The 22 Best TV Shows of 2022, from The Dropout and Industry to Bad Sisters and This Is Going to Hurt

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The 22 best TV shows of 2022, from House of the Dragon to Abbott Elementary to The Dropout and more

Let’s kick things off with a few honourable mentions. As is always the way, there were a lot shows that would’ve found a spot on an ever-so-slightly longer list: Marriage, The Split, Five Days at Memorial, Starstruck, Ralph & Katie, Never Have I Ever, The Responder, Ghosts, so on and so forth.

There are also the shows that surely would’ve earned a spot, but I never quite managed to get around to – things like Pachinko, Atlanta, Mayflies, I Hate Suzie Too, The Outlaws S2, The White Lotus, Sherwood, and Better Call Saul. (Steven has you covered there, at least.) I watched 129 shows this year, give or take, which is both a personal record and still not actually quite enough. (No, I didn’t get out much, why do you ask?)

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A few that are deserving of special shoutouts, though, are Younger, The Good Fight, and Yellowjackets. The latter two are victims of category fraud on my part, technically – I have sort of arbitrarily decided that Yellowjackets counts as a 2021 show, and The Good Fight’s lack of a UK airdate yet means it’s not eligible for this list – but I loved them both, and they’d each have made the top ten under different circumstances. Younger, meanwhile, I watched for the first time this year, and in terms of sheer volume I think it might be the show I spent most time with across 2022 – it’s fun, it’s light, it has a great will-they/won’t-they throughline, and it was one of the big defining shows of the year for me.

Anyway. Without further ado, the 22 best TV shows of 2022.

22) Bloods Series 2

Samson Kayo and Jane Horrocks are back on-screen as South London's finest oddball dream team Wendy and Maleek, along with their paramedic colleagues in the day-to-day life-saving world of an emergency service.Samson Kayo and Jane Horrocks are back on-screen as South London's finest oddball dream team Wendy and Maleek, along with their paramedic colleagues in the day-to-day life-saving world of an emergency service.
Samson Kayo and Jane Horrocks are back on-screen as South London's finest oddball dream team Wendy and Maleek, along with their paramedic colleagues in the day-to-day life-saving world of an emergency service. | Kevin Baker / Sky UK

The first series of Bloods was quite tightly focused, built around these perfect comic double acts: Maleek and Wendy, Lawrence and Jo, Kareshma and Gary, and of course the two Darryls. The smartest thing Bloods’ second series did was introduce new characters – Wendy’s son Spencer, teenage cancer patient Tasha, and psychiatrist George – to disrupt those partnerships and push the leads in different directions. Of all the shows on this list, Bloods made perhaps the biggest leap in quality between its first and second series – a pitch-perfect evolution of what it was already good at, borne of a keen sense of how best to take things to the next level.

Where can I watch Bloods?You can watch both series of Bloods on Sky Comedy, and on demand via NOW TV.

21) The Lazarus Project

Anjli Mohindra as Archie and Paapa Essiedu as George in The Lazarus Project (Credit: Simon Ridgway)Anjli Mohindra as Archie and Paapa Essiedu as George in The Lazarus Project (Credit: Simon Ridgway)
Anjli Mohindra as Archie and Paapa Essiedu as George in The Lazarus Project (Credit: Simon Ridgway) | Simon Ridgway

It’s a ruthlessly well-constructed piece of television across the board; Joe Barton’s writing is emotionally and technically intelligent, while Laura Scrivano and Marco Kreuzpaintner’s direction is slick and stylish. The performances too are strong – Vinette Robinson and Rhudy Dharmalingam are welcome standouts amongst the supporting cast, while Anjli Mohindra announces herself as another Best Doctor Who We Never Had – though it’s of course Paapa Essiedu’s series first and foremost. He’s fantastic as the everyman driven to extremes, quick to rationalise his own worst excesses (a nice touch from Barton here is that the characters are often in their own way deeply hypocritical); Essiedu is constantly making interesting decisions here, sometimes playing against the material rather than leaning into it, always engaging to watch.

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Where can I watch The Lazarus Project?You can watch The Lazarus Project on Sky Max, and on demand via NOW TV.

20) The Rehearsal

Nathan Fielder in The RehearsalNathan Fielder in The Rehearsal
Nathan Fielder in The Rehearsal | ©2020 HBO. All Rights Reserved

The Rehearsal is completely unlike any other show on this list. The six-part comedy – even that feels not quite right; documentary? reality show? unreality show? social experiment? – charts comedian Nathan Fielder’s efforts to let people practice major and minor life decisions, throwing seemingly unlimited resources at recreating even the smallest details of hypothetical scenarios. In the first episode, Fielder stages a trivia night confession, building an exact replica of a New York bar so a man can practice admitting to a white lie; by the end of the series, he’s constructed a whole fake life for a woman who wants to know what it’s like to have a child, complete with child actors who can swap in at different ages. It’s deliberately manipulative – self-consciously, openly, provocatively so – and intentionally unsettling, equal parts captivating and disquieting.

Where can I watch The Rehearsal? You can watch The Rehearsal on Sky Comedy, and on demand via NOW TV.

19) House of the Dragon

Milly Alcock as young Rhaenyra Targaryen, the Iron Throne and her father looming large behind her (Credit: HBO)Milly Alcock as young Rhaenyra Targaryen, the Iron Throne and her father looming large behind her (Credit: HBO)
Milly Alcock as young Rhaenyra Targaryen, the Iron Throne and her father looming large behind her (Credit: HBO) | HBO

If there was a most improved superlative, House of the Dragon would probably win it. I was never a fan of Game of Thrones, and the opening episodes of House of the Dragon did little to win me over. By the latter half of the series, though – and to no one’s surprise more than my own – it had become appointment viewing, with initially scattered characterisation giving way to something much more tightly focused and deftly drawn. A big part of that was the sheer joy of watching Paddy Considine giving one of the best performances of 2022, playing Viserys Targaryen as a man rotting from the outside in under the weight of the throne.

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Where can I watch House of the Dragon? You can watch House of the Dragon on Sky Atlantic, and on demand via NOW TV.

18) Trying

Esther Smith as Nikki and Rafe Spall as Jason, dancing together at a children’s party in Trying season 3 (Credit: Apple TV+)Esther Smith as Nikki and Rafe Spall as Jason, dancing together at a children’s party in Trying season 3 (Credit: Apple TV+)
Esther Smith as Nikki and Rafe Spall as Jason, dancing together at a children’s party in Trying season 3 (Credit: Apple TV+) | Apple TV+

The great thing about Trying is that it’s sweet, but never slight. The first two series charted Jason (Rafe Spall) and Nikki’s (Esther Smith) slow, faltering attempts to adopt, each step forward seemingly leading to two steps back. There was a real commitment, across both series, to take its time in how it approached its storytelling: methodical and piece by piece, always emphasising how long an adoption journey takes. Beneath the lighthearted comedy, beneath the endearingly schmaltzy plink-y plonk/whistling music, there was always real emotional substance to Trying. The third series opens with Jason and Nikki finally adopting Princess and Tyler – or, at least, starting to. It’s still a complex process, with further adjudication in court before things are finalised: they’ve not yet even reached the end of the beginning.

Where can I watch Trying? You can watch Trying on Apple TV+, where all three series are available as a boxset.

17) Girls5Eva

Of all the comedies on this list, Girls5Eva – which follows a one-hit wonder girl group from the early 2000s trying to revive their careers twenty years later – has the greatest density of jokes per minute. It’s so funny, so often – it has that 30 Rock-esque quality of one joke building on another building on another, going by so fast you’d have to watch it twice to catch them all. It’s got a fantastic cast – Renee Elise Goldsberry as Wiki is giving an all-time great comic performance – and it’s a musical, too. Really, there was no way it wasn’t going to make the list.

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Where can I watch Girls5Eva? In the UK, it’s currently available on Peacock, which you can access through Sky and NOW TV subscriptions. The series is moving to Netflix for its upcoming third season, though, and the first two seasons will become available on Netflix next year.

16) Abbott Elementary

Quinta Brunson, Lisa Ann Walter, and Sheryl Lee Ralph in Abbott Elementary (Credit: ABC/Prashant Gupta)Quinta Brunson, Lisa Ann Walter, and Sheryl Lee Ralph in Abbott Elementary (Credit: ABC/Prashant Gupta)
Quinta Brunson, Lisa Ann Walter, and Sheryl Lee Ralph in Abbott Elementary (Credit: ABC/Prashant Gupta) | ABC/Prashant Gupta

On paper, at least, there’s not a huge amount about Abbott Elementary that seems particularly innovative or fresh: it’s a Parks & Recreation or US Office-style mockumentary, it has a slowburn will-they-won’t-they running through the background, so on, so forth. All the constituent parts are familiar and recognisable, even perhaps overplayed – but that obscures just how ruthlessly and efficiently Abbott Elementary pulls it all off, how totally and completely it sticks the landing. (See also: the solid-but-unremarkable American Auto and the not-very-good-at-all Blockbuster as examples of how difficult it is to get those recognisable formats right.) Reducing it down to what’s on paper alone means you miss how totally and completely Abbott Elementary – in particular lead and creator Quinta Brunson – breaths new life into that workplace sitcom format.

Where can I watch Abbott Elementary? In the UK, the first season of Abbott Elementary is available to watch on Disney+. Season 2 is not yet available in the UK.

15) Slow Horses

Gary Oldman as Jackson Lamb in Slow Horses (Credit: HBO)Gary Oldman as Jackson Lamb in Slow Horses (Credit: HBO)
Gary Oldman as Jackson Lamb in Slow Horses (Credit: HBO) | HBO

Slow Horses is about the administrative division of MI5, who work out of an office called Slough House – it’s a dull purgatory for field agents who make career-ending mistakes, all of whom are expected to quit out of boredom and frustration. It’s a really tightly-made, engaging spy thriller, with a great sense of humour too – showrunner Will Smith (not that one) is formerly of The Thick Of It and Veep, and you can tell. Two series of Slow Horses were released this year, though it earned its spot on the list on the strength of that opening instalment alone; I’m yet to watch the second series, but with the first an unexpected highlight of the summer I imagine Slow Horses might’ve climbed a few points on this list if I had.

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Where can I watch Slow Horses? You can watch Slow Horses on Apple TV+, where both Series 1 and Series 2 are currently available.

14) Barry

Bill Hader as Barry Berkman as Barry Block in Barry (Credit: HBO)Bill Hader as Barry Berkman as Barry Block in Barry (Credit: HBO)
Bill Hader as Barry Berkman as Barry Block in Barry (Credit: HBO) | Bill Hader as Barry Berkman as Barry Block in Barry (Credit: HBO)

Hitman Barry Berkman (Bill Hader) feels detached and estranged from his life of violence, and enrols in an amateur dramatics class to try and reinvent himself as the actor Barry Block. It quickly becomes clear, though, that being an assassin proves harder to walk away from than he’d hoped, leaving Barry caught between two worlds. What’s great about the show, beyond the pitch-black comedy and Hader’s surprisingly affecting dramatic performance, is how much time it has for its supporting characters – Henry Winkler rightly gets a lot of praise for playing acting coach Gene Cousineau, but Series 3 belonged to Sarah Goldberg first and foremost. It’s difficult to explain exactly how and why they’re so good without spoiling it, so… well, just watch it, honestly.

Where can I watch Barry? In the UK, you can watch Barry on Sky Comedy and NOW TV.

13) Reboot

Keegan-Michael Key as Reed, Johnny Knoxville as Clay, Calum Worthy as Zach, and Judy Greer as Bree in Reboot (Credit: Michael Desmond/Hulu)Keegan-Michael Key as Reed, Johnny Knoxville as Clay, Calum Worthy as Zach, and Judy Greer as Bree in Reboot (Credit: Michael Desmond/Hulu)
Keegan-Michael Key as Reed, Johnny Knoxville as Clay, Calum Worthy as Zach, and Judy Greer as Bree in Reboot (Credit: Michael Desmond/Hulu) | HULU

I always love this kind of thing – television shows about television shows – and Reboot is one of the best of them. It follows a group of dysfunctional actors and writers, reunited for the first time in two decades when their cancelled sitcom is brought back for a new series and they’re asked to return to their old roles again – this time in a very different entertainment landscape, of course. It all comes together as a really funny industry satire – actually funny, not just the “funny but you never laugh” type shows they gently mock on Reboot – with a proper all-star ensemble cast. (Rachel Bloom!) It’s some of the most fun TV I’ve seen all year – let’s get that Series 2 renewal soon, please.

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Where can I watch Reboot? In the UK, Reboot is currently available on Disney+.

12) The Dropout

Amanda Seyfried as Elizabeth Holmes (Credit: Beth Dubber/Hulu)Amanda Seyfried as Elizabeth Holmes (Credit: Beth Dubber/Hulu)
Amanda Seyfried as Elizabeth Holmes (Credit: Beth Dubber/Hulu) | Beth Dubber/Hulu

Amanda Seyfried is magnetic as Elizabeth Holmes, deftly capturing her transformation from alienated college student to powerful CEO. It’s a layered performance – literally, at times, as The Dropout tracks Holmes’ different constructed identities, from the affected baritone to the black turtlenecks, but Seyfried does a compelling job paring those layers back, that brittle callousness giving way to a glassy-eyed vulnerability you can tell Holmes doesn’t quite recognise in herself. It’s no surprise that Jennifer Lawrence dropped out of Adam McKay’s planned Elizabeth Holmes biopic after watching Seyfried here – she’s genuine transformative, giving one of the best performances of the year in one of the best shows of the year.

Where can I watch The Dropout? In the UK, The Dropout is currently available on Disney+.

11) Minx

Ophelia Lovibond as Joyce in Minx. She’s wearing a yellow shirt and blue jeans underneath a checked coat; there’s a car behind her, out of focus in the background (Credit: Katrina Marcinowski/HBO Max)Ophelia Lovibond as Joyce in Minx. She’s wearing a yellow shirt and blue jeans underneath a checked coat; there’s a car behind her, out of focus in the background (Credit: Katrina Marcinowski/HBO Max)
Ophelia Lovibond as Joyce in Minx. She’s wearing a yellow shirt and blue jeans underneath a checked coat; there’s a car behind her, out of focus in the background (Credit: Katrina Marcinowski/HBO Max) | Katrina Marcinowski/HBO Max

A few months ago, I was thinking about cancelled television shows, and realised I’d never really fallen foul of that – there have been shows I liked that have come to a close before their time, sure, but few true and earnest favourites, never any that I’d be moved to sign petitions for to save. And then a day or two later it was announced that the show had been cancelled. (I jinxed Minx!) In an ideal world, production company Lionsgate will be able to find the series a new home away from HBO Max – if not, it’ll always be my go-to answer for an unjustly cancelled show gone before its time.

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Where can I watch Minx? In the UK, Minx is currently available as a boxset on Paramount+.

10) The Bear

Jeremy Allen White as Carmen ‘Carmy’ Berzatto in The Bear, wearing a blue apron, holdin a spoon in a restaurant kitchen (Credit: Frank Ockenfels/FX )Jeremy Allen White as Carmen ‘Carmy’ Berzatto in The Bear, wearing a blue apron, holdin a spoon in a restaurant kitchen (Credit: Frank Ockenfels/FX )
Jeremy Allen White as Carmen ‘Carmy’ Berzatto in The Bear, wearing a blue apron, holdin a spoon in a restaurant kitchen (Credit: Frank Ockenfels/FX ) | Frank Ockenfels/FX

In the wake of his brother’s death, an award-winning chef comes home to Chicago to take over the struggling family restaurant. Immediately, there’s a very rich dynamic there – Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) wants to reshape the restaurant in the mould of the prestige kitchens he’s used to, while ‘cousin’ Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) digs his heels in, resistant to any change at all – and writer/director Christopher Storer runs with it, crafting a story about obsession and passion and perfectionism. A key part of that, too, is how the show is constantly grappling with ideas of grief and loss, looking at how Carmy tries to navigate life after his brother’s suicide, throwing himself into his work and letting everything else fall away.

Where can I watch The Bear? In the UK, The Bear is currently available on Disney+.

9) For All Mankind S3

Astronauts stride across Mars in For All Mankind season 3 (Credit: Apple TV+)Astronauts stride across Mars in For All Mankind season 3 (Credit: Apple TV+)
Astronauts stride across Mars in For All Mankind season 3 (Credit: Apple TV+) | Apple TV+

It’s fallen a few spots since last year, having spent too much time on a character that never close to worked and delivering a finale that put a little too much emphasis on shock value ahead of anything else – but at its best, For All Mankind was still a highlight of the week, delivering taut disaster thrillers with smart alternate history drama. Few shows manage that kind of “I’ve just realised I’ve been holding my breath for ten minutes” suspense as effectively and as regularly as For All Mankind, and when it’s firing on all cylinders it’s amongst the best ever to do it (the series 3 opener, set on space hotel Polaris, was the single best series opener of the year).

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Where can I watch For All Mankind? You can watch For All Mankind on Apple TV+.

8) Industry S2

Myha’la Herrold as Harper Stern and Ken Leung as Eric Tao, confronting one another in a busy office (Credit: Simon Ridgeway/BBC/Bad Wolf/HBO)Myha’la Herrold as Harper Stern and Ken Leung as Eric Tao, confronting one another in a busy office (Credit: Simon Ridgeway/BBC/Bad Wolf/HBO)
Myha’la Herrold as Harper Stern and Ken Leung as Eric Tao, confronting one another in a busy office (Credit: Simon Ridgeway/BBC/Bad Wolf/HBO) | BBC / Bad Wolf / HBO

Industry is perhaps the densest and most technical show on the list here – it’s also perhaps the show that’s most trusting of its audience, never deigning to explain its financial jargon because it understands that that just doesn’t matter. Instead, the show places its emphasis on its characters: there’s always something quite emotionally intuitive about Industry, with the moment-to-moment stakes for the Pierpoint graduates conveyed with crystal clarity even as the precise hows and whys remain obscure. The result is one of the most intense and most immediate series of the year, razor sharp and hard to look away from.

Where can I watch Industry? In the UK, both series of Industry are available on BBC iPlayer; in the US, you can watch Industry on HBO Max.

7) Big Boys

Dylan Llewellyn as Jack Rooke, listening to Danny (Jon Pointing) reading the TV guide after a disaster night out (Credit: Channel 4)Dylan Llewellyn as Jack Rooke, listening to Danny (Jon Pointing) reading the TV guide after a disaster night out (Credit: Channel 4)
Dylan Llewellyn as Jack Rooke, listening to Danny (Jon Pointing) reading the TV guide after a disaster night out (Credit: Channel 4) | Channel 4

By coincidence, there are a handful of shows about suicide on the list this year (all comedies, oddly enough). It’s selling Big Boys a little short to say it’s straightforwardly “about” suicide, because that conjures up an image of something more dour, something a lot more self-consciously dramatic and serious – and it’s not that, not ever, because for the most part it’s this sweet and gentle and genuinely funny comedy about friendship. But there’s this scene in the Big Boys finale where it is about suicide, when the real Jack Rooke who’s been narrating all along appears on the beach across from his friend, and suddenly that levity and lighthearted touch turns toward the most affecting bit of television about grief all year. It’ll stay with me for a long time, I think.

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Where can I watch Big Boys? You can watch Big Boys on All4, where all six episodes are available as a boxset.

6) Hacks

Jean Smart as Deborah Vance and Hannah Einbinder as Ava Daniels in Hacks Season 2 (Credit: HBO Max)Jean Smart as Deborah Vance and Hannah Einbinder as Ava Daniels in Hacks Season 2 (Credit: HBO Max)
Jean Smart as Deborah Vance and Hannah Einbinder as Ava Daniels in Hacks Season 2 (Credit: HBO Max) | HBO Max

Hacks is built around the relationship between Deborah Vance (Jean Smart), a once legendary stand-up comedian, and struggling young writer Ava Daniels (Hannah Einbinder) – each are at opposite ends of their career, but they’re both having difficulty finding work, so reluctantly team up to try and revive Deborah’s act. Season 2 sees them taking the new material on tour, and delves deeper into their relationship – one of the most dynamic and compelling relationships currently on television. The Series 2 finale blew things up completely, leaving Series 3 in a position where Hacks can reinvent itself completely – I can’t wait to see what they do next.

Where can I watch Hacks? In the UK, Hacks is available on Amazon Prime Video; in the US, you can watch Hacks on HBO Max.

5) Andor

A close-up image of Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, in side profile in a jungle (Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.)A close-up image of Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, in side profile in a jungle (Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.)
A close-up image of Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, in side profile in a jungle (Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.) | Lucasfilm Ltd.

After The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi, that a Star Wars show might end up anywhere in the top fifty shows of the year seemed unlikely. That it could end up in the top ten – the top five! – seemed essentially unthinkable. But Andor, a show that arrived with relatively little fanfare and didn’t immediately announce itself as an obvious candidate for the best of 2022, gradually established itself as the best piece of franchise filmmaking in an era of strictly controlled corporate Content™. It’s textured and weighty, with a real command of tone and structure, and a vein of radicalism running through it just beneath the surface. (No, honestly, it sounds ridiculous but it’s true.) How does this show exist?

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Where can I watch Andor? You can watch Andor on Disney+, where all 12 episodes are available as part of a boxset.

4) The Capture

Holliday Grainger as DCI Rachel Carey in The Capture (Credit: BBC/Heyday Films)Holliday Grainger as DCI Rachel Carey in The Capture (Credit: BBC/Heyday Films)
Holliday Grainger as DCI Rachel Carey in The Capture (Credit: BBC/Heyday Films) | BBC/Heyday Films

What’s nice about The Capture – a smart, deftly made thriller, starring some of the UK’s best actors in Holliday Grainger and Paapa Essiedu – is that there was a stretch where it seemed like everyone was watching it. That’s not true of every show on this list (and it’s always less and less the case anyway, as audiences become more fractured and spread out across different streaming services) but The Capture arrived at a point where it felt like event television. It’s a reminder of how much fun this can be when it’s a communal experience – and isn’t that the point of it all, in the end?

Where can I watch The Capture? You can watch The Capture on BBC iPlayer

3) Bad Sisters

Anne-Marie Duff as Grace, Saise Quinn as Blánaid, Sharon Horgan as Eva, Eva Birthistle as Ursula, Sarah Greene as Bibi, and Eve Hewson as Becka. They're wearing funeral black, stood in a church pew. (Credit: Apple TV+)Anne-Marie Duff as Grace, Saise Quinn as Blánaid, Sharon Horgan as Eva, Eva Birthistle as Ursula, Sarah Greene as Bibi, and Eve Hewson as Becka. They're wearing funeral black, stood in a church pew. (Credit: Apple TV+)
Anne-Marie Duff as Grace, Saise Quinn as Blánaid, Sharon Horgan as Eva, Eva Birthistle as Ursula, Sarah Greene as Bibi, and Eve Hewson as Becka. They're wearing funeral black, stood in a church pew. (Credit: Apple TV+) | Apple TV+

Bad Sisters begins at a wake. The Garvey sisters – all wearing black, just returned from their brother-in-law John Paul’s funeral – mill around the house, looking more bored than upset. What quickly becomes clear at the wake is that Eve, Bibi, Ursula, and Becca were involved in John Paul’s death. They’ve each got their own reasons to want him dead, but chief amongst them is the way he treated their sister Grace, the fifth Garvey sibling and John Paul’s widow. (Anne-Marie Duff as Grace gives one of the best performances of the year.) The series skips back and forth between the aftermath of John Paul’s death and the events leading up to it, charting both the Garvey sisters’ attempts to kill John Paul, and a subsequent investigation into his death. It’s a simple structure used effectively, heightening the comedy and the tension: it turns out that they’re not actually very good at the whole murder thing, and Bad Sisters quickly settles into a nice sort of macabre slapstick as a result (“You’d have an easier time killing the bloody Road Runner!”).

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Where can I watch Bad Sisters? You can watch Bad Sisters on Apple TV+.

2) This Is Going to Hurt

Ambika Mod and Ben Whishaw in This Is Going To Hurt (Credit: Sister/BBC One)Ambika Mod and Ben Whishaw in This Is Going To Hurt (Credit: Sister/BBC One)
Ambika Mod and Ben Whishaw in This Is Going To Hurt (Credit: Sister/BBC One) | Sister

Ben Whishaw and writer Adam Kay described This Is Going To Hurt as “a love letter to the NHS”. It is – the affection, and indeed sympathy, it has for its workers is always obvious enough – but just as often the love letter reads like a searing indictment of the health service’s every limitation. Whishaw’s Kay is exhausted and overwhelmed, seemingly only getting by on momentum alone; in quiet moments, he’s got this haunted thousand-yard stare, which disappears again as soon as that all-too-brief reprieve ends. Visceral drama, caustic humour, and a star turn from Ambika Mod – just from the first episode, it was obvious it’d end up on this list.

Where can I watch This Is Going to Hurt? You can watch This Is Going to Hurt on BBC iPlayer.

1) Severance

Tramell Tillman, Zach Cherry, John Turturro, Britt Lower and Adam Scott in Severance (Credit: Apple TV+)Tramell Tillman, Zach Cherry, John Turturro, Britt Lower and Adam Scott in Severance (Credit: Apple TV+)
Tramell Tillman, Zach Cherry, John Turturro, Britt Lower and Adam Scott in Severance (Credit: Apple TV+) | Apple TV+

Mark Scout (Adam Scott) enters the Lumon Industries elevator, full of regrets and anxieties and grieving for his wife; Mark S exits the elevator, no recollection of who he is the other 16 hours of the day, allowed no tangible connection to the outside, not even a surname. He’s been Severed – a surgical procedure that acts like a mental partition, in effect an exaggerated twist on the idea of work/life balance. What’s striking about Severance is how invested it is in interrogating how that sort of life would affect someone – and who would choose it in the first place. To the employees, their other selves are completely unknowable: if they arrive at the office with red eyes, do they have hayfever, or were they weeping on the way to work? That question of meaning, lost and found elsewhere, is what drives the series – in amongst the high-concept satire is this quietly very touching story of mistreated employees building fleeting connections into something more.

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Where can I watch Severance? You can watch Severance on Apple TV+.

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