Review: The top five in our countdown of the best TV shows of 2022, from Sherwood to Andor, with a surprise at No.1

This week, we’re continuing our countdown of the top 10 telly shows of 2022. Here’s our choice of the best of the best, from No.5 to No.1
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5 Sherwood (BBC1): With a dual timeframe and set against the lingering resentments of the miners’ strike, this drama showed how politics is always personal, but never lost sight of the thriller at its heart.

4 Andor (Disney+): A Star Wars spin-off – filmed partly on the Fylde coast – which restored faith in TV franchise following the damp squibs of Kenobi and The Book of Boba Fett. It ignored huge space battles and the mystical force for a down and dirty tale of guerilla warfare, personal loss and petty bureaucracy.

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3 The Bear (Disney+): A brilliantly bingeable smorgasbord for the senses, with swearing that reached the level of poetry, food that looked incredible on screen and real emotional heft to boot. A tale of grief, toxic masculinity and the best sandwiches in Chicago.

The Traitors, hosted by Claudia Winkleman (left)The Traitors, hosted by Claudia Winkleman (left)
The Traitors, hosted by Claudia Winkleman (left)

2 The Responder (BBC1): Yes, it’s a cop drama. Yes, there’s a maverick policeman front and centre. Yes, there are Scousers with loose perms. However, this cop drama – written by a former policeman – fizzed with nervous energy and grimy authenticity, with Martin Freeman playing against type as Chris, a policeman teetering on the edge of a full-scale mental health crisis.

1 The Traitors (BBC1): I’m as surprised as you are that a reality show mixing Wink Murder and Big Brother should be the best show of the year, but this brilliantly plotted show was so compulsively addictive it should come with a health warning.

Ghosts (BBC1, Christmas Day, 7.25pm) and Motherland (BBC1, 9.30pm) both had their belly laughs, but in different ways they also showed the bittersweet nature of Christmas, with a couple of beautifully played scenes that would not have failed to find you with something in your eye. A festive triumph.

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For some reason, there seem to be some terrific dramas on ITV’s new streaming service ITVx. I’m assuming they’ll turn up terrestrial TV at some point, but I can recommend Without Sin (ITVx, all episodes streaming now), which is a mystery thriller which asks how well you know your children.

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