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Best TV shows of the last year, according to TV critics' top 10 lists

Stacker compiled a list of the best TV shows of the last year using data from Metacritic's year-end round-up of TV critic top 10 lists.

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Adam Scott in an episode of Severance.

Apple TV+

Over the past year, TV lovers have had no shortage of new content to enjoy. Acclaimed series like "Derry Girls" and "Better Call Saul" aired their eagerly anticipated final seasons. Meanwhile, streaming juggernauts such as HBO's "Euphoria" and Netflix's "Stranger Things" returned after long, pandemic-induced hiatuses, plunging their characters into the life-or-death perils of high school once more.

Meanwhile, new series set within beloved fictional worlds breathed new life into familiar territory—just look at the success of "House of the Dragon," "Andor," and "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power." Of course, plenty of exciting original new series took the TV landscape by storm, like Apple TV's "Severance" and Hulu's "The Bear." But what recent shows are the best of the best, according to critics?

To find out, Stacker looked at data from Metacritic's year-end round-up of TV critic top 10 lists from their verified publications and highlighted the top 30. Shows received three points if they placed #1 on a list, two points if they placed #2, one point if they placed #3-10, and half a point if they placed on an honorable mentions list between #11-20.

Points were then tallied, and shows were ranked by most points. Metascore, which represents how it was received when it was released or throughout the year, is included for context. All in all, 122 individual critics' lists were considered in the points calculation for this article.

Counting down from #29, here are the best TV shows of last year, according to TV critics' top 10 lists.

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#29. The Sandman (tie)

Tom Sturridge in The Sandman.

Netflix

- Total points: 10
--- 1st place votes: 0
--- 2nd place votes: 0
--- Other place votes: 10
- Metascore: 66
- Network: Netflix

Neil Gaiman's beloved comic series "The Sandman" was transformed into a Netflix series of the same name with a budget so big that the streamer reportedly might not renew it for a second season.

Set in an array of strange dream worlds, the show follows Dream (Tom Sturridge), the younger brother of Death, as he embarks on a quest to find objects that give him powers after escaping imprisonment from a glass bottle. "The Sandman" received generally favorable reviews, with the Rotten Tomatoes consensus suggesting that while the first season of "The Sandman" could offer some surprises for fans of the comic, it "satisfyingly adapts an allegedly unfilmable classic."

#29. The Patient (tie)

Steve Carell and Domhnall Gleeson in The Patient.

FX Networks

- Total points: 10
--- 1st place votes: 0
--- 2nd place votes: 7
--- Other place votes: 10
- Metascore: 74
- Network: FX/Hulu

Created by FX for Hulu, the limited series "The Patient" stars Domhnall Gleeson as Sam, a serial killer who kidnaps therapist Alan Strauss (Steve Carell) in hopes of curing his murderous tendencies.

Consisting of 10 episodes clocking in at 30 minutes or less, the psychological thriller was created by Joel Fields and Joseph Weisberg, who previously executive produced the hit FX series "The Americans." In his review for Financial Times, writer Dan Einav described "The Patient" as "a two-hander that is both incisively written and exquisitely performed."

#29. Derry Girls (tie)

Actors in a scene from Derry Girls.

Hat Trick Productions

- Total points: 10
--- 1st place votes: 0
--- 2nd place votes: 10
--- Other place votes: 10
- Metascore: 86
- Network: Netflix

The beloved Irish coming-of-age comedy "Derry Girls" returned for a third and final season in 2022. Inspired by writer Lisa McGee's upbringing, the latest installment once again followed a group of teenage friends growing up in the Northern Ireland town of Derry during a violent 1990s era known as "The Troubles."

Season 3 earned a 100% Rotten Tomatoes Critics Score, with Pajiba's Isabel Parigi writing that "the final season of 'Derry Girls' did not disappoint and surely solidifies the show's place in television history."

#27. Industry (tie)

Sagar Radia, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Harry Lawtey, David Jonsson, and Myha

HBO

- Total points: 11
--- 1st place votes: 0
--- 2nd place votes: 0
--- Other place votes: 11
- Metascore: 82
- Network: HBO

The second season of the English drama "Industry" continues the story of young professionals fighting to secure high-profile banking jobs at a cut-throat London investment firm. Airing on BBC Two in the U.K. and HBO in the United States, it was renewed for a third season in October 2022. According to the Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus, the season, which finessed "complicated financial jargon into scathing repartee," helped bring the the show's stock up.

#27. Euphoria (tie)

Zendaya in Euphoria.

HBO

- Total points: 11
--- 1st place votes: 0
--- 2nd place votes: 8
--- Other place votes: 11
- Metascore: 74
- Network: HBO

After a nearly three-year hiatus, Sam Levinson's HBO drama "Euphoria" returned for another aesthetically pleasing season of questionable teen debauchery. Zendaya won a second Emmy award for her portrayal of Rue, a high schooler battling drug addiction. The Atlantic's Shirley Li noted that "in the disarray of Season 2, [the show's] sense of nihilism is magnified."

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#26. Slow Horses

Gary Oldman and Kristin Scott Thomas in Slow Horses.

Sea-Saw Films

- Total points: 11.5
--- 1st place votes: 0
--- 2nd place votes: 0
--- Other place votes: 11.5
- Metascore: 78
- Network: Apple TV+

Based on a series of novels by Mick Herron, "Slow Horses" follows a team of British MI5 agents who are brought together in a "dumping ground" department known as Slough House. The spy drama's star-studded cast includes Gary Oldman, Olivia Cooke, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Jack Lowden. Wall Street Journal critic John Anderson wrote, "the season has a determinedly cinematic quality that elevates it beyond most spy series, as does the first-rate writing."

#25. The Dropout

Amanda Seyfried in The Dropout.

Hulu

- Total points: 12
--- 1st place votes: 0
--- 2nd place votes: 0
--- Other place votes: 12
- Metascore: 75
- Network: Hulu

"The Dropout" star Amanda Seyfried won an Emmy for her portrayal of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes. Based on the ABC News-produced podcast of the same name, the Hulu miniseries recounts the rise and fall of Holmes, who tricked investors into believing that Theranos technology could complete full blood tests using a drop or two of blood.

Film School Rejects' Valerie Ettenhofer wrote, the show "stands above its contemporaries in the rising tide of scammer-centric shows… largely because of Seyfried's performance and the series' no-frills execution."

#24. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Morfydd Clark in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

Amazon Studios

- Total points: 12.5
--- 1st place votes: 0
--- 2nd place votes: 2
--- Other place votes: 8.5
- Metascore: 71
- Network: Prime Video

Even before it premiered on Amazon Prime, "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" made headlines as the most expensive TV series of all time. Set within the world of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, "The Rings of Power" is a prequel to the "Lord of the Rings" series and tells the story of the world's Second Age. Morfydd Clark plays a younger version of the iconic Tolkien character Galadriel.

#23. Somebody Somewhere

Bridget Everett in Somebody Somewhere.

HBO

- Total points: 13
--- 1st place votes: 0
--- 2nd place votes: 1
--- Other place votes: 11
- Metascore: 86
- Network: HBO

Bridget Everett stars in "Somebody Somewhere" as Sam, a 40-something who struggles to rediscover her identity while living in her hometown of Manhattan, Kansas, which she returned to in order to care for her late sister. With the help of fellow soul searchers Fred (Murray Hill) and Joel (Jeff Hiller), Sam navigates coming back home, finding her voice, and finding community. The HBO dramedy has been renewed for a second season.

#21. Better Things (tie)

Pamela Adlon and Hannah Riley in Better Things.

FX Networks

- Total points: 13.5
--- 1st place votes: 0
--- 2nd place votes: 1
--- Other place votes: 11.5
- Metascore: 93
- Network: FX

The FX comedy "Better Things" stars Pamela Adlon as a Los Angeles actress and single mom of three daughters, who is also caring for her aging eccentric mother. Although the first two seasons were a collaboration between Adlon and comedian Louis C.K., Adlon has assumed creative control in the ensuing three seasons following accusations of sexual misconduct against C.K.

In her review of "Better Things'" fifth and final season, The Guardian writer Rachel Aroesti wrote: "There will be a chasm in the world of TV comedy where this ambitious, relatable, consoling, uplifting, and uniquely personal show once existed."

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#21. Our Flag Means Death (tie)

Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby in Our Flag Means Death.

HBO Max

- Total points: 13.5
--- 1st place votes: 0
--- 2nd place votes: 13.5
--- Other place votes: 13.5
- Metascore: 70
- Network: HBO Max

Part-slapstick historical comedy, part-romantic comedy, "Our Flag Means Death" opens as restless 18th-century landed gentry member Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby) abandons his cushy life and pursues his dreams of becoming a great pirate. Along the way, he and his dysfunctional crew fight to survive deadly, absurd threats, and he finds unexpected romance with famed pirate Blackbeard (played by co-creator Taika Waititi).

"Our Flag Means Death" has been praised for its LGBTQ+ representation, including the inclusion of a nonbinary character played by Jim Jimenez and the lack of queerbaiting when it comes to Stede and Blackbeard's relationship.

#20. We Own This City

Jon Bernthal in We Own This City.

HBO

- Total points: 14.5
--- 1st place votes: 0
--- 2nd place votes: 2
--- Other place votes: 10.5
- Metascore: 83
- Network: HBO

Jon Bernthal leads the ensemble cast of "We Own This City," a miniseries tracking the discovery and exposure of corruption within the Baltimore Police Department's Gun Trace Task Force. The show is based on Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton's book of the same name. Empire critic John Nugent praised the show, writing, "More of an epilogue to 'The Wire' than a spiritual sequel, [creator] David Simon's return to Baltimore is another intelligently crafted, angry treatise on America's fatally flawed institutions."

#19. Interview With the Vampire

Jacob Anderson in Interview with the Vampire.

AMC Network Entertainment

- Total points: 17
--- 1st place votes: 0
--- 2nd place votes: 0
--- Other place votes: 17
- Metascore: 81
- Network: AMC

Anne Rice's iconic novel "Interview With the Vampire" gets the prestige TV treatment with AMC's new TV show of the same name. It stars Jacob Anderson and Sam Reid as Louis and Lestat (roles previously played by Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in the 1994 film adaptation). The series moves the first half of the novel's events from the 19th century to 1920s New Orleans, and makes Louis and Lestat's fraught connection explicitly romantic.

The New Yorker's Inkoo Kang wrote that "in its most compelling moments, AMC's reimagining of Anne Rice's novel explores which powers a Black vampire can and cannot wield in a segregated America."

#18. Hacks

Jean Smart in Hacks.

Warner Media/HBO Max

- Total points: 19
--- 1st place votes: 0
--- 2nd place votes: 0
--- Other place votes: 19
- Metascore: 88
- Network: HBO Max

"Hacks" tracks the darkly comedic mentorship between legendary comedian Deborah Vance (Jean Smart, who won two Emmys for her performance on the show) and 25-year-old aspiring comedy writer Ava (Hannah Einbinder). In Season 2, the duo's relationship grows even more complicated as Deborah decides to take her new stand-up show on the road.

The Atlantic's Shirley Li wrote: "The Lack of epiphanies, life lessons, and intergenerational bonding is what makes ['Hacks''] second season work so well. The show isn't following the trajectory of other comedies that have forced their characters to hit the road."

#16. Stranger Things (tie)

Millie Bobby Brown in Stranger Things.

Netflix

- Total points: 19.5
--- 1st place votes: 2
--- 2nd place votes: 0
--- Other place votes: 13.5
- Metascore: 69
- Network: Netflix

The long-awaited fourth season of "Stranger Things'" found the Hawkins gang battling against a formidable new villain called Vecna, a creature from the Upside Down who begins murdering Hawkins residents in order to open new gates to the human world. The season's total runtime is almost twice as long as any previous season of the show, culminating in two massive final episodes that clock in at 85 and 150 minutes, respectively.

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#16. Heartstopper (tie)

Joe Locke and Kit Connor in Heartstopper.

Netflix

- Total points: 19.5
--- 1st place votes: 0
--- 2nd place votes: 13.5
--- Other place votes: 19.5
- Metascore: 85
- Network: Netflix

Six years after British writer and illustrator Alice Oseman began publishing their massively popular webcomic and graphic novel "Heartstopper," the coming-of-age story finally came to the screen with a Netflix television adaptation of the same name. Set at an all-boys school, it explores the budding romance between teen boys Nick (Kit Connor) and Charlie (Joe Locke), as well as their relationships with a number of their queer friends.

"Heartstopper" debuted to near-universal acclaim, boasting a 100% Rotten Tomato Critic Score and a 96% Audience Score as of mid-February 2023.

#15. What We Do in the Shadows

Kayvan Novak and Natasia Demetriou in What We Do in the Shadows.

FX Networks

- Total points: 20.5
--- 1st place votes: 1
--- 2nd place votes: 0
--- Other place votes: 17.5
- Metascore: 84
- Network: FX

Inspired by Taika Waititi's 2014 mockumentary of the same name, "What We Do in the Shadows" follows Staten Island vampire roommates Nandor (Kayvan Novak), Laszlo (Matt Berry), Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), and Colin (Mark Proksch), as well as their human familiar, Guillermo (Harvey Guillén).

Season 4 introduced a host of hilarious new vampire misadventures, from Nadja running a vampire nightclub to Nandor searching for a new bride, much to Guillermo's chagrin. Mashable critic Jenni Miller wrote that Season 4's "immersively silly, strangely big-hearted vibe is exactly what the world needs right now."

#14. This Is Going to Hurt

Ben Whishaw and Ambika Mod in This Is Going to Hurt.

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

- Total points: 24
--- 1st place votes: 1
--- 2nd place votes: 2
--- Other place votes: 17
- Metascore: 91
- Network: AMC+

Ben Whishaw plays an overworked, closeted gay doctor named Adam in the British drama "This Is Going To Hurt." With sardonic wit, the series follows Adam and his fellow doctors as they attempt to care for their patients in a medical system that often fails them. The Playlist writer Lauren Coates called "This Is Going to Hurt" "a much-needed examination of the [National Health Service] and the trials of working in medicine."

#13. Atlanta

Donald Glover, Brian Tyree Henry, LaKeith Stanfield, and Zazie Beetz in Atlanta.

FX Networks

- Total points: 27.5
--- 1st place votes: 1
--- 2nd place votes: 1
--- Other place votes: 22.5
- Metascore: 82
- Network: FX

"Atlanta" Season 4 brings the story of up-and-coming rapper Earn (Donald Glover) and his friends Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry), Darius X (LaKeith Stanfield), and Van (Zazie Beetz) to a close with the FX dramedy's signature use of Afro-surrealism. As Rotten Tomatoes' critical consensus for the season puts it: "Foregrounding its characters and namesake… 'Atlanta' closes out on its sweet spot: funny, insightful, and weird as hell."

#12. Bad Sisters

Eva Birthistle, Sharon Horgan, and Sarah Greene in Bad Sisters.

Apple TV+

- Total points: 30.5
--- 1st place votes: 2
--- 2nd place votes: 1
--- Other place votes: 22.5
- Metascore: 79
- Network: Apple TV+

The Irish black comedy "Bad Sisters" flips between two timelines. In one, the Garvey sisters plot to murder their sister Grace's abusive husband, and in the other, two insurance agents attempt to prove the sisters' involvement in his death to save their company. In a positive review for Paste Magazine, Allison Keene wrote: "Mixing a mystery and thriller with humor — and doing it well—is no small feat. But Sharon Horgan's 'Bad Sisters' manages it with aplomb."

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#11. Pachinko

Minha Kim and Lee Min-Ho in Pachinko.

Apple TV+

- Total points: 35.5
--- 1st place votes: 2
--- 2nd place votes: 5
--- Other place votes: 19.5
- Metascore: 87
- Network: Apple TV+

Based on Min Jin Lee's 2017 novel of the same name, "Pachinko" tells the story of several generations of a Korean immigrant family. The TV series stars Oscar winner Youn Yuh-jung, singer and K-drama icon Lee Min-Ho, Minha Kim, and Jin Ha. The Ringer's Alison Herman wrote: "'Pachinko' proves itself an exceptional entry in the literary-hit-to-prestige-miniseries pipeline. The tears will flow, and every one is earned."

#10. Barry

Bill Hader in an episode of Barry.

HBO

- Total points: 41.5
--- 1st place votes: 0
--- 2nd place votes: 5
--- Other place votes: 31.5
- Metascore: 94
- Network: HBO

The third season of the dark comedy "Barry" once again follows its titular hitman-turned-aspiring actor (played by Bill Hader) as he attempts to balance creativity and crime in Los Angeles. The ensemble cast also includes Sarah Goldberg, Henry Winkler, and Anthony Carrigan. In his review of the season, The Playlist's Brian Tallerico wrote: "'Barry' continues to be such a deceptively smart show about the human condition, while also being one of television's funniest half hours."

#9. The Rehearsal

Nathan Fielder in The Rehearsal.

HBO

- Total points: 43.5
--- 1st place votes: 4
--- 2nd place votes: 5
--- Other place votes: 21.5
- Metascore: 86
- Network: HBO

Following the success of his absurdist docuseries "Nathan For You," Nathan Fielder returns with the even stranger, more ambitious HBO series "The Rehearsal." In the show, Fielder directs elaborately staged "rehearsals" to help ordinary people prepare for big events in their lives, from coming clean about a lie to becoming a parent. Vanity Fair's Joy Press described "The Rehearsal" as "metastasizing metafiction that keeps you on the edge of your seat—even though the show's premise is to completely eradicate all suspense and contingency from life."

#8. Abbott Elementary

Chris Perfetti and Quinta Brunson in Abbott Elementary.

American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.

- Total points: 45.5
--- 1st place votes: 2
--- 2nd place votes: 4
--- Other place votes: 31.5
- Metascore: 90
- Network: ABC

Quinta Brunson breathed new life into the network sitcom with her workplace mockumentary "Abbott Elementary." Set at a Philadelphia elementary school, the show follows a group of determined teachers who strive to give their students the best education possible—even if an apathetic school board and self-absorbed principal (played by Janelle James) often stand in their way.

#7. House of the Dragon

Milly Alcock in a scene from House of the Dragon.

HBO

- Total points: 48.5
--- 1st place votes: 3
--- 2nd place votes: 3
--- Other place votes: 33.5
- Metascore: 69
- Network: HBO

Three years after "Game of Thrones'" notoriously controversial series finale, HBO brought viewers back to Westeros with the prequel series "House of the Dragon." Tracing the origins of the Targaryen family, the show charts the power struggle and eventual civil war between the family's heirs to the Iron Throne. The New Yorker's Kyle Chayka praised the show's success as a prequel, writing, "Against the odds, HBO showrunners made more than reheated 'Game of Thrones' leftovers."

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#6. The White Lotus

Sabrina Impacciatore and Federico Ferrante in The White Lotus.

Rip Cord Productions

- Total points: 50.5
--- 1st place votes: 3
--- 2nd place votes: 2
--- Other place votes: 37.5
- Metascore: 81
- Network: HBO

Season 2 of "The White Lotus" traded the tropical classism of Season 1's Hawaiian location for the carnal power plays of Sicily, Italy. Jennifer Coolidge returns as Tanya, while newcomers include Aubrey Plaza, Theo James, Haley Lu Richardson, and Michael Imperioli. The Daily Beast writer Louis Staples praised the show's anthology sensibilities, writing, "Each episode of 'The White Lotus' surfaces a different fan-favorite character or performance."

#5. Reservation Dogs

D

Dive

- Total points: 58.5
--- 1st place votes: 8
--- 2nd place votes: 5
--- Other place votes: 24.5
- Metascore: 93
- Network: FX/Hulu

"Reservation Dogs" follows four Indigenous teens growing up on an Oklahoma reservation, as they contend with absurdist hijinks and the crime and poverty that lurk on the edges of their coming-of-age journeys. As The Ringer critic Miles Surrey put it: "No other series can veer so wildly from moments of slapstick comedy to tear-jerking pathos and always stick the landing."

#4. The Bear

Liza Colón-Zayas and Jeremy Allen White in The Bear.

FX Networks

- Total points: 98
--- 1st place votes: 10
--- 2nd place votes: 6
--- Other place votes: 56
- Metascore: 88
- Network: FX/Hulu

"The Bear" follows Carmy ("Shameless" star Jeremy Allen White), a fine dining chef who returns to Chicago upon inheriting his late brother's sandwich restaurant. It received a favorable review from Mashable's Belen Edwards, who wrote: "As with the perfect high-end cuisine or Italian beef sandwich, every element of 'The Bear' combines to create a delectable treat you'll want to savor all over again."

#3. Better Call Saul

Bob Odenkirk in Better Call Saul.

High Bridge Productions

- Total points: 103
--- 1st place votes: 14
--- 2nd place votes: 16
--- Other place votes: 29
- Metascore: 95
- Network: AMC

"Breaking Bad" prequel "Better Call Saul's" sixth and final season faced the task of not only wrapping up Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould's Albuquerque universe, but completing the tale of underdog lawyer Jimmy McGill's transformation into the sleazy Saul Goodman and sealing the fates of beloved original characters like Nacho Varga (Michael Mando) and Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn).

The series ultimately succeeded, ending on a bittersweet note and drawing some of the most favorable critical reviews of the year. As Empire critic Boyd Hilton notes: "A nigh-on perfect finale confirms [the show's] steady rise to the giddy heights of all-time classic television drama."

#2. Andor

Diego Luna in Andor.

Lucasfilm Ltd.

- Total points: 108
--- 1st place votes: 15
--- 2nd place votes: 8
--- Other place votes: 47
- Metascore: 74
- Network: Disney+

"Andor" functions as both a "Star Wars" spinoff and a prequel to the 2016 film "Rogue One," with Diego Luna reprising his role as Cassian Andor. The series tracks Cassian's evolution into the skilled Rebel spy we meet at the beginning of "Rogue One," with an ensemble cast that also includes Fiona Shaw, Stellan Skarsgård, and Andy Serkis. LA Weekly's Erin Maxwell wrote that "at its heart, ['Andor'] is a character study told on the backdrop of a revolution."

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#1. Severance

Actors in a scene from Severence.

Apple TV+

- Total points: 114.5
--- 1st place votes: 14
--- 2nd place votes: 9
--- Other place votes: 54.5
- Metascore: 83
- Network: Apple TV+

In the sci-fi psychological thriller series "Severance," a biotech company employs a medical procedure to separate employees' personal memories from their work memories. After a strange encounter with an alleged former coworker, protagonist Mark (Adam Scott) and his department coworkers (played by John Turturro, Zach Cherry, and Britt Lower) begin to untangle a web of dark secrets about what's really going on within their workplace.

Co-directed by Ben Stiller and also starring Patricia Arquette and Christopher Walken, "Severance" received 14 Emmy nominations for its first season.