As we had into the final weeks of 2022, even the most diligent TV critics are playing catch-up, racing through screeners or otherwise looking back at the 500+ series (and that's just scripted programming) that either debuted or returned this year. We at Primetimer are no different — we had all the same good intentions, which were then laid to waste by the sheer amount of TV. Empathetic comedies, a striking reimagining, even a Star War were overlooked. But with the long weekend ahead, there's no better time to get caught up. Here are the 2022 series we're watching this Thanksgiving, family time be damned.
Seasons 1 and 2 streaming on Prime Video
In my defense, I did start the first season of The Outlaws some time last year. Christopher Walken reliably brings his live-wire energy to this outlandish new comedy from Stephen Merchant (The Office, Hello Ladies), who also writes and co-stars, and Elgin James (Mayans M.C.). But what inspired me to return to the show was recognizing a similar "losers of varying degrees of lovable-ness doing their best" dynamic in Sprung, which premiered earlier this year on Freevee. That Greg Garcia series is one of the most compassionate (and hilarious) shows of 2022, and while The Outlaws might not be quite as cuddly, Merchant imbues all of his characters with humanity and flaws in equal measure. Season 2 is only six episodes, so I'll be able to knock this out in a day. — Danette Chavez
Complete limited series streaming on AMC+
I haven't watched the 1965 film of the same name, but The Ipcress File limited series looks to be a bit of escapism of The Queen's Gambit variety, with its impeccable period styling and design, and a talented yet prickly protagonist. Here, it's Harry Palmer (Joe Cole), a low-ranking officer in the British military who's got a knack for moving goods on the black market. But when he runs afoul of the authorities, Major Dalby (Tom Hollander, in a much sober role than his recent White Lotus appearance) makes Harry an offer: help the British government recover a valuable asset in exchange for a clean slate. Will Harry keep his word, or will the rake find the assignment too constricting? Decades of TV and movie-viewing are already pointing me toward the answer, but I plan to watch primarily for Cole, who is coming off the spectacular Gangs of London. And if, like Gangs, The Ipcress File delivers on what looks to be a different type of class transition story, all the better. — Danette Chavez
Complete first season streaming on AMC+
What a fool I’ve been! After watching four different vampire series this year, I thought I’d give myself a break from bloodsuckers and skip AMC’s Interview With the Vampire. And wouldn’t you know, it’s the one that’s gotten everyone talking. I can’t boot up Twitter without seeing a meme about Lestat (Sam Reid) and his gorgeous hair, and three different friends have told me the show’s gay relationships are smoking hot. Because I am not made of stone, I want to see this for myself. Along with general undead burnout, part of my resistance sprang from my love for 1994’s Interview With the Vampire movie. I found Anne Rice’s novel clunky and overwritten, but for 10th-grade me, the film was an outré delight. I was hesitant about the series because I figured it wouldn’t have that sense of luxurious excess. Apparently, I was wrong. This Thanksgiving, I’m going to put on my best 19th-century smoking jacket and dive in. — Mark Blankenship
Complete first season streaming on Amazon Freevee
Mark sold me on High School with his initial review, which praised the show’s use of ‘90s needle drops, but I was only able to watch two episodes before other responsibilities got in the way. Now that I have some free time this Thanksgiving, I’m excited to return to the coming-of-age tale, inspired by the life and memoir of Tegan and Sara (played by twins Railey and Seazynn Gilliland). When we first meet Tegan and Sara, they’re at odds, driven apart by Sara’s newfound closeness with a once-mutual friend, but the twins begin to repair their fractured relationship through music. This shared experience helps give voice to their complicated feelings about their sexuality, their emerging adulthood, and suburban life, concerns echoed in scenes told from the perspective of their mother Simone (Colbie Smulders).
I wouldn’t describe myself as a Tegan and Sara die-hard, so apart from their eventual musical success, I have no idea how this story ends — but I can’t wait to find out. — Claire Spellberg Lustig
Complete first season streaming on Disney+
I've been mostly out on the Star Wars series on Disney+. The Rise of Skywalker burnout was real, and so by the time The Mandalorian seemed like a show I should be watching, I was already one season in the hole. Then came The Book of Boba Fett, which felt silly to jump into without having seen The Mandalorian. Once I heard that Obi-Wan Kenobi would be incorporating Princess Leia as a character, I was out on that one, too, taking a very "let her rest" stance. But Andor is a different case altogether. A prequel series to Rogue One — my favorite of the neo-Lucasfilm theatrical features — starring a murderer's row cast including Diego Luna, Stellan Skarsgård, Fiona Shaw, and Denise Gough? Andy Serkis doing Andy Serkis things? Forest Whitaker back as sad-faced insurgent Saw Gerrera? And critics I trust seem to love it. Disney+ really believes in it too, as it’s planning to air the series's first two episodes over Thanksgiving weekend on ABC, FX, Freeform, and Hulu. Who am I to resist this kind of full-court press?? — Joe Reid