THE GEEEEK AWARDS [Best Geek TV of 2022] – Hell, We’re Still Catching Up!

Derek Vigeant

5. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds – I’ve always enjoyed Star Trek but it’s rare for the franchise to really stay with me the way this series has. I would describe it as a sci-fi procedural as most of the episodes are self-contained, but the stories they have chosen to tell are not average by any means. If you aren’t one for the Star Trek universe I would still highly recommend this series. – 4/5

4. Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power – On the other hand if you are not a fan of Middle-Earth then I doubt this one will change your mind! But, I really enjoy the imagination that the creators have brought to keep this franchise thriving. Since it is a prequel set before the popular films there are not any of the familiar faces; but going to see how it all started is something I’m interested in. Amazon has put a cauldron full of money into the show and everything looks absolutely stunning. It did start out slow but after a few episodes I was fully involved with the multiple storylines that lay the groundwork for the season. With this being just the beginning, I anticipate Season 2 will completely overshadow this first outing. – 4.25/5

3. The Orville: New Horizons – I was so impatiently waiting for Season 3 of this show to air as Covid and post-production made us wait over 2-years. The term “worth the wait” has maybe never been more accurate. The stories are full of political and controversial topics but Seth McFarlane & Co. take great lengths to show both sides of every issue they choose to introduce into their universe. And not to just rest on their subject matters, but the time they spend on giving the individual characters their moments in the spotlight makes all of them important. – 4.5/5

2. The Boys – What can possibly be still said about this show?! It’s the wildest ride of humor, violence, romance, politics, and sexcapades. The fact that we’ve had three seasons and this show has lost very little of what it started out with. The work that has been put into continually evolving this world and its characters is every reason why it is still one of the best shows on TV. I’m sure he won’t — because of how the Academy’s look down on almost anything comic book-related — but Anthony Starr deserves some nominations come awards season. – 4.75/5

1. All of Us Are Dead – I had no idea what I was getting into but I heard good things from people I trusted. They all undersold this. A Korean import that Netflix picked up and aired in the beginning of the year and what a way to start it off. A virus/zombie show is nothing new to us these days but the absolute carnage and destruction that this city goes under from an outbreak grabbed me immediately and it takes a couple of episodes before I could even catch my breath. One of the most important aspects is (most) of the kids/survivors that they center on are likeable. While there are a couple of character choices that I don’t understand or agree with, I was overall thrilled with every episode and actually had to force myself to not gobble up the entire series in a week. I don’t know how Season 2 can top this but I will definitely be looking forward to it! – 4.75/5

Best of the Rest: Severance, Peacemaker, Stargirl, The Walking Dead: Part 2, What we do in the Shadows.

-Derek Vigeant

Frank Simonian

1. The Sandman – Best news of 2022 was knowing that this show is renewed for another season. The cult-classic comic book from the late 80’s/ mid 90’s written by Neil Gaiman under the DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint was a hit through Netflix. Tom Sturridge as Lord Morpheus from the first episode carries the same somber heaviness that reflects the comic book counter-part. For the Endless that are introduced in the series so far nail their performances respectively, not to mention Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer Morningstar and Patton Oswalt voicing yet another comic book character with this rendition of The Raven named Mathew. Notably, the animated episodes add to the lore of the series and gives the audience another level of depth to the stories in The Sandman Universe. – 5/5

2. Slow HorsesGary Oldman plays Jackson Lamb and is the head of the slough house, out for revenge against a Russian sleeper-cell agent. Slow Horses not only effectively showcases the dynamics with the different agents and their struggles to become respectable agents again, it also deals out dry-humor like gelato. This latest season also deals with grief, so much so that by the end of the season it becomes heartbreaking in a way that is silent, but the characters are sharing it together. On a personal note; the film Snatch is one of my personal favorites, and “that Russian” from that film Rade Serbedzija, is on season two as a Cicada. – 4.75/5

3. Westworld – Season four is a perfectly choreographed routine that built up to a crescendo which, got snuffed out with the show’s cancellation. Ed Harris (The Man in Black, William), Thandiwe Newton (Maeve), Evan Rachel Wood (Dorothy), and Jeffrey Wright (Bernard) grounded the story with the character arcs evolving into “the real world” while taking an almost Matrix approach on how hosts would assimilate. Tessa Thompson’s Hale gets bored playing God while Aaron Paul (Caleb) gets punished by Hale in a biblical fashion. The cast is stacked, if you are looking for science fiction television, this show was a heavy-hitter. For the last season of the series, Westworld contributed heart to a show about humanoids and humans. – 4.5/5

4. Atlanta – The fourth and final season starring Donald Glover (Earn), Zazie Beetz (Van), Brian Tyree Henry (Paper Boi) and Lakeith Stanfield (Darius), is a surreal season that takes the bottle episodes and wraps it up into the connected storyline of the series. Every character in this final season reaches not only an emotional climax in their character arc, but there is a clear evolution on each character’s mental stability. That theme comes forward in the final episode. Try not to cry during that final episode, I dare you — it takes the audience through an emotional and mental ride where we are left not knowing the station we end up at. But those interpretations are puzzles to be put together. – 4.5/5

5. The Boys – The characters this season seem as though they are facilitated by the actors in a way where the viewer can believe the over-the-top violence and the relatively soap opera type drama with the development of Homelander with his son. Then there is there is also the fan favorite addition with Jensen Ackles being added as Soldier Boy, and the twist at the end of the season. This show is self-aware of how over-the-top it is while paying respect to the comic series by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. If you missed out on this season of The Boys, then you are left out in the dark the same as Frenchie (Tomer Capone), you’re gonna hate that you missed “Herogasm.” Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) and Hughie (Jack Quaid) try to level the playing field in an explosive way. This season like the others are hyper-action, with heart and political commentary that is relevant. – 4/5

Honorable Mentions: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Paper Girls, Halo, Wednesday, Tales of the Jedi, Andor, Sonic Prime, Severance, Moon Knight, She-Hulk, Peacemaker, The Umbrella Academy, The House of the Dragon, The White Lotus, Barry, Yellowjackets, The Bear, Shenmue, The After Party, Reservation Dogs.

-Frank Simonian

“Great Rao” Bass @kidtimebomb

Honorable Mention: Euphoria, The Rehearsal, Peacemaker, Andor, Yellowstone/1923, Hacks, Stranger Things, The Boys, Kenobi, The Book of Boba Fett (last two episodes), The Umbrella Academy, House of the Dragon, Ozark, Barry, Interview with the Vampire, The White Lotus, What We Do in the Shadows, Abbott Elementary, Wednesday, Under the Banner of Heaven, Search Party, Harley Quinn, Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk: Attorney At Law.

5. *TIE* – Severance (Season 1)/The Bear (Season ) – What we have here are a pair of opening seasons that laid waste to the landscape, crashing forth fully formed with no learning curve or course-correction in sight, just shattering glory from the first frame, though it takes us all a few episodes just to gather our bearings enough to understand what’s been even happening to us already…

Severance manages to be both a labyrinthine and claustrophobic corporate-cubicle-dystopian nightmare that the viewer never wants to wake up from. It gives us the instantly addictive character-based beats and grinding tempo of early Lost while hurdling over that all that intensive character-based first-season groundwork right into all the Dharma-Initiative-type conspiracy-theory madness just right from the jump. Adam Scott gives a pair of impressive performances as the two Marks, the entire crew is slamming (Tramell Tillman’s Seth Milchick surging to win the day even over incendiary performances by honestly never better John Turturro & Christopher Walken), but nothing can beat the simmering-to-explosive narrative structure of that finale. As thunderous as I have ever seen. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Full transparency, I just watched the last two episodes of The Bear an hour ago and am still barely able to navigate spatial distance and even almost words, so here’s hoping. This show slashes out like a blinding bolt from the blue. I only recognize this guy Christopher Storer’s name from directing choice episodes of Ramy, but I strongly suspect two things: he grew up around Chicago, probably I bet a suburb, and he spent his late teens or early twenties working in one of those kitchens because I’ve never seen a more spot-on depiction/dramatization of what it’s like when the orders keep coming in and the food starts running out and the hollers from the stations build and build, the livewire heat cooking not only the food but all of us at once in that great big room, simmering the collective into something like family. Jeremy Allen White keeps winning everything, and deservedly, but it’s a very deep bench, a wonderful ensemble. By the third episode, I couldn’t stop breaking my own no-talking rule and kept hollering to my wife, “I love this show!” like it continued to be breaking news. Thank you, Chef. – Both 5/5

4. The Sandman (Season 1) – I have so much heart and emotion invested in this narrative from finally catching all the way up with the Gaiman trades in that tumultuous summer of 1995 in just enough time to buy the last six issues of this series off the rack that on that first week of this last August in the year of 2022, when Sunday broke into Monday sunrise, and we were all scheduled to load up on Friday, The Sandman brought to us by Netflix & Our Neil, my insides were wracked with turmoil and distress. Stomach hurt so bad just driving my little girl to school that morning. This could not be a near-miss. Or even approaching average. Like a proper Fantastic Four movie, like a translation of Kirby’s Fourth World, the only acceptable adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s resonant mythos first dreamed in 1987 would have to be one of the greatest shows of all time. Tom Sturridge’s Dream immediately takes his place in the pantheon of timeless iconic comic-book adaptation castings, our old friends Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark, D’Onofrio as Kingpin, Robbie as Harley Quinn, Stewart’s Charles Francis Xavier, and first and greatest, Reeve as Kal-El, never-ending. – 5/5

3. Reservation Dogs (Season 2) – This first season was Top 3 for me of 2021, and the show continues to abide upon a plane unto itself. Sterling Harjo and the writers, but most of all the entire devastating ensemble, conjure this wild and relentless pulse that threatens to careen us all over the edge at every single commercial break. I finally at last tested + for pretty heavy COVID 9/14/22, the day of the eighth episode, “Big & Kenny Boy’s Adventure in the Woods”, and watching it that night, as deranged as I was feeling all by myself and then what was happening on the screen, it was all a tremendous comfort. Oh, and but the finale. They could just shut it down now, and this would be one of my favorite shows of all time. – 5/5

2. Atlanta (Season 4) – Donald Glover announced ahead of premiere that he was aiming for this series to be “the black Twin Peaks,” a statement that I found incredibly audacious on multiple levels, but if he didn’t convince you of exactly that through the first season, he and LaKeith Stanfield got you halfway through the second with old Teddy Jenkins. Equal parts hyperrealistic to the point of soul-crushing and then surreal to the point of sanity-challenging, this show’s final season never stopped accelerating, molting, changing into whatever it wanted to be that week, maintaining from last season’s increasingly frequent urge to outright dump the entire brilliant cast for the episode and just tell anthology “black fairy tales,” scathing satirical send-ups of the answer to the question This Is America?

1. Better Call Saul (Season 6) – What can you say. From the beginning, Gilligan & Odenkirk and everybody else in front of and behind the camera charged in as hard again, aggressively posing the not-terribly-implicit question “What if the prequel to one of the greatest dramas on television was actually better than that greatest drama on television?” and then proceeded to profoundly escalate the narrative stakes every single season to such an extent that by the sixth time out, honestly the second episode of that last batch could have been the series finale and would have been Top 5 Series Finales of all time. And added Carol Burnett.

This is the sort of television program where even if you don’t care for the genre or lack the context of the previous six seasons or the upcoming five seasons from the original show that started happening thirteen years ago, the sheer technical craft in every montage will still take your breath away. Odenkirk & Seehorn go down in history as one of the great lightning-chemistry on-screen couples of all time, and Vince Gilligan actually lands a more perfect series finale than his last perfect series finale, this time letting us all know that poor dear Jimmy McGill–it’s all good, man–was not only one of the most complex, conflicted, and deeply mined protagonists we’ve ever been fortunate enough to watch grow into the person he could never avoid becoming, he was also a damn good lawyer.

-Rob Bass

Bobby Bexar

We were blessed with so much great television programming this year that compiling this list was just impossible. I am about 90% sure that I am missing some things. While some shows on my honorable mention could easily have made this list, I tried to make it as diverse as possible. Case in point, Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk could have both landed in the 5 spot.

5. Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty – Although Winning Time was beset with controversy from the start, whether it was its accuracy of history or the fact that it ended Adam McKay and Will Ferrell‘s friendship, the acting was excellent. Pairing Quincy Isaiah as Magic Johnson with John C. Reilly as Jerry Buss was Kismet. Like every other show on here, I’m very excited to see what they do for Season 2. – 4/5

4. Interview with a VampireSam Reid’s ‘Lestat’ and Jacob Anderson ‘Louis’ brought such life to Anne Rice’s story that it’s almost hard to separate reality from fiction. The way that AMC was able to bring this show to life with such an amazing vibrance is remarkable. Now give me Season 2 now!! – 4.25/5

3. House of the Dragon – To quote Tyrion: “if you came here seeking justice, you’ve come to the wrong place.” The way that Game of Thrones ended left many people reeling, but whereas Benioff and Weiss leaned away from the books, House of the Dragon leans into the books in the best kind of way. Who knew that great acting and great writing combined with being faithful to the books would reinvigorate the Game of Thrones fan base? – 4.5/5

2. Star Wars Andor – When Andor was first announced, I got excited. Rogue One is possibly one of the best movies in the Star Wars catalog and established Cassion Andor as a complex character. While this is a fantastic show, I didn’t get sucked into it until I let the episodes build up and I was able to binge it. To put it in comic book terms, this show actually works better as a Graphic Novel than a weekly series. – 4.75/5

1. Severance – THIS SHOW!! This show blew my mind in all the best ways possible. Ben Stiller might actually be a better director than an actor. That isn’t a knock, but he did some great things with this show. Adam Scott, Zach Cherry, Britt Lower, Tramell Tilman, Dichen Lachman, John Turturro, Christopher Walken, and Patricia Arquette play dual roles brilliantly. With the writing as amazing as it is, it is only a matter of time before Emmy nominees become Emmy winners. – 5/5

Honorable Mention: The Boys, Reservation Dogs, Ms. Marvel, The Peripheral, She-hulk, Dead to Me, Rings of Power, Obi-wan, Superman and Lois, Cabinet of Curiosities, What We Do in the Shadows, Moon Knight, Stranger Things.

-Bobby Bexar