"The Summer I Turned Pretty" photo by Amazon Prime Video

22 shows that got me through 2022

So many shows. So little time.

14 mins read

2022 marked the year where I was either all in or feeling nothing in regards to television shows. I got to see the return of so many of my favorite things. More episodes started coming out on a weekly basis. “Stranger Things” and “Vampire Academy” came back. The world of Westeros arrived on my screen again. Another Sally Rooney adaptation made me fall into a 2014-esque angst spiral. Let’s also give a hand for more Addams family content. 

All was right in the world of TV (excluding the ever-growing cancellations, of course).

Here are 22 shows that got me through 2022:


Image by HBO Max

Available on HBO Max

I hold so much love for “Euphoria” in my heart. It was a glorious reminder of what made me fall in love with TV in the first place. It’s exhilarating to watch a show once a week, read live tweets and then talk about it at work the next day. It’s the modern-day “Lost” for me, and I thought shows like that were nearing its end. “Euphoria” proved otherwise.

I had so much fun talking about theories with my friends and co-workers this year. While we received more questions than answers in its second season, I’m hoping we’ll be rewarded with closure on more storylines in future episodes.

An Astrological Guide to Broken Hearts

Image by Netflix

Available on Netflix

There’s something about international romantic comedies that will make me happy every single time. “An Astrological Guide to Broken Hearts” was no exception. 

Heartbroken and hopeless romantic Alice befriends an astrology guru to help her with her love life and each episode typically focuses on a different star sign – Alice is a libra. Little love triangles ensue, along with an intriguing relationship with one of her new co-workers at the TV station she works at.

It was the perfect show to keep me busy in-between my big TV binges this year. It also has a complete two seasons to tell its whole story (one of the few Netflix shows in 2022 to have a proper ending).


Image by Netflix

Available on Netflix

“Bridgerton” was nothing new for me this year, but it took over my life and finances like no other series in 2022 so it had to make the list.

Season two followed Anthony Bridgerton’s journey to find a wife and this caused the beautiful introduction of sisters Kate and Edwina Sharma. Everything about this season felt perfect to me, and I immediately fell down the rabbit hole.

It was a very “Bridgerton” year. I made Taylor Swift playlists for Anthony and Benedict’s relationships (no spoilers here!). I read the books, filled my vases with purple hyacinth in the summer, bought the Pat McGrath x Bridgerton: Bell of the Ball eyeshadow palette, bought the Republic of Tea’s Bridgerton collection (specifically Anthony & Kate’s spiced chai, Duke & Duchess’ honey breakfast tea and the Whistledown Punch), received the season two soundtrack on vinyl as a Christmas gift and even attended the Queen’s Ball: Bridgerton Experience in Minneapolis. 

Now, it’s time for season three this year (and yes, I have a 2023 Bridgerton calendar to count down the days).

Inventing Anna

Image by Netflix

Available on Netflix

After the sweeping romance of “Bridgerton,” I became invested in the Anna Delvey scandal. “Inventing Anna” is a mini series that came out in 2022 based on the real life story of the woman Anna Sorokin/Delvey who swindled cash from the New York elite while pretending to be a German heiress. 

The storytelling was captivating, especially for someone with a journalism background. Instead of being told chronologically, “Inventing Anna” wove her story through interviews from different people in Anna’s life each episode. I wasn’t just told what happened as an audience member. I got to see the journalist put the pieces together, and I couldn’t turn off my TV.

Even after the final scene faded to black, I had to follow the real life Anna Delvey/Sorokin on Instagram, read her magazine features and listen to podcasts she starred on. Even though the show was done, the story wasn’t.

Good Girls

Image by NBC

Available on Netflix

“Good Girls” was one of the few shows I watched in 2022 that had multiple seasons. It wasn’t just a one-and-done mini series and it wasn’t canceled way before its time, and I’m so thankful for that (petition to bring back 22-episode seasons please). 

“Good Girls” is about a group of suburban moms who find themselves laundering money for a gang in order to make a living for their family. They deal with the everyday drama of friendship and family while also making scary deals with gang leaders all while evading murder and getting caught by the police.

Overall, it was a fun series to watch. I didn’t have to think too hard about the plot and I didn’t become obsessed. It doesn’t get much more relaxing than that for me in regards to shows. 

Boo, Bitch

Image by Netflix

Available on Netflix

I kept things mild again with another nice, simple, fun watch. “Boo, Bitch” was one of the many mini series I had to watch in 2022. 

It follows friends Erika (Lana Condor) and Gia (Zoe Margaret Colletti) after an accident with a deer kills one of them. The one killed becomes a ghost who can still be seen by their best friend. Together, they must figure out her unfinished business and guarantee one last high school hurrah before walking off into the light. 

I highly recommend “Boo, Bitch” for anyone in-between shows at the moment. The mystery and high school drama is fun to follow, and audiences get closure with the characters.

Conversations with Friends

Image by Hulu

Available on Hulu

Sally Rooney is the John Green of the 2020s, and people cannot tell me otherwise. There’s something pretentious and moody in me that comes out when I watch a Sally Rooney book-to-screen adaptation that I haven’t been truly able to achieve since I saw all the John Green book-to-movie adaptations in the mid-2010s. 

We had “Normal People” in 2020, and we had “Conversations with Friends” in 2022, such is the beauty of life. 

“Conversations with Friends” was the complete opposite of Rooney’s previous adaptation though. While “Normal People” was inherently romantic, this one wasn’t. “Conversations with Friends” is about the complicated relationships we have between friends. It has the characters ask themselves a variety of questions: Are we just friends or are we something more? Should I sleep with my friend’s partner? Am I in love with my friend’s partner? Am I in love with my best friend instead? Do I even love myself?

Basically, it’s about a complex group of friends who all sleep with each other while discovering if they even like themselves in the process. It was a brilliant watch, even if I prefer Marianne and Connel’s relationship in “Normal People.”


Image by Netflix

Available on Netflix

“Heartstopper” was simply put, the cutest show I saw all year.

I’m even smiling and feeling happiness bubble throughout me right now just thinking about all the lovely characters. It’s one of those perfect shows you never want to end, and I’m thrilled to have it around for a second season.

“Heartstopper” follows a group of teenagers exploring their identities and their relationships with each other in the most precious and wholesome way. Olivia Coleman also plays Nick Nelson’s mom in the series, and I’m obsessed with that. 

The Summer I Turned Pretty

Image by Amazon Prime Video

Available on Amazon Prime Video

After “Heartstopper,” I entered the summer I turned obsessed with Conrad Fisher.

I don’t know what author and show creator Jenny Han put into “The Summer I Turned Pretty” but I know it was heavily addictive. The book-to-show adaptation released June 17 on Amazon Prime Video, and I haven’t been the same since. I immediately fell in love with Conrad and Belly’s relationship that weekend and proceeded to fall even more in love with the books right away afterwards.

I finished the first season on Sunday, June 19, and bought the books that night. I read the entire first book on Sunday evening, the second one the next day and the entire third one the day after that (I even got in a small car accident after work that day, but the grind never stops).

The series centers around Isabel “Belly” Conklin and brothers Conrad and Jeremiah Fisher starting with the summer Belly has “turned pretty.” The family friends share each summer together at a beach house with their moms and Belly’s older brother Steven. Flashbacks woven with the present help tell Belly’s romantic stories with the brothers along with a sad truth that presents itself at the end of the first season (first book).

The Wilds

Image by Amazon Prime Video

Available on Amazon Prime Video

I kept up with the girl-centered beach theme after “The Summer I Turned Pretty” when season two of “The Wilds” came out on Amazon Prime Video. I screamed when “epiphany” by Taylor Swift set the tone at the beginning (I couldn’t have chosen a more perfect song). 

After a long wait from season one, I was more than ready to dive headfirst into new episodes. Unfortunately, that excitement was short-lived. “The Wilds” was canceled, and I blame the guys.

Season one did something I had never really seen before: It based an entire show off of women alone. Every single main character was a girl. They all had a different, complex, real story to tell that added important discourse in the realm of television. The boys’ storylines really took the forefront of season two though, pushing the girls more into the background. I still enjoyed watching it, but “The Wilds” felt disconnected from what made people fall in love with it in the first place. Either way though, I shall forever be upset over its cancellation. The girls deserved better.

Stranger Things

Image by Netflix

Available on Netflix

I couldn’t make a list about shows in 2022 without including season four of “Stranger Things.” It was one of the biggest heart-pounding things I’ve ever seen. Jamie Campbell Bower’s twisted character? “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” by Kate Bush? Sadie Sink running from Vecna in the Upside Down? Will’s character growth? Millie Bobby Brown? Eddie Munson? Steve and Nancy getting closer? Sign me up.

This is a show with influence. I had so much fun watching it with friends, crying with them on my couch and talking about what songs would save us from Vecna. I even dressed up as Eddie Munson for Halloween.

Season four was yet another incredible season of television and it truly made the year better for me.

Derry Girls

Image by Channel 4 / Netflix

Available on Netflix

“Derry Girls” is a comfort watch for me. I bloody love it. The girls and James are absolutely hilarious, which is why I was so sad to watch its final season last year. Oh, and what a fabulous season it was.

One thing I love so much about the show is how it uses the historical setting as just a backdrop for its characters. “Derry Girls” might take place during a war-stricken 1990s Ireland, but it’s not necessarily about that. It’s about the regular, funny stories of fictional teens who grew up there. 

I cried when “Dreams” by the Cranberries came on in the final episode. It made everything tie up beautifully. 

The Mole

Image by Netflix

Available on Netflix

Next, I hit up a reality show to keep my mind busy in the summer. “The Mole” is a rebooted game show from the early 2000s that brings a group of people together to complete challenges to win money.

 However, there’s a mole among them working against the group to fumble the challenges and lose money. After each set of challenges, the players have to take a quiz individually about who they think the mole is. The person with the most wrong answers goes home. Eventually the group narrows down to three people and the person who guesses the mole correctly wins the game and the prize money.

It was so much fun watching it every week trying to figure who the mole was. 

House of the Dragon

Image by HBO Max

Available on HBO Max

I cannot believe we got another “Game of Thrones” show. I desperately had to watch “House of the Dragon” when it started airing on HBO last year. A Targaryen prequel series? More dragons than ever? An incredible cast (especially Matt Smith)? I’m all in.

“House of the Dragon” depicts author George RR Martin’s other Westeros work “The Dance of the Dragons,” which tells the story of how the Targaryens lost almost all of their dragons and power through a civil war for the Iron Throne. I’m #TeamBlack. No spoilers from me, but viewers can find Easter eggs about how the story ends from characters throughout “Game of Thrones.”

I loved “House of the Dragon.” I could really tell they amped up the staff and crew with more women this time around, which was much needed. It was great seeing the female gaze portrayed in this setting.

Vampire Academy

Image by Peacock

Available on Peacock

Ah, one of my most prized shows this year. “Vampire Academy” was perfect. It was exactly what I hoped it to be and even more. I read the “Vampire Academy” books and its spinoff “Bloodlines” by Richelle Mead in 2014, watched the movie in theaters featuring Zoey Deutch and was heartbroken when it was never picked back up.

However, “The Vampire Diaries” alum Julie Plec and Marguerite MacIntyre breathed fresh life into this series in 2022 with a 10-episode season on Peacock. It takes place at a vampire boarding school filled to the brim with royal politics and the fight to survive.

It followed the foundation of the books while bringing in new elements to make it work with a 2022 audience. There was more diversity, exploration of different characters and added plotlines to make it feel more well rounded. I’m obsessed with this new version of Rose Hathaway and Dimitri Belikov. As of Jan. 10, 2023, fans are still waiting for the renewal announcement. 

Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story

Image by Netflix

Available on Netflix

Evan Peters as a psychopath/killer will always be intriguing to me. I don’t have much to say about “Dahmer” other than the fact that Peters simultaneously drew me in and scared me away. It’s one of his super powers. 

“Dahmer” is based on Jeffrey Dahmer’s murders in the ‘70s and ‘80s. We see pieces of his childhood, his first kill and how he chose his victims. We also see what his life looked like after he was found guilty and sentenced in prison. 

I was terrified to watch this miniseries, because I wasn’t prepared to watch gruesome attacks. I thought it would be gory, but it wasn’t really. The series really focused on the victims, giving their stories more room to breathe. We would see their lives, how they met Dahmer, it would allude to their murder and then we would see how their families were impacted. Overall, I thought it was a great show.

Heartbreak High

Image by Netflix

Available on Netflix

I needed a break from the dark and scary, so I was more than happy to start watching “Heartbreak High.” 

It’s an Australian teen drama about a friendship breakup and a map drawn on a wall at the school detailing where people hooked up. The audience gets to watch the fallout of the map, watch new relationships form all while wondering what happened the night before the map was discovered to make the two main characters stop being friends. 

It was a nice watch to keep me busy in the fall. It’s also been renewed for season two, so class will be back in session once again. 


Image by Amazon Prime Video

Available on Amazon Prime Video

Falling for a hot priest terrified of foxes was not on my bingo card for 2022.

Like many people, I have fallen prey to Amazon Prime Video’s “Fleabag.” I’m just sorry and embarrassed it took me so long. It’s the perfect mix of comedy, drama, yearning, societal discourse and of course tears (oh, all the tears!). I never want to hear the words “It’ll pass” again. 

I’m always a sucker for a good fourth wall break. Self-aware shows feed my soul, and that’s the foundation of “Fleabag.” This added a layer vital to the story. Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s character, Fleabag, required this additional element in order for the viewers to truly understand her. Fleabag thrives off jokes, raunchy scenes and wit as her main coping mechanism. But her looks at the camera and side remarks to the audience allowed us to see her inner self. 

That’s what made the Priest’s ability to catch her fourth wall breaks all the more powerful. Not only were Fleabag and the audience allowed to see her true self, the Priest was too. That’s also what made his rejection so tragic.


Image by Netflix

Available on Netflix

It’s official. Wednesday is my favorite day of the week. It’s hard to reboot a classic, especially one as extensive and beloved as “The Addams Family,” but dare I say “Wednesday” pulled it off with flying (black) colors.

It appealed to every generation. It managed to stay fresh while also showing love to its origins with callbacks to the different Wednesdays over the years. Christina Ricci, the Wednesday from the ‘90s movies, appeared alongside Jenna Ortega as Ms. Marilyn Thornhill. Ortega also referenced Lisa Loring’s rendition with some of her same dance moves to Tyler.

No matter who you shipped (Wenclair, Weyler or Wavier), it was fun for everyone. And one of the best parts? It’s been renewed for another season. 

The Sex Lives of College Girls

Image by HBO Max

Available on HBO Max

Next, I started a new season and “The Sex Lives of College Girls” started a new semester. However, it was not an easy school year for any of them. This new season was messy. 

Kimberly pulled a Cassie from “Euphoria.” Bella’s ignorance made her more selfish than before. However, Whitney and Leighton were as wonderful as ever. The show’s writing remained comical and brilliant even if some of the main characters lost their special touch.

No matter what, I loved looking forward to new episodes each week.

The White Lotus

Image by HBO Max

Available on HBO Max

After college, I packed my bags and took a trip to Sicily. “The White Lotus” was by far one of the most stressful things I’ve watched in a very long time. All the characters are horrible (for the most part – I love you Jennifer Coolidge, Aubrey Plaza and Meghann Fahy), but they’re so intriguing at the same time. 

I love watching rich people treat each other poorly knowing the season will end in murder. It’s so fun. Season two nailed this. Every episode hinted at the underlying murder plot and who was going to die. The clues were all there, which makes it so fun to rewatch.

Maybe it’s dramatic, but I thought it was a perfect season of television. The costume design represented exactly who the characters were. The dialogue was 10 out of 10 (I haven’t laughed so hard in a while). The girlies were also out there getting what they deserved and I loved watching every moment of it.


Image by Shogakukan

Available on Hulu

I ended the year with some reflection. I restarted this show because I wanted a better look at my childhood. I remember my older sister watching this late at night when it finally aired in the US close to midnight in the early 2000s. I had seen clips of it and thought it was fun but I never completely comprehended what I watched. Starting it from the beginning now seemed like a fun way to relive something and also feel a touch closer to my sister.

And oh goodness it was the right thing to do. I expected action-packed scenes of Inuyasha fighting demons, but that’s nowhere near what it’s all about. It’s the most beautiful balance of all my favorite tropes. There’s something about it that just hits my heart in all the right places.

We follow half dog demon Inuyasha working with time traveling human Kigome to collect all the shards of a broken jewel so that he may one day use it to become a full demon. However, we get to see different glimpses of him. Maybe he just wants to stop all the bad demons from taking advantage of the shards. Maybe he wants to use the jewel to become a full human instead of a demon. I think that’s what the heart of Inuyasha is. We have to face our own demons until we find our way back to humanity.

Brianna Taggart

Brianna Taggart gets way too emotionally invested in TV shows and loves to bring her love of stories and writing to her work in journalism. She has two degrees in journalism and communication from the University of Minnesota Duluth and works full time at a weekly newspaper in Minnesota. When she’s not covering community news, she’s covering entertainment for Bri’s Binge right here on the Daily Planet.

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