1. A League of Their Own — Amazon Prime
In an age of endless reboots and sequels, it's hard to get excited for anything, no matter how beloved the original. Then came A League of Their Own, Amazon Prime's reboot of the classic film about a group of women starting their own baseball league during World War II.
Decidedly more queer than the original, this iteration goes all in on its LGBTQ+ characters, including amazing turns by Abbi Jacobson, D'Arcy Carden, and Chanté Adams. Even in the age of endless new streaming shows, A League of Their Own is a rarity in how it depicts its LGBTQ+ characters.
While there is something unique about the reboot, there is also an undeniably classic feeling that makes A League of Their Own one of the year's best.
2. Heartstopper — Netflix
Few other shows have captured the world's attention this year like Heartstopper, Netflix's adaptation of Alice Oseman's web comic about a gay high school romance. Charlie is a recently out teen at an all-boys high school who soon meets Nick, the charming rugby boy who soon becomes his crush.
While teen dramas are not new territory in any fashion, Heartstopper felt exciting in an electrifying way that even the best television rarely accomplishes. Young love came to life in Heartstopper in the kind of way that can truly change a young person's life, while also giving a lot to love for older queer audiences.
While the Heartstopper moment is just beginning, it's clear the show has already made its mark on people.
3. Severance — Apple TV+
Queer love will thrive no matter what, even in a capitalistic nightmare.
Severance, the Apple TV+ mystery about an office filled with workers who cannot remember (and are severed from) their outside lives, quickly became one of the best shows of the year for a myriad of reasons. A haunting tale of grief, human will, and the horrors of the office job, the show had a surprising queer romance burgeoning that just added to its brilliance.
If John Turturro and Christopher Walken being one of the year's best couples was on your 2022 bingo card, then give yourself a stamp; otherwise, you probably have heard a lot about Severance, which eagerly pulls anyone ready to dive down the office hallway horrors it has waiting in store.
Most shows are eager to throw everything at you, but Severance holds its breath, letting the tiny pieces of life in the show make for some of the year's most compelling television.
4. Hacks — HBO Max
Queer comedy can be a scary endeavor, mostly for LGBTQ+ audiences, but few soar quite like Hacks.
The story of Debra Vance, an aging comedian played by legend Jean Smart, and her bisexual assistant Eva, played by equally bisexual legend Hannah Einbinder, Hacks has been a hit since it first premiered, following up with a hilariously amazing sophomore season.
Lesbian cruises, QVC ascension, and Meg Stalter once again killing every second of screen time, Hacks returned with everything that made you fall for it for the first time.
5. Gentleman Jack — BBC/HBO Max
Based on the real life of Anne Lister, lesbian extraordinaire of the 1800s, Gentleman Jack follows their exploits in love and life as she records it all in secretly coded diaries.
While this historical drama will only have two seasons, it is still a joy to see a show like this, unapologetically looking at queer figures in history. History has a funny way of forgetting to document the contributions from LGBTQ+ people, making Gentleman Jack's unabashed queerness in an age that definitely did not accept queerness even more revolutionary.
6. Queer as Folk — Peacock
One of the many LGBTQ+ shows that met an end too quickly this year, Queer as Folk still delivered in surpassing its predecessors to tell one of the most queer stories on TV.
Choosing to focus on a more diverse cast, the latest iteration of the queer drama saw the action move to New Orleans, following a group of friends in the wake of a shooting at an LGBTQ+ nightclub. While the series's through-line of grief and trauma was compelling, it was the cast that truly made the show special.
From the relationship between sex workers and disabled people, to the raw honesty of trans sexuality, Queer as Folk showed LGBTQ+ people in a light that may never be replicated again.
7. What We Do in the Shadows — FX/Hulu
While some comedies choose to make their queerness part of the story, What We Do in the Shadows has queerness deep in its blood.
From the very beginning, the mockumentary about a group of vampires in Staten Island has displayed a hilarious approach to its characters' sexuality, often treating it as carelessly as their familiar, while not abusing queerness in the process.
The fourth season saw the group of truly stupid vampires opening a nightclub, and the queerness at the center of the main group only grew even more without sacrificing any of the humor.
8. Our Flag Means Death — HBO Max
Pirates have always been queer, but finally, an accomplishment like Our Flag Means Death has come to truly revel in the potential.
Quietly a moving romance, the comedy about a "well to-do" gentlemen becoming a pirate wasn't on many people's radars, but has remained one of the best shows of the year. Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby are one of the year's best couples, with their adventures in the show wonderfully subverting the hot-button queerbaiting issue that has dominated the media.
With a second season hopefully just around the corner, it will never be a wrong time to check out Our Flag Means Death.
9. The Boulet Brothers' Dragula: Titans — Shudder
An all-stars season of a reality show can make or break the franchise, but with the first incarnation of The Boulet Brothers' Dragula: Titans, it's clear the carnage is only just getting started.
Taking the lessons and best contestants from its first four seasons, Titans saw an update to the formula, with a cast ready to literally fight for the crown. Being the second go-around of classic monsters like Koco Caine, HoSo Terra Toma, Abhora, and more, the looks are bigger, bloodier, and better than ever.
With an endless supply of pretty drag queens popping up every day, Dragula continues to show how much fun the dark side can be.
10. RuPaul's Drag Race: All-Stars 7 — Paramount+
Despite the previous entry's newness to the game, the seventh season of RuPaul's Drag Race: All-Stars brought its biggest winners for a victory lap of a season.
Featuring winners from across the franchise, Season 7 of the show saw no one going home for the first time in the series, giving viewers an entire season of the best of the best. Jinkx Monsoon, Monét X Change, Raja, and more gave some of the franchise's best looks, performances, and moments in one of the best Drag Race seasons to date.
11. Legendary — HBO Max
Legendary fell to the axe earlier this month, being canceled after three seasons, but that shouldn't take away from the success of the show overall. Bringing the very queer art form of ballroom vogueing to the screen, the dance competition saw houses from across the world compete for glory.
Ballroom legends like Leiomy Maldonado and Dashaun Wesley joined judges like Keke Palmer to celebrate some of the best performers in ballroom. A true spotlight on LGBTQ+ talent, Legendary was all about queer love and family, which makes its cancelation sting even more.
12. The Sandman — Netflix
Neil Gaiman's comic about the lord of dreams has long been considered one of the best novels in the world, but this is the first time it's been adapted to the screen, with a lot of added queerness.
Morpheus, the lord of dreams, is captured and imprisoned, while his domain is destroyed and belongings stolen. After being freed, Morpheus heads down a path learning the true treachery and beauty of humanity.
A lot of The Sandman has changed from the original '90s comic, but the queerness has only increased, with the show wholly embracing being brought to the present day. The most exciting thing of all is that the show is just getting started.
13. Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire — AMC+
As far as reboots go, this year is all about rebooting the queerness. Look at Anne Rice's Interview With The Vampire, which finally got the LGBTQ+ content of its original story brought to the screen.
The story of Louis de Pointe du Lac, a wealthy Black man turned into a vampire by his lover in the early 1900s, Interview with the Vampire took everything that has kept Anne Rice's series alive for decades and brought it to the screen.
This version is gayer than ever, while also updating the original novel's plot to bring it to modern times while not ignoring the serious themes at its core. The high quality of the production and its leads will keep you entranced long enough to leave an impression, then force you to wait until its next season.
14. Los Espookys — HBO
Few shows truly demand to be seen to be understood, but even fewer are as enjoyable as Los Espookys even when you don't understand what is happening.
A Chilean comedy about a group of oddballs trying to run a horror business, Los Espookys thrived on the chaos it created, refusing to conform to any standards aside from the one it creates.
Whether it's Julio Torres asking the moon, played by Yalitza Aparicio, to help him, or Secretary of State Kim Petras, Los Espookys is the kind of television that must be watched to be (somewhat) understood.
15. Half Bad — Netflix
Netflix loves to cancel LGBTQ+ shows, but the cancelation of Half Bad hurts even more considering its queerness was just getting started.
The son of a murderous witch is about to get his powers and is forced on the run after the people in charge learn he has a big role to play in their futures. Despite initially seeming like another teen show, the love triangle at the show's center featured one of the best onscreen bisexual love stories of the year.
Aside from the wonderful queerness, campy witchiness and a lot of blood and action made Half Bad one of the year's best.
16. First Kill — Netflix
Wow, Netflix canceling another LGBTQ+ show? Shocker.
First Kill followed in the long lineage of queer vampires by completely upending what has come before. The love story between a vampire and vampire hunter at the center may not be unheard of, but the show set itself apart by refusing to fall to misogynistic tropes that have riddled the genre.
Lesbian vampire love stories are about as old as time, but First Kill was still unique in a way that, even months after its cancelation, have made it one of the year's most talked-about shows.