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Everything I watched in 2022
And what I liked most
Thanks for reading this year! Rather than doing top 10 lists, here’s every show and movie I put into my eyeballs in 2022 in chronological order. I’ve jotted down some memories about each, starred my favorites, and linked to any reviews I wrote. Pop Culture Brain Daily will be back January 3.
Best of the year = ⭐️
Best of the best of the year = ⭐️⭐️
The most best of the best of the year = ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Don't Look Up — Like it more now than I did then.
The Matrix Resurrections — Pretty forgettable.
Maid — Star-making performance from Margaret Qualley.
The Last Duel — Different perspectives were interesting, Matt Damon was good.
The Tender Bar — Better Ben Affleck performance than Last Duel, but didn’t stick.
Queer Eye s6 — Reliable, feel good.
Spencer — It was fine?
Cobra Kai s4 ⭐️ — Perfect culmination of the entire series up until that point.
Station Eleven ⭐️⭐️⭐️ — There’s Station Eleven and then there’s everything else. Why haven’t you watched it yet?
Nightmare Alley — Atmospheric and piercing, but really 2 movies fused together.
Licorice Pizza ⭐️ — Engrossing, funny, lasting, nostalgia.
Yellowjackets s1 — Chilling and pulpy, but maybe should have been a miniseries?
Pig ⭐️ — Nic Cage is back baby.
Peacemaker s1 ⭐️ — Hilarious, well plotted. Best opening credits of the year. Eagly.
South Side — Funny, low fi with fresh perspective.
Turning Red ⭐️ — Great Pixar.
Righteous Gemstones s2 — Always funny but the not as hooky as the first season.
Drive My Car — Emotional epic.
Euphoria s2 ⭐️ — A miracle of bombastic and cathartic TV making. Nothing like it.
The Afterparty — Had its moments but overall disappointing. With that cast, it should have been funnier.
Life & Beth s1 — Amy Schumer is good at making this type of story.
Severance ⭐️⭐️ — The best new sci-fi series of the year.
Minx s1 — Underrated workplace comedy with lovable characters.
Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood — Fun but disjointed Linklater rotoscope.
The Batman — Surprisingly solid, but fleeting.
The Dropout — Compelling Seyfried vehicle that soared when she was the villain.
Abott Elementary s1 — Perfect comfort TV in the tradition of The Office, Parks.
Russian Doll s2 — Messy and ambitious, not nearly as good as season one.
Better Things s5 ⭐️ — Touching, funny end to an under appreciated gem.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness — Great surprises, entire thing elevated by Raimi and Olsen, but burdened by MCU requirements.
Spring Awakening: Those You’ve Known — Powerful, nostalgic concert doc for fans only.
Our Flag Means Death s1 — Funny adventurer for fans of What We Do in the Shadows.
Pachinko — Epic if slow at times. Second-best opening credits of the year.
I Want You Back — Cute romcom with engaging leads.
Chip n Dale: Rescue Rangers — Fun but fleeting meta humor.
Love Death + Robots ⭐️ — Astonishing animation, intriguing stories. The future of filmmaking?
Cheer s2 — Captivating ouroboros narrative, if overly long.
This Is Us s6 ⭐️ — Powerful and emotional end to maybe the last great network drama?
The Bob's Burgers Movie — Like an episode but bigger.
Winning Time s1 — Amazing cast old and new, but one or two episodes too long.
Rothaniel ⭐️ — Revealing and honest special, not much like it.
Somebody Feed Phil s5 ⭐️ — The only food and travel show you need.
Moon Knight — Interesting performance from Oscar Isaac, but not much else.
Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off — Biodoc unafraid to ask some deeper questions.
Inside Outtakes — More Burnham genius.
Killing It pilot — Oof.
Ghosts s1 — Surprising gem of a show that I like more than Abbott Elementary. Sorry.
Atlanta s3 — Fascinating and discomforting diversions. As strong as ever.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore — Nope.
Hacks s2 ⭐️ — Even better as it expanded its world. Hysterical.
Lightyear — Good Pixar
Barry s3 — A small step down from previous seasons and not as funny, but consistently shocking.
Steve Jobs — How come more people don’t like this movie?
George Carlin's American Dream — Comprehensive analysis of genius, trouble, and personal evolution.
Obi-Wan Kenobi — Some standout moments, but lots of bag fumbling.
Stranger Things s4 ⭐️⭐️ — Enormous scale and power that somehow met its grandiose expectations.
The Bear s1 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ — A pressure cooker of magic that came out of nowhere.
Hustle — More of this Sandler, please.
Players pilot — Eh.
Thor: Love and Thunder — It was good! Funny, Christian Bale chewing scenery, touching ending.
The Boys s3 — Great in moments, but it’s stuck between superhero satire and superhero cliché.
The Northman — Brutal and mystifying historical epic.
Ms. Marvel s1 — Better in its earlier episodes, but a welcome coming-of-age tale from Marvel.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds s1 ⭐️ — Star Trek as its meant to be.
Nope ⭐️ — Jordan Peele does it again.
We Own This City — Star Jon Bernthal performance, otherwise journalistic.
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent — Nic Cage is OK again. Should have been funnier.
101 Places to Party Before You Die s1 ⭐️ — The other food and travel show you need in your life.
The Rehearsal s1 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ — I can’t believe this is happening.
I Love That For You s1 — Vanessa Bayer delivery machine.
Marcel the Shell With Shoes On — Beautiful, quirky hybrid with a lot of heart.
Bullet Train — Fun romp with cool twists.
Prey ⭐️⭐️ — Genius concept, brazenly executed. More reboots like this please.
The Old Man pilot — I have no memory of this.
Paper Girls pilot — I watched it.
Arcane episodes 1/2 — Didn’t get to the reason I should care fast enough.
I Am Groot shorts — Fun and cute distractions.
Starstruck — Funny romcom series with distinct voice.
Grand Crew eps 1/2 — Pretty middling sitcom.
Somebody Somewhere eps 1/2 — Didn’t really grab me.
Emily the Criminal — Aubrey Plaza is a force.
For All Mankind s3 ⭐️ — One of the most underrated dramas on TV right now.
A League of Their Own eps 1/2 — Should have been a faster-paced half-hour series.
Light and Magic — Geeky and comprehensive behind-the-scenes of special effects.
Top Gun: Maverick — There’s a reason it’s a massive hit.
Only Murders in the Building s2 — Enjoyable but I don’t get all the hype.
Slow Horses s1 ⭐️ — Tightly plotted and often hilarious spy drama.
Better Call Saul s6 ⭐️ — A note perfect end of an era.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law s1 — Funny and wonderfully meta. Tatiana Maslany.
The Rings of Power ⭐️ — Gorgeous extension of the franchise complete with its beating heart. Better than some of the movies.
House of the Dragon s1 — Game of Thrones as throat-grabbing as ever.
The Resort — Incredible finale and twist that takes too long to get there.
What We Do in the Shadows s4 — Consistently funny.
This Fool pilot — Wait, did I watch this?
Acapulco pilot — Or this?
Cobra Kai s5 — They’re losing the thread on what makes the show good.
Harley Quinn s3 — Brave, experimental, and funny in the best fucking ways.
Pen15 s2 pt 2 — Unflinching examination of growing up.
Andor s1 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ — To quote another Star Wars show, this is the way… all big IP should be handled.
Mo s1 — Charming and unique. A great hang.
Meet Cute — Cuoco elevates a clever twist on the time-loop format.
Reservation Dogs s2 ⭐️ — Deep wells of humanity and humor.
Werewolf by Night ⭐️⭐️ — Easily the best Marvel thing of the year.
Confess, Fletch — Hamm and a game cast communicate fun.
Midnight Club ep 1 — Moody without substance.
Ramy s3 — Similar to Barry, it’s compelling but not as funny as it once was.
Somebody Feed Phil s6 ⭐️ — Life is good when you’re on the road with Phil.
Uncoupled s1 — Comforting and comical NPH romcom.
Tales of the Jedi s1 — For deep Star Wars fans only.
Bros ⭐️ — Hilarious and thoughtful comedy that deserves a second look.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel s4 ⭐️ — As funny and witty as ever.
Derry Girls ⭐️ — Lovely and hilarious with superbly drawn characters.
Barbarian — Bold and surprising, but didn’t blow me away.
Everything Everywhere All At Once ⭐️⭐️ — The most original and audacious thing of the year.
The Patient ⭐️ — Haunting inversion of the serial killer drama.
Weird — Great jokes, Radcliffe committed, but needed to be edited down slightly.
Reboot s1 — Fun sitcom, great cast, but I’m not sure I’ll return for a 2nd season.
Big Mouth s6 eps 1-3 — Spinning its wheels.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — Powerful but convoluted.
High School ep 1 — Grounded but a bit cold.
Big Night — Watch this movie.
Wendell and Wild — Great ideas, visual style, and voice work, but rough script.
Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities — Standout episodes are harrowing and thrilling.
Miracle Workers s3 — Always nice to have Radcliffe and Buscemi for a bit.
RRR ⭐️ — The kitchen sink and then some.
Spirited — Cheery with great music.
1899 — Ominous puzzle box worth riding out.
Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special — Cheery with great music.
Sr. ⭐️ — Emotional bio doc about life and death.
Wednesday ep 1 — I don’t get it. This belongs on the CW.
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio — Original and dark, but not fully committed to its oddities.
Tár ⭐️ — Complex, discomforting, deep character piece with the best performance of the year.
Lego Masters s3 — Get your brick on.
The Great s2 — Strong performances, humor, and verve.
The Fabelmans ⭐️⭐️ — Outstanding and emotional late Spielberg.
Kindred — A rare miss from FX. It lacked levity to offset its darkness. Also, maybe it should have been a miniseries?
Industry s2 — Captivating and depressing in the best ways.
The English — Stunning cinematography and Emily Blunt performance, but at times inaccessible.
As We See It — Endearing Jason Katims comedy that didn’t deserve to be canceled.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery ⭐️⭐️ — A blast and a half.
Fleishman Is in Trouble ⭐️⭐️ — Knock-you-back coming-of-middle age drama with a page-turning mystery wrapper.
Avatar: The Way of Water — Beautiful but frustratingly ends on an ellipsis instead of a period. (a la Dune.)
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