Baller Alert Picks: Top TV Shows of 2022


Now that we're closing in on the end of 2022, Baller Alert's team convened to choose the top 10 TV series of the year. Our picks range from epic dramas to period pieces, from relatable comedies to mysterious adventures. Some are massive hits that did numbers globally; others are hidden gems, but all are worth celebrating at the end of a long year.

These are BA's cream-of-the-crop TV show picks.

Abbot Elementary 

Abbott Elementary isn't exactly breaking the mold of the modern mockumentary sitcom, but it's done well and brings a lot of laughs. The series is built on the charm of series creator/star Quinta Brunson, while Everybody Hates Chris's Tyler James Williams plays the committed and ambitious substitute teacher. The show tells the story of an underfunded public elementary school in Philadelphia, weaving in a bit of well-deserved social commentary in a place (network sitcom!) you don't usually find it.


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Following the lives of the employees working at a Chucalissa strip club called the Pynk, Starz' P-Valley is provocative, intoxicating, and stunningly, specifically, real. Creator Katori Hall presents the lives of the strippers not through the eyes of Pynk's paying customers but through the Black female gaze, creating three-dimensional characters with full lives and specific, complicated ambitions that bring up questions of morality, vulnerability, power, and consent. P-Valley is a cocktail of drama, humor, sex, and cultural relevance with a Southern twist, unlike anything we've seen before. It's easily one of the most underrated series out right now.

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Snowfall is set in Los Angeles in the early 1980s. The show follows the first crack epidemic in LA and centers around a crime family that makes their money by selling cocaine. The series was created by legendary John Singleton, Eric Amadio, and Dave Andron and premiered on FX network on July 5, 2017. There are multiple players in the street game, and when their worlds collide, drama and violence ensue. The cast includes Damson Idris as Franklin Saint, Carter Hudson as Teddy McDonald, Isaiah John as Leon Simmons, and Angela Lewis as Aunt Louie. The final season is slated to be released February 22, 2023.

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House of the Dragon

No show has had more of an impact on television in the past decade than Game of Thrones and its prequel, House Of The Dragon, looks like it's set to do the same. Pulling a record number of viewers for HBO, HOTD is set nearly 200 years before the original series, where Targaryens still reign supreme. With the juicy family drama that leans more into politics and internal strife than battles and exploring new distant lands, House of the Dragon managed to feel intimate and contained. Gone are the house rivalries; the Starks and Lannisters act as background characters to the various morally grey Targaryens who all vie for the Iron Throne. Of course, the dragons are flashy and still a delight to see on screen, but the series' strength lies in the infighting of this insanely incestuous family.

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Amazon's Harlem is familiar. Created by Tracy Oliver, the entertaining ten-episode comedy series is a refined version of other sitcoms, old and new. Like Sex and the City and Girlfriends, the show focuses on four women as they manage their romantic lives, careers, and friendships. Starring Meagan Good, Tyler Lepley, Grace Byers, and more, Harlem is retrofitted for a contemporary audience hungry for self-reflection served with a side of fantasy. Stories about Black female friendships are few and far between, especially those concentrating on the messiness and uncertainty of one's 30s. By that metric, the show provides straightforward humor, sexy wardrobes, winks to previous sitcoms and questionable character antics that keep viewers hooked.

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Power Book II: Ghost 

Starz's "Power Book II: Ghost," the first spinoff from the parent series "Power," follows Tariq as he establishes a new life after having killed his dad (Omari Hardwick). Determined to adhere to the conditions of his father's will, Tariq enrolled in the prestigious Stansfield University to obtain his degree. However, with his mother on trial for his father's murder, he found himself following in Ghost's footsteps as a means of financial freedom. While the first season of Power Book: Ghost dealt with the power of family, the second is about ethics. Filled with a lot of drama, far-fetched scenarios, and many questionable choices, Power Book II: Ghost is one wild ride. 

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The new series follows the Richards family after the death of their patriarch Stephen Richards, played by Hugh Quarshie. When the self-made business mogul leaves his cosmetic empire to his children from his first marriage in his will, he sets the stage for his two families to collide, kicking off a no-holds-barred struggle for control of a business empire. The show uses its opening scene to set up conversations of bias and racism, a theme that will ricochet through the season in subtle ways. Painting its characters in nuanced colors that black people are rarely allowed to thrive in, Riches is a riveting and fun series that is unapologetically British and Nigerian. Alongside Quarshie, the series stars Deborah Ayorinde, Sarah Niles, Emmanuel Imani, Brendan Coyle, Ola Orebiyi, Adeyinka Akinrinade, Nneka Okoye, C.J. Beckford, and Hermione Norris.

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BMF (Black Mafia Family)  

BMF is a distant planet in the Power universe, with 50 Cent once again executive producing and supplying its boom-bap theme song and former Power writer Randy Huggins manning the keyboard. But what sets the show apart is its real-life inspiration: Detroit-born brothers Demetrius "Big Meech" Flenory and Terry Flenory, the Black Mafia Family of the show's abbreviated title. The Flenory boys, since given stiff prison sentences following a 2005 FBI raid, wrested control of the coke market in the '90s in Motor City and beyond. By the time the brothers were swept up in a racketeering dragnet, they had expanded nationwide and were distributing nearly three tons of product every month. The story of the Flenory brothers presents a unique value proposition, assuming it doesn't get lost among Starz's snowstorms.

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Reasonable Doubt 

Reasonable Doubt is a legal drama with plenty of soapy intrigue. Starring Emayatzy Corinealdi, Michael Ealy, and McKinley Freeman, Reasonable Doubt showcases the glamorous yet difficult life of Jax Stewart - a brilliant and fearless defense attorney in Los Angeles who bucks the justice system at every chance she gets. The show definitely fits in the sexy drama genre that got a revival in the 2010s with Scandal.  It's not a coincidence that Kerry Washington is an EP of this series; she also directed the first episode. Created by Raamla Mohamed, Reasonable Doubt is the Black, juicy soap opera you'd never expect on TV.

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Transforming one of the most popular sitcoms of all time into a drama can't be an easy task. But writer and director Morgan Cooper gave it a good go with Bel-Air, an updated retelling of the classic show that cemented Will Smith as a multi-disciplined talent over 30 years ago. While The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air told the story of a Black teen moving from "the hood to the Hills" through comedy, this reboot explores the darker elements that such a move entails. Starring Jabari Banks,  Bel-Air follows Will's complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air. This series dives into racial tension, culture shock, and Black excellence. The 10-episode Peacock series should feel familiar even if you haven't seen a single episode of comedy that inspired it.


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The post Baller Alert Picks: Top TV Shows of 2022 appeared first on Baller Alert.


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