5 of this year’s most talked-about television series to add to your watchlist

Category: News

As you settle onto your sofa on a cold winter night, tucked under a blanket, with a warm drink in hand, you might find yourself stumped when picking what to watch.

There’s so much choice nowadays, with not only terrestrial TV but also a plethora of online streaming options. It can be hard to keep track of the various shows being released and even where you’re up to with the ones you’re already following.

There has been a great selection of TV series released in 2022 so far. For many, the small screen is now a capable rival for the entertainment available at the cinema.

So, get comfy and discover five great TV series that have provided plenty of talking points this year.

1. Return to Westeros with House of the Dragon 

In 2019, the highly acclaimed Game of Thrones concluded with a whimper and left many audiences frustrated at what felt like a rushed finale. 

The series, based on theSong of Ice and Fire fantasy novels by author George R.R. Martin, was one of the most-watched shows of all time on HBO. Many of the episodes were among the most illegally streamed episodes globally as viewers impatiently rushed to keep up to date with the series. 

Fast forward to 2022 and a prequel series has been released — House of the Dragon. Based on Martin’s companion novel Dance of Dragons, the series returns to Westeros several hundred years before the events of Game of Thrones.

It has recaptured a disillusioned audience and built new excitement around the franchise. 

The series follows the various factions of the Targaryen family (the titular house of the dragon) as they fight for power and control over the Iron Throne. It has some fantastic performances from actors such as Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Emma D’Arcy, and Olivia Cooke.

There are also plenty of dragons!

2. Dive into the upside down with Stranger Things

The Netflix series premiered in 2016 and follows a group of nerdy kids in the small town of Hawkins in 1980s America. The show borrows heavily from 1980s science fiction, fantasy, and horror tropes, particularly the works of Stephen King, and is drenched in 80s nostalgia.

The show’s ragtag group of children, a few of their parents, and the town sheriff, all get sucked into a paranormal adventure — think The Goonies — as they take in a telekinetic girl known as Eleven, and the host of problems that follow her. 

There are secret government labs, soviet prisons, body snatching, monsters, a creepy mirror universe known as the upside down, and plenty of Dungeons and Dragons.

The show’s fourth season arrived in the summer of 2022 and was one of the most talked-about programmes this year, as many considered it the best season of the show to date. 

The show’s fifth and final season is likely to be released in late 2023 or sometime in 2024. So, there’s still time to catch up with the story so far and get yourself ready for a return to Hawkins, Indiana.  

3. Uncover the dark side of accounting with Ozark

It seems like 2022 has become the year of great crime dramas coming to their epic conclusions. Aside from Ozark, both Better Call Saul and Peaky Blinders also ended their runs this year.

Ozark follows the Byrde family as they relocate to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. Martin Byrde had run a successful accounting practice with his business partner in Chicago for many years. That is until they opted to start laundering money for the cartels. 

Forced to relocate to the Ozarks, Martin sets about continuing his work for the cartel tucked away in the deep, dark south.  

As Martin and his family get more and more entangled with his client’s illegal practices, they soon begin to attract the attention of law enforcement, and other criminal enterprises.

The show confidently shifts from family drama to intense thriller as each subsequent season raises the stakes and leaves Martin and his family sitting atop a delicate house of cards.

The show’s fourth and final season premiered this year and brought about the show’s tense conclusion.

4. Feel the pressure of the kitchen with The Bear

The Bear is an American drama series set in the kitchen of a down-on-its-luck deli restaurant in Chicago. It’s a series that perfectly captures the intense pressure cooker environment of a kitchen workspace. 

It follows Carmen, a young chef who has made a name for himself working at Michelin-starred restaurants but is forced to return home to take over his brother’s deli sandwich shop/dive restaurant when his sibling commits suicide.

The series is heartbreaking, intense, and funny at the same time, smartly dovetailing Carmen’s attempts to upgrade his inherited venue, the intensity of the kitchen, his motley crew, and his inability to deal with his bottled-up grief.

The show recently arrived on Disney+ for UK audiences and has already been greenlit for a second season.

5. Root for The Boys in their fight against Homelander

You may have heard of The Boys through internet chatter or a deluge of memes. Amazon’s twisted take on the Superhero genre, adapted from the graphic novel series of the same name, is set in a world where superheroes exist but aren’t all they seem.

The stand-in for the Justice League, known as “the Seven”, are led by Homelander, a sort of Superman-like figure. However, behind closed doors, these heroes are twisted, perverted, corrupt, and dangerously violent. 

The Boys are a disparate group of mercenaries who try to fight back against the “Supes” by uncovering their dirty work, disrupting their operations, and generally being a constant pain in Homelander and the Seven’s backsides.

The series features plenty of gore, foul language, and scenes that frankly are hard to describe.

It’s perfect for anyone feeling superhero fatigue and wanting something that seeks to bend the genre until it breaks.

Selecting just five shows to highlight from this year was immensely difficult. There has been so much good content this year including honourable mentions such as The Sandman, Cobra Kai, Severance, Peacemaker, Andor, Peaky Blinders, Ted Lasso, Only Murders in the Building, Succession, and Euphoria among many others.

The good thing is your watchlist for those chilly winter evenings should find itself overflowing with quality content to view.