A list of 50 most exciting TV shows to stream this year
The rise in popularity of streaming services during the pandemic era has resulted in a steady increase in content being produced by major platforms. 2022 looks set to continue in a similar vein with several popular shows returning with new seasons and brand new TV shows announced in the hopes of finding success. The following is a list of the most anticipated shows of the upcoming year. The list is a mix of critically acclaimed shows, as well as highly anticipated adaptations of popular stories from video games, novels, graphic novels, and films.
1. The Last of Us
When HBO announced that a TV series based on Sony’s hit video game by Naughty Dog, The Last Us, the gaming fraternity erupted in joy. The games, The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part II, have redefined storytelling and if HBO can recreate it with some of the elements that made the games so popular, then fans of the franchise can rest assured that Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey will do their roles justice as Joel and Elle.
2. The Ted Lasso season 3
The multiple Emmy Award series is the crown jewel of streaming service Apple+. It was almost inconceivable that of all of their expensively produced shows that a TV series born out of a TV commercial would be Apple TV+’s flagship series ahead of The Morning Show, See, Dickinson, Foundation, Finding Jacob, and Invasion. After two successful seasons of laughs, tears, joy, and disappointment, Ted Lasso and AFC Richmond will return to take the Premier League by storm. With Apple having negotiated licensing rights with the Premier League, season three is likely to be bigger and better with some of the heavyweights of English football finally featuring in the show.
3. House of the Dragon
Despite the mixed reception the final season of Game of Thrones received, there could be no arguments that it was a global phenomenon unlike any other TV series ever created. The first five seasons in particular is the pinnacle of television. House of the Dragon is set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones focusing on House Targaryen. The series stars Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, and Rhys Ifans in prominent roles.
4. Peaky Blinders season 6
The highly anticipated sixth season of BBC’s British crime drama is set to release next year. Unlike seasons one to four, the fifth season ended in a cliffhanger - a departure from its series’ conventional end to a season. There are also not many details given on how the show will address the tragic death of actress Helen McCrory who played Polly Gray, the matriarch of the Peaky Blinders. The sixth season is likely to be set closer to World War II, with Cillian Murphy’s Tommy Shelby almost guaranteed to be in the thick of it - politically at the very least.
5. The Lord of the Rings
J R R Tolkien’s iconic novels were adapted into the critically acclaimed film trilogy by Peter Jackson. It was followed up by the Hobbit trilogy, which may have failed to live up to the lofty standards set by the original trilogy, but nevertheless were successes in their own right. More recently Amazon announced that a prequel to the books and films will be released in 2022.
6. The Mandalorian season 3
The series was the first Disney+ original programming on the streaming platform when the TV series was released in 2019. The series follows the adventures of Mandalorian, the bounty hunter played by Pedro Pascal. The series created by Jon Favreau has become one of the most popular TV shows in recent times. The third season is set to premiere in 2022 on Disney+ Hotstar.
Fan -Favourite Ewan Mcgregor and Hayden Christensen are set to reprise their roles as Obi-Wan-Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker in the upcoming Dsiney+ original series. The series will be a sequel to Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, the prequel Star Wars trilogy. The series will also star Joel Edgerton, Kumail Nanjiani, and Indira Varma in important roles
8. Stranger Things season 4
One of Netflix’s biggest hits is set to return for a fourth season with more thrills and spills. The heroes will have greater threats to overcome and the showrunner, the Duffer brothers, has promised fans the season will be the biggest yet.
9. The Sandman
Neil Gaiman’s iconic graphic novel, The Sandman, a New York Times Bestseller, has finally landed its much deserved live-action adaptation. The fantasy series will focus on Morpheus, the king of dreams as well the seven members of the Endless. The series stars Tom Sturridge as Morpheus and Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer.
10. The Boys season 3
Amazon Prime’s hit ‘anti-superhero’ series The Boys is returning for the third season. The series starring Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Laz Alonso, Tomer Capon, Karen Fukuhara, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, and Dominique McElligott in lead roles, was universally acclaimed for its gripping narrative, fast-paced action, dark comedy, and relevant themes. The second season ended with a shocking revelation, and the upcoming season will feature new characters including Jensen Ackles as Soldier Boy and Laurie Holden as Crimson Countess.
11. Killing Eve season 4
The espionage thriller series features Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh. In a cat-and-mouse chase, Oh’s Eve follows serial killer Villanelle (Comer). Belonging to the British intelligence service MI5, Eve’s adventures with the unhinged and notorious assassin comes to its final season this year. With Sex Education’s Laura Neal taking the reins of showrunner, the fourth and final season will see Eve’s relationship with Villanelle transform into something more dangerous than the earlier love-hate equation. The show, like its preceding seasons, is expected to drop in spring on Amazon Prime Video.
This Disney+ series will be a sequel to 1988’s Willow. Warwick Davis reprises his role as Willow Ufgood, the Nelwyn dwarf. The fantasy series follows a princess who gathers a group to accompany her on her search for her twin brother. The cast of the series will include Erin Kellyman, Ellie Bamber, Tony Revolori, Ruby Cruz, and Amer Chadha-Patel, among others. The show will be helmed by Harry Potter second-unit director Stephen Woolfenden. The makers of Willow are yet to announce the release date of the show.
13. Ms Marvel
This particular character’s addition to the MCU was slated for late 2021, but will now release this year. Following the life and adventures of Pakistani-American teenager Kamala Khan (newcomer Iman Vellani) as she heads for Jersey City, Ms Marvel could well be the first of the young superheroes. This could also bode well for a probable Young Avengers spin-off. Creators Bisha K. Ali, with Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Batgirl) also take on directorial reigns for this one. This series is expected to drop on Disney+ sometime during the middle of this year.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón (Roma) will direct Cate Blanchett and Kevin Kline in this upcoming series. Cuarón has also co-written Disclaimer. The series is set to follow known journalist Catherine Ravenscroft, who was famous for making television documentaries. Disclaimer will follow the events after a widower publishes a book on Ravenscroft, revealing all her secrets. The release date for this much-awaited series is yet to be announced.
15. Secret Invasion
Secret Invasion takes forward the storyline from the S.H.I.E.L.D. narrative and could also be a continuation of the Skrulls storyline from the ending of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Possibly one of the most anticipated series backed by Marvel this year, Secret Invasion may also give an insight into Nick Fury’s status. Fury’s alliance with S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Skrulls may even lead to the formation of yet another post-S.H.I.E.L.D. force (SWORD). While Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, and Cobie Smulders reprise their roles in the MCU, new additions include Olivia Colman, Emilia Clarke, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Killian Scott, Christopher McDonald, and Carmen Ejogo. The series is likely to hit Disney+ in the fall this year.
16. Inventing Anna
Based on Jessica Pressler’s New York Magazine article titled How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People, this Netflix series charts the life of a con woman of Russian descent. Creator Shonda Rhimes picks up the story of Anna Sorokin, who feigned her identity as Anna Delvey for five years (from 2013 to 2017). Sorokin, through her fake socialite status, successfully conned her way through the New York rich and elite. She was infamously convicted with several accounts of grand larceny. The series will feature Julia Garner (Ozark) as the protagonist. Other cast members include Anna Chlumsky, Anna Deavere Smith, Laverne Cox, Terry Kinney, Jennifer Esposito, and Anders Holm. The Devil Wears Prada’s David Frankel takes on directorial responsibilities. The series is set to premiere on February 11 on Netflix.
17. The Afterparty
The Apple TV+ murder mystery comes from Academy Award winners Chris Miller and Phil Lord. The series, also being billed as a comedy, follows a high school reunion where each member reminisces about the fated night. Each episode takes on the point of view of one member. The cast for The Afterparty includes Tiffany Haddish, Sam Richardson, Ben Schwartz, Ike Barinholtz, Ilana Glazer, Dave Franco, and John Early among others. The series, consisting of eight episodes, is expected to drop on Apple TV+ on January 28.
This series met with an ambiguous fate on multiple occasions with frequent halts in filming schedules (in early 2020) and shootings spread across multiple locations. The Apple TV+ series follows a heroin addict and a bank thief who makes his way to India after escaping from Australia. Featuring Charlie Hunnam, Shantaram will be helmed by Justin Kurzel (with Bharat Nalluri and Iain B. MacDonald). The makers of the series are yet to announce the release date (especially considering filming resumed only in 2021), but it’s likely to be by the end of 2022.
19. Russian Doll season 2
Netflix’s popular 2019 series is all set to get its sequel this year. The time-loop show, that took global audiences by storm, comes from creators Leslye Headland, Amy Poehler, and Natasha Lyonne (who also features in the series). The production for the sequel began in March 2021, after the shooting schedules were pushed due to the pandemic. Russian Doll garnered immense praise on its release, even picking up four Emmy nominations for the year (which included Outstanding Comedy Series). The makers are yet to announce the release date for the series.
20. Love and Death
Big Little Lies creator David E Kelley launches a new crime drama featuring Elizabeth Olsen, Lily Rabe, Jesse Plemons, Patrick Fugit, Keir Gilchrist, Elizabeth Marvel, Tom Pelphrey, and Krysten Ritter. The series follows the real-life story of homemaker Candy Montgomery (played by Olsen) who hacked her friend Betty Gore (Rabe) to death with an axe in 1980 Texas. The release date for this HBO Max series is yet to be announced.
21. The Midnight Club
Mike Flanagan comes up with yet another anticipated gem with this one. After his successful collaboration with Netflix on The Haunting of Hill House, Bly Manor and Midnight Mass, Flanagan adapts The Midnight Club from Christopher Pike’s novel of the same name. The series will feature seven debutants as seven terminally ill youngsters who spend their final days in hospice. They gather every night to share horror stories and promise to communicate with another even beyond the grave. Things turn awry when the promise is actually fulfilled by one of them. The series creators are yet to announce a release date for this one.
22. Ozark season 4
Netflix had earlier announced that Ozark would have its finale season this year. The fourth season will premiere on the streaming platform in two parts. This move seems a purposeful one from the makers, considering there were several plotlines that needed to come to a resolution in the previous instalments. Featuring Jason Bateman as Marty and Laura Linney as Wendy Bryde, Ozark season 4 is expected to premiere on Netflix on January 21.
23. Shadow and Bone season 2
Though the much-hyped first instalment met with mixed reviews, Shadow and Bone creators are sure to drop a sequel to this 2021 American fantasy series. Based on Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo, the series is being developed by Eric Heisserer. The spin-off is expected to be based on Siege and Storm and will consist of eight episodes (like its preceding one). The series featuring Jessie Mei Li, Archie Renaux, Freddy Carter and Amita Suman among others, has not officially got a release date yet.
24. What We Do in the Shadows season 4
Nadja, Nandor the Relentless, Laszlo Cravensworth are returning for a fourth season of the hit vampire mockumentary series What We Do in the Shadows. Based on Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s 2014 film of the same name, the show first premiered in 2019, and centred around the lives of three traditional and one energy vampires, as they try to navigate the ways of the modern world. Season 3 ended with the vampires Nadja, Nandor and Laszlo in different parts of the world. Guillermo, Nando’s familiar, ends up with Nadja in London, whereas Colin, the energy-zapping vampire, is reborn. While not many details are available on the upcoming season, Nadja actress Natasia Demetricu confirmed that the pandemic will not be featured in the series. Other than Natasia, Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, Harvey Guillén, and Mark Proksch, will also return to reprise their roles.
25. Bridgeton season 2
Netflix confirmed the sophomore season of its fun and frothy period drama Bridgeton in January last year, less than a month after its debut on the platform. The second season is set to release on March 23 and will revolve around the narrative arc of Daphne’s brother Anthony. Sex Education star Simone Ashley has been cast alongside Jonathan Bailey, who essays the part of Anthony. But fans are brokenhearted because series favourite Regé-Jean Page won’t be returning to reprise his role as Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings on the show.
26. Sweet Tooth season 2
The Robert Downey-produced dystopian series, based on the comic book by Jeff Lemire, arrived on Netflix in June last year. With a cherub-like human-deer hybrid protagonist at its centre, the show found immediate success with viewers. Featuring Nonso Anozie, Christian Convery, Adeel Akhtar, and Stefania LaVie Owen, the first instalment introduced viewers to a world set in a post-apocalyptic future where a viral pandemic has wiped out most of human population. It also sees the birth of animal-human hybrid babies. The new season will consist of eight hour-long episodes and will chart our protagonist, Gus’ journey towards finding her mother in Alaska.
27. Umbrella Academy season 3
Netflix superhero series The Umbrella Academy will also return this year for the third time. The makers unveiled the character posters of the main cast on January 1, indicating that the show will be premiering in the coming months. Boasting a cast of Elliot Page, Tom Hopper, Mary J. Blige, John Magaro, Adam Godley, Marin Ireland and Kate Walsh, among others, the first season shed light into a family of adopted superhero siblings, who solve their differences in order to uncover the truth behind their father’s death and protect humanity from an imminent apocalypse.
28. Florida Man
Edgar Ramírez is all set to lead an eight-episode series from Netflix titled Florida Man. In the show, the actor will play a former cop who returns to his hometown in Florida to investigate the case of a runaway woman. The series also stars Anthony LaPaglia, Abbey Lee and Clark Gregg, among others. The makers have roped in Miguel Arteta to steer the pilot and the second episode of the show, which he will also executive produce.
29. God’s Favorite Idiot
Netflix’s comedy library will expand by one more show this year, from Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy, who star as well as executive produce God’s Favorite Idiot. This workplace comedy, which also dabbles in fantasy, revolves around two colleagues who fall in love with earth other, but one of them unwittingly becomes a messenger of God. God’s Favorite Idiot will be helmed by Michael McDonald, and will consist of 16 episodes.
Tim Burton is helming an Addams Family spinoff centred around Wednesday Addams, which has been titled Wednesday. The show was announced back in February last year, with a first look showing Wednesday Addams’ silhouette playing the cello using a knife. Jenna Ortega will take on the part of the lead on the series, described by the makers as “a sleuthing, supernaturally infused mystery charting Wednesday Addams’ years as a student at Nevermore Academy.” Catherine Zeta-Jones and Luis Guzmán will make cameo appearances as Wednesday’s parents, Morticia and Gomez, in the eight-episode show.
31. Kings of America
After Don’t Look Up, Adam McKay is directing another Netflix project, this time, a limited series titled Kings of America. Created by Jess Kimball Leslie, Kings of America will follow three women and their connection to retail giant Walmart. Amy Adams will reunite with her Vice director to play one of the protagonists. She is also executive producing the series.
32. Man vs Bee
In December last year, Netflix announced it is collaborating with British comedy legend Rowan Atkinson, for a new show titled Man vs. Bee. Penned by Atkinson’s Johnny English collaborator William Davies, the 10-episode series, with every episode of 10 minutes, will be directed by Johnny English Strikes Again helmer David Kerr. Netflix has described the show as a battle between a man who is housesitting a mansion and a bee.
33. Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story
American Horror Story creator is returning to develop a new show based on the life of Jeffrey Dahmer, one of the most notorious serial killers in history, who murdered and dismembered as many as 17 men and boys between 1978 to 1991. In popular culture, he has been dubbed Milwaukee Cannibal or the Milwaukee Monster, because he was also accused of cannibalism and necrophilia. Murphy will be penning show 10-episode limited series along with Ratched's Ian Brennan and Lucifer's David McMillan. Evan Peters will play the role of the serial killer, whereas Richard Jenkins and Penelope Ann Miller will play his parents. Mindhunter director Carl Franklin and Pose director Janet Mock are also on board the project as directors.
34. How I Met Your Father
Over seven years after the end of How I Met Your Mother, a spinoff show titled How I Met Your Father, starring Hillary Duff, is now waiting to arrive. The show is premiering on Hulu on January 18, but there is still no news regarding whether the show will premiere in India too. The pilot will be steered by Pam Fryman, the HIMYM director who directed as many as 196 episodes of the original series. The series will follow Duff’s character, who narrates to her son the events that led up to her meeting his father. Sex and the City alum Kim Cattrall will play a future version of Duff’s protagonist.
35. Only Murders in the Building 2
After the roaring success of its first season, there is considerable hype around the second season of Only Murders In the Building, which is currently being filmed. The first season, starring Selena Gomez, Martin Short, and Steve Martin as true-crime fans and amateur detectives, ended with a massive cliffhanger with the death of building manager Bunny. The show’s creator John Hoffman has indicated that the second season will delve into the history of the titular building, named Arconia. Tina Fey, who guest-starred in the first season, is likely to have a longer role this time around.
John Cena will return as the diabolical anti-hero, Peacemaker, in the upcoming HBO Max original series. Jennifer Holland and Steve Agee will also reprise their roles from James Gunn’s 2021 film, The Suicide Squad. The show will be an R-rated action-packed black comedy in typical James Gunn fashion and will feature new characters such as Adrian Chase/Vigilante (Freddie Stroma). James Gunn serves as executive-producer for the show
37. Kansas City
Acclaimed filmmaker and actor, Tyler Sheridan, famed for helming the Yellowstone TV series and films such as Wind River, is set to expand on the Yellowstone universe after Mayor of Eastown and 1883. Kansas City will focus on an Italian mobster from New York, played by Sylvester Stallone, who relocates to Kansas and attempts to rebuild his criminal empire.
Arguably one of the most popular video game franchises in the world, Halo, is finally getting its live-action adaptation. The WIre actor Pablo Schreiber will don the suit of the famous Master Chief while Natascha McElhone from Californication will play Dr Catherine Elizabeth Halsey. The series is helmed by Kyle Killen and Steven Kane.
The creators of popular comedy-drama series GLOW, Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, are returning with yet another female-centric series titled, Roar. The series will be a black comedy anthology following the lives of women and their perceptions. GLOW stars Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin have returned to work with Flahive and Mensch. Acting legends Nicole Kidman, Cynthia Erivo also join the cast along with Merritt Wever, Kara Hayward, Fivel Stewart, and Meera Syal. The series will be an Apple TV+ original and is based on a collection of short stories by Cecelia Ahern.
The Disney conveyor belt of Marvel content doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon as 2022 is packed with more Marvel content. She-Hulk is an upcoming series that focuses on Jennifer Walters aka She-Hulk, who possess the same abilities as Dr Bruce Banner/Hulk. Tim Roth will reprise his role as Emil Blonsky/Abomination from the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk. Even though Edward Norton played Hulk in the 2008 film, he was recast by Mark Ruffalo for the rest of the MCU films, so Ruffalo will be returning as the Hulk for this series.
The iconic 90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air which propelled Will Smith to superstardom is getting a reboot in 2022. But unlike its predecessor, it is set to be a darker version and will focus on themes such as race and discrimination. The series was conceived after the success of a 2019 short film by Morgan Cooper about a reimagined dramatic tale about the events from the original show. Will Smith’s character, also named Will Smith in the show, will be played by Jabari Banks.
42. Masters of the Air
The creators of Band of Brothers and The Pacific, are back with yet another war drama mini-series. The story is set during World War II and will focus on the Eighth Air Force of the US Army Air Forces. The series will be an Apple TV+ original after HBO decided not to move forward with the project. The series will be directed by No Time to Die and True Detective director Cary Joji Fukunaga, while Steven Speilberg and Tom Hanks will serve as executive producers.
Patricia Highsmith’s most iconic character, Tom Ripley, from her famous novels, is set for yet another live-action adaptation. Andrew Scott, who played Moriarty in Sherlock, will take on the role of the con artist and serial killer, Tom Ripley. The character was previously portrayed by renowned actors such as Alain Delon, Dennis Hopper, John Malkovich, and Matt Damon. Dakota Fanning will play the role of Marg Sherwood, previously played by Gywneth Paltrow in the 1999 film, The Talented Mr Ripley starring Damon and Jude Law.
44. Barry season 3
The dark comedy series, Barry, is returning for a third season. Created by Alec Berg and Bill Hader, the story focuses on a hitman named Barry Berkman, played by Hader, who rethinks his life choices while on a job in Los Angeles. The series, starring Henry Winkler and Sarah Goldberg, has been renewed for a fourth season by HBO.
45. Moon Knight
Oscar Issac is set to bring Marvel character, Marc Spector/Moon Knight, to life. The live-action adaptation will be a mini-series with Jeremy Slater working as showrunner with Mohammed Diab as lead director. The Disney+ original series will be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and will also feature May Calamawy and Ethan Hawke in important roles.
46. Dead Ringers
Acclaimed writer Alice Birch, who was behind the critically acclaimed BBC show, Normal People, will be in charge of creative for the upcoming series. Rachel Weiz will play the lead as The Mantle Twins in a double role. The series is an Amazon Prime original and will focus on the twins who aim to revolutionise the way women give birth. It is a remake of the 80s cult classic film starring Jeremy Irons.
47. Slow Horses
Gary Oldman is set to play the lead in a spy thriller titled, Slow Horses. The series is an Apple TV + original is helmed by British crime novelist Mick Herron and will star Olivia Cooke and Jonathan Pryce in key roles. The series focuses on a disgraced MI5 spy who seeks redemption.
The comedy series Dollface is set to return for a second season. The series stars Kat Dennings in the lead as a woman who has been dumped by her longtime boyfriend and must come to terms with her new reality. Her journey of self-discovery as she attempts to rekindle forgotten relationships makes the crux of the story.
49. Daisy Jones & The Six
The upcoming mini-series is set in the 70s and is based on the book Taylor Jenkins Reid. The Amazon Prime Original series focuses on a documentary-style narrative that tells the tale of a rock band. The series stars Riley Keough, Sam Claflin, and Camila Morrone in lead roles. The story is inspired by Jenkins Reid own account of following Fleetwood Mac,
50. Fleishman Is In Trouble
Fleishman Is In Trouble based on a book of the same name, by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, follows the life of Toby Fleishman, Jesse Eisenberg, who is recently divorced after 15 years of marriage. He struggles with his new life but rekindles his friendship with Libby played by Lizzy Caplan. Brodesser-Akner will serve as the lead writer for the series.
Inputs by Ryan Gomez, Shreya Paul, and Pratishruti Ganguly