The best new and limited series of 2022, from “Severance” to “The White Lotus”

(CNN) — Limited series have arguably become the dominant creative genre on television, given the attention and praise received by shows like “The White Lotus” (any season), which can tell a stand-alone story as if it were the reading. of a great book.

The sequential series, however, is still very much alive, despite the fact that several long-running series come to an end this year (goodbye to “Better Call Saul” and “Ozark”), and that some others are going through difficult creative moments, compared to previous seasons.

With that in mind, here’s an alphabetical breakdown of the best new series premiering in 2022, replenishing binge-watching TV, as well as a bonus roundup of the best limited series. And before anyone asks about a couple of conspicuous oversights, while “Andor” rebounded from its slow start, it wasn’t enough to make the cut; and “Abbott Elementary” technically premiered in late 2021. (A pre-listing reminder that HBO and Warner Bros. TV, like CNN, are owned by Warner Bros. Discovery.)

best new series

“The Gilded Age” (HBO): it may not be “Downton Abbey”, but a reasonably good simulation is still great when Julian Fellowes creates “master/servant” situations involving wealthy New Yorkers in the 1880s, with a sensational cast led by Carrie Coon and Christine Baranski.

series house of the dragon

Matt Smith in HBO’s “Game of Thrones” prequel, “House of the Dragon.” Credit: HBO Max

“House of the Dragon” (HBO): After a slow start, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” prequel gathered momentum as the season luxuriantly dragged on, leapfrogging years in time and building its narrative toward an epic showdown that demonstrated both the corrosive effects of power and power. the need to choose your dragon carefully when considering air travel.

“Interview With the Vampire” (AMC): Skepticism at the idea of ​​turning Anne Rice’s books into an episodic series was dispelled in this tense, gripping, and extremely bloody series, featuring standout performances from Jacob Anderson as Louis and Sam Reid as Lestat, as well as by Eric Bogosian, as the reluctant journalist tasked with hearing Louis’s story/confession in a pandemic-ridden future.

old man bridges

Jeff Bridges stars as a retired spy on FX’s “The Old Man.” Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

“The Old Man” (FX): Jeff Bridges and John Lithgow play a dangerous retired spy, and John Lithgow plays his superior, tasked with tracking him down.

“Pachinko” (Apple TV+): Apple’s look, in different periods, at Japan’s early 20th century occupation of Korea and generations after makes for a fascinating story, while also being heartbreaking and a really good soap opera. Plus, it’s the best opening credits sequence on TV (except for “Peacemaker”).


John Turturro, Britt Lower, Christopher Walken and Adam Scott in “Severance.” Credit: AppleTV+

“Severance” (Apple TV+): The heady idea of ​​a company taking work-life balance very, very seriously – allowing employees to separate their work memories from what happens on the outside – produced an inordinately bizarre and twisted drama, which it builds slowly, but it closes with the kind of strong final kick that fuels enthusiasm for a second season.

“Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi” Y “Obi-Wan Kenobi” (Disney+): a double dose of “Star Wars” nostalgia cleverly wraps the film trilogies, with Ewan McGregor slipping back into his role as senior Jedi Knight – again forced to face off against his former Padawan – and the animated anthology filling in key details about Ahsoka Tano. and Count Dooku. Together, these Disney+ series illustrate how producer Dave Filoni’s contributions to animation, now translated into live action, have enriched and fanned the flames of the “Star Wars” galaxy.


Jenna Ortega as the title character in the Netflix series “Wednesday.” Courtesy of Netflix

“Wednesday” (Netflix): Despite some complaints about turning this “Addams Family”-inspired series into a CW-style drama, Jenna Ortega’s performance in the title role was so likable that it overcame any objections. Along with the glorious look brought to the whole exercise by director Tim Burton, she’s a reason to dance, Merlina Addams style.

best limited series

“The Dropout” (Hulu): Hulu’s breakout year with limited series based on true events peaked with this deep dive into the rise and fall of Theranos founder, elizabeth holmeswith Amanda Seyfried giving the (relatively young) performance of a lifetime, from the wide-eyed looks to the way her voice rose and fell depending on the situation.

Steve Carell plays the kidnapped therapist in “The Patient.” Credit: Suzanne Tenner/Hulu

“The Patient” (FX): Steve Carell and Domhnall Gleeson pack a punch in this cat-and-mouse story between a kidnapped therapist and a serial killer seeking his help. Although the ending didn’t live up to the plot, it was one of those shows where you couldn’t wait to see what happened next.

“The Staircase” (HBO Max): Colin Firth and Toni Collette star in this gritty and thought-provoking dramatization of the story of a dead wife, Kathleen Peterson, and the trial of her husband, Michael, as told in a previous docuseries, deftly weaving the way media coverage and that earlier project influenced the story.

He takes it as a sign of just how loaded the limited series format was in 2022 that, by narrowing it down to five options, this was the last to make the cut.

series we own this city

Wunmi Mosaku (center) in the HBO limited series “We Own This City.” Credit: Paul Schiraldi/HBO

“We Own This City” (HBO): Though based on real-life corruption, abuses of power and politics in the Baltimore Police Department, producer David Simon’s crisp, understated series could easily pass for a sequel to his iconic drama “The Wire.”

new series 2022

Will Sharpe and Aubrey Plaza in the second season of “The White Lotus”, one of the best limited series of the year. Credit: Fabio Lovino/HBO

“The White Lotus” (HBO): Jennifer Coolidge’s presence in season two has blurred the show’s limited-series credentials a bit, but the continuity that really counts is what writer-director Mike White has pulled off again by turning this story of flawed tourists into one of the most absorbing and meme-worthy titles on television.

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