Best TV Shows 2022: ‘Reservation Dogs,’ ‘Abbott Elementary’ and More

Best TV Shows 2022: ‘Reservation Dogs,’ ‘Abbott Elementary’ and More

Technically, this one shouldn’t qualify because its final episode ran on cable in December 2021. But it aired after last year’s rankings went to print, and the season didn’t land on streaming until January, so I’m embracing this loophole because of all the endings on this list, this one stings the most. We deserved more of this meditative, offbeat series! Boo to shows getting canceled in their primes! A pox on corporate decision-making! We live in a time of relatively abundant television, and plenty of it is good, but very little of it is special. “Joe Pera Talks With You” was, though, a free verse Midwestern ode to tenderness and wonder. (Streaming on HBO Max.)

The end of “Peaky Blinders” signals the end of a certain era of British imports, a post-“Boardwalk Empire” period drama fascination. “Peaky” ranks among the greatest mud shows in history — feet stomping into wet piles, faces covered in glop, always sinking, sinking, sinking. While plenty of other shows shared a similar appetite for the depictions of violence and anguish, few shared its visual élan. Alongside often sumptuous imagery, you could almost feel “Peaky” breathing, as if the whole show had taken a sharp breath in, and other times feel its slow, smoky exhale. (Streaming on Netflix.)

“Queen Sugar” lost a little of its verve along the way, but its early seasons are unimpeachable — gorgeous and rich, soapy enough to be intriguing and grounded enough to be meaningful. Patience is a virtue, and “Queen Sugar” let its characters change slowly, making them more like actual human beings than like ensemble-drama paper dolls. (Streaming on Hulu.)

Netflix canceled this dazzling, beautifully odd cartoon after one season back in 2019; it was on my list of best shows that ended that year, and now, well, here we are again. Adult Swim rescued the show and aired two additional seasons — so let us be grateful that we had more time with our kooky bird pals and their successes and fears (and fears and fears and fears). All good things must come to an end, and probably a few times. (Streaming on HBO Max.)

Honorable mentions: “black-ish,” “Dead to Me,” “Desus & Mero,” “Gentleman Jack,” “Gomorrah,” “Killing Eve,” “Made for Love,” “Search Party.”