Best television of 2022
One of the highlights of 2022 has to be the return of Stranger Things, with their penultimate fourth season. This season took the horror references (which were only previously alluded to) and brought them to the forefront, for a fantastic story. Gaten Matarazzo is amazing as Dustin and the writing by The Duffer Brothers was pitch perfect.
Night Sky was another series that we enjoyed, mostly because it was so different to other sci-fi shows. The sense of mystery is there, but the principal characters are an elderly couple, who found a portal to another world in their garden. Rather than seeking to unlock the secrets or go adventuring, they instead use it to enjoy the view together.
The very best show of 2022 has to be The Sandman. Despite a couple of episodes feeling out of place, this was a phenomenal piece of television that adapted Neil Gaiman’s iconic comic series, which had been previously described as unfilmable. The characters were faithfully written and excellently portrayed, blending comedy and drama, and the effects gloriously evoked the realm of dreams.
Best films of 2022
I was surprised at how enjoyable the Predator film Prey. The impeccably detailed setting, rich cultural representation and tight run-time made for a truly fantastic film. My only criticism is that it would have been better filmed in Comanche, rather than in English.
Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness’ epic scale meant that this was a film that could only be fully appreciated at the cinema. However, it felt more like a Wanda film and the film makers never fully committed to madness that the title promised. It almost felt like that the director Sam Raimi was never allowed to fully cut loose as he did in his earlier films.
One film that did commit to the madness of a multiverse was Everything Everywhere All at Once. My brain almost exploded watching it, but in a good way. It took the multiverse idea, dialled it up to 11 and added Michelle Yeoh into the mix. The underlying themes feel especially pertinent, given the state of the world. To quote Waymond; “Be kind, especially when you do not know what is going on.”
Best books of 2022
J Michael Straczynski’s Becoming a Writer, Staying a Writer was a wonderful guide for writers, both new and grizzled veterans alike. Fun and conversational, but filled with insight and hard truths, this was compulsive reading and stands alongside Stephen King’s On Writing.
Bryan Talbot’s The Legend of Luther Arkwright is a graphic novel I have been wanting to read ever since it was teased many years ago, as the original Adventures of Luther Arkwright demonstrated to the power of the comic medium. The story was gloriously multi-layered and I was especially pleased to see Talbot’s gorgeous black and white inkwork return.
V Castro’s Aliens: Vasquez is a fantastic story. Rather than focusing on Jenette Vasquez (in Aliens), this book focuses on the Vasquez family, bringing their rich cultural heritage to the fore and using it to tell a fresh story within the Aliens setting.