2022 has been an amazing year for television. While our cinemas still seem to be recovering slowly from the effects of the global pandemic, in television we seem to have found their natural successor. With the rapid growth of streaming services, we have seen studios focus their attention on producing seemingly endless amounts of high-quality, star-studded and award-winning shows that have defined the post covid zeitgeist.
With so many great shows already launched, it seems crazy to imagine that there’s still more to come… but there is! 2022 might be almost over but we still have a whole load of huge titles still to come to get us through those cold, dark nights. So stock up on snacks, treat yourself to putting the heating on (not for too long though!) and settle down for what promises to be a fantastic end to an amazing year of Television.
1. Wednesday (Netflix)
From the fevered mind of award-winning, gothic noir director Tim Burton, comes a brand new supernatural mystery charting Wednesday Addam’s time at Nevermore Academy (where both Gomez and Morticia Addams studied). Here she masters her newfound psychic abilities, aims to solve a 25-year-old mystery and stops an impending killing spree.
Based on the Addams Family characters, and under the Netflix banner, the show aims to breathe new life into the franchise as a YA-style show with suitably mature material and a fantastic cast. Expect scares, blood and murder in the most comedic and Addams Family way.
Director: Tim Burton, James Marshall. Created/Written by: Alfred Gough, Miles Millar. Starring: Jenna Ortega, Gwendoline Christie, Christina Ricci, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Luis Guzman.
On Netflix in full from Wednesday 23rd November
2. Willow (Disney Plus)
Based on the classic 1988 fantasy movie of the same name created by George Lucas and directed by Ron Howard, Willow is set 20 years after the evil queen Bavmorda was vanquished. Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis), now a powerful sorcerer leads a group of misfits into the unknown on a dangerous quest filled with magic, brownies, trolls, mythical creatures and we can only guess a whole load of up-to-date CGI shenanigans.
I was a huge fan of the original film and to be honest, am excited to see what Disney can do with this one. If it sticks to the tone of the film and uses modern effects well this could be a great treat for pretty much all the family. Also great to see the ever-likeable Davis back in the role that started his career.
Director: Philipa Lowthorpe, Debs Paterson. Created/Written by: Jonathan Kasdan. Based on characters by George Lucas. Starring: Warwick Davis, Ruby Cruz, Erin Kellyman, Ellie Bamber, Joanne Whalley.
On Disney Plus from Wednesday 30th November
3. Welcome to Chippendales (Disney Plus)
Earlier this year, writer Robert Siegal brought the hugely problematic, raunchy, adult and thoroughly entertaining Pam & Tommy to Disney Plus. It caused outrage and raised a few eyebrows from those who still believed that Disney was just for kids. With Welcome to Chippendales, Siegal is back with yet another tale of sex, crime and depravity.
Based on the true story of Indian American entrepreneur Somen ‘Steve’ Banerjee, who started the stripper troupe, ‘the Chippendales’, the show is set to shake up Disney once again and I have no doubts it will bring in just as many complaints as Pam & Tommy did. If the story follows the real-life events around Banerjee in any way it cannot fail to be outrageous and almost unbelievable… seriously, Google it.
Director: Richard Shepherd, Matt Shakman. Created/Written by Robert Siegel. Staring: Kumail Nanjiani, Murray Bartlett, Dan Stevens, Juliette Lewis, Zack Palmisano, Felix Rossi
On Disney Plus in the US from Tuesday 22nd November and in the UK from 11th January 2023
4. Jack Ryan Season 3 (Prime Video)
Season 3 of the popular prime Bourne/Bond-like thriller finds CIA analyst Jack Ryan (John Krasinski) thrust into even more dangerous situations, field assignments across the globe and political intrigue.
With a solid fan base from the first two seasons eagerly awaiting this one, we should expect more of the same. There will be running, shooting, fast cars and Krasinski managing to take more physical damage than any mortal man could ever hope to take, and shrugging it off with nothing more than a well-placed plaster. It's great binge TV for the dark winter nights and I for one am looking forward to it.
Created for tv by Carlton Cuse, based on characters from Tom Clancy. Starring: John Krasinski, Wendell Pierce.
Released in full on Amazon Prime Video from Wednesday 21st December
5. The Witcher: Blood Origin (Netflix)
Working as a prequel to the hugely popular Netflix Witcher series, The Witcher: Blood Origin is set 1200 years before we first get our Henry Cavil fix. It is based in the elven world and follows the origins of the very first witcher, the creation of the prototype and the events that lead to the ‘conjunction of the spheres’ when the world of monsters, men and elves merge to become one.
With a huge level of worldwide popularity for the Witcher franchise, there is no doubt that Netflix has high hopes for this Michell Yeoh-helmed fantasy tale. It looks amazing and you simply cannot go wrong with Yeoh. Expect monsters, swords, magic, nudity and a whole load of blood… all on Christmas Day!
Director: Vicky Jewson, Sarah O’Gorman, Created/Written by Declan De Barra. Based on books by Andrzej Sapkowski. Starring: Michelle Yeoh, Lenny Henry, Dylan Moran, Sophia Brown, Jacob Collins-Levy
The Witcher: Blood Origin launches on Netflix on Sunday 25th December
6. National Treasure: Edge Of History (Disney Plus)
Based on the hugely successful National Treasure films, and filling in for that third film that is still in development, this Disney Plus TV series follows an all-new character. Jess Valenzuela sets off to discover her family history and recover lost pan-American treasures from around the globe.
Despite there being no Nicolas Cage (that we know of) this show promises to be a huge amount of family-friendly fun. Expect a whole load of globe-trotting adventure in the Uncharted and Indiana Jones style with a fresh new protagonist and a few old favourites showing up.
Director: Mira Nair. Written by: Gabriel Llanas, Maura Mila and others. Staring: Lisette Olivera, Justin Bartha
National Treasure: Edge Of History comes to Disney Plus on Wednesday 14th December