, Diane Lockhart’s laughter has graced television, first as a supporting role in The Good Wife and then starring in The Good Fight. The lawyer played by Christine Baranski has said goodbye this year with a sixth season that has placed her protagonists in a United States on the brink of civil war as a reflection of the current political tension and polarization. The series that has best explained the madness of Trump’s United States, satirizing them and taking them to the extreme, has sometimes been excessive, other times surreal, and has always played on the wire, on the verge of falling. But he managed to hold on, miraculously. That it appears on this list in a season that has not been the best serves as a tribute to everything that Diane Lockhart and company have given us.

The essays

If, when recommending The Essays, someone asks you to describe it, it won’t be easy. Gender? Let’s say existentialist documentary comedy. But that does not cover its magnitude. And what is it about? A man helps you prepare and replicate in detail the most relevant decision of your life until you learn to face it. Maybe it’s a self-help reality show. That wouldn’t do him justice. Or is it really a fiction wrapped in metalanguage? If he is, his misfit creator, Nathan Fielder, will take him to his grave. Perhaps it is all of that, and also nothing that can be summed up in a sentence. Or yes: you can say that it is something unique, never done before. And you stay so comfortable. That already makes it worthy of being the best of 2022. But it’s not just a bizarre facade. Also looking for answers; the most important answers in existence. Deranged, crazy and, no matter how much you rehearse it.

Separation

What if we could totally separate our work life from our personal life? A company allows to do it with the implantation of a chip that generates something like two versions of the same person in a single body. The working version does not know what its outside self is doing and vice versa. But some workers at Lumon Industries begin to ask themselves questions: what do they really do in that company? What happens to workers who disappear? How is your own life outside of there? With a very particular aesthetic and a rhythm that accentuates the tension, this dystopian thriller starring Adam Scott and directed by Ben Stiller has been one of the most addictive and original series of the year and generated the most questions and theories around it.

Pam & Tommy

If it weren’t for the fact that it happened, that the distribution of one of the most famous porn videos in history was due to a rock star (Tommy Lee, from the band Motley Crue) humiliating and not paying a carpenter smells incredible for the stupidity of the matter. Also to poetic justice, if it weren’t for the fact that the vertex that completed the triangle was a woman, at that time one of the most desired on Earth, Pamela Anderson, who suffered the contempt, misogynist comments and sarcastic murmurs of half the planet. Pam & Tommy is written 25 years after the events, and therefore fights to restore the image of the Baywatch actress. Bad approach. Much better is the looney tunes tone of almost every episode,

The route

A dismembered gang, a duel, a disoriented music scene in its last years… The route starts at the end of its story to go back two years in each chapter in what could be called a coming-of-age story in reverse: we see its characters rejuvenate and the bakalao route return to its glory hours far removed from the image that sensationalism wanted to give of it. We know that the story does not end well —this is where its first episode starts from—, but that melancholy, far from distancing us from the characters, invites us to dance with them at a party that we can enjoy as if it were the last.

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