The Very Best Streaming TV Shows of 2022 (So Far)
HBO Max piles up the winners, while Amazon Prime leans on an old favorite
This year got off to a rollicking start as some of the shows delayed or disrupted by COVID-19 (think “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Reacher”) finally dropped.
The rest of 2022 is shaping up to be just as strong, if not stronger.
HBO Max built up a head of steam, dropping seven solid shows in Q1. The HBO streamer easily provided the best value overall, with Amazon Prime coming in second with four solid shows during the same period. One of those shows, the aforementioned “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” remains one of the best bets on television.
That gave Prime the second spot in the content landscape.
Next comes Netflix with seven shows dropping in Q1. Disappointing seasons of “The Witcher” and “Ozark” along with the DOA “Human Resources” from the creators of “Big Mouth,” hurt the streamer’s overall value.
Season two of “Bridgerton,” though, is sure to keep Netflix a hot ticket.
Apple TV+, Disney+ and Hulu rounded out the top streamers. Paramount+ slipped in with video game adaptation “Halo,” and its first two episodes delivered fantastic sci-fi content.
The Ten Best Shows of Q1
“Beforeigners” (HBO Max) — Three seasons of this fantastic fantasy-cop show from Norway are available now.
“Yellowjackets” (Showtime) — Wonderful acting, story and mystery power this surprise hit.
“Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” (HBO Max) — Even if you don’t love basketball this show about a winning franchise coming together in the 1980s is superb.
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Prime) — The ’60s-era saga is pure pleasure to watch.
“Raised by Wolves” (HBO Max) — The second season is much better than the first as the themes of the show start to take root. In a weird way the Ridley Scott-produced show made me appreciate both “Prometheus” and “Alien: Covenant” in retrospect, even though Scott dismissed talk that they share the same Alien universe despite stylistic overlap.
“Station Eleven” (HBO Max) — In a year of too many dystopian shows this one stands out as both sweet and meaningful.
“The Gilded Age” (HBO Max) — This light period drama may be just what we need in a time of war and disease. It’s good to remember how amazing the American experience can be.
“Euphoria” (HBO Max) — This show is polarizing. It’s either the best or worst program on television depending on the minute and your point of view.
“Vox Machina” (Amazon Prime) — Brilliant and funny.
“Vikings: Valhalla” (Netflix) — Vikings might become the new zombies which were once the new vampires (meaning they wore out their welcome).
The Best Show of Q1 for Each Streamer
- “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty”
- “Raised by Wolves”
- “Station Eleven”
- “The Gilded Age”
- “The Tourist”
- “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
- “Vox Machina”
- “The Expanse”
- “Viking Valhalla”
- “The Witcher”
- “Inventing Anna”
- “Human Resources”
- “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey”
- “Moon Knight”
- “Star Wars: The Book Of Boba Fett”
- “Pam & Tommy”
HBO Max has mapped out an excellent slate of 2022 shows to bolster its rising-star status. The year still promises at least four new originals, including the “Game of Thrones” spinoff, “House of the Dragon” Aug. 21.
But don’t count Netflix out.
The streaming giant may have started this year slowly, but it promises a string of intriguing shows in the months to come.
15 Intriguing Shows Still to Come in 2022
- “Better Call Saul” — AMC/AMC+
- “Peaky Blinders” — Netflix
- “Stranger Things” — Netflix
- “His Dark Materials” — HBO Max
- “House of the Dragon” — HBO Max
- “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” — Amazon Prime
- “The Last of Us” — HBO Max
- “Tokyo Vice” — HBO Max
- “Avatar: The Last Airbender” — Netflix
- “The Sandman” — Netflix
- “Wednesday” — Netflix
- “Dark Winds” — AMC+
- “The Witcher: Blood Origin” — Netflix
- “American Gigolo” — Showtime
- “Russian Doll” — Netflix
Netflix still reigns supreme on the streaming front for providing overall value. Apple TV+, minus a few shows here and there, continually underperforms as “Ted Lasso” can’t make up for the miss of “Foundation.”
If you’re not a Marvel/Star Wars fan, the Disney+/Hulu/ESPN bundle doesn’t offer much in way of diverse content.
The folks at Amazon Prime are counting on the “Lord of the Rings” prequel, “The Rings of Power,” to rule them all.