Here's to the profound ones, the strange ones--those who make us laugh and those who make us cry. Reinvent the hero's journey. Make us think, and send us reeling. Weave a wicked web we can't resist. Just so long as the writing is good, we'll follow along every step of the way. Don't let us down, and don't expect us to settle for less than the best, because we can tell the difference between a flop and a hit, and we have a long menu of series' to choose from.
2022 was a strange time for streaming. Networks reported early losses, rocking what was once considered a solid market. Now investors are playing it careful, tightening their purse strings, and holding back. Some of our favorite shows have had their budgets cut, and some of what we expected to succeed flopped, either due to a lack of funding, poor planning, or problems behind the scenes. But there are plenty of gems available, and the market is still churning new things out, surprising us and wowing us at every turn.
Wednesday Addams - Netflix
Ever since the announcement of Wednesday Addams, the internet has been abuzz, scrutinizing every aspect of production, from the controversial casting choices to dialogue. Admittedly, the Tim Burton rendition does have its appeal. Wednesday is delightfully anti-social, and she has this way of dropping the perfect line--always the critical cynic, throwing out witty insults and quelling excitement--but there's something missing from the series. It's based on a school for outcasts, social misfits with a paranormal slant. There's gorgons, sirens, werewolves, and vampires--each with their own styles and characteristics. But their presence in the story isn't explained. We're never told what makes someone an outcast or what that even means. It felt like a cheap rip-off of franchises based in similar school settings like Harry Potter.
The plot is decidedly mediocre. It's a flimsy mystery, using old cliches and bad writing. They have the usual red herrings, and a constant focus on the love interests. The worst part is that it all centers around Wednesday, even though she hates everything. She's completely unloveable. The second she walks into a room everyone is ready to stalk her.
If you're looking for something lighthearted and cheesy, it's great. It has all of the camp and ridiculousness of a 90s comedy. But expect plotholes, poorly thought-out concepts, and formulaic writing. The series won't wow you, but it won't completely turn you off.
Raised By Wolves Season 2 - HBOMax
If trippy sci-fi is your thing, but you're not in the mood for something abstract, then 'Raised By Wolves' is the perfect choice. The series follows Mother and Father, two androids from a dying earth who escape to Keppler 22-b to raise a group of human embryos. It goes deep, weaving imagery from a collection of world religions into a diehard mystery suspense that will keep you guessing, ready to fall off the edge of your seat.
Everything about 'Raised by Wolves,' from the CGI to the writing, screams genius. Unfortunately they canceled it after the second season, leaving the hardcore fanbase with nothing more than a bad cliffhanger. It's amazing either way. People still love to pick it apart and theorize, and there are rumors that the series will be continued in the form of a graphic novel.
The Handmaid's Tale Season 5 - Hulu
'The Handmaid's Tale' redefined social commentary when it thrust us into Gilead, a theocratic authoritarian regime, where women are enslaved and forced to act as breeding stock for the nation's leaders. The series is known for its intense, emotional content, and at times it is difficult to watch because of that. You might end up pausing it, but you'll never walk away. There's a reason the series has lasted this long. The writers are top-notch. The acting is next-level, and it challenges the audience. It makes you think--not just about the issues surrounding the show--but also the characters themselves. Fans develop an attachment to them, and they become overwhelmingly invested in their futures. If you haven't seen this series, get caught up. The final season should be premiering later on next year, and they're already planning a spin-off.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power - Prime Video
Rings of Power is said to have cost more than 60 million an episode, making it the most expensive TV productiosn ever made. That's on top of the egregious price that Amazon was forced to pay to get the rights to Tolkien's work. It is a crime what they have done to this series. It might be expensive, but the visuals are subpar--bordering on unwatchable. The characters look like plastic figures. It's unconvincing, overdramatic, and corny. The acting is ridiculous. It's like someone hoarded all of that cash for themselves and spent nothing on the production. There's a reason it's so unpopular. It will probably go down as one of the priciest flops in TV history. Don't watch it.
Interview with the Vampire - AMC+
Anne Rice is currently clawing her way out of her grave, ready to find and kill whoever is responsible for this series, and there are a lot of fans hoping she'll succeed. She spent a significant portion of her life telling Hollywood where to stick it. She did not want her work adapted into film--point blank. The entire exchange of rights just looks shady and totally suspect. Someone found her on her deathbed, handed her a contract, and now AMC is giving us butchered, low-budget versions of her masterpieces. They moved up the time period, making Louis a pimp from the early 19th century, using cheap sets, bad graphics, and even worse CGI. The only saving grace was the dialogue. There are a few poetic lines mixed in, and some compelling plot points, but it looks so terrible, it's impossible to take the series seriously.
House of the Dragon - HBOMax
'House of the Dragon' is HBO's more serious cousin, using all of the intrigue and scandal we expect from the franchise, while omitting all of the witty, drunken banter we're used to. Tyrion Lannister and Lady Olenna will be missed, but there are some amazing shocker moments, and they definitely worked hard to create a story that keeps the audience on the eodge of their seat. This spin-off definitely delivered, and they have the numbers to prove it. It had the largest premiere viewership out of any HBO series in history.