best of 2022

Vulture’s 20 Most-Read TV Recaps of 2022

Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos Courtesy of the Networks

It was a big year for our TV recaps. 2022 was the biggest, in fact, by several measures, including the sheer number of shows — 172!— and episodes covered by our talented and ever-growing corps of recappers. Week after week, binge-drop after binge-drop, our recaps were a destination for fans eager to process their feelings about an episode and/or volley opinions in the comments. We watched and read along as beloved series ended, cliffhangers left us screaming, and pop-culture obsessions formed.

So we’re closing out a banner year by looking back on the shows, and their corresponding recaps, that Vulture readers flocked to in 2022. Below, you’ll find the 20 series that earned the most cumulative traffic to their recaps, along with the most-read individual recap from each show. Thanks for reading, commenting, and helping to keep the TV conversations going.

20. Yellowjackets

Photo: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME

Searching for Answers That Don’t Exist, Episode 10: “It can’t be stated as a hard fact yet that certain survivors of the crash chose not to be rescued and remain in that cabin in the present day, but I wouldn’t doubt it. Especially in the case of Lottie Matthews. But dead or alive, rescued or remaining, no one fully made it out of that wilderness.” Read the recaps 

19. RuPaul’s Drag Race

Photo: VH1

The Season 14 Variant, Episode 1: “Can this season and the new crop of girls persevere in the face of Drag Race fatigue? Can the keystone of this franchise remain fresh and innovative despite the global proliferation of the Drag Race IP?” Read the recaps 

18. And Just Like That

Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/HBO

One Year Later, Episode 10: “And just like that … I think I’m extremely onboard with the full trajectory of Carrie’s arc this season? Have I just been worn down by ten episodes chock-full of moments of complete nonsense? I don’t care; I love rom-coms, and I am open to any and all story-ending elevator makeouts.” Read the recaps 

17. The Gilded Age

Photo: Alison Cohen Rosa/HBO

Escape From Mrs. Astor’s, Episode 8: “I love when I can’t anticipate a twist; it is my absolute favorite, so this episode is *chef’s kiss.* And then! At court! We have a real My Cousin Vinny moment (so satisfying every time, that movie) or Legally Blonde moment (slandered by The Office), wherein the stenographer’s admission that she and Dixon are married causes the case to be dismissed. Hurray! I hate that I’m on the side of a robber baron, but here we are.” Read the recaps 

16. Bridgerton


Mr. Duplicity, Episode 5: “[Anthony] trips over Newton (who’s a good boy?) and falls back into the lake, taking Dorset with him. It’s a delightful moment of physical comedy that ends with the Sharma girls ogling Anthony’s chest, his white shirt now see-through and clinging à la Colin Firth in 1995’s Pride and Prejudice miniseries. This is art! High art!” Read the recaps 

15. The Old Man

Photo: Byron Cohen/FX

On the Run, Episode 1: “Hello and welcome to my fellow The Old Man viewers. If you’re here, it means you’re probably at least a Jeff Bridges fan, a John Lithgow fan, a spy-thriller aficionado, and/or a dog person.” Read the recaps 

14. Yellowstone

Photo: Paramount+

Married to Montana, Episode 1 : “Is Yellowstone turning from a soapy, violent western into a soapy, violent political drama?” Read the recaps 

13. Station Eleven

Photo: HBO

The Path Things Take, Episode 10: “Their road forks like it has before, but everything in Station Eleven comes back around. Paths cross, then recross. When you strip away almost everything and everyone in the world, it turns out what’s left is deeply and indelibly connected. I have found you nine times before, maybe ten, and I’ll find you again. In Year 20, you can say good-bye to someone on purpose. You get to miss people until you see them next. There are no forks, no ends. Time is a stormy circle going round and round and round.” Read the recaps 

12. The Crown

Photo: Keith Bernstein/Netflix

Queen Victoria Syndrome, Episode 1: “Backlash against The Crown will probably only help its ratings (thank you, Streisand Effect), but is the concern warranted? Let’s see!” Read the recaps 

11. Better Call Saul

Photo: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Telivision

The Time Machine, Episode 13: “And yet ‘Saul Gone,’ written and directed by Peter Gould, finds an ending for Jimmy that’s hopeful and authentic without feeling rosy or unearned. It’s possible largely because Better Call Saul is a show about Kim Wexler, too, and their partnership is worth more than the sum of its considerable parts.” Read the recaps 

10. Atlanta

Photo: Guy D’Alema/FX

For the Culture, Episode 1: “Coming back to Atlanta is the perfect and most obvious way to begin such a bittersweet ending, bringing the characters and actors back to where it all started. Atlanta is at its best when exploring themes of race, power, and culture through the core characters, and it’s hard to capture that outside of, well, Atlanta.” Read the recaps 

9. Severance

Photo: Wilson Webb/Apple TV+

A Tale of 3 Innies, Episode 9: “I understand if there’s viewer frustration over the lack of answers in this finale episode. Personally? I’m going to love thinking about this show for months to come. For me, the best shows are the ones that tease my brain with possibility.” Read the recaps 

8. Euphoria

Photo: Eddy Chen/HBO

Bad Art Friend, Episode 7: “Lexi is, as we come to learn, the Bad Art Friend: Inspired by her childhood on the sidelines, her play about a fractured group of friends is an autobiographical patchwork of perfectly re-created memories, observations, and dream sequences that strike a nerve with just about everyone. For a high-school play, it’s both expectedly clumsy and unbelievably extravagant.” Read the recaps 

7. Stranger Things

Photo: Netflix

Running Up That Hill, Episode 4: “Thank God Max has been so emo these days; she hasn’t gone anywhere without her Walkman and tapes. Thank God Lucas is the best; he knows her favorite song is Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill,’ which they promptly put on and shove Max’s headphones over her ears. Thank God that song is such a goddamn jam because it really adds some drama to the entire conclusion of the episode. The perfect needle drop! Kate Bush saves lives, and don’t you ever forget it, baby.” Read the recaps 

6. This Is Us

Photo: NBC/Ron Batzdorff/NBC

The Pearson Process, Episode 16: “They just had to play that song, didn’t they? That song! That goddamn you-will-ugly-cry-while-sliding-down-a-wall (or we will die trying to get you to ugly-cry while sliding down a wall) song. Sometimes This Is Us just can’t help itself, you know?” Read the recaps 

5. The Handmaid’s Tale

Photo: Sophie Giraud/Hulu

They Never Let Anyone Get Away, Episode 10: “For all its faults — plot lines that spin out of control, inconsistent world-building, an overreliance on Elisabeth Moss’s eyebrows — I do love this show.” Read the recaps 

4. Ozark

Photo: Steve Dietl/Netflix

Ghosts, Episode 14: “When Marty and Wendy chose to uproot their family and launder money for a Mexican drug cartel, they knew in their hearts that it would come with a cost. But it turned out that the cost was mostly paid by others. Think how few people have survived the orbit of the Byrdes.” Read the recaps 

3. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Photo: Casey Durkin/Bravo

The Ghost of Kathy’s Future, Episode 21: “Meanwhile, Kathy was off somewhere, out of town without an excuse, trying to figure out how to get out of all of this. She’s going to get Sutton’s assistant to say that she didn’t call him an F-word. She’s going to plant mean stories about Erika and Rinna. She is going to go on a charm offensive with all of the press. She’s even going to keep Bravo from playing the trailer for the reunion at the end of the episode by kidnapping one or both of Andy Cohen’s young children.” Read the recaps 

2. House of the Dragon

Photo: Courtesy of HBO

The Second Sex, Episode 4: “‘King of the Narrow Sea’ brings Big Sex Energy to House of the Dragon and pulls off a neat little trick. It gears us up to think that Rhaenyra’s failed liaison with Daemon will be the “coupling” (to use Otto Hightower’s word) of the evening, when in reality, it’s only the first in a series of three with the latter two telling us far more than the first. (Though incest has a way of throwing things a little off balance.) Congratulations to House of the Dragon for finding a way to make sex actually further the narrative and character development, creating the strongest episode so far.” Read the recaps 

1. The White Lotus

Photo: Francesca D’Angelo/HBO

Dead in the Water, Episode 7: “She sees that a wounded Quentin is still alive. ‘Is Greg having an affair? Tell me, I know you know,’ she asks. Even in a world where Greg has orchestrated her murder, the thought of him cheating on her still consumes her. It’s so brilliant and classically Tanya. What happens next is also classically Tanya.” Read the recaps 

Several series appear on this list thanks in no small part to their active comments sections. … With a few appearances from series that began their seasons in 2021, but ended so strongly that they rose to the top based on just a few episodes aired this year (Yellowjackets, And Just Like That …, and Station Eleven).
Vulture’s 20 Most-Read TV Recaps of 2022