My Top TV Programmes of 2022

I love watching a good TV series, so here are my favourite TV programmes from this year.

As you’ll see from below, I am addicted to foreign series too, which I often watch on Walter Presents.

Starting with my no. 1 favourite

The English BBC2 and Amazon Prime

Written and directed by Hugo Blick, this is the story of a women who seeks revenge on a man she sees as responsible for the death of her son.

Emily Blunt plays Lady Cornelia Locke who arrives in the US and is immediately set upon by greedy, violent criminals, played by Toby Jones and Ciaran Hinds.

As she falls at the feet of Ciaran Hinds, she sees a beaten man hanging several feet away from her. This is Eli Whipp, (Chaske Spencer), a Pawnee ex-cavalry scout.  Now the war is over, he intends to get his promised land from the government he has fought for, even though he knows that it is very unlikely.

Cornelia and Eli make an unlikely alliance, and the story follows them through a journey, which at times is extremely violent, at others a wonderful exchange of rich dialogue. 

The music used throughout was used beautifully, and there are some breath-taking sequences of the amazing backdrop of the US landscape.

This is a Western about outsiders, made by an outsider. There are obvious influences of Sergio Leone and the Spaghetti Westerns of the past, which can also be heard in the music of the theme tune.

I love this so much, that I watched it twice. Once on my own, and then again, when my husband watched it, and I could re-watch it again.

Das Boot (subtitled) Sky

I was very late coming to watch this. Produced in 1981, this is a West German film, written and directed by Wolfgang Petersen. Part of the reason I started to watch this was, I’d been reading a book about the sinking of the Lusitania (as research), and was intrigued to watch it.

Instantly, I became hooked on the story. The main thing for me was the horror of being trapped under the water in the submarine, which was basically a tomb for those men when they sank beneath a depth where there was no coming back.

The story-line drew me in so well, and even though during the war, the German’s were our enemy, you couldn’t help but have empathy for the submariners as they had to sit and wait for death, as their air ran out.

I watched all four series with fascination and interest. The acting and the storyline was second to none.

Babylon Berlin (subtitled) Sky

Another German production, with subtitles, in which I got totally engrossed.  The fourth season has just ended, and I can’t wait for the next.

The main character of the story is Inspector Gereon Rath, who is transferred to Berlin from Cologne for a mission where he unravels dark secrets during his investigation of a highly confidential racket of pornography.

It is the story of the political developments leading from the Weimar Republic to the spread of National Socialism.  However, that makes it sound very heavy stuff, which it certainly isn’t.  There is a great mixture of the political changing landscape set against everyday lives with a lot of twists and turns in the plot line.

There are some fantastic set pieces, particularly when the main character and his lover, Charlotte Ritter visit the decadent night clubs of the time. The use music and dancing are a real feature of the programme for me.

Sherwood BBC one

This is a drama based on real-life events, exploring post-Brexit Britain.

With an amazing cast – David, Morrissey, Robert Glenister, Lesley Manville, Joanne Froggatt and Alun Armstrong, it is set in a Nottinghamshire mining village.

Morrissey – Detective Ian St Clair, investigates two shocking and unexpected killings, which have shattered the community – already fractured through divisions during the miners’ strike, an issue that still hangs in the air, years later.

The acting was superb and the story believable and engaging. An excellent series that I could re-watch over and over.

Tokyo Vice  BBC iPlayer

An American crime drama series, a first, filmed completely in Japan.  Based on the book of the same name, written by Jake Adelstein, a reporter who became the first ever foreigner to get a job as a reporter at Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper. 

Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver and Westside Story), plays Adelstein and Japanese actor, Ken Watanabe (Memoirs of a Geisha and The Last Samurai) play police detective Hiroto Katagiri. The cast is a mixture of American and Japanese actors. Elgort learnt to speak Japanese for the show, which is no mean feat.

Once he gets the job at the newspaper, Adelstein gets into the Tokyo Vice police squad and he delves into the underbelly of Tokyo crime, mixing with members of the Yakuza. It’s a violent story, well written and acted, following the often-unorthodox ways that he gets his leads.  Taken under the wing of Katagiri, he beings to investigate the death of a foreign prostitute, which brings him into contact with Shinzo Tozawa, the local crime boss.

This first series ends on a cliff hanger, so there must be a follow up!

The White Lotus Series 1 and 2 Sky Atlantic; Amazon Prime; Apple TV

This is the lightest watch of my top programmes – it’s a black comedy-drama. 

Both series are based around a luxury holiday resort chain, White Lotus.  The first series is based in Hawaii and the second in Taormina, Sicily.  In both series there is a murder but you don’t know who has been murdered until the last episode.

The stories follow the guests and employees of the hotels over the course of a week, on what is supposed to be a relaxing vacation. It is sexy, funny, with interesting characters, and some amazing performances. However, it filmed by HBO, who seem far happier to film anything sexual than any other US station, so not a programme for those easily offended!

In the first series Murray Bartlett (Australian actor), portrays the resort manager as a man on the edge, brilliantly.  In the second series there is the gorgeous Theo James (Sanditon and The Time Travellers Wife) to feast your eyes on! Can’t wait for season 3.

What have you enjoyed watching this year?