2022-2023 was a stellar time for television. With the premiere of brand new series, adaptations and notable seasons, TV lovers will remember these blockbuster hits for years to come.
With classes coming to an end, students will have more time and energy to binge the shows they were too busy to watch during the academic year. Here are the four best series from this year that you should add to your watchlist.
Arguably one of the best video game adaptations to date, HBO's "The Last of Us" series follows the story of an unlikely pairing as they navigate a treacherous, post-apocalyptic world. The outbreak of the contagious Cordyceps disease causes infected individuals to turn into zombie-like creatures, creating action and suspense with every scene. In real life, this infection is present only among insects, but this show forces viewers to ponder the harrowing idea of the virus manifesting in human form.
With the narrative mostly paralleling the plotline of Naughty Dog’s video game, “The Last of Us," the story of the two protagonists, Joel and Ellie, presents themes of heartbreak, sacrifice and humanity during a tragedy.
The series has garnered over 6.4 million viewers since its release in mid-January, and while the show can certainly stand alone, game lovers will appreciate the tasteful details included throughout the series that pay tribute to the original story. Superb acting performances, a beautiful storyline and gut-wrenching twists around every corner make this show an emotional masterpiece.
Almost every scene in "The Last of Us" keeps viewers' eyes glued to the screen as they wait to see what will happen next. The show has managed to reach a level of viewer-character connection that is seldom seen on television, making the show a unique example of the power of meaningful storytelling.
"The White Lotus" — Season Two
If you can get past the creepy, yet oddly catchy intro music, HBO's "The White Lotus" is one of television's most clever social satires. While the first season tackled themes of socioeconomic and racial disparities, this new season focused on relationships, love and sex — all within the beautiful landscape of a Sicilian paradise and under the guise of crude humor.
Besides the return of Jennifer Coolidge’s beloved character, Tanya McQuoid-Hunt, season two featured both a new setting and a revamped cast, with big names like Theo James and Aubrey Plaza joining the show. This new atmosphere proved to be successful, as more than 70% of fans on Rotten Tomatoes gave the season a positive review.
Each character's overlapping, well-developed storylines are what give this show its distinctive flair. From the uncomfortable dynamic between two college best friends to the Di Grasso men and their generational issues with women, this show spends just the right amount of time developing each story. The plot is so rich that it is easy to forget that the show is actually a murder mystery at its core.
The shocking reveal of the deceased and the killer is sure to leave viewers' jaws on the floor as they eagerly await the premiere of the next installment. The compelling acting performances and clever storytelling make this show an unforgettable watch.
Following the disappointing conclusion to the "Game of Thrones" series, fans were curious about the new spinoff series, "House of the Dragon." Luckily, this show learned from past mistakes and returned the "Game of Thrones" series back to its roots as one of the best on television.
The story follows the Targaryen family approximately 200 years before the events of "Game of Thrones," answering viewers’ questions about the family's origin story and ultimate demise.
The main plotline follows a young princess, Rhaenyra Targaryen, who fights for her place on the Iron Throne against her male counterparts. Through a journey of betrayal, confounding love affairs and dragon fights, this prequel series was equal parts captivating and jaw-dropping. Superb performances by the actors are enough to put "House of the Dragon" on this list, but the rich storylines and the typical, elevated "Game of Thrones" production quality are even more reasons to watch this thrilling revival.
The "Yellowstone" franchise has taken the television world by storm via the original "Yellowstone" series (2018-present) and its prequels, "1883" (2021) and "1923" (2022). While it is helpful to know the interweavings of the Dutton family tree, viewers can watch the three installments completely separate from one another, as each presents a storyline from a different time period.
Following the events of the first prequel, "1883," "1923" resumes with a new generation of Duttons in their attempt to save their Montana ranch from an encroaching mining company. While this is the main plot, other storylines, such as a couple’s treacherous journey from Africa to America, make "1923" an eventful watch.
If you have grown tired of "Yellowstone's" exhaustive season five, this show provides the perfect return to the well-done period drama that fans love. Season one concluded in late February of 2023, leaving viewers on a cliffhanger for what is to come next in the Dutton family's story. Overall, "1923" is an example of the perfect blend of story-building while tackling important themes such as love and sacrifice.