The Official MCC Top 10 Shows of 2022

By Amy Kim, Aaron Isenstein, and Emil Larsson

2022 was a fantastic year for television. We had fantastic conclusions to television staples, promising starts to brand-new ones, dark comedies with sharp writing, visually stunning dramas with brilliant acting, and stories that took us to fantastical worlds. However, there were 10 shows that impressed the 15 critics whose ballots we aggregated above all else. Whether they were watched out of obligation, pique, or pure pleasure, these 10 shows stood out and made for viewing experiences we never forgot.

10. Euphoria

With its jaw-dropping visual splendor, pitch-perfect acting, and sensational drama, Euphoria’s second season took the world by storm. While there were a lot of television shows about high schoolers that came out this year, few can claim to have remotely the level of impact that this show did. Despite having the occasional writing misstep and not being quite as magnificent as its first season, it kept everyone coming back for more each Sunday night. In terms of raw entertainment value, it’s difficult to think of many shows that could top Euphoria. [Amy & Emil]

9. Barry

The third season of Barry took the cynical dramedy to its darkest place yet. Bill Hader continues to devour this career-best role, while Anthony Carrigan, Sarah Goldberg, and Henry Winkler offer standout supporting turns that absolutely stun. But despite how genuinely twisted this season gets, it still manages to find the humor in the absurdest of situations. [Amy]

Few were clamoring for a sequel of the hit satirical limited series due to the fact that it was, well, limited. Even after its stacked cast was announced, many found themselves skeptical that a continuation to a perfectly-ended show would prove to be any good. But surprise, surprise, Mike White has done it again! The White Lotus: Sicily is a sexier, more bombastic version of its predecessor and absolutely stands on its own. While White’s writing and directing are incredible, Sicily works as well as it does because of its impeccable cast, who are all masterful in their roles. From Jennifer Coolidge’s hilarious, showy return as Tanya to Meghann Fahy’s subtly nuanced take on seemingly oblivious housewife Daphne, the cast simply marvels from every angle. [Amy]

This sunny network show is undoubtedly the breakout sitcom of 2022. Its flawed but lovable cast of characters pair well with the tightly-written (and unbelievably funny) script. And thankfully, the freshman season’s charm remains prominent in the 10 episodes of its second season that have aired. Abbott Elementary feels like a sitcom classic in the making, and no other show this year can match its sheer warmth. [Amy]

6. The Rehearsal

Five years after his magnum opus Nathan For You: Finding Frances, Nathan Fielder has returned to our television screens once again to deliver us a twisted, unscripted, and often immoral reality show. The Rehearsal’s premise is deceptively simple: “What would you do to make sure the most important moments of your life weren’t left up to chance?” Like Finding Frances, The Rehearsal is unafraid to examine Nathan Fielder as the flawed, somewhat broken human being he is alongside its darkly humorous “storyline.” But it’s the show’s surprising escalation (with serious emotional consequences) that truly makes it one of the defining shows of 2022. [Amy]

5. Better Call Saul

The final season of Better Call Saul is a satisfying conclusion to a show that has delivered quality character writing and stunning cinematography its entire run. While it’s bittersweet to say farewell to this consistently fantastic show, we couldn’t have asked for a better sendoff. Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn deliver career-best performances as their characters’ tragic romance comes to a close. Better Call Saul ended the way it started: as one of the best-written shows we’ve ever seen. [Amy]

4. Stranger Things

Ever since its first season’s premiere, Stranger Things has been a phenomenon. The thrilling horror elements mixed with excellent comedy made for a compelling watch that appealed to all ages. Despite the next two seasons not quite living up to the high standard the first one set, its popularity still continued to grow. Three years after the weakest-received season yet, Stranger Things 4 was hotly anticipated, but with a smidge of skepticism. But to our surprise, the fourth season managed to blow us away with its raised stakes, darker themes, and chilling villains. The ensemble has never been better, with standouts Sadie Sink and Caleb McLaughlin breaking our hearts and newcomers Jamie Campbell Bower and Joseph Quinn surprising us with some of the show's most compelling performances. [Amy & Aaron]

House of the Dragon's first season has cemented it as a "new" HBO staple, with its gripping character drama seizing audiences every Sunday night. While this freshman season doesn't have quite as much spectacle as one would expect from a prequel to the bombastic Game of Thrones, the dynamics between each of these conflicted, power-hungry potential heirs are always a fascinating sight to behold. It's clear that this season is largely laying the groundwork for future seasons, but it is certainly quality television in its own right that we just could not get enough of. [Amy]

The most stressful show on television seized social media by storm this summer. With frenetic editing, claustrophobic directing, and characters at each other's throats nearly every other scene, The Bear is truly an experience like no other. The subtle storytelling is paid off excellently in its last two episodes, carving a narrative that will surely age like fine wine with its subsequent seasons. [Amy]

When Severance’s first few episodes came out, it wasn't on many people’s radars. But one flawless finale, one ever-growing fanbase, and 14 Emmy nominations later, it’s not surprising to see how often it’s come up in the “best show of the year” conversation. And why shouldn’t it? With its fantastic directing from Ben Stiller and Aoife McArdle, who both meticulously craft two haunting worlds we know all too well, and its brilliantly eerie score by Theodore Shapiro, Severance is undoubtedly one of the best-crafted shows of the year. But it’s the slowly unraveling mystery helmed by a subdued but nonetheless phenomenal ensemble that truly kept us hooked on this quality piece of television. [Amy]