2022 wrap-up: best movies, TV shows, music of the year

Rich in great entertainment in all hemispheres of media, 2022 shined with its releases this year. As the fall semester comes to an end and 2023 rounds the corner, The Daily Texan compiled a list of the best movies, television and albums of the year.



“Nope” directed by Jordan Peele

Jordan Peele returns and successfully goes three-for-three in his new extraterrestrial horror adventure with out-of-this-world stakes starring Keke Palmer, Daniel Kaluuya, Steven Yeun and Brandon Perea. The beauty of “Nope” lies in its cinematography from Hoyte Van Hoytema (“Tenet,” “Interstellar”) and the rich thematic underlyings of Jordan Peele himself. Audiences will find this movie to only get better and better upon rewatch and understand why this is one of the best of the year.

“Everything Everywhere All At Once” directed by Daniels 

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s cross-genre masterpiece skillfully accounts a family’s journey through the multiverse. The thought-provoking film incorporates absurdist visuals and flashy action sequences to deliver an entertaining sci-fi flick, all while tackling underlying themes of healing and generational trauma. Hilarious and thought-provoking, the film offers something for any viewer to take away — although seeing Jamie Lee Curtis with hot dog fingers might just be the film’s biggest draw.


“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” directed by Ryan Coogler 

Ryan Coogler transports audiences to the beauty of Wakanda while effortlessly introducing Talokan, an underwater Mesoamerican kingdom that is equally as mesmerizing. The film offers an emotional tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman while balancing complex themes of colonization, grief and the fight for survival. 


“Wendell & Wild” directed by Henry Selick

Playing demon brothers in entrancing stop motion, Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key team up once again in a whimsical film by Henry Selick (“Coraline”). The film centers on 13-year-old Kat Elliot’s battle with demons, darkness and the big bad of private prisons in her town. 

TV Shows 

“Stranger Things” season four created by the Duffer Brothers 

The sci-fi cultural phenomenon “Stranger Things” returned for its fourth season with multimillion- dollar high stakes and an upside-down-defying story. Featuring the familiar lovable cast, beautiful cinematography and branching storylines, “Stranger Things” season four will have audiences eager to revisit Hawkins once again.


“The Bear” season one created by Christopher Storer, TW: suicide 

When chef Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto returns to Chicago following the death of his brother, he finds himself in charge of his brother’s struggling sandwich shop. Despite kitchen brawls, criminal activity and an enormous inherited debt, the chef finds a chosen family in his kitchen staff. In the role of Carmy, Jeremy Allen White brings the heat, leading the show’s ensemble in a story about healing and acceptance.


“Abbott Elementary” season two created by Quinta Brunson 

From Sheryl Lee Ralph to Tyler James Williams to Quinta Brunson herself, “Abbott Elementary” shines with a star-studded cast, striking comedic gold when it premiered in 2021. The mockumentary sitcom holds onto its spotlight with its second season through its expert comedic timing, clever banter and a much-needed glimpse into the daily lives of school faculty. 


“Bridgerton” season two created by Chris Van Dusen 

Bridgerton returned for a second season full of tension and longing that will satisfy any and all hopeless romantics. Following Anthony Bridgerton and new addition Kate Sharma’s blossoming romance, the period piece dazzles yet again with extravagant sets and costumes, sweeping orchestral covers of modern songs and a slow burn romance full of heated looks and passionate lines of dialogue that will leave viewers breathless. 



Renaissance by Beyoncé 

In her summer release, Beyoncé provided listeners with an electric album using her signature artistry to deliver a project full of historically powerhouse genres such as ballroom, dancehall, house and trap. Marking her seventh solo studio album, Renaissance stood out this year as a triumphant celebration of self-love, confidence and embracing one’s sexuality with its upbeat tracklist and unabashed groove.


Harry’s House by Harry Styles 

In his third studio album, Harry Styles delivered a tracklist full of 1970s pop and funk genres, groovy bass lines and bold horns. Harry’s House shows off a more colorful, upbeat sound with a few moments of delicate vulnerability, gifting fans with a multitude of musical earworms and catchy melodies they will surely hum to themselves all day.


Traumazine by Megan Thee Stallion 

Megan Thee Stallion’s surprise release Traumazine delivers a dynamic album, showing off her sonic versatility with a catalog of songs that range from powerful 1990s hip-hop-inspired songs to slower, more sensual tracks. She continues to show off this range lyrically, rapping about topics such as her own trauma, mental health, grief and plight in the industry. Displaying her range, Traumazine creates a raw and powerful declaration of the strength and prowess of Megan Thee Stallion. 


Hold The Girl by Rina Sawayama 

Rina Sawayama takes pop stardom by the reins with her sophomore album. Transcending any singular genre, the album showcases Sawayama’s signature glamorous, bold soundscapes while leaning on more personal themes such as self-acceptance and healing one’s inner child. Adopting inspiration from 2000s rock ballads on tracks like “Phantom,” and more flashy, autotune-heavy arrangements on “Imagining,” Sawayama proves herself as one of pop music’s most ambitious, versatile creators.