Best TV series of the first half of 2022

The year has crossed the halfway mark, and already we’re drowning in fantastic television. The content carousel never stops turning, so it’s up to you to grab what you want as it makes its rounds. The first half of 2022 has offered up a dazzling number of series for premium watching. We have prepared a selection of the best series of 2022

The Bear

Who would’ve thought that one of the most stress-inducing shows ever made would become one of 2022’s breakout hits? The Bear, FX’s nervy restaurant world dramedy, has a way of defying expectations. This the story of Carmy, a James Beard Award-winning chef who comes home to Chicago to salvage the family sandwich shop after the suicide of his brother. Raw and frenetic, it’s a gripping tale of family, trauma, and addiction that’s not to be missed.

Never Have I Ever

Season Three of Mindy Kaling’s winsome coming-of-age comedy finds dorky Devi in an unexpected position of power: finally, she’s dating the popular jock of her dreams. But like many teenagers before her, she’ll have to learn that reality doesn’t always live up to our fantasies. Three seasons in, Never Have I Ever remains a delightful confection of romantic drama, but it’s Devi’s home life that keeps us coming back for more. Grief over the loss of Devi’s father still dogs the Vishwakumars, as does intergenerational conflict about marriage, family, and heritage. Trust us and tune in: you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll want the wisdom of Devi’s mother embroidered on a pillow (“you’re never too much and you’re always enough”).

Star Trek: Lower Decks

Season Two of Star Trek: Lower Decks ended with a cliffhanger when USS Cerritos Captain Carol Freeman was arrested for a war crime she didn’t commit. Season Three sees our favorite “lower deckers” hijack the Cerritos to clear the captain’s name—and that’s just the beginning of the fun. Featuring new aliens, new planets, and new hijinks, Season Three’s misadventures force the gang through growing pains in their friendships and careers. At once a parody of Star Trek and a damn good Star Trek show, Lower Decks sticks the landing and makes it look effortless.

The Rings of Power

Whether it’s good television or bad television, Rings of Power was always bound to be one of the biggest small screen events of the year. Luckily, after an advance screening, Esquire can heartily confirm: this is good television. Great television, even. This behemoth prequel to Lord of the Rings turns back the clock thousands of years to the Second Age, a time of wealth, war, discovery, and so much more. Lavishly made by a team that clearly reveres Tolkien, Rings of Power is enthralling, visually spectacular, and appropriately mythic. Have fun getting lost in Middle-earth.


Netflix’s new coming of age story skips the snobbiness of prestige TV and instead opts for something that seems to be en vogue: a straightforward, heartwarming tale. The British series follows a teenager navigating life as one of the few gay guys at an all-boys school. He soon finds an ally in the captain of the rugby team, only to discover that they may have more alike than he initially suspected. Bonus points: Olivia Colman is featured as one of the protagonist’s mothers, and yes, she steals every scene she is in.