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As I set about picking the best TV performances of the year, I started to notice a pattern. Excellent though they all were, all the actors on my list gave great individual performances that only became better as one half of a pair. Time and time again, I wanted to honor one actor from a show only to realize that they needed to be highlighted alongside another in order to properly honor the work they’d done.

Take Jonathan Bailey, whose surly “Bridgerton” rake slowly shed his defiant exterior while falling for Kate, his headstrong counterpart played with restrained precision by Simone Ashley. Or how about Amanda Seyfried, whose astonishing turn as Elizabeth Holmes in “The Dropout” played so perfectly off Naveen Andrews as her calculating partner in crime? Even the sprawling cast of Amazon’s “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” leaned on an exceptionally charismatic duo in Morfydd Clark and Charlie Vickers, who had the difficult task of playing two of J.R.R. Tolkien’s most famous characters, period.

And so I scrapped the usual list of individual best performances in order to select actors in sets of two, hoping to reflect better the incredible work of collaboration that made so much of this year’s TV so good. (Please note that I am but one person who did not see all the television that 2022 had to offer, meaning that I unfortunately couldn’t speak to the merits of, for instance, “Heartstopper” or “House of the Dragon” — at least not beyond the “negroni, sbagliato, with prosecco in it” TikTok, which probably does belong on this list, now that I’m thinking of it…)

Without further ado, here are 15 of the year’s best performances on TV: pairs edition (listed alphabetically by series).