What to Watch: Best TV Shows of 2022 So Far – PEOPLE

In this adorable British series — just renewed for two more seasons — openly gay 14-year-old Charlie (Joe Locke) has a crush on jock schoolmate Nick (Kit Connor). The attraction appears to be mutual, but Charlie is slow to catch on — his go-to mode is fumbling self-doubt. It's all performed with sweet, funny sincerity. Olivia Colman turns up as Nick's mom. —Tom Gliatto
There's a reason everyone you know is watching Abbott Elementary: It's just. That. Good. The show (created by star Quinta Brunson) clicks right out the gate, bringing all the comedy and heart you could want from the teachers' lounge of an under-resourced Philadelphia school. Everyone in the cast is a joy, but you'll be cackling out loud at the antics of delusional principal Ava (played by Janelle James). —Alex Apatoff
Amanda Seyfried excels as one-time billionaire fraudster and founder of the medical company Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes. This Hulu limited series captures viewers' attention from the start by shining a harsh spotlight on the empathy-lacking behavior of the Stanford University dropout and slowly attempts to untangle the web of lies and corruption that ultimately led to her downfall. The story takes so many twists and turns that if it wasn't based on a true story, there's no way you'd believe it was real. —Jodi Guglielmi
Based on the 2004 docuseries of the same name, the scripted drama The Staircase became the true crime obsession of 2022's first half — and showed everyone that Arnold Schwarzenegger's son Patrick needs to be on our screens more often. The limited series tells the story of a crime novelist (Colin Firth) accused of violently killing wife (Toni Collette). As the writer and his family undergo a grueling legal process, a French documentary team takes interest in the case, making for a truly meta viewing experience. —Dana Rose Falcone
The fact that The Godfather (arguably one of the greatest films of all time) ever got made in the first place is mind-blowing. The string of good luck, bad luck and near-misses that had to align to bring the Francis Ford Coppola film based on Mario Puzo’s bestseller into theaters makes for a surprising and entertaining 10 episodes — even if you’ve never seen the film. (Full disclosure: I hadn’t seen it in its entirety before watching this series. I have now, and I loved it.) Those who are craving more Miles Teller after seeing Top Gun: Maverick will enjoy him as executive producer Al Ruddy, and Juno Temple is every bit as lovable and badass as his assistant, Bettye McCartt, as she is in Ted Lasso. And Matthew Goode’s turn as Paramount studio head Bob Evans is hilarious, magnetic and often the reason to press play on the next episode. —Breanne L. Heldman
High school drama isn't exactly what one might expect from a Marvel series, but never mind confusion about boys: Pakistani-American teen Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) has newfound powers to sort out and battles to fight with possible long lost relatives. Knowing Kamala will eventually team up with her hero, Captain Marvel, in next year's theatrical movie The Marvels makes watching her origin story all the sweeter — and Vellani is adorable and magnetic. —Breanne L. Heldman
Vanessa Bayer hilariously mines her autobiography as an adult who came out the other side of juvenile cancer in this sweet but brittle comedy. In a make-or-break moment, her character Joanna leverages her survivor status to pal around with her childhood heroes and find adorably awkward love — all while finding G-list fame as a home shopping network sales guru. Come for Bayer's endearing performance, stay for tack-sharp supporting turns by Jenifer Lewis, Fire Island's Matt Rogers and fellow SNL alum Molly Shannon (who erupts into a mini M&M-induced meltdown that must be seen to be believed). —Lanford Beard
The already iconic reality TV family came back to the screen better than ever. After wrapping Keeping Up With the Kardashians on E! in 2021, the Kar-Jenners made their jump to Hulu and wasted no time in returning to the drama. Everything fans know and love about their original series remains — including all the glitz, glamour and behind-the-scenes moments of their lives — but the new show features a more sophisticated production style, as well as a larger emphasis on each of the family members’ career endeavors. Season 1 answers all your burning questions about Kourtney and Travis Barker’s road to parenthood, Kim’s romance with Pete Davidson and Khloé’s reaction to Tristan Thompson’s latest infidelity. —Joelle Goldstein
For any fan of The Wire — and if you haven't seen that gritty cops-and-criminals epic, drop everything and binge it this summer — showrunner David Simon's return to the streets of Baltimore was bound to be a treat. This six-episode series tells the real-life story of a group of brutal, corrupt police officers who were brought to justice in 2017. It's not a Wire-level classic: There are too many slow stretches and stilted sociopolitical explanations. But Jon Bernthal's chillingly charismatic turn as a very, very dirty cop — and all that crackling, cynical Baltimore dialogue — are riveting. —Samantha Miller
Teen romance, family drama and a picturesque beach backdrop: The Summer I Turned Pretty has all the ingredients for a dreamy summertime hit. Based on a trilogy of novels by Jenny Han, the seven-episode series follows Isabel "Belly" Conklin (promising newcomer Lola Tung) as she and her family make their annual pilgrimage to Cousins Beach, where they spend the summer with the Fisher family in their stunning waterfront house. Normally, that means a summer full of wholesome night swims and Fourth of July parties. But this year, Belly, who turns 16 mid-season, winds up in a love quadrangle with brothers Conrad and Jeremiah Fisher (Christopher Briney and Gavin Casalegno) and local boy Cam (David Iacono). The young cast — who are already back to work on season 2 — are a joy to watch, and Tung's professional acting debut is especially earnest. —Antonia DeBianchi
Introduced by the creators of Love Is Blind, this Netflix reality romance series (also hosted by Nick and Vanessa Lachey!) features six couples who are on the cusp of getting engaged. One partner in the relationship is on the fence about taking the next step, while the other is eager to wed and issues an ultimatum. Over the course of eight weeks, the pairs begin a relationship with a new potential partner from one of the other couples before deciding to either get engaged to their original partner or split forever. Though the concept seems like a disaster, the fascinating experiment actually proved to be beneficial for most — and above all else, provided a heck of a lot of entertainment for the folks at home. —Joelle Goldstein
Ben Whishaw — that fantastic, whippet-lean British actor (No Time to Die, Paddington) — plays Adam Kay, a young doctor struggling with the pressures of a hospital maternity ward. Dr. Kay sometimes rouses himself with a sharp, needling joke ("I'm afraid I've got some bad news," he tells a woman doing a puzzle. "You've spelled 'pavilion' wrong"), but he's exhausted, on edge about revealing that he's gay and — perhaps inevitably — capable of making a disastrous misdiagnosis. Whishaw gives this tough-minded limited series just enough bite and just enough empathetic kindness. —Tom Gliatto
Plucky 1970s journalist Joyce Prigger (Ophelia Lovibond) dreams of launching a high-minded feminist magazine called The Matriarchy Awakens. The naked truth? The only publisher interested is nudie mag mogul Doug Renetti (Jake Johnson, oozing sleaze and charm in equal measure), who wants to add full-frontal photos of disrobed men and create the country's first erotic publication for women. In this cheeky comedy, the laughs come courtesy of Joyce and Doug's power struggle. The blushes come courtesy of all the cheeks (and more). —Eric Andersson
Maya Rudolph hardly misses — and her performance on the Apple TV+ comedy is no exception. As billionaire divorcée Molly, Rudolph endures some relatable — and many more unrelatable — road bumps as she attempts to mend her broken heart and discover who she truly is. Molly's more out-of-touch moments serve up the show's biggest laughs, making it a breezy watch. Plus, Loot boasts a killer soundtrack featuring an impressive range of artists from Lauryn Hill to Daft Punk. —Dory Jackson
Erin Doherty (The Crown) plays Becky, a sullen, possibly unstable office temp obsessed with the social media posts of posh, happy Chloe. When Chloe dies unexpectedly, Becky assumes a sophisticated new identity — Sasha! — and infiltrates Chloe's circle of friends to investigate. Terrific. —Tom Gliatto
We love a good Netflix docuseries, but Bad Vegan might just take the cake as the craziest of them all. The four-episode series follows Pure Food & Wine owner Sarma Melngailis, who went from celebrated restaurateur to fugitive on the run when she and her husband Anthony Strangis swiped nearly $2 million from investors and employees. The pair made headlines when they were famously arrested in May 2016 after ordering a non-vegan Domino's pizza to the Tennessee motel room where they were hiding out. But it turns out, the true story of what happened is even stranger than has been reported. Just wait until you get to the meat suit! —Dave Quinn
It's difficult enough to imagine true work-life balance, but a total work life/personal life separation? This clever — and, at times, unhinged — dystopian drama, directed by Ben Stiller and Aoife McArdle, sets up a world where staffers (led by Adam Scott) at the ominous biotech company Lumon Industries can opt for a procedure that severs non-work memories from time spent in the office. The result is packed with more twists than the strangely empty, brightly lit hallways of the subterranean office space where the severed spend their days. —Breanne L. Heldman
An Irishman (Belfast's Jamie Dornan, giving his best performance since The Fall) is driving through the Outback, singing "Bette Davis Eyes" to himself, when he's chased off the road by an inexplicably malevolent trucker. He comes to in a hospital with most of his memory wiped clean — and no ID. A note in his pocket, however, spells out a meeting scheduled in another town, so he heads there to find some answers. What he finds instead is lots of trouble. This six-episode series starts out feeling familiar — macho loner lost in a hostile world of sun, dust and violence — but it proves to be inventively tricky. And it ends with quite a kick. —Tom Gliatto
Oscar Isaac has given us many strong performances (Ex Machina, Annihilation, Scenes From a Marriage), most of them of an almost crushing gravitas — even his first appearance in the Marvel Universe (2016's X-Men: Apocalypse) was as a stone-faced supervillain. Here we get a new Oscar Isaac — funny, playful and lively — as he returns to Marvel for this entertaining series, which has him shifting, splitting and doubling identities (one of them is British and works in a museum gift shop) and at times becoming Moon Knight, who looks like a moth in a suit. There are also some ancient Egyptian gods. If it's boredom you're after, Moon Knight won't do it. —Tom Gliatto
Jared Leto stars as eccentric WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann alongside Anne Hathaway who plays his business partner and wife. The drama may center around the chaotic rise and disastrous fall of the co-working space startup, but at the core of the series is the love story between the Neumanns. And money. Lots and lots of money. —Emily Strohm
Tackling addiction through a comedic lens isn't an easy feat, but what makes this series work is its leading lady, Sofia Black-D'Elia (The Night Of, The Mick) as Samantha, a 28-year-old alcoholic forced to move back in with her mother (Ally Sheedy) after hitting rock bottom. You can't help but root for Samantha as she goes through a series of ups and downs while navigating her sobriety journey, including her crush James (Garrick Bernard), who is also in recovery. —Dory Jackson
Ozark's Julia Garner continues to impress as strange-accented, superbly styled fake German heiress Anna Delvey — or is it Sorokin? — who manages to scam New York City socialites and banks out of untold amounts of money, goods and services from 2013 until her arrest in 2017. Ambitious journalist Vivian (Anna Chlumsky) helps unravel her story in the Shonda Rhimes-created series. —Breanne L. Heldman
As Pam Hupp, the woman at the center of a 2011 Missouri murder case, Renée Zellweger is buried in makeup that makes her look like a sour, frumped-up Martha Stewart. There's a slightly condescending satiric humor both to her performance and to this true-crime miniseries, as if a grave miscarriage of justice were funnier because it happened in the suburban Midwest. But the story, on its own terms, is riveting. —Tom Gliatto
In this rewarding series, roommates Jack (Rick Glassman), Harrison (Albert Rutecki) and Violet (Sue Ann Pien) are all on the autism spectrum and all doing their best to engage with a complicated world. The three stars also identify as being on the spectrum. —Tom Gliatto
Lily James and Sebastian Stan star as Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee in this Hulu limited series, which tells the dramatic story of how their infamous sex tape in the '90s was leaked to the public by disgruntled contractor Rand Gauthier (Seth Rogen). While Stan and Rogen's performances are both noteworthy — even with Stan's bizarre conversation with his love appendage in one scene — it is James who steals the show. In what's probably her best performance to date, James offers a heartbreaking account into the impacts of the tape on Anderson, including how it led to years of sexual shaming and victimization for the rising Baywatch star. —Joelle Goldstein
The whodunit genre is nothing new, but what makes this series fun, exciting and fresh is the stacked cast (including Tiffany Haddish, Sam Richardson and Ben Schwartz) and clever storytelling. Once you learns the murderer’s identity in the season finale, you want to rewatch it all over again to see what clues you may have missed. —Dory Jackson
British actress Sarah Lancashire (Happy Valley) plays Julia Child in an eight-episode series focusing on the culinary giant's initial foray into TV in the early '60s. Lancashire's Child has little in common with Meryl Streep's robust, bustling version in Julie & Julia (2009). Her performance is gentler, more inward. Softly cooing and cheeping, like a hen settling down to sleep, she's very touching. To members of her audience daunted by a soufflé recipe, Julia advises: "All you have to do is plunge in.… That's the key not only to the kitchen but to life itself." —Tom Gliatto
Based on Min Jin Lee’s 2017 best-selling novel, Pachinko is a multigenerational epic, sweeping yet at times passionately intimate, about the fortunes of a Korean family through the 20th century — beginning in 1915, an era of Japanese colonial oppression. The huge cast includes Youn Yuh-jung, who won Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars last year for Minari. (She has a uniquely touching scene talking about the flavors of Japanese vs. Korean rice.) Addictive! —Tom Gliatto
This six-episode dramedy follows the unusual love story between Gary (Josh Gad) and Mary (Isla Fisher) — two individuals with painful and complicated pasts that seemingly find comfort in each other after relocating to Adelaide, Australia. There's only one tiny (er, large) problem: Mary's real identity could pose a serious threat to their relationship… and Gary's life. It's a bizarre tale that leaves you wondering: does love truly conquer all?—Christina Dugan Ramirez
Amy Schumer gives her most endearingly earnest performance yet in Life & Beth, complete with moments of the candid humor she's become known for. This deeply personal comedy drama, costarring Michael Cera, examines generational trauma in a healing way that will have viewers crying cathartic tears. —Glenn Garner
Toni Collette and Bella Heathcoate complement each other as a mother with a lifetime of dangerous secrets and a daughter seeking the truth after her life begins unraveling. The Netflix thriller, based on a novel by Karin Slaughter, takes viewers on a cross-country adventure full of espionage, assassins and family secrets. —Glenn Garner
Immense wealth, social status and the conflict between old and new money are at the center of this gorgeous and strikingly funny historical drama created by Julian Fellowes of Downton Abbey fame. Cynthia Nixon and a particularly acerbic Christine Baranski star in the drama set in the late 1800s in New York City. —Emily Strohm
Both thoughtful and thought-provoking, this four-part docuseries directed and produced by comedian W. Kamau Bell looks at the disturbing paradox that is the life and career of Bill Cosby, through the eyes of comedians, journalists and survivors. —Breanne L. Heldman
Eliza Coupe, Ginnifer Goodwin and Maggie Q are a winning trio in this Fox sitcom about three friends coping with the death of their longtime pal. Even with a devastating loss at the core of the group's journey, the series still proves to be both relatable and comical as the ladies pivot their lives to discover what makes them happiest. Even better, viewers will wish they could be a part of this tight-knit friend group. Or they would. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled in May. —Dory Jackson
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