It's the end of another year, and the Cheddar staff has looked back on its picks throughout 2022 to bring you a best-of list you might want to peruse as we head into 2023 this weekend!
Your Honor - Showtime
Picked by Reporter Lawrence Banton
After taking a long look back at my streaming picks for the year, I've decided that Bryan Cranston in Showtime's Your Honor was easily one of my favorite watches of the year. And clearly I wasn't alone in that thought. What was expected to be just a one-and-done limited series, it received rave reviews, and the network decided to expand the story for a second season. Cranston plays a judge who gets twisted up in covering for a murder committed by someone very close to him. It's a wild ride that ended in what some might call sweet justice, but it's very obvious vengeance will play a part in the continuing season.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre - Netflix
By Reporter Alex Vuocolo
Forgive me, but I think the critically derided Texas Chainsaw Massacre reboot on Netflix was one of the most satisfying horror flicks of the year. After more than two decades of disappointing sequels, prequels, reboots, and reimaginings, this nasty piece of exploitation cinema felt like a return to form for the franchise. As I wrote earlier this year, it's not for everyone. It's mean-spirited, disgusting, and frankly a little ridiculous. But the plot rips like a chainsaw, and the horror sequences are genuinely intense and assaultive, which for me hearkened back to the kind of Grand Guignol-style mania that made the original TCM a classic of the genre.
Old Enough - Netflix
Picked by Sr. News Editor Dina Ross
When you wake up Sunday morning after ringing in the New Year, I recommend you check out Old Enough (if you haven't yet). Each quick episode follows a young Japanese child off to do their first out-of-home chore. The show has subtitles, but even if that isn't normally your thing, the announcer's enthusiastic play-by-play in Japanese is fun and funny. The show is sweet as can be, and I'm comfortable with sharing this spoiler: each episode has a happy ending, which is just the thing we deserve to start a new year.
Andor - Disney+
Picked by Digital Editor Mike Nam
A prequel to a Star Wars prequel? When Disney announced the origin story of Cassian Andor, a character in the Death Star plans heist flick Rogue One, I admit that I wasn't particularly interested. BUT, after having seen the entirety of Season 1, this was the show that drew me in the most during 2022. To me, it's the first time anything Star Wars-related could be considered "prestige" by TV industry gatekeepers. Ignoring much of the brand's mythos (i.e., space wizards with laser swords), Andor tells the story of how a regular, angry young man with few prospects finds himself devoted to the cause of revolution. It examines the messiness of rebellion, the infighting and political drama of revolutionaries, and truly gets into the banality of evil and oppression while living under a fascist regime. Folks complain about how the series is a slow burn, but the ratcheting tension seems necessary to get across what Stellan Skarsgård's character Luthen Rael tries to explain to Cassian: "The Empire is choking us so slowly, we're starting not to notice."
Our Flag Means Death - HBO Max
Picked by Newsletter Writer Graison Dangor
As the third year of a pandemic, 2022 was not the ideal time to make new friends — not that it's ever easy to do that as an adult. Watching other men try was part of what drew me (subconsciously at first) to Our Flag Means Death, the HBO Max series about a group of 18th-century wannabe pirates led by the endearingly soft and inept Stede Bonnet, the so-called Gentleman Pirate, who left his estate for a life of adventure. It's a delightful, goofy, and surprisingly touching show that has, blessedly, survived the HBO cancellations to receive a second season, which just wrapped filming.