Our Drink in the Movies team have compiled a comprehensive year-end piece that provides a shared look at each of our top 5 Limited Series and Television Show selections of 2022. Our team compiled their lists based on titles that had a finale air between January 1st, 2022 and December 31st, 2022. You can see their selected titles below in the text list or by pressing the arrows on the Poster Carousel Images.
Alexander Reams: ‘Under the Banner of Heaven’ (Limited Series, FX on Hulu)
Andrew Garfield has had one heck of a pandemic, first “Mainstream,” then the legendary run in 2021 of “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” “tick…tick… BOOM!,” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” and capping it all off with a fantastic miniseries focusing on Detective Jeb Pyre questioning his faith while investigating a case that centers on one of the most powerful families in his church. Partnered with Gil Birmingham as Detective Bill Taba, Jeb’s partner. “Under the Banner of Heaven” is a searing true crime story written by ex-Mormon Dustin Lance Black and directed by David Mackenzie, Courtney Hunt, Dustin Lance Black, Isabel Sandoval, and Thomas Schlamme, Each episode balances each director’s style with the hearty script that Black wrote. Garfield’s utter commitment to his role as a devout Mormon doubting his faith and the raw nuanced performances from supporting players combine to create a fantastic and respectful look at religion and the struggles of its followers when real life is affected.
Anna Harrison: ‘House of the Dragon’ (Season 1, HBO Max)
Jeff Sparks: ‘I Hate Suzie Too’ (Season 2, HBO Max)
Maria Athayde: ‘Tell Me Lies’ (Season 1, Hulu)
Raúl Mendoza: ‘This Fool’ (Season 1, Hulu)
Taylor Baker: ‘The White Lotus’ (Season 2, HBO Max)
Alexander Reams: ‘The Offer’ (Limited Series, Paramount+)
Anna Harrison: ‘The Boys’ (Season 3, Prime Video)
“The Boys” has always been tricky. It’s a show that takes square aim at our superhero-saturated culture, but without Marvel’s success these past fifteen years, “The Boys” likely wouldn’t exist. It skewers megacorporations like Disney and Fox, yet is bankrolled by Amazon, the one megacorporation to rule them all. Its existence is dependent on contradictions upon contradictions, and so any comment on its quality must be tempered with recognition of its own hypocrisy; the enjoyment lessens a bit when you realize the cynicism beneath it all. Still, “The Boys” season three showed that, for all its duplicity, Eric Kripke’s juggernaut remains (mostly) whip-smart and entertaining, helped by the addition of Kripke’s old “Supernatural” pal Jensen Ackles as Soldier Boy, a superhero from the days of yore. If we lived in a perfect world where genre shows got more awards recognition, “The Boys” should be up there with the best, especially Antony Starr, whose chilling performance as the psychopathic Superman known as Homelander is perhaps more remarkable than ever. Alas, we do not live in a perfect and just world, and so Starr will continue unrecognized. Alas. Even if season three had some familiar beats—can’t Hughie and Stormlight just get over themselves already?—the show proved it still has some tricks up its sleeve, including a musical episode and “Herogasm,” the much-anticipated big old orgy episode. For my money, I don’t think either of those went as far as they could, but hey, it’s more than their Disney+ MCU counterparts are doing—if only they could do half of what “The Boys” does, then we might be getting somewhere.
Jeff Sparks: ‘The White Lotus’ (Season 2, HBO Max)
Maria Athayde: ‘Yellowjackets’ (Season 1, Showtime)
Raúl Mendoza: ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ (Season 1, Prime Video)
Taylor Baker: ‘The Bear’ (Season 1, FX on Hulu)
Alexander Reams: ‘Stranger Things’ (Season 4, Netflix)
Anna Harrison: ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ (Season 4, FX on Hulu)
Jeff Sparks: ‘Euphoria’ (Season 2, HBO Max)
Maria Athayde: ‘Severance’ (Season 1, AppleTV+)
Raúl Mendoza: ‘House of the Dragon’ (Season 1, HBO Max)
I like many people in the world during the last decade fell in love with the “A Song of Ice and Fire” universe through HBO’s television series “Game of Thrones.” The final season was not met with the love that the creators were expecting and most of it is rightfully justified. Once the smoke cleared and word of the next installment of this universe would be gracing our screens in 2022 it was hard to find excitement with the sour taste left in our mouths. The series would start to add to its team including some notable names like Miguel Sapochnik returning to direct three episodes. Sapochnik was responsible for directing some of the best episodes like “The Battle of the Bastards” and “Hardhome.” “House of the Dragon” would also not be tied to the incomplete story that George R. R. Martin has yet to complete, but instead they would be adapting his Fire and Blood book that concentrates on House Targaryen’s history. Therefore, with expectations as low as it can get, “House of the Dragon” overperformed and solidified itself as one of the best series of the year.
We are dropped right at the beginning of what would become a problem concerning a line of succession. Ryan J. Condal and George R. R. Martin’s series takes one of the most famous stories of this universe and grips its audience with its slow-burn pace. It’s not all a waiting game as the audience is highly rewarded in the second half of the season with its clever political storyline, majestic fantasy elements, and stellar performances from the cast. “House of the Dragon” is filled with some of the most nuanced performances of the year from Matt Smith, Rhys Ifans, Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, Milly Alcock, Steve Toussaint, Emily Carey, and Eve Best. Yet, the backbone of the series is the beautiful but heartbreaking performance from Paddy Considine as King Viserys I Targaryen. Matched with its stellar visual language, electrifying score from Ramin Djawadi, and striking themes like motherhood. “House of the Dragon” has laid out a formidable foundation and time will only tell if it will sink or swim with its highly anticipated second season.
Taylor Baker: ‘Atlanta’ (Season 3 & 4, FX on Hulu)
Alexander Reams: ‘Yellowstone’ (Season 4, Peacock)
Anna Harrison: ‘Andor’ (Season 1, Disney+)
Jeff Sparks: ‘Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty’ (Season 1, HBO Max)
Through its grainy-throwback camera work, “Winning Time” stylistically tells a sports story as no other movie or show has done. Staying away from common structures and story beats, the series tells its account of the showtime Lakers in its own way. Unlike most sports dramas, the script focuses on its characters’ lives rather than purely their involvement with the game. A plethora of great actors plays them including John C. Reilly, Adrien Brody, Jason Clarke, Sally Field, Jason Segel, and many more. Because all these characters are based on real people, some creative liberties didn’t go over so well with some of those who were portrayed. Jerry West in particular was livid over Jason Clarke’s depiction of him. Despite the supposed inaccuracies, the whole cast gives excellent performances, with Reilly in particular being at the top of his game. As team owner Jerry Buss, Reilly flexes his acting chops as he seamlessly swaps between confidence and doubt as he fights to keep his team afloat. While he’s the main character, the other actors get their own time to shine with their own storylines such as Segel’s attempt to save a lost season as assistant coach Paul Westhead or Brody’s struggle to find purpose as former player-turned-coach Pat Riley. While the basketball scenes are certainly electric, the compelling narratives that look into the lives of the players and team executives make “Winning Time: The Rise of The Lakers Dynasty” one of the premier shows of 2022.
Maria Athayde: ‘The White Lotus’ (Season 2, HBO Max)
Raúl Mendoza: ‘The Boys’ (Season 3, Prime Video)
Taylor Baker: ‘Irma Vep’ (Limited Series, HBO Max)
Alexander Reams: ‘The Boys’ (Season 3, Prime Video)
Anna Harrison: ‘Station Eleven’ (Limited Series, HBO Max)
Jeff Sparks: ‘Better Call Saul’ (Season 6, VOD)
Maria Athayde: ‘The Bear’ (Season 1, FX on Hulu)
Created by Christopher Storer, “The Bear” is one of the best surprises television had to offer in 2022. Set in Chicago and primarily confined to The Beef, a sandwich shop, the show serves as an unconventional meditation on grief and trauma. Our entry into the story is through the kitchen and the eyes of Carmy (Jeremy Allen White), a prestigious James Beard winning New York City chef, who “inherits” a debt-ridden restaurant from his dead brother Michael (Jon Bernthal). When he arrives Carmy’s goal is to fix the restaurant bringing his Michelin star mannerism to the local beef shop. But Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), the restaurant’s manager and Michael’s best friend is resistant to the changes. Within the kitchen, we are also introduced to line cooks Tina (Liza Colón-Zayas) and Ebraheim (Edwin Lee Gibson), baker Marcus (Lionel Boyce), dishwasher Angel (José Cervantes), Neil (Matty Mathewson), and Sydney (Ayo Edebiri) a sous chef Carmy hires. The saturated colors, snappy dialogue, and a camera that seems to be in constant motion are equal parts enthralling and anxiety-inducing, which culminates in an 18-minute one-take in the penultimate episode. All these tricks are cool but what really makes “The Bear ” work are the characters who are so compelling that you can’t help but love them even in their most unlikable moments.
Raúl Mendoza: ‘Andor’ (Season 1, Disney+)
Taylor Baker: ‘jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy’ (Limited Series, Netflix)