TV and Movies·Posted on Jul 11, 2022The Best TV Shows We've Watched In 2022 (So Far)From The Bear to Abbott Elementary, here's what BuzzFeed's Streaming Team loved during the first half of the year.by Colin Gorenstein, Matthew Huff, Blake Harper, Kit Stone, Danica Creahan, Allison JiangFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink Photo-illustration: Alexa Fishman / BuzzFeed; FX on Hulu / Everett Collection, Getty Images: Gilles Mingasson / ABC, Alan Markfield/Peacock / NBCU Photo Bank With more TV than ever at our fingertips, deciding what to watch, let alone what to call "the best of the year," can feel like a herculean task. So, how did the BuzzFeed Streaming Team do it? We cheated. Splitting the calendar year into two rough halves, our writers took stock of the most compelling titles to land on streaming and cable TV so far. Some revelations that emerged: Workplace TV is back in a big way, scammer shows are here to stay (and we're choosing to find peace in that), and intergenerational trauma is great fodder for comedies, docuseries, and sweeping, dramatic epics alike. As for which streamers we championed most? There was Peacock, with its string of exceptional, underrated comedies, Apple TV+ with its expensive-looking, Emmys-bound dramas, and Paramount+ with its addictive reality TV shows. However, it was HBO Max and Hulu that ultimately landed the most spots for the first half of 2022. Netflix's representation, meanwhile, felt a bit thinner than last year (though there's still plenty of time for it to find its next Squid Games), and Prime Video and Disney+ were nowhere to be seen.For this list, we considered only titles that had concluded their seasons at the time of writing. So, unfortunately, shows like HBO Max's Irma Vep, AMC's Better Call Saul Season 6, and Hulu's Only Murders in the Building Season 2 were not featured below — but could likely be added at a later date. 1. Abbott Elementary Gilles Mingasson / ABC via Getty Images First seasons are tough for any TV show but especially for comedies; even some of the most beloved shows of all time (The Office, Parks & Rec, The Simpsons) struggled to find their footing in their debut season. That's what makes Abbott Elementary's debut season such a remarkable achievement. From the very first episode, the mockumentary series had the confidence of a show that had been on the air for years and that continued through the entire season. Yes, Abbott Elementary is hilarious (nobody on TV has a higher laugh-per-line ratio than Janelle James' Principal Ava), but what really makes the series special is how it proudly wears its optimistic heart on its sleeve. No matter what obstacles are in their way, Janine (Quinta Brunson) and her fellow teachers keep working together to make the school a better place for their students. —Blake Harper 2. Atlanta (Season 3) Coco Olakunle / FX / Courtesy Everett Collection After being off the air for four years, Atlanta finally returned for its third season this year. Typically, you would expect the first episode to catch the audience up on what's been happening in the lives of Earn (Donald Glover), Al (Brian Tyree Henry), Darius (Lakeith Stanfield), and Van (Zazie Beetz). But instead, the premiere episode barely featured any of the core cast, with the episode featuring a dream-within-a-dream sequence that told a completely self-contained story. And somehow it worked because Atlanta remains a show that is totally unpredictable. Glover seems most comfortable pushing boundaries and making choices that seem to be in direct conflict with the conventional wisdom of television. As we follow the foursome during Paper Boi's European tour, the show continues to blend absurdism, social commentary, goofy humor, and genuine horror together in a way that makes it one of the most inventive and unique shows on TV. —B.H. 3. Barry (Season 3) Merrick Morton / HBO Is there a more nihilistic show on TV than Barry? If there is, I haven't seen it. After two seasons of Barry (Bill Hader) trying to convince himself he's a good person despite a growing list of literal skeletons in his closet, the veteran-turned-hitman-turned-actor seems to have given up on self-reflection and accepted his fate (while also doing whatever it takes not to get caught). While Hader does some incredible work in front of the camera, it's behind the camera where he's really shined. He directed five episodes this season, proving himself equally capable of capturing a chaotic freeway high-speed chase and a haunting dream sequence that is almost entirely silent. Do not be surprised if Barry ends up winning big at the Emmys later this year, as it is as smart, funny, and innovative as anything that has been on TV this century. —B.H. 4. The Bear FX on Hulu / Courtesy Everett Collection Is it a coincidence that many of the best shows so far have been set in the workplace? Hard to say, but if there's one thing I do know for certain it's that Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) and Principal Ava (Janelle James) from Abbott Elementary would be a match made in hell if they were to ever find themselves working under the same roof. And these love-to-hate slackers aren't where the similarities stop, either. The Bear, like Abbott, is clearly a love letter to its vocation. The show centers around Carmy (Shameless's perfectly cast Jeremy Allen White), a chef working in some of the finest kitchens in the world, who returns to his hometown to take over his brother's humble Chicago sandwich shop when he dies by suicide. Everything from the prepping of onions to the glazing of pastries is shot in such a loving, reverent manner that you begin to understand what might compel someone to stick around an utterly toxic workplace. But don't let that description trick you into thinking what you're about to get is entirely like that one scene in Pig where Nicolas Cage serves pigeon with wild chanterelles and huckleberries and time seems to stop; Christopher Storer's frenetic mode of filmmaking makes it feel much more like a cousin (read: "COUSIN!") of Uncut Gems. There are vicious shouting matches, clocks ticking, back-alley drug deals, stovetop fires, and corner collisions. Things never, ever stop moving, and it's worth every heart-pounding second. —Colin Gorenstein 5. Better Things (Season 5) Suzanne Tenner / FX / Courtesy Everett Collection Too often in television, "dramedy" is code for unfunny and boring. But that is not the case with Better Things, which, for five seasons, has masterfully found the bittersweet humor in the daily life of Sam (Pamela Adlon). Adlon, who created Better Things along with starring in it, has never shied away from the messier parts of growing older. In fact, she's celebrated the chaos of a fiftysomething single mom still trying to figure out what the hell she's doing. In the show's final season, there are no major cliffhangers or over-the-top epiphanies that shake Sam and her family to their core; instead, we get an appropriately quiet yet hopeful send-off of one of the best TV families of the last decade. —B.H. 6. Catherine Cohen: The Twist...? She's Gorgeous Netflix I’ve tried to make my boyfriend watch Catherine Cohen: The Twist…? She’s Gorgeous three times, and he’s consistently left the room after a pitiful 15 minutes — green flag for this stand-up special or red flag for my boyfriend? Definitely both. Maybe I personally appreciate this special so much because I, too, am always horny and looking for a place to charge my phone, or perhaps it’s that Cat Cohen’s main character energy is so undeniably compelling. She so effortlessly walks that dangerously fine line between self-denigrating humor and unbridled self-love. It's part unfortunately catchy musical, part (in my experience) ultra-relatable stand-up special, and The Twist…? She may actually be the (funniest) voice of our generation. —Danica Creahan 7. Couples Therapy (Season 3) Showtime / Courtesy Everett Collection An interesting thing about me is that I spent the first half of 2022 complaining about how "draining" every new docuseries is, only to sit down and devour 4.5 hours of fly-on-the-wall therapy footage last month. This is the cofounding thing about Couples Therapy, a psychotherapy procedural that really should be excruciating but, instead, has been routinely called one of the "best docuseries on television." In its third season, four New York-based couples struggling to keep their relationships afloat sit down with the Israeli American therapist Dr. Orna Guralnik as she doles out profound kernels of wisdom and identifies behavioral patterns often born out of childhood traumas and/or strained familial relationships. Guralnik has a fascinating background, which includes a stint at film school, but you never get the impression she is using this show to become a "TV personality." Much like the show itself, Guralnik seems much more interested in the mechanics of psychotherapy (she maintains a private practice in Tribeca with clients outside of the show) and, despite her public-facing platform, has preserved a level of anonymity appropriate for her line of work. To that end, some of my favorite moments from Season 3 were those outside of the office that situated me in the world of being a psychotherapist. For example, Guralnik and her colleagues crowded into a plant-filled Brooklyn apartment, analyzing their patients like a Jennifer Egan novel at book club. Heaven! —C.G. 8. The Dropout Beth Dubber / Hulu / Courtesy Everett Collection I watched pretty much every scam-adjacent series that the streamers attempted to sell us this year, so trust me when I say that no one nailed the addictively upsetting vibe of a scammer show like Hulu’s The Dropout did. Amanda Seyfried’s gravelly portrayal of Elizabeth Holmes perfectly captures the "girlbossed-too-close-to-the-sun" concept. The series follows Holmes from the final weeks of her unsurprisingly impressive high school career, through a frankly rough exploration of her brief college days and onto her journey to becoming the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire (at the time). The Dropout will make you feel all the things: enthralled by the world of rich start-up investors, riddled with anxiety for Holmes and her ever-spinning web of lies, sick with guilt over the sympathy the doe-eyed Seyfried is somehow still able to coax out of you, no matter the ugly context. All this, and a downright gorgeous soundtrack to boot, packed into just eight incredibly bingeable episodes. It makes most of its fellow inspired-by-true-events miniseries look downright cheap in comparison. If you missed the boat on the initial hype over The Dropout, I highly recommend you circle back to it before our pal Lizzie’s sentencing (on four counts of fraud) this September. —D.C. 9. Euphoria (Season 2) Eddy Chen / HBO I have "NEVER EVER BEEN HAPPIER" than I was watching Season 2 of of HBO's drug-fueled, glitter-eyeshadow-encrusted, penis-riddled, high school drama. Did the season make sense narratively? Absolutely not. Was it even the slightest bit realistic? No. Would Lexi's play have ever been produced by a local high school and performed in front of a sold-out audience? Not in your wildest dreams. But was this sophomore season an extremely watchable meme-machine that kept me transfixed? 100%. From the premiere with Cassie hiding in the tub and Maddie pounding on the bathroom door to Elliot playing an entire EP for Rue in the finale, this season was a must-watch if you wanted in on the water cooler conversations (or I guess probably awkward Zoom-meeting opening salvos). "Lexi, hide the knives in the bushes." "Oklahoma isn't really a play you read." "Wait, is this fucking play about us?" The quotable moments are legion, and we also got Cal's emotional backstory, Cassie throwing up in the hot tub, Rue escaping a human trafficker (???????), Ethan's erotic high school sports dance extravaganza, and of course Vape Girl shouting, "Beat her ass, Maddy!" With Euphoria, it's not about the story — it's about the moments, and you can consult my episode ranking for a full rundown of every delectable second of this show. If you try to tell me that you didn't gobble up this second season, then, "Bitch, you better be joking." —Matthew Huff 10. I Love That for You Nicole Wilder / Showtime / Courtesy Everett Collection Yet another slept-on Showtime gem to hit streaming in the first half of 2022 was Vanessa Bayer and Jeremy Beiler's home-shopping workplace comedy, I Love That For You. In it, Bayer plays Joanna Gold, a socially inept (think: "No coffin, just wet, wet, mud") thirtysomething working at a Cleveland Costco and living with her parents. Gold had leukemia as a teenager, and watching the Special Value Network (Molly Shannon's Jackie, specifically) from her bed was a bright spot during her long, dreary days in the hospital. You can imagine, then, that when she lands a spot at SVN working under the wing of her childhood hero Jackie 20 years later, it feels like a dream come true. There's only one small complication: All of her coworkers believe she still has cancer. Her boss has even pushed her to exploit this part of her story to boost ratings — and it's worked. She's now attracted a rabid fanbase of SVNers who see her as a beacon of hope. Is it too late to issue a correction? Dun dun dun. It would be easy enough to make a mockery of Bayer's leatherette-slinging aspirations, but (like Killing it, another work-centered comedy on this list) I Love That for You never feels mean-spirited in its examination of the working-class struggle, even while mining it for all of its absurdly funny moments. Sharp performances from Matt Rogers, Molly Shannon, and Jennifer Lewis help round out this stellar ensemble and make the SVN workplace feel real and fully lived in. —C.G. 11. Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel HBO Looking for some big laughs? Queuing up Jerrod Carmichael's Rothaniel might not be the move. The comedian's latest, filmed in the dimly lit Blue Note jazz club, fits squarely in the "special special" camp of comedy specials. Not only is it directed by Bo Burnham (a hallmark of this emerging genre), but it also runs with the question that Vulture's Kathryn VanArendonk posed back in May: "What if comedy specials didn’t have to be funny to be good?" Certainly there are moments of levity, and even chuckles, as Carmichael invites the audience into his fraught family history and their shared tradition of secrecy (a great thematic pairing with Showtime's Couple's Therapy, I might add). But when all of this builds to Carmichael coming out as gay, the thing he has kept hidden from his family, the special takes on a very different shape. Audience members can be heard asking thoughtful questions and helping Carmichael process his feelings in real time. Will his mother ever accept him? Does he need her acceptance to move forward? Apart from being a compelling examination of Black gay trauma, It is a profound deconstruction of the form...and possibly the best case I've seen for heckling to date. —C.G. 12. Killing It Peacock / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images This year's most criminally underrated comedy is about a pair of ill-fated strangers who enter a Floridian python-killing competition (a real-life necessary evil). It is hands down my favorite, and most hilarious, Peacock Original to date. Craig Robinson (The Office) is a joy as a struggling entrepreneur trying to earn cash, via staple-gunning snakes, in order to launch a homeopathic palmetto-berry-infused prostate reduction drug company. Australian Claudia O'Doherty (Love) is his perky sidekick, eternally optimistic despite living out of a tow-behind billboard. And Scott MacArthur (Jimmy from the cancelled-too-soon The Mick) is their nemesis. The show is wacky (there's a whole episode where Robinson has a dead python stapled to his hand), irreverent (there are jokes about touching a dead man's penis), and gory (someone is constantly covered in blood), but I loved every second of it. I choked on a piece of lettuce from laughing so hard at one point, and for as bananas as the show gets, it is always grounded in a heartwarming sweetness. If you don't watch this show now, I'm going to blow an airhorn in your face (you'll get the joke if you tune in). —M.H. 13. Old Enough! Netflix The premise of the show seems simple enough: Japanese toddlers are sent off on solo errands for their parents. Based on that synopsis, I certainly didn't expect the sheer, couch-gripping drama each episode brings. Some children are eager to show their grit, while others need to be coaxed at length by their parents. Some are aided by tearfully proud townsfolk, while others encounter roadblocks that, to be honest, would have caused many adults (me) to simply give up. It’s an unpredictable, emotional, and ultimately feel-good experience that leaves you wondering: Would I be able to do this, now, as a 24-year-old adult woman? Whether you find it charming or harrowing, it’s a definite must-watch that will inevitably make you resent the state of the US’s traffic safety laws. It originally aired on Nippon TV in the '90s, but since these 20 nostalgic episodes have been re-edited down to a quick 10 minutes, we're counting this toward our Best of 2022 list. —Allison Jiang 14. Pachinko Apple TV+ I hope Apple is clearing off a shelf in their trophy case for Emmys, because they're going to need it for this gasp-inducingly gorgeous miniseries. Apple TV+ has been bringing their A-game to the television side of their operation recently, but the crown jewel is Pachinko. Nothing quite matches the brilliance of this drama based on the bestselling novel by Min Jin Lee. Following a Korean family that emigrates to Japan, the rich family epic examines four generations and how the stories of the individual members intersect. Last year's Best Supporting Actress for Minari, Youn Yuh-jung plays Sunja, the matriarch who we follow from her early days living in a tiny fishing village to her time as a neon windbreaker-wearing grandma in the '80s. The shots are lush, the acting is spot on, and the score tying together the many flashbacks and storylines is exquisite. The title sequence with the cast dancing through a pachinko parlor is one of the best in recent memory. —M.H. 15. Peaky Blinders (Season 6) Matt Squire / Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection The Peaky fookin’ Blinders are back for their final season, and it may be the best one yet. I was anxious that the show might fall victim to the last-season curse that befalls a lot of sprawling antihero dramas — but I’m ecstatic to report that Steven Knight’s writing soars in the final arc of our favorite Gypsy gangster living on the edge of life and death. Escaping death has been a running theme in the show, and in this season, the Shelby leader seemingly is done running. He is forced to grapple with one tragic shake-up after another as he climbs the shaky road to legitimacy, including family betrayal, a new business opportunity with a fascist Bostonian, an ever-aggravating Nazi power couple, and death after death after death. The show itself dealt with a tragic loss after the passing of Helen McCrory, who played the Shelbys’ matriarch Aunt Polly, and her death is written into the show as yet another notch in Tommy’s beyond-broken belt. Cillian Murphy's performance is legitimately miraculous to watch, and his stoic and explosive performance anchors the final season through an incredible exploration of the self that leaves us wondering whether this truly is the final chapter for the immortal Tommy Shelby (no spoilers; although the ending is, in my opinion, absolutely perfect). It's operatic, gleefully gritty, bombastically acted, and contains what I think is the best action sequence in the show's history, featuring Arthur (Paul Anderson) and an absolutely badass Uncle Charlie. Anya Taylor-Joy, Sophie Rundle, and Natasha O'Keeffe give incredible performances, and Tom Hardy’s Alfie Solomons does make a brief, albeit memorable appearance. Everything from the writing, acting, production, and ever-wonderful music choices culminate into television’s absolute best this year, and I’m already planning my next rewatch. —A.J. 16. The Righteous Gemstones (Season 2) Ryan Green / HBO The Gemstones are back, and the televangelist family is every bit as vulgar, vain, and vapid as ever. In the second season, we dive deeper into the troubled history of the Gemstone family, which confirms the megachurch empire has been hiding skeletons in their closets long before Jesse (Danny McBride) was in charge. Nobody would call The Righteous Gemstones subtle, but that isn't always a bad thing, as the constant string of expletive tirades are so brash and shocking that it's borderline poetic. And, somehow, the Gemstone family remains just sympathetic enough to keep you rooting for them, even as their selfish and stupid impulses lead them down the path of wickedness. Hopefully, HBO will continue to let McBride make whatever he wants because in over a decade of making shows, the man continues to deliver nothing but laughs. —B.H. 17. RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars (Season 7) Jordin Althaus / World of Wonder/ Paramount+ Drag Race may be a pain in the ass to stream in general, but luckily it is very easy to find/watch the latest season of All-Stars on Paramount+. For its seventh iteration, Mama Ru brought back eight former winners to duke it out to be the queen of all the queens. And unlike previous seasons where contestants are sent packing after each episode, the cast here is around for the long haul. The eight titans are competing for badges rather than the right to stay, which means we get to see Jinkx Monsoon, Raja, The Vivienne, Shea Couleé, Monet X Change, Trinity the Tuck, Jaida Essence Hall, and Yvie Oddly kill it all season long. Never has there been a stronger cast, and from the Ball to the Snatch Game to the Reading Challenge they've been gagging us over and over and over. Even their entrance looks were some of the best in the biz. If you're a fan of drag or reality TV or gay people or wigs or Judy Garland or learning how to pronounce Tove Lo's name, then you need to watch. Sickening, no? —M.H. 18. Russian Doll (Season 2) Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection Season 2 of Russian Doll asks the age-old question: If you could switch bodies with your dead mother via a time-traveling 6 train, potentially altering the very fabric of time, would you? This season follows Nadia as she jumps between present day to 1980s New York and Nazi-era Hungary, attempting to fix her family story, leaving her (and us) with lots of capital-B big revelations about accepting the things we cannot change. Natasha Lyonne is astounding as usual as gravelly, hedonistic Nadia, with Chloë Sevigny and Annie Murphy crushing it as younger versions of Lenora and Ruth. It's an ambitious romp full of what you love most about the show: cursed birthday parties, extreme moral quandaries, and Natasha Lyonne saying "cock-a-roach." But more compelling are the jagged triangles of love between Nadia, her mentally ill mother, and her cigarette-smoking therapist friend Ruth, amplified by Nadia's increasing obsession with time travel. And in a year full of projects about intergenerational trauma and multiverse mayhem, this show opens a completely new, tender dialogue about forgiveness while being utterly bingeable at the same time. —A.J. 19. Severance Apple TV+ And the award for the most cliffhanger-y cliffhanger to cliffhang in 2022 (so far) goes to...Severance. Come on down for your five-minute defiant jazz music experience, and don't forget your single maraca. Not unlike Helly (Britt Lower), the newest employee at Lumon Industries who has undergone a controversial "severance" procedure that splits the work and personal sectors of her brain, it took me a very long time to find my bearings while watching this show. The first few episodes felt like a slog, and peering into the dystopian HQ of Lumon Industries was always the last thing I craved after a long day of (also) poking at my keyboard. Then something clicked: Maybe it was the quiet workplace romance between Christopher Walken's Burt and John Turturro's Irving. Or the incredibly imaginative production design that unfurled one episode to the next. Or the story's unexpected turn into anti-capitalist, pro-union territory. Or, simply, Patricia Arquette's bone-chilling stares as Lumen's middle manager Harmony Cobel. But, when those final credits rolled and "Directed by Ben Stiller" flashed before my eyes, I nearly lost my mind. A testament to the sneaky, slow-burning effect of this psychological thriller? I would have to think so. —C.G. 20. Shining Girls Apple TV+ Shining Girls is VERY hard to discuss without spoiling, so I will make this as vague as possible, while also trying to convince you to watch this spellbinding new show based on a 2013 South African novel (which you should not Google because the logline for the book gives away secrets that the show doesn't get to until Episode 4). Our favorite glowering actor, Elisabeth Moss, is in the hunt for her 15th Emmy nomination (and third win) as a journalist suffering from PTSD after having been brutally attacked several years prior. When a body of a second victim attacked in a similar way is found by police, Moss's Kirby decides to investigate the murder herself and uncovers a string of victims stretching back for years. This, however, is NOT your standard police procedural where the personal and professional collide. It's doing something very different than Top of the Lake/The Killing/Sharp Objects (but I just can't say how because I don't want to spoil it, you beautiful readers!). The first few episodes are hazy with bizarre occurrences, as you try to piece together just what is happening. The mystery is unlike any I've seen before, and it's built upon superb performances, great writing, and the hefty Apple budget that makes all their shows look expensive. Plus at only eight episodes, it's a great mystery binge. WATCH IT! —M.H. 21. Somebody Somewhere Matt Dinerstein / HBO The first good show I watched in 2022, and the one I also probably evangelized the most, was HBO Max's dramedy Somebody Somewhere. The "unlikely friendship" genre is one that gets me every time. And combined with another fave, "misfit who goes back to hometown"? Well, of course I was going to be in the tank for it. But let me earn back some credibility by telling you why someone who is not a sucker might find enjoyment in this new title: For one, you have the perfect showcase for the multi-hyphenate Bridget Everett's talents. In one of the best lead TV performances this year, Everett gives us a taste of her cabaret-singing chops and wry stand-up humor as Sam, an adrift middle-aged woman returning to her hometown of Manhattan, Kansas (Everett's real-life hometown) to take care of her sick sister Holly. Like The Bear, another recent homecoming story to come out this year, the eventual offscreen death of her sibling looms large within the story and forces its protagonist to consider a meaningful path forward. This is a show that will appeal to anyone who has recently wondered where exactly they belong, what exactly it means to "belong," or even a newly indoctrinated Kate Bush stan that's interested in hearing a lovely "Don't Give Up" duet between Sam and Joel (the heartbreaking Jeff Hiller), which ultimately did make me quite misty. —C.G. 22. Starstruck (Season 2) Mark Johnson / HBO Max If you thought you’d read this fanfiction before, you’d be wrong. The second season of Rose Matafeo’s Starstruck finds Jessie and Tom (Nikesh Patel) having to figure out what’s next after their overwhelmingly romantic double decker bus kiss wherein Jessie chose to miss her stop and not get on her flight back to New Zealand. In essence, against all of Jessie’s instincts, she’s staying in London for Tom. To recap: In Season 1 of Starstruck, Tom and Jessie have your run-of-the-mill one-night stand, only Tom is a very hot celebrity and Jessie is drunk enough to not notice. After six episodes of almost makeups and definite breakups, the odd couple finally (maybe) get together. Season 2 brings a dose of reality to Matafeo’s witty, rom-com-adjacent world. The pair, having somewhat committed to one another, now have to get to know each other as actual people. This includes Jessie’s commitment issues and Tom’s entire family, along with all those other little quirks that come out after the will-they-won’t-they phase. Famous rom-com references abound, and Matafeo and Patel’s chemistry is as striking as ever. If you liked Season 1, you definitely need to watch it. If you didn’t see Season 1, you need to stop what you’re doing right now. —D.C. 23. Survivor (Season 42) Robert Voets / CBS via Getty Images Jeff Probst, before you pick up the phone and call Mike White for "retooling" suggestions again, please hear our cries: Bring back the auction and loved ones visits, ditch the Hourglass and Knowledge Is Power twists, get out of Fiji, ban the breaking of the fourth wall, and, for the love of god, don't blindside your castaways with an impromptu final vote reading (we miss the off-location reunion tapings, for many reasons). From the lengthy list of suggestions here, it might sound like I'm asking Mark Burnett to bring me his torch because the show has finally run its course, but to the contrary, the fact that I (along with millions and millions of other people) continue to invest in a show in its 42nd (!) season is proof that America is still very much under its spell. This season's castaways reminded me why. While the new twists landed with the same success rate as a Shot in the Dark Advantage, it was the memorable cast of characters — Marianne, the bubbly seminary student; Mike, the teddybear firefighter; Jonathan, the Hulkish beach service co-owner — that really helped push this show into its next chapter. As a final plea (take it or leave it): Please, please bring Mean Jeff back. —C.G. 24. Under the Banner of Heaven Michelle Faye / FX on Hulu / Everett Collection Why hello there, Brother Reader. Aren't we just so very blessed today that Heavenly Father bestowed this wonderful police procedural upon our loyal flock? Andrew Garfield has returned to television for a prestige miniseries based off Jon Krakauer's bestselling examination of Heather Gay's ancestors, Mormonism, and a double murder that took place within members of the church. And let me just say I binged the freaking heck (we must keep our mouths clean) out of this! Garfield plays the detective leading the investigation while undergoing his own crisis of faith, while Daisy Edgar Jones, Sam Worthington, and Wyatt Russell play those involved in the case. The mystery drama is set in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with its unique costumes, language, and rivaling sects, which helps it to stand out from the other true crime series we've gotten. Who needs caffeine when you've got this bonkers murder investigation to follow? —M.H. 25. WeCrashed Apple TV+ I've passed by WeWork buildings a million times and never knew the wild story behind the company. Inspired by true events, Jared Leto plays the clueless but passionate founder Adam Neumann, and Anne Hathaway dominates the screen with her portrayal of Adam’s wife and Gwyneth Paltrow’s cousin, Rebekah Neumann. At times it feels like the series could’ve really just been a movie, but it still makes for a captivating ride. Seriously, you can’t look away. Even if you know the story, you’ll still find yourself with your jaw dropped at certain scenes. The best part was watching an episode and then googling after to find out that it wasn’t a dramatization — it actually happened. The series also presents what I felt to be a pretty evenhanded depiction of both Andy and Rebekah by offering a peek at their good intentions, at least at one point during the entire debacle. Hathaway as Rebekah gave a complex portrayal of a woman expected to help the men around her achieve their goals at the cost of pursuing her own. Supported by a phenomenal cast including Kyle Marvin, America Ferrera, Anthony Edwards, and O-T Fagbenle, WeCrashed is yet another scammer show that should definitely be added to the watch list. —Kit Stone 26. Would It Kill You to Laugh? Peacock After more than a decade of making comedy together, John Early and Kate Berlant finally got their first-ever special, appropriately titled Would It Kill You to Laugh?. Unsurprisingly, the special is a completely singular work, as the duo is effortlessly inventive in how they approach every aspect of their comedy. The sketches are obviously hysterical, but there is also a deep pathos to the way Berlant and Early explore insecurity and ego hiding in everyone. Whether they are playing a family of beavers getting upstaged by their wealthy friends at the airport or two former co-stars reuniting, John and Kate aren't laughing at anyone; instead, they are inviting you to laugh at everyone. Because at the end of the day, we're all needy, insecure little freaks who are desperate for approval. And what's funnier than that? —B.H.