Best TV, Books and Podcasts of 2022

Best TV, Books and Podcasts of 2022

Is it just me, or was 2022 jam-packed with I-can’t-stop-talking-about-this books, podcasts, and TV shows? It felt like every couple months, a new pop-culture giant would burst onto the scene and take over everybody’s group chats. So, as we look back at the year, we’re curious — what made you laugh, catch your breath, and binge all in one weekend? What did you enjoy the most? Here are a few of our favorites, plus what we’re looking to get more of in 2023…

Best TV, Books and Podcasts of 2022

Joanna Goddard, editor
Favorite TV show: Mo, with a hat tip to White Lotus
Favorite podcast episode: This American Life: Setting the Record Straight, which made me laugh forever
Favorite book: A Heart That Works
Favorite buy: Ballet flats and a cashmere shirt-jacket
Two words to describe your year: Family and wholeness

“We are in a golden age of TV/books/podcasts — I am consistently stunned by the absolute masterpieces flowing our way. This year, the show that stuck with me was Mo, the Netflix comedy-drama inspired by comedian Mo Amer’s real-life experience as a Palestinian refugee growing up in Houston. I fell in love with the characters, especially his hilariously honest brother who has autism. (He happily tells their lawyer: “[My mom] wants you to take your shoes off and she wishes you weren’t Polish.”) The show is yet another reminder of how you never know what people are dealing with, so be kind to strangers. Finally, my fashion MVPs of 2022 are ballet flats, which I wear allllll the time, and a cashmere shirt jacket that feels like the world’s coolest blanket.”

Best TV, Books and Podcasts of 2022

Jannelle Sanchez, associate editor
Favorite TV show: Never Have I Ever
Favorite podcast episode: Making an Effort: Summer Bucket Lists & Mormon MomTok
Favorite book: I’ll Show Myself Out
Favorite buy: This plummy lipstick is romantic, highly pigmented and my new everyday lip color
Two words to describe your year: Exciting and insightful

“My year was full of introspection, which was rewarding but exhausting. So, whenever I had a half hour to myself, I wanted to laugh. And Jessi Klein’s I’ll Show Myself Out delivered. Reading her essays felt like catching up with a friend who’s not afraid to laugh at the chaos of parenthood. (Her passage about wrangling a toddler into a carseat made me feel SEEN.) Her book also opened me up to the world of humor essays, which I now can’t stop inhaling. For TV, I binged Never Have I Ever in two days; it felt good to forget my adult worries and instead focus on who Devi would end up with: Ben or Paxton?! I have a gut feeling that 2023 is going to bring even more emotional growth, so I’m looking for podcasts, books and shows that will go down easy. All recs are welcome!”

Kaitlyn Teer, contributing editor
Favorite TV show: Somebody Somewhere
Favorite podcast episode: On Being: adrienne maree brown
Favorite book: Essential Labor: Mothering as Social Change
Favorite buy: This art print to celebrate the arrival of our second child
Two words to describe your year: Generative and clarifying

“My husband and I watched the bittersweet comedy Somebody Somewhere — about a forty-something woman who returns to her Kansas hometown — in the first couple weeks at home with our newborn. I wasn’t up for anything too intense, and its offbeat, heartfelt vibe was just right. I also did lots of walking and listening this year, and my favorite podcast episode was this On Being interview with adrienne maree brown. The thought-provoking dialogue — about large-scale change and the complexities of our present moment — nourished my imagination for what’s possible. More recently, I went for a walk and listened to On Being’s Foundations — a special series that introduces the 2023 season — and each of its four short talks culminates in a big, heart-opening question. The sun was setting and I could see my breath, and Krista Tippett’s invitations felt like the right companion for contemplating the year to come.”

Best TV, Books and Podcasts of 2022

Thao Thai, contributing writer
Favorite TV show: Abbott Elementary
Favorite podcast episode: We Can Do Hard Things: Overwhelm (my husband and I both listened to this and it changed our marriage!)
Favorite book: The Marriage Portrait
Favorite buy: My Shiatsu body massager
Two words to describe your year: Tender and transformative

“The NYTimes bestselling novel The Marriage Portrait presents a picture of Renaissance Italy through the eyes of a young woman who finds herself wed to an enigmatic duke, then abandoned at his unsettling estate. The real-life Lucrezia de’ Medici died under mysterious circumstances a year after her marriage, and this book explores what might have unfolded. O’Farrell’s prose is some of the most exciting I’ve ever read, with an almost textural sense of tangibility that brings the novel alive. More writing like this in 2023, please! This past year I read a ton, but next year I’d love to make it to a real live movie theater, where I can finally get my hands on a pack of Raisinets.”

Best of 2022

Abigail Rasminsky, contributing writer
Favorite TV show: Bad Sisters
Favorite podcast episode: All There Is With Anderson Cooper: Grateful for Grief
Favorite book: Lucy By the Sea
Favorite buy: The most comfortable clogs; I wear them every single day
Two words to describe your year: Thrilling and exhausting

“On his grief podcast All There Is, Anderson Cooper cries openly in every episode — about the recent loss of his mother, the death of his father when he was 10, and of his brother when he was 21. We’ve all been through so much these last few years, and it was an honor to bear witness. For TV, I loved Bad Sisters, the whodunnit murder mystery starring five Irish sisters loving and defending and enraging each other. I was shocked by the ending. This January, my family is going on sabbatical from L.A. to Cambridge, England, and I want to spend more time with my eyes on the local scene and less on my phone. So, I hope to read more British writers, like Bernardine Evaristo and Zadie Smith — and maybe I’ll finally read Jane Austen!”

Best TV, Books and Podcasts of 2022

Christine Pride, Race Matters columnist
Favorite TV show: From Scratch
Favorite podcast episode: Nobody Should Believe Me: Sisters: Introduction
Favorite book: Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow
Favorite buy: I bought Away luggage for a trip to Israel, and it made me feel grown up and ready for adventures
Two words to describe your year: Expansive and fulfilling

“I adored From Scratch because 1) it’s a gripping series, and 2) I published the memoir on which it’s based! Also, I fell in love this year, for the first time in a very long time, so I was fully primed to be affected by a poignant love story. Next year, I’m excited for all the enticing books coming out like Poverty, By America, I Have Some Questions for You, and even my own, You Were Always Mine, which is a personal highlight of 2023.”

How about you? What TV shows, podcasts, books, and buys did you enjoy most this year? What are you looking forward to exploring next year? We’d love to hear…

P.S. Other 2022 TV shows we loved and a juicy list of audiobooks.

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