Things We Loved in 2022

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Like most recent years, 2022 was pretty bad, but that doesn't mean we didn't experience some good things. Specifically in the world of music, movies and television where artists continue to crank out content for a seemingly unlimited number of places. Here are a few things we really loved in 2022 that we might not have mentioned previously.

RRR

Was this the greatest, most outlandish, insane action movie ever? Or is that selling it short? RRR is a three hour foreign language film that just does not stop for a second. They invented about a dozen things that you've never seen in a movie. It's like cinematic cocaine. Even the dance battle scene. Seriously. - Stephen Douglas

Everything Everywhere All at Once

My god, what a freaking film. It is almost impossible to present a truly unique concept in the sci-fi movie space these days, and yet the creators behind this flick managed to do that while also standing out in a multiverse-heavy pop culture scene. I've never been so confused yet on the verge of hysterical laughter for two entire hours before. I doubt I will be again. - Liam McKeone

Top Gun: Maverick

Not sure we're adding anything new to the discussion on this one, but Tom Cruise's follow-up to Top Gun was awesome. Everything about it from the story, to the action to the humor to Val Kilmer's cameo hit every note perfectly. There's a reason it holds a 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The young actors who played the next generation of pilots were excellent, Cruise was at his best and the fact that they actually shot the actors in F-18s is legitimately insane. It was one of the best in-theater experiences you'll ever have. What a movie. - Ryan Phillips

Mythic Quest

For someone who loves video games and workplace comedies I can't believe it took me this long to find Mythic Quest. Thankfully I did and I am much better off for binging all of the episodes in the last three weeks. Hard to find a show out there with better writing right now. Charlotte Nicdao is unmatched in her range of expressions as Poppy Li. I am obsessed with David Brittlesbee and the new Abed. Rob McElhenney is obviously stupendous and yet deserves to be mentioned behind these individuals. Seriously, can you name anybody with a more expressive face than Poppy? - LM

Bluey

Few things have been as soothing and comforting during the pandemic as the Australian cartoon Bluey. Trapped at home with small children, the need for family-friendly programming that wouldn't make a parent lose their mind was incredibly important to have. My family spent two years watching the Heeler family's adventures over and over. The first half of the third season finally hit Disney+ this summer. It was a greatly anticipated event and absolutely lived up to the hype. - SD

Wednesday

I really wish this had come out in October. The Addams Family belongs to Halloween. If you had told me I would binge it in a few days in the middle of Christmas movie season, I would have been shocked. But there I was, loving the Nevermore universe, not really caring at all who did what or why. Jenna Ortega was great and the rest of the cast nailed the noir feel. It's also worth noting that this incredibly dark show was incredibly well-lit. More Wednesday by next Fall, please. - SD

Shoresy

The absolute hubris of Jared Keeso taking a one-note character like Shoresy and turning him into a three-dimensional human being and making an incredible sports comedy with heart. With all the incredible, tightly-packed dialogue of Letterkenny. I want more. - SD

The Forever Story

Any music lover knows there are few things more vindicating and enjoyable than keeping tabs on an under-the-radar artist for years and watching them blow up with their best project yet. Such is what happened with JID and The Forever Story. I've been on JID since The Never Story and DiCaprio 2 was one of my favorite albums from the last few years. The Forever Story built on everything good JID had going and eliminated all the bad. An excellent album from start to end that will get buried by the rap giants who dropped in the same year-- but not in this post on this website! - LM

Mike Camerlengo's Breakdowns

One of our favorite Twitter staples is friend of the site Mike Camerlengo's breakdowns. Every few days, Camerlengo posts a video where he expertly examines ever angle of a sequence in sports, movies, TV, commercials, etc. They're incredibly funny and engaging and 2022 was his best year yet. A few hits include breakdowns of Jake Taylor's bunt from Major League, a Brett Favre Wrangler commercial, Jeremy Grey getting lit up during the football game from Wedding Crashers, and Ja Morant's insane block on Avery Bradley. The man doesn't miss. We can't wait to see what he has in store for 2023. -RP

Impera

Ghost has been one of my favorite bands from the first time I heard Square Hammer on the radio. They keep getting better. IMPERA is full of the catchiest, poppiest music an occult themed Swedish literal death metal band has ever made. - SD

Pat Finnerty

Pat Finnerty has been making his What Makes This Song Stink YouTube videos since 2021, but I just discovered him this year while trying to understand why I hated Machine Gun Kelly's "Emo Girl" so much. Or maybe it was why Beverley Hills is Weezer's worst song? Whatever it was, I was immediately hooked. Finnerty recently started a podcast of the same name where he and a guest break down why certain songs suck, but they cover so much more ground than that. His seemingly encyclopedic music knowledge and musical ability makes for an incredibly enjoyable experience in any medium. - SD

Elden Ring

I hate this game so much. And I love it. As a longtime member of the sports-and-easy-RPGs only gaming club, diving into the brutal and grinding affairs of a FromSoft game was... not quite a breath of fresh air. More like an act of self-flagellation with a cat-o-nines that I found to be refreshing and enjoyable in a sick way. Such an aggravating game that I still haven't even finished and yet one that will forever stand out in my memory as I build up the courage to get smacked down by the most basic of enemies over and over. F*** those crawling hands. - LM

Alestorm

This Scottish group has been around for more than a decade, but I was not aware of them until their latest album, Seventh Rum of a Seventh Rum came out this summer. It was then that my life would never be the same because i had discovered pirate metal. It's exactly what it sounds like, which is awesome. - SD

Hustle

Adam Sandler's best movie since Happy Gilmore came via his love of basketball. The critically-acclaimed film follows Philadelphia 76ers scout Stanley Sugerman as he scours the world looking for the next great NBA prospect. While it has moments of humor, Hustle relies on Sandler's underused dramatic chops. A standout performance from Juancho Hernangomez as undiscovered prospect Bo Cruz, a ton of NBA cameos, and a lot of great basketball action make this a can't-miss flick. - RP

Melt My Eyez See Your Future

I didn't think it was possible for Denzel Curry to make an album I loved more than TA13BOO. And then he dropped MMESYF. I contend this is the best pure rap album of the year. Better than Kendrick Lamar. Better than Future. Better than Drake. Curry stood out in a year loaded with incredible rap music and it'll be in the rotation for a long time. Also, it's just a coincidence that the two rap albums I picked have Celtics-centric bars. I swear. - LM

Welcome To Wrexham

We wrote extensively about why Welcome To Wrexham is great in our 2022 Sports Media Awards so I won't hammer that point home further. I just wanted to have it on this list because it confirmed that Ryan Reynolds and I would be great friends if we met. - LM

Severance

A very strange show that was executed to perfection and absolutely stacked with incredible acting performances. Adam Scott and Patricia Arquette, in particular, should win all the awards. There may not be another show as off-putting that still managed to keep you on the edge of your seat for a full season. I can't wait to see how the showrunners tie all the bizarre threads together that they laid out. - LM

Reboot

A loaded cast drives the success of this brilliant comedy. Keegan Michael-Key, Judy Greer, Paul Reiser, Rachel Bloom, and Johnny Knoxville will have you dying laughing throughout each of the eight episodes. The writing is among the best in the business. And the whole meta Hollywood concept (creating a reboot of a beloved 90s sitcom that nobody really asked for with actors and actresses who have only gone downhill since those days) is smartly done without getting too smart about it. Hulu's finest non-soccer-related new television show of the year. -LM

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