Look, let’s be real: Pandemic notwithstanding, we’re not going to the movies like we used to. A lot of the kinds of dramas we used to buy tickets for have migrated to TV and expanded in scope, and as a result, TV’s gotten…pretty good. This year’s slate of new movies is enticing, but we’ll probably be fine if we sit at home and catch up on new seasons of Euphoria, Outlander, Atlanta, and Bridgerton, instead.
Those returning shows are all known quantities, and popular for good reasons, but it’s fun to catch the next big thing before it hits. In that spirit, we’ve rounded up some of the most promising shows debuting in 2022, whether because they have appealing premises and stars, come from impressive behind-the-scenes talent, or are generally buzzy enough to inspire curiosity. Not all of them are guaranteed to hit, but at least a handful of them will undoubtedly become this year’s answer to Succession or Schitt’s Creek.
(Streaming networks are particularly reluctant to offer up release dates too far in advance, so the shows that are expected this year but that don’t have firm spots are arranged together at the end.)
Naomi (Jan. 11)
Yes, it’s another DC-related CW show, but this one’s next-level in terms of pedigree: It’s being developed and produced by the great Ava DuVernay (Selma). It should feel fresh, too, following a comic book character not quite three years old. Kaci Walfall stars as Naomi McDuffie, who gradually discovers she has an origin story to rival that of any superhero, setting her off on a journey of discovery.
Where to watch: Binge
Peacemaker (Jan. 13)
I don’t know that we need another superhero show, but this R-rated spinoff of James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad looks like it’ll be a bit wilder, funnier, and more violent than most — HBO Max’s answer to Prime Video’s The Boys, maybe, or a tongue-in-cheek version of that show-within-a show from Watchmen.
Where to watch: Binge
Wolf Like Me (Jan. 13)
There have been some decent early reviews for this horror-infused romance starring Josh Gad as the father of a troubled 11-year-old daughter, and Isla Fisher as the woman who they welcome into their lives, but who turns out to have a dark secret (presumably telegraphed by the series’ title).
Where to watch: Stan
Archive 81 (January 14)
The idea of a series loosely based on a podcast isn’t entirely promising, successful examples like Prime Video’s Homecoming aside, but this supernatural thriller, which follows a video archivist who gets pulled into a conspiracy involving some creepy old footage and a cult leader, seems poised to offer some spooky fun. It’s also got impressive talent behind the scenes, including showrunner Rebecca Sonnenshine (The Boys), director Rebecca Thomas (Stranger Things), and executive producer James Wan.
Where to watch: Netflix
As We See It (Jan. 21)
Prime Video is planning a big global rollout for this new series about four roommates on the autism spectrum, so let’s hope it’s a winner. We could certainly use more (good) shows) about neurodivergent characters.