Welcome to the Annual Tivies - 2022 Edition.
To kick things off: TV!
Brought to you by Streaming Variability, which is returning from its month long Holiday hiatus very, very soon.
Before we get into the Top Ten, something new for The Independent Variable… Awards!
And some honorable mentions that didn’t quite make the Top Ten:
With all that out of the way, the Tivies Top Ten and Best Show of the Year…
This list can also be found on Trakt
I almost didn’t include this until I decided to cheat and combine the two seasons, both of which were released in 2022. The strength of the 12 episodes they put out was just too powerful to ignore. I look forward to as many seasons as they can pump out of this delightful spy thriller.
I’m a bit of a basketball fanatic, which made this hard not to include. There may have been better shows this year, but it doesn’t take much for me to like something when the NBA is involved. And Quincy Isaiah as Magic Johnson is a revelation.
This show continues to up the ante, getting crazier and crazier every season and I’m all for it. Antony Starr’s performance as Homelander is truly one of a kind and despite the show getting crazier, the heart at its core hasn’t wavered.
Besides anything basketball related, the other surefire way to get my attention is the “behind-the-scenes” or shows about people in creative industries. Throw in Jean Smart and stand-up comedy and I’m hooked. While there may have been a slight dip compared to the first season, I still loved the tension they were able to build and the direction they’ve taken things.
In preparation for the show I read the first two trades and was stunned how true the show felt to the comics. The production and set design were on another level compared to most Netflix shows. As far as I’m concerned, Neil Gaiman is 2/2 when he’s heavily involved in his adaptations between this and Good Omens (plus I enjoyed American Gods too).
A wholly delightful surprise for me. Sharon Horgan needs to write all the shows. There’s a dark, melancholic humor she captures both here and in Catastrophe I love. It’s almost Sorkin-esque in the way you can hear her voice in the dialogue while still being true to her characters.
Wow. I did not expect this. After the first couple episodes, I wrote that I expected this to be in my honorable mentions. Not quite good enough to crack the top ten, but still worthy of a mention. And then the second half of the season happened and there was no way I could leave it out of the top five, let alone top ten. The character studies this season were absolutely beautiful and has some of the best characters in any medium.
So I mentioned earlier that two surefire ways to get my attention were basketball and behind-the-scenes. Well I guess we should add my home city of Chicago to that list as well. I’ve seen some people nitpick some details of how the city is portrayed, but those people are stupid (no offense). Every episode had me looking up flights to go home for a beef. And obviously episode 7 was a chaotic masterpiece.
Vibes. That’s really all that needs to be said about Severance. Ben Stiller was this close to winning Best Director from me this year. Every detail of the offices felt meticulous and, I mean, the cast! Come on! Adam Scott, John Turturo, Christopher Walken, Patricia Arquette, Michael Chernus, and Zach Cherry plus the new-to-me Britt Lower and Tramell Tillman who not only held their own, but absolutely delivered. The money was absolutely on the screen in every respect. This is the best thing Apple has released adding to an already pretty impressive catalog for its young service.
And the Tivie Show of the Year award goes to… 🥁
Somehow, someway, they took one of the best shows on television and made it even better. And talk about building tension! Bill Hader has tapped into something special and it shows given he took over directing duties for five of this seasons eight episodes, and is set to direct the entirety of season four. E6, “710N”, was also my runner up for best episode of the year. This sort of fits into that as auteur 30min dramedy lane, but cranked up to 11.
Disclaimer: there are quite a few shows I’ve yet to finish… including, but not limited to: