1) Trying, Seasons 1 & 2
The third season of this premiered this year, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet, and the first two particularly stick out to me because I binged them throughout a snowy weekend. The show follows a couple’s quest to have children, which soon becomes an adoption journey. If you love sitcoms that have you laughing one minute and crying the next, Trying is a satisfying and quick watch available in the US on Apple TV.
2) Abbott Elementary, Season 1
I had my eye on this long before its premiere. My Buzzfeed video phase circa 2015 overlapped with Quinta Brunson’s time there, and I come from a family of teachers. Abbott Elementary was definitely right up my alley, and I’m so glad it didn’t disappoint! I’m enjoying the ongoing second season even more than the first, and I love how the creative team is expanding the show’s world and relationships.
3) Real Housewives of New York City
I already touched upon this in my Favorite Books post, but starting RHONY was one of my best decisions of 2022. I truly wasn’t prepared for how much joy and laughter it would bring me. Is it silly? Yes. Are some of these women ridiculous or heinous? Yes. But Andy Cohen recently argued that New York is actually quite the feminist show, and he definitely has a point. Unlike most of the other Housewives shows, RHONY‘s cast is basically either divorced or featured largely without their husbands halfway through the series, putting the women’s decisions and goals front and center without men’s influence. Most of the longtime cast members were also real friends for many years before the show started, which just creates a level of chemistry that not every city has. I’m glad I’m all caught up for the launch of the brand new RHONY series, but I’m also way more invested in RHONY Legacy and all of the faves expected to show up.
4) Everything I Know About Love, Season 1
Loosely based on UK columnist Dolly Alderton’s memoir, Everything I Know About Love follows four recent graduates as they start living together in their first London home and pursuing careers and relationships. I’ve loved being the rare American who knows Dolly and her writing, but now that this series has hit Peacock in the US, I’m thrilled that I may be able to squeal over her with friends soon. I’ve admired Dolly and her perspective for years now, and I think knowing the original book and then seeing how it’s adapted for a fictional series is such a cool lesson in storytelling.
5) The Gilded Age, Season 1
Did this Julian Fellowes series recycle way too many beats from Downton Abbey? Yes. Did I still enjoy returning to this decadent display of talent and story every episode? Yes. I can’t resist a juicy period drama, and I loved how this show utilized Broadway stars when the theater industry was still shut down. Watching it also made me realize how little I knew about this time period, so I definitely recommend it if you love learning about New York history and the city’s different layers.
6) Derry Girls, Season 3
Oh, what a sweet delight this was. Finale seasons can be so anti-climactic, but this handful of episodes managed to capture exactly what I love about Derry Girls. It encapsulated that optimistic innocence that you still have ahead of high school graduation and those end-of-the-world feelings every little teenage inconvenience stirs up. It also had lessons you can only appreciate in hindsight, like how we are all inevitably our mothers and that finishing high school really does change your friend group’s dynamic forever. Plus, nothing beats this cast’s comedic timing.
7) Gallery Girls
2022 was the year I discovered Bravo, and after I flew through RHONY, I dug through the archives for some classic reality TV fuel. This one-season wonder from 2012 hit the spot, documenting several women in their twenties trying to “make it” in New York’s art world via galleries, photography, and offbeat boutiques. Just as The Hills was a time capsule of a very specific era and how clueless we all are in starting careers, Gallery Girls captures the same feelings in an ultra-niche community.
8) The Up series
Basically a non-fiction Boyhood, the Up documentary series began in the UK in 1964 with a thesis of “Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man.” The original program introduced fourteen children from different geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds, and the crew behind it then produced documentaries every seven years with updates on each subject. The last addition was in 2019, and since then, the longtime series director has died and it’s unclear if a 70 Up will be made. Still, it’s so rewarding and poignant to watch the entire series and how each person comes to process their life experiences.