House of the Dragon (HBO Max) – This show opens with a bang and closes with one of the best season finales of 2022. A must see for Game of Thrones fans but one that doesn’t require watching the aforementioned to follow along for newbies.
From Scratch (Netflix) – Based on the memoir of Thembi Locke, who created the series with her sister Attica Locke, this show broke me! It is a beautiful story of love and loss but I caution you to have several boxes of tissues available while viewing.
Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty (HBO Max) – I was obsessed with this show, not only for its fast-paced narrative and nostalgia but the dope performances and casting – especially Quincy Isaiah as Magic Johnson, Tamera Tomakili as Cookie Keely (aka Johnson) and Solomon Hughes as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who were spot on.
Interview with the Vampire (AMC and AMC+) – Honestly, I barely remembered the 1994 film – don’t believe I’d watched in full since its release – but the casting of Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm in Game of Thrones) piqued my interest and the show didn’t disappoint. From its early 20th century Louisiana setting to its exploration of race and politics, this is a must see for horror fans and maybe those who enjoy a good thrill if you’re not scared of blood…and fangs.
The Old Man (Hulu) – Mysterious elderly assassin? Pets trained to attack? One of the most entertaining shows of 2022? Check, check and check!
The Best Man: The Final Chapters (Peacock) – The entire group is back for a final engaging and funny romp that finds them confronting mid-life, new challenges and healing old wounds. Released around the holiday, this is certainly a gift and token of love for those of us that have grown with these characters and their narratives.
Five Days at Memorial (Apple TV+) – Based on a true story and a book of the same name by Sheri Fink, this is another series that absolutely broke me. Chronicling the disastrous events that occurred at Memorial Hospital during Hurricane Katrina, it is a difficult but must-see watch. If you’re not familiar with the actual events, and or have never read the novel, I encourage you to not Google or research before watching.
Bel-Air (Peacock) – This is an incredibly well-written “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” reboot that intertwines the premise of the past show with an engaging and dramatic narrative, a solid cast, and refreshes (no pun intended) the story for the 21st century.
61st Street (AMC+) – First off, there is no going wrong when you cast Courtney Vance and Aunjanue Ellis in anything together, okay? The series follows an innocent young man, who is caught up in a corrupt Chicago legal system, and his ailing lawyer (Vance) that’s struggling to save him. I also tagged this one a must-watch for anyone who enjoys crime dramas and thrillers.
Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (Netflix) – I know there was some controversy surrounding this Ryan Murphy produced series, and those who question why another story needed to be told regarding Dahmer. However, this is a really dynamic series that is the only account I’ve seen – other than documentaries – highlighting how this monstrous person preyed on vulnerable communities, people of color and how law enforcement allowed him to do so. It also has phenomenal performances by Niecy Nash and Evan Peters in the title role.
Riches (Prime Video) – Family squabbling and secrets? A contested will? Money, power and respect dynamics? Check, check and check!!! This binge-worthy series follows a UK family and their estranged American counterparts battling for control of a successful cosmetics empire after their patriach dies.
Kingdom Business (BET+) – I really wish this one was promoted better and that we at least get a season two, because this show also had one of the best finales of the year. Led by Yolanda Adams and Michael Beach, this series chronicles a family, this one involved in the Gospel music industry, battling infighting, secrets and their subsequent exploits.
She-Hulk (Disney+) – One of the cleverest Marvel shows on the streaming giant, this series poked fun at itself and those aggravating, sexist fanboys, all while promoting equality and solidifying its place in the Marvel universe – and it’s hella funny to boot. It has mature themes, so it’s definitely not for the youngest of Marvel fans.
Ms. Marvel (Disney+) – I knew nothing about this character’s mythos, but absolutely adored the series. If I had to describe it in one sentence, I would say that Ms. Marvel’s story is very similar to Peter Parker’s – with the titular character being an adolescent exploring teen life and newfound abilities, while saving others and protecting her family and identity. This one can be enjoyed by most of the family with parental guidance.
Wednesday (Netflix) – This is a fun interpretation of the Addams Family mythos that centers Wednesday Addams as she investigates a dangerous mystery at her new boarding school. Witty, funny, and gory (definitely not for little ones), this is also a satisfyingly, bingeable watch that I hope leads to a second season.
And as an honorable mention: With Love which technically was released in December 2021. This romantic comedic gem follows a family’s affairs over the course of a year of holidays. It airs on Prime Video and has been renewed for a second season.
Until next thought, Thomasena