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The Best TV Shows of 2022

Variety Best of Television 2022
Courtesy of FX/Hulu/HBO/Disney+

Once again, Variety’s chief TV critics found themselves sifting through an avalanche of shows in order to pick their very favorites — and once again, they ended up with such different Top 10 lists that this year, only one (1) series appears on both.

With television showing no signs of slowing down (at least not yet — only time will tell how corporate fears about finances may yet manifest in terms of endless #content), Caroline Framke and Daniel D’Addario’s choices for the best shows of 2022 represent the sheer, staggering breadth of what TV now has to offer. Both agreed that “The Dropout,” Hulu’s incisive series about Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes and Silicon Valley’s culture of hubris, merited recognition. From there, though, the lists completely diverge, with praise for everything from HBO’s delirious drama “Euphoria” to thoughtful docuseries like Netflix’s “The Andy Warhol Diaries,” from winning comedies like ABC’s “Abbott Elementary” to the inventive “Star Wars” twist of “Andor,” making their way to our critics’ lists.

At the end of another tumultuous year for the entertainment industry, perhaps these disparate selections make more sense than not. There’s never been more TV than there is now, and TV critics are no more immune to becoming overwhelmed by the unrelenting pace of premieres than everyone else just trying to keep up. There’s a good chance your favorite show is nowhere on either list; maybe you haven’t even heard of the ones that are. Nevertheless, these 19 shows ended up proving the most memorable many hundreds of TV hours later, which may be as powerful an indication of their staying power as we’re going to get.