The Best of 2022

The Best TV Shows and Movies of 2022 (So Far)

Dept. of Crit Lists


And there you have it. The first real post pandemic year is now halfway done and what a first six months we’ve had. We’ve seen about 70 movies and 70 TV shows already, so here’s a quick cheat sheet of the standouts thus far. We’ve broken the list down into several categories and clicking them will take you to that specific category’s list.

Must Watch On… (Insert Streamer Here)
Streamer of the Year (So Far)
Top 6 Cinema Releases
Biggest Disappointments (So Far)
Expected Disappointments
Surprise Picks

Must Watch On…

In this list, we recommend three things from each of the big international streamers that you absolutely must watch. We only considered shows that are new and were released within the last 6 months. You won’t find the second season of Mrs. Maisel or four seasons of Money Heist in this list.

Apple TV Plus


Ben Stiller’s workplace drama was the perfect antidote for society’s trek back into the office after two long years of working at home. A great look at the myth of workplace balance coupled with unnerving camera work and production design makes this a top watch. (Podcast Episode #140)

Cha Cha Real Smooth

Cooper Raiff’s sophomore effort is a wonderful coming-of-age-romance feature film that will make you feel all kinds of good things. Cha Cha Real Smooth is another great example of a film that would have been ignored by most other streamers but fits perfectly on Apple TV Plus. Oh also be prepared to fall in love with Dakota Johnson. (Podcast Episode #206)


Based on a New York Times best-selling novel, Pachinko’s multigenerational story about generational hurt, personal and national identity, and the immigration experience in trying times, feels like it could be a cement truck of heaviness, but the stories being told never feel overwhelming or too much. It’s no comedy that’s for sure, but the series never falls into melodrama. Also spoiler alert, there is a distinct lack of actual pachinko in Pachinko. (5 Reasons You Should Watch Pachinko, Podcast Episode #156)


Apollo 10 1/2

Apollo 10 1/2 is a beautiful, romantic, and heartfelt love letter to a more innocent time. If you were ever caught up in the space race, and wanted to relive that moment with your family, then this is the movie for you. (Apollo 10 1/2 Is A Romantic Look Back At A More Innocent Time)

Jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy

Love him or hate him, there is a good chance that you, and everyone you know, knows who Kanye West is. Netflix’s epic seven hour documentary doesn’t go so far as to redeem the man behind the brand, but it does give you an insight and a look at the man before he became the brand. (Podcast Episode #133)

The Lincoln Lawyer

David E. Kelley is back! The mind behind some of the best legal dramas on TV (ever!) takes on Michael Connelly’s Mickey Haller and reintroduces audiences to the Lincoln Lawyer in this 10 episode series. The series isn’t fancy or groundbreaking, but it is addictive, watchable, comfort TV.

Prime Video

The Tender Bar

The Tender Bar, George Clooney’s pitch perfect adaptation of J.R. Moehringer’s memoir, is a wonderful reminder of all the reasons why we loved Ben Affleck in the first place. The story may be old hat, but Clooney’s take is mature and restrained, sweet and sentimental, without ever being cloying. It is life affirming in the best possible way. (Podcast Episode #117)

Jack Reacher

This is the Lee Child adaptation we’ve always deserved. If only because we finally get a Jack Reacher who looks like Jack Reacher. (I mean, Tom Cruise is great, but he just isn’t Jack Reacher!). This Prime Video series is a great example of a great book-to-screen adaptation and just might end up taking viewers back to the novels. (Podcast Episode #125)

Outer Range

Josh Brolin as a modern day rancher finds an unexplained massive hole in the ground and hijinks ensue! Okay not funny fun hijinks but this Prime Video series is a surreal sci-fi mystery with western elements and a crime thriller twist. (Podcast Episode #169)



James Gunn’s Peacemaker is a crude, irreverent, sometimes sad, beautifully chaotic, and profoundly thoughtful meditation on what it means to be a third tier superhero. This might just be the best series DC has released yet. (Podcast Episode #114)


HBO’s Julia is a nice show where everyone is nice and there are no villains. Based on the life and times of food pioneer Julia Child and the beginnings of food television, this is an absolute must watch if you, like us, love food and loved the 2009 film Julie & Julia. (Podcast Episode #168)

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty

Adam McKay’s frenetic style lends an authorial voice that is crucial in making this series stand out in an otherwise sea of indistinguishable sports docudramas. Winning Time may be about the beginnings of one sports team’s dynasty, but that story has enough behind the scenes things going on that it’s worth watching even if you aren’t a basketball fan. (Podcast Episode #143)

Disney Plus Hotstar

Ms. Marvel

Ms. Marvel

Ms. Marvel may be the MCU’s seventh TV series, but it’s non-white-girl protagonist, along with her Pakistani-American Muslim family, makes this a stand out in the familiar genre. The origin story doesn’t break new ground, its central themes of family and personal responsibility in the face of super powers are all too familiar by now. But having the central character be the story of a Muslim American teenager subverts the hero’s journey in exciting new ways. (Ms. Marvel Is Everything That Representation Should Be, Podcast Episode #201)

Under the Banner of Heaven

Dustin Lance Black’s adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s book is a dark tale of a double murder in the Mormon community, juxtaposed against the origins and evolution of the Mormon faith. In the series, Andrew Garfield portrays a Mormon police detective investigating both a crime and his true feelings about his faith. This true crime drama is a painful reminder of the things people will do in the name of their faith. (Podcast Episode #198)

Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers

While this film could have easily gone down the traditional root of perhaps giving us a feature length episode of the classic cartoon, director Akiva Schaffer has decided instead to make a worthy spiritual successor to Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Filled to the brim classic Disney characters, and enough Easter eggs, references, and subtle roasts to pop culture to make your head spin, the entire journey is an incredibly entertaining ride from start to finish. (Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers Is a Masterclass in Nostalgia, Podcast Episode #192)

Streamer of the Year (So Far) – Apple TV Plus

This was the easiest category to pick. Apple TV Plus has consistently released content that has blown us away, across all genres and types. From feature films like The Tragedy of Macbeth, Cha Cha Real Smooth and The Sky Is Everywhere, to dramas like Severance, Pachinko, WeCrashed, The Essex Serpent, The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, Slow Horses, Shining Girls, Roar, and Suspicion. The Afterparty was a revelation. Prehistoric Planet made us see dinosaurs in a different light. The Problem with Jon Stewart reminded us why he is the best at what he does, and They Call Me Magic reminds us why he was called Magic. And that is just the new stuff! Apple TV Plus has absolutely won the first six months and with a track record like that, long may it continue.

Top 6 Cinema Releases

These six films stand out among all the films we’ve seen in the cinema. They are a great example of the magic of cinema and why we love the ritual of going into a darkened room with a bunch of strangers to stare at a screen.

Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick

“They have revived these aging archetypes and given them new life, escalated the action, and honored the original without being slavish to it. Top Gun: Maverick provides just the right amount of fan service by winking at and nodding towards the first. It makes reference, it pays homage, and it does so without ever coming off as a pale imitation.” (Top Gun: Maverick Is A Pitch Perfect Hollywood Blockbuster, Podcast Episode #191)


Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis is Baz Luhrmann at his most Baz Luhrmann. Taking the epic rise and tragic fall of the king of rock and roll, Luhrmann tells his Elvis story from the point of view of Colonel Tom Parker instead, putting a new spin on an already well told tale. Austin Butler is magnetic as Elvis Presley, and with the Luhrmann touch, Elvis is an absolute feast for the eyes. (Podcast Episode #208)

The Batman

The Batman is one part Seven, one part Zodiac, and one part True Detective. It is a brutalist take on the superhero movie. Skipping past the tired origin story that we’ve all seen far too many times, director Matt Reeves dives headfirst into a beautifully rendered and magnificently paced noir.” (The Batman is Definitive. Accept No Substitutes, Podcast Episode #139)

Everything Everywhere All at Once

For all those cineastes griping about how there is nothing to watch in cinemas that isn’t an existing IP, then Everything Everywhere All at Once is really the answer to all your prayers. Michelle Yeoh in her very first Hollywood lead role is the perfect Chinese aunty in this mind bending sci-fi action adventure about the complicated dynamics of love and family in a multiverse of possibilities. (Podcast Episode #155)

The Bad Guys

“There is just so much to love here. The animation is gorgeous, tripping between traditional CGI and the kind of double framing we saw in Into the Spider-Verse. Every action sequence is dynamic, and kinetic, and utterly delightful to behold. But most of all, The Bad Guys has a clear idea of who kids are, and what they like, want, and relate to. And so what we have is a movie that doesn’t just try to appeal to a specific age group or demographic, but works in drawing out the inner child in all of us.” (The Bad Guys – Being Bad Has Never Looked This Good, Podcast Episode #149)

Turning Red

“The triumph of Turning Red is that it doesn’t make Meilin (its main character) choose. She isn’t one or the other. She is a child of two worlds, as Chinese as she is Canadian, and able to code switch and traverse both cultures seamlessly. Like Domee Shi’s Bao and Sanjay Patel’s Sanjay’s Super TeamTurning Red is a story that embraces the idea that we, as human beings, contain multitudes. That we can be more than just one thing. That we can hold two, or three, or more, contradictory thoughts in our heads and that none of them need to define who we are as people. It is a potent message and one that is executed with such subtlety that it almost feels understated.” (Turning Red is Pixar’s Best Movie Since Inside Out, Podcast Episode#144 )

Biggest Disappointments (So Far)

Movies are bad for many reasons. Sometimes it’s a studio’s fault. Sometimes it’s bad directing, or bad acting, or bad writing. Sometimes that movie is The Room. The three films listed below have been picked because, for one reason or another, expectations were put on them and those expectations were not met. These three films left us wondering why they were made in the first place.

Jurassic Park: Dominion

We at Goggler HQ love dinosaurs. And we also love Jurassic Park. Jurassic World: Dominion should have been our jam. But instead, it was our coffee grounds. There was palpable excitement heading into this movie but, unfortunately, 146 minutes later, we were all disappointed. Colin Trevorrow seemed so hamstrung tying up all the loose ends from the previous Jurassic World movies that very little here felt compelling. The dinosaur chases felt unnecessary. The moments that were designed to inspire awe just fell flat. The returning trio of original heroes felt underused. Overall, a very disappointing end to the Jurassic World franchise. (Podcast Episode #203)

The Bubble

“The idea behind The Bubble feels like a solid one, especially as we’re all just about coming out on the other side of this unprecedented pandemic. But The Bubble also feels like an excuse for Apatow and his family (his wife and daughter are in it) to hang out in the U.K. (the movie is set on a sprawling estate in England) with just about whichever actor that was in town and available at the time. What could have been a fun comedy romp about the making of a movie, with the production woes that the COVID pandemic brought, ends up being just another Netflix dud of a comedy.” (Netflix’s The Bubble Is Really Not Very Good)

House of Gucci

House of Gucci is just a little much, swinging wildly between serious and camp, between drama and melodrama. The script, by Becky Johnston and Roberto Bentivegna, can’t quite find its voice, and that tonal dissonance is incredibly jarring, more so when you have a soundtrack in which George Michael and Donna Summer clash with Pavarotti and Black Machine. It isn’t quite kitschy enough to be cult, and it isn’t sober enough to be Oscar-worthy.” (House of Gucci is Silly, Though Not Quite Silly Enough, Podcast Episode #112)

Expected Disappointments

Unlike the previous category, this one is reserved for the things that we knew were going to be terrible going in, and had our expectation well and truly met.



“Watching Morbius, you can’t help but feel there was a riskier movie that somehow got sanitized. The trailers to this movie were selling us something that never quite came to pass. Instead, what we got was something basic and predictable, uninspired and unenthusiastic, the kind of movie that just needed to be put out there as a placeholder for whatever grand plans Sony has for the franchise in the future.” (Morbius Isn’t Awful, Podcast Episode #159)


Pentaverate is proof that some good things need to be left alone. In this example, that “thing” is Mike Myers. This series is so unfunny that it feels like a bad joke told to prove that a bad joke can be told and that people will still laugh. Pentaverate is so unfunny it feels like an insult to have to watch. And it feels like an even bigger insult that in some way the you had to pay for this thing that no one wanted. (The Pentaverate and Clark Are Two Shows That Perfectly Sum Up The Netflix Problem)

Surprise Picks

In our final category, we’ve listed a film and a TV show that came out of left field for us. Either because we hadn’t heard anything about it, weren’t expecting it, or just had our collective expectations blown completely out of the water, these two titles have been the stand out for us in what had already been a great six months.

Tiga Janda Melawan Dunia

I’ll start by saying that I do not watch as much local content as I’d like to. But Tiga Janda Melawan Dunia really shook me to my core. I didn’t have high hopes after having seen the trailer, with its Malay style slapstick humour and its heavy emphasis on the three women making and selling vape juice in order to buy concert tickets. But what I got was all that and so much more. The movie was fun. It was vibrant. It was self aware in its use of comedy. The fact that there were only two other people in my cinema was criminal. Tiga Janda Melawan Dunia was a local movie that had me laughing out loud for all the right reasons. I can’t wait for what director Hyrul Anuar is cooking up next. (Podcast Episode #190)

The Afterparty

The Afterparty was a revelation. It wasn’t just that it was a very good tv show, or a very good comedy. Over the course of its eight episode run, the series switches genres at every turn, all while keeping its tone and story consistent across it all. The different genres never feel gimmicky or overwrought. As a story, the eight episodes, with its eight distinct TV genres and styles, never loses track of the overarching problem, that a murder has happened. Created by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the two guys behind the Jump Street franchise, The Lego Movie, Mitchells vs. The Machines and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, The Afterparty was always going to be fun. But what I was not expecting was this much fun. (The Afterparty Is A Genre Bending Masterpiece, Podcast Episode #118)

What a six months we’ve had. July through December, you guys have some massive shoes to fill. Don’t let us down now.

Bahir likes to review movies because he can watch them at special screenings and not have to interact with large groups of people who may not agree with his idea of what a movie going experience is. Bahir likes jazz, documentaries, Ken Burns, and summer blockbuster movies. He really hopes that the HBO MAX Green Lantern series will help the character be cool again. Also don’t get him started on Jason Momoa’s Aquaman (#NotMyArthurCurry).

Only Murders in the Building
Previous Story

The Goggler Podcast #217: Only Murders in the Building, Season 2

The Princess
Next Story

The Goggler Podcast #218: The Princess

Latest from Listicle