From the Couch Hole: Best of TV/Streaming 2022 – Let Justice Be Done Though the Heavens Fall

From 2005-2013 and 2017-2020, I punctuated each year with an ever increasingly complex Best Of List. In 2021, I returned to the weekly blogging with FTCH. The fact is that I watch things, read things, and eat things, and above all, I love making lists. Over three weeks (see last Week for Best of Movies), I’ll pull from a year’s worth of notes and spreadsheet entries to put together a personal summary of my 2022 experience.


If I thought that the Best of Movie lists were difficult, that was just a walk in the park. These series are culled from cable television, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBOMax, Paramount+, Disney+, Peacock, and more. In fairness, I’m including shows where I may only have a large sampling but haven’t finished the series yet. There’s no good way to keep track of everything new coming out and I feel like while I’m putting this list together they probably just released five new quality series. Best Show of 2021: Only Murders In The Building (Hulu).


  1. Better Call Saul (AMC): Jimmy McGill’s (Bob Odenkirk) evolution to Saul Goodman and his relationship with Kim (Rhea Seahorn) seemed a questionable choice for a prequel when I first heard about it. But now with the end of the series, the Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul combination might be a Top Ten television show of all-time. The shows are ultimately about the cost of making questionable moral choices. How does a person justify their decisions and what is the ultimate cost to their humanity. Just a wonderful finale that makes you think just as a good show should.

2. Stranger Things (Netflix): Hello, Hellfire Club. Welcome, Kate Bush. This show hit just at the right time of the start of Summer and was just what 2022 needed. An entertaining cast and a plot that brought me back to what made me love the first season. They have lots to live up to in the future season.

“I know you’re frightened.”

3. Only Murders in the Building (Hulu) (2021 #1): My expectations for this show to catch lightning in a bottle for a second season were low. They were up against some tremendous competition but this #3 appearance shows that there just wasn’t a drop off. In fact, the chemistry of Martin, Gomez, and Short was even better. A smart show that wasn’t afraid to be silly at times. Setting expectations even lower for a third season and hoping for the best.

4. What We Do in the Shadows (FX) (2021 #8): Baby Colin Robinson! Some amazing episodes when they deviated from normal formula too (see the HGTV episode). Nadja’s nightclub was a constant source of comedy.

5. Ms. Marvel / Stargirl (Disney+/CW): These are grouped together more on how I digested them at the same time this year than what they have in common. Both are teenage superhero girls but Stargirl with a longer season plays the continuity game of a long story with a rather large cast. Ms. Marvel is the better of the two although after a strong start it has devolved to more predictable Marvel fare. Both stick out as unique within their respective Marvel and DC universes.

6. Bob’s Burgers (FOX) (2021 #6): Consistently ranked. Consistently my biggest laugh of the week. For years in a row, this has been the Sunday comedy I want to watch first.

7. Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+): Overly long, even with a mere six episodes. But when it’s good, it’s really good and it feels like it should have been Episode 3.5.

8. The Rehearsal (HBO): Earlier in the year, I binged Nathan For You as a prep for this show. This show is just as uncomfortable as the previous one but with a little more focus. There’s more of a thread going through the show about how we attempt to control the world around us and the results we would like to see. How much do we ever know ourselves? There is nothing else like this on television.

9. Derry Girls (Netflix): I’m not going to pretend that this is anything other than a Lifetime Achievement award here. The new season had some hilarious moments but it isn’t as funny as the previous seasons. The real winner here is the emergence of the parents as the center of much of the best comedy.

10. Star Wars: Andor (Disney+): Have we reached the point in the Star Wars mythos where we can finally tell stories that don’t involve Jedi and light sabers? Cassion Andor from Rogue One, this series has a great combination of Blade Runner, Bourne films, and the bounty hunter noir portions of the Star Wars films. I know I’m in the minority to rank this as the second best Star Wars television series of the year but that’s my own cross to bear.

A quick list of older shows that also played well in 2022 for me include Columbo, All in the Family, Star Trek, and Doctor Who.

This next list is where I usually take it in the shorts. Don’t “I can’t believe . . . ” at me, bro. I already watch so many shows and I fully realize that some of them are Riverdale and Nancy Drew but there are only so many hours in a day. This list is on my radar but to be honest, last year’s Best Shows That I Don’t Watch is still untouched including Mare of Easttown, Reservation Dogs, and Pen15.


  1. Euphoria (HBO): From everything I’ve seen, this is a show that looks amazing. I mean the cinematography in particular. It has a cinematic feel and I have enjoyed the star, Zendaya in her other films.

2. The Sandman (Netflix): I read all the comics. People who read all the comics have expressed their approval. That’s all I really need to know.

3. The Bear (Hulu): I loved Jeremy Allen White in Shameless. Everything about this show looks up my alley.

4. The White Lotus (HBO): All the memes and one of the few shows that seems to generate lots of chatter on the day after new episodes air. This was #6 of the Best Shows I Don’t Watch last year too.

5. We Own This City (HBO): David Simon returns to HBO and Baltimore. That can’t be a bad thing.

6. Players (Paramount+): I had initially ignored this until I saw it’s from the creators of American Vandal. Not ready for an eSport mockumentary but a quick look at a trailer and maybe it’s not a bad idea.

7. Yellowjackets (SHOW): Stephen King said it was good and so it has been on my radar. He didn’t steer me wrong on Midnight Mass.

8. The Righteous Gemstones (HBO): I have no excuse why I haven’t watched this yet. I will be quoting it for months afterwards once I get started.

9. Atlanta (FX): I forget about this show for long periods of time and then I see an ad and don’t recognize it until the end of the commercial. I don’t really know what is going on with this show but it’s probably really good from what I read.

10. Severance (AppleTV+): Much like Ted Lasso last year, it’s mostly here because there has to be one streaming service that I don’t subscribe to.

You remember the way I like trailers almost as much as movies?  Ads are even more intriguing.  One, there are fewer actual old-time commercials anymore and for fewer and fewer products.  Two, where do you even sit still for them anymore?  For me, it’s mostly during sporting events or the moments before the movie starts in the theater but even then I usually have to see them in another setting to know to watch them.  So many ads are unimaginative and derivative. It might be Toyotathon or Lobsterfest and that’s important but not creative. Best Ad of 2021: Geico “Scoop There It Is.”


1.  Gatorade “Love Means Everything”: “Always love being you.” I usually like putting something clever and funny as my favorite ad of the year. It’s hard to ignore how important Serena has been to women’s sports and women’s pride in general. Add Beyonce’s narration and it’s double the power. I love the message and it deserves to summarize the best parts of 2022 when love was everything.

2. Oreo “The Note”: More like a two and a half minute film. The director, Alice Wu, has great instincts for how to talk about this “rehearsal” for a son’s “coming out” conversation. And in the end, it’s applicable to many conversations that need love and courage.

3.  McDonald’s “Cactus Plant Flea Market”: I just have so many questions. And I’m not sure where this nightmare fuel is coming from.

4.  Flock Freight “Quantifying A Load”: Steve from Blue’s Clues reenters the entertainment scene by helping us answer an age-old question, “How much is a fu$#load?”

“Anything more than 40 feet.”

5.  Twix “Camping”: Twix and Skittles have consistently led the candy aisle for the most unconventional ads. This one is simple and effective and had me giggling this year.

“The sound of the snap when you bite into it.”

6.  PETA “Octocurse”: So much different a tack that they usually use in their ads. I love this 1970’s Sci-Fi / Horror angle. “Stay human!”

“Your blood will run blue”

7. Realtor.Com “Big Boi House”: For when it’s time to find your Big Boi house. I’m just happy to hear this tune and his voice again. Things like “Big Boi waterfall shower” are just a funny bonus.
“Big Boi vaulted ceilings”

BONUS #1. Budweiser “The World Is Yours To Take”: The Budweiser sponsorship of the World Cup took quite a hit at the last second. I don’t know much about a Lil Baby but I approve of his Tears For Fears sample. I hope there’s a good video of highlights from the Cup set to this song pretty soon.

“Everybody wants to rule the world”

BONUS #2.  Sinyi Realty “In Love We Trust 2”: Last year in this spot, I talked about the power of love in “In Love We Trust” ad from Sinyi Realty. Once again, this director captures the realities of mature love as the young couple moves towards being parents and navigating a full time relationship. There’s another full movie here in just eight minutes. Amazing.

  • Last year’s “In Love We Trust” in case you want to remember why they fell in love.


Television in 1972 was simply ABC, CBS, and NBC. For the first time, over half of households have a Color TV. The Tonight Show has moved to Burbank. Most nights still had at least one channel airing a movie. Shows like Marcus Welby, M.D., My Three Sons and Gunsmoke are still running but there is a transition to some of the more important shows of the decade and shows that still entertain today. Best Debut of 1971: All In The Family (CBS)

1.  M*A*S*H (CBS): What a one-two punch for CBS. One year they debut All In The Family and the next they adapt a 1970 film into what will become a ratings monster for a decade. This show will go a long way to redefine what a comedy is on television. It is still hilarious today because it touches upon such universal themes.

Suicide is painless

2. The Bob Newhart Show (CBS): Like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, this has a great title sequence that sets the tone for the show. The show was odd in that the title character was the straight man for an every increasing set of supporting characters. Bob is awesome but it’s the other cast members that drive this show.


3. Sanford & Son (NBC): NBC got a bonafide hit thanks to a Normal Lear adaptation of a UK hit, Steptoe and Son. Boosted by an awesome theme song by Quincy Jones, Redd Foxx and another show that paid off running gags and an expansive recurring cast.

4. Maude (CBS): Another Norman Lear creation made a huge impact on popular culture. This All in the Family spin-off often reflected current events and featured dialog heavy scenes. It took me until I was an adult to really appreciate this show.

5. The New Scooby-Doo Movies (CBS): The first Scooby-Doo series defined the basics of the series. This second series created the template for what would keep the series going for over 50 years.

This concludes the second part of the year-end finale. Next week, we ring in the new year by celebrating all of the odds and ends that didn’t make the first two parts. Thanks for keeping your focus this far, faithful reader.

“If you don’t like where you are heading, there’s no shame in going back and changing your path.” – Chuck McGill, Better Call Saul.

Stay Hard.


Shawn Bourdo


  1. Gordon S. Miller on January 1, 2023 at 2:00 pm

    Agree with BCS. They nailed the end better than BB. Really enjoyed Andor. Might be my all-time favorite Star Wars product. Obi-Wan lost me when it became a rehash of (future) Episode IV and actually diminishes that movie now. We watched the reveal in that WWDITS episode quite a few times. (New York Ci-tay)

    Did you watch Primal? One episode of Severance and I am fascinated what’s to come. Just finished Yellowjackets and while I enjoyed some of the writing in this Desperate Housewives/Lost hybrid as was just as often disappointed in it. Not sure if I am returning for Season 2. While it had its moments all along, I thought Atlanta declined every season.

    • Shawn Bourdo on January 3, 2023 at 7:58 am

      I haven’t watched Primal yet. It seems like a must see that just keeps steady at 5th or 6th choice when I start something else new. I think that White Lotus is next just so I know what everyone is talking about.

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