All throughout 2022, Netflix debuted a wide array of sensational new shows that took audiences across the world by storm. From thrilling mysteries to spellbinding fantasy dramas, and even raunchy animated sitcoms, the streaming giant was in no short supply of imaginative and compelling programs. Fans couldn’t get enough of Jenna Ortega’s star-making role as the morbid Wednesday Addams in Tim Burton’s gothic hit Wednesday, while viewers were treated to the pulse-pounding apocalyptic horror series All of Us Are Dead, chronicling a group of students’ fight to survive against zombies.
Some of Hollywood’s most celebrated stars headline these shows, with everyone from Naomi Watts, Kristen Bell, Bobby Cannavale, and Catherine Zeta-Jones appearing in the new Netflix hits. Many of these programs have gone on to garner widespread critical acclaim and serve up some seriously impressive streaming hours, with the crime series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Storybecoming the third Netflix original to pass one billion views in 60 days. Let’s take a closer look at the best new Netflix shows of 2022.
11/11 The Watcher
Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale are a married couple terrorized by a chilling stalker sending threatening letters in the mystery thriller The Watcher, which is loosely based on a New York article by Reeves Wiedeman that chronicles real-life pair Derek and Maria Broaddus’ nightmarish experience with a menacing stalker who goes by the titular pseudonym.
Following The Watcher‘s killer debut and subsequent fan-following and popularity, the actual home at 657 Boulevard residence in Westfield saw a huge influx of visitors and police even had to guard the home to prevent trespassers. Despite being conceptualized as a limited miniseries, it was quickly renewed for a second season due to its streaming success.
10/11 All of Us Are Dead
The South Korean apocalypse horror series All of Us Are Dead takes place at a local high school that has become ground zero for a horrific zombie outbreak after a science experiment goes awry, forcing the students to ban together and fight the undead. The show is based on the Joo Dong-geun Naver webtoon of the same name, and was a massive hit with Netflix viewers, accumulating over 474.26 million hours within its first 30 days on the streaming site.
Critics and fans couldn’t get enough of the zombie-themed coming-of-age drama, with Variety commenting, “Like Squid Game before it, All of Us Are Dead makes the most out of its nightmarish central location to otherworldly, dizzying effect.”
9/11 Vikings: Valhalla
Serving as a sequel to the History network’s thrilling drama series Vikings, the epic action adventure spin-off Vikings: Valhalla takes place a century after the events of its predecessor and chronicles the mounting animosity between the Vikings and English royals as they clash over conflicting philosphies and world views, culminating in the end of the Viking Age.
The show depicts major historical figures like famed Norse explorer Leif Erikson and the King of Norway Harald Hardrada, and earned praise by critics for its riveting storytelling and dominating performances; within its first week Vikings: Valhalla amassed 265,550,000 hours watched globally.
Jenna Ortega became a sensation this year, first with the horror films X and Scream, but especially when she took on the iconic role of the macabre-loving titular character in Wednesday, which follows the teenager’s morbid misadventures as she is sent to the Nevermore Academy private school and finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery.
Tim Burton co-created, executive produced and directed multiple episodes of the sensational series, which touts a stellar ensemble cast including Catherine Zeta-Jones, Luis Guzmán and Fred Armisen with an appearance by the ’90s film adaptations star Christina Ricci. Wednesday has earned two Golden Globe nominations and has quickly become Netflix’s second-most watched English-language show.
7/11 Inventing Anna
Revered producer and screenwriter Shonda Rhimes created the gripping drama miniseries Inventing Anna, based on the criminal exploits of German con artist Anna Sorokin, who targeted the New York elite by pretending to be a wealthy heiress in order to swindle them out of money, services and various goods.
Julia Garner (Ozark) delivered a fantastic portrayal as the scheming young woman, earning both a Golden Globe nomination and Critics’ Choice Television Award nomination for her performance; The Boston Globe wrote that she is, “not surprisingly, fully up to the difficult task of portraying a person with no center, both for laughs and for drama. She is compelling throughout.”
6/11 The Sandman
Based on the DC Comics of the same name, the wondrous fantasy drama The Sandman stars Tom Sturridge as Lord Morpheus/Dream, the keeper of dreams and nightmares who is captured and held prisoner for 106 years by a mortal wizard; after he finally escapes, Morpheus must set out to restore order to Earth and his realm the Dreaming.
The Sandman was a smash hit for Netflix, earning praise for its stunning visual effects, production design, performances and faithfulness to the comics. Within just three days of its release, the series was viewed over 69.5 million hours, unsurprisingly leading to a second season renewal in November and a bonus episode.
Comedian Mo Amer co-created and stars in the dramedy series Mo, which is loosely inspired by his personal experiences as a Palestinian refugee growing up and his struggles with assimilating to life in a Houston suburb. The poignant program delves into the agony of displacement and shines a light on the asylum process in the United States, with the performer using both humor and tragedy to depict his family’s harrowing journey.
Amer expressed in an interview with NPR, “It speaks to a second generation statelessness, right? And the ripple effect that happens from being stateless… Once you’re waiting for your asylum to be granted, you’re just out there, no home on paper.” Mo currently holds a prestigious 100% Rotten Tomatoes score.
From the creators of the Netflix series Dark comes the epic period sci-fi mystery 1899, which follows a group of multinational European immigrants who are heading to New York City on a steamship that encounters another migrant ship left adrift on its journey; the foreboding vessel holds terrifying realities within it that threatens the passengers’ new lives.
The dark and foreboding series accumulated 79.27 million viewing hours within its first three days, with audiences loving the suspenseful storyline and sci-fi elements; 1899 was nominated for the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Foreign Language Series and has topped numerous critics’ lists as one of the best new shows of 2022.
3/11 Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story
The highly-popular yet controversial crime anthology series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story depicts the life of the notorious serial killer, chronicling his complicated upbringing and relationships with his father and step-mother while dramatizing his disturbing murderous spree between 1978 and 1991.
Evan Peters gives a performance of a lifetime as the infamous killer, who murdered and dismembered seventeen men over the course of 13 years. The Ryan Murphy show garnered mixed reviews from critics with some deeming it as exploitive and borderline glorifying of Dahmer, yet it nonetheless was a streaming hit for Netflix and went on to amass more than 865 million hours viewed within its first month.
2/11 Human Resources
Serving as the spin-off and subseries for the Netflix smash hit Big Mouth, the adult animated sitcom Human Resources touts a dazzling voice cast including SNL alum Aidy Bryant, Keke Palmer, Randall Park, and Maya Rudolph, and takes place in the universe of the monsters from its hilarious predecessor.
Centering on fan-favorite creatures like the Hormone Monsters and Shame Wizards as they help guide people throughout the various stages of life, the show was a knockout with both audiences and critics that quickly led to a second season renewal; The A.V. Club wrote in their review, “Familiarity with Big Mouth may bring in viewers, but Human Resources‘ distinctive humor and commentary on humanity will keep them watching.”
1/11 The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window
Kristen Bell is absolutely delightful as a devastated woman who begins to wonder if she witnessed a murder in the highly-descriptive dark comedy The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window, which centers on grieving painter Anna Whitaker as she self-medicates and struggles with depression following the collapse of her marriage and death of her young daughter.
The satire drew inspiration from thrilling novels like The Girl on the Train and Sharp Objects, as well as Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, and Bell’s deadpan performance was singled out as the shining spot of the series. Bloody Disgusting praised the dark comedy and Bell, declaring that it “is far more digestible than its mouthful of a title, and the absurd satire builds to a hilarious punchline.”