The Summer Of 2022: A Golden Season For Genre TV Shows

As the summer of 2022 winds down and the recent permieres of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, The House of the Dragon, and Star Trek: Lower Decks, it can be easily argued that this summer was one of the greatest time periods for genre TV shows.

Usually the summer is a wasteland when it comes to TV shows. In the old days before streaming and cable, viewers had a difficult time finding any original TV shows. The best option was watching reruns or hoping some failed TV show with limited episodes or pilot would turn up. Often the quality of these cast-offs were suspect and they were forgettable. The summer was the time to go to the movies, to travel, or to go play outside. Well that has been noticeably different in recent summers, but especially the summer of 2022. Sure, those activities are still available, but if you want to just stay home, relax and get out of the heat, there are now plenty of original, quality TV shows to watch.

Starting in May and ending this month, we’ve been treated to a rich menu of TV shows to binge and obsess over. Here is a partial list, in no order, of what the summer of 2022 had for viewers:

Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Boys, Ms. Marvel, For All Mankind, Stranger Things 4, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Westworld, Baymax!, Moonhaven, What We Do in the Shadows, American Horror Stories, Primal, Harley Quinn, Resident Alien, The Umbrella Academy, The Sandman, Paper Girls, The Orville: New Horizons, The Walking Dead, Tales of the Walking Dead, and the three most recent premieres, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Star Trek: Lower Decks and The House of the Dragon. But there are more TV shows that will be out by the end of August such as See and Stargirl. Also left off this list were TV shows that debuted earlier this year but their season concluded during the summer, which include Superman & Lois, Fear the Walking Dead, and The Flash.

As anyone can see this is quite a diverse selection of TV shows that caters to all types of tastes. Want some space fantasty? There’s Obi-Wan Kenobi or The Orville: New Horizons. Superhero fare? Choose from She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Stargirl, Ms. Marvel and so on. How about animated shows? There are plenty of choices like Star Trek: Lower Decks, Harley Quinn, Primal, Love, Death + Robots, etc. Whether its comedy or high drama, horror, sci-fi or fantasy, this summer offered them all. Even if anyone was not interested in TV shows, there were some interesting choices running from the I Am Groot shorts to full-length movies like Prey or Samaritan.

Why the sudden interest to fill the summer schedule with can’t-miss TV fare? There are many factors, but most likely the reason is that the television and streaming schedules are very crowded now with lots of competition. Some of the above TV shows might have gotten lost in the shuffle of a fall or winter schedule with many other kinds of TV shows and events like the Super Bowl and major holidays. It could also be due to the pandemic since many people still won’t venture out into the movie theaters and prefer the comfort and safety of their homes.

Whatever the reason, it is worth mentioning that many of these TV shows are high-quality productions that resemble mini-films with big-name stars and topnotch special effects. Many of these shows entered the public consciousness this summer and became must-view events to be discussed either online or in person. These included The Boys, Stranger Things 4, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and Obi-Wan Kenobi. In fact, Stranger Things 4 helped revitalize interest in the old ’80s song “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)” due to the song’s placement in a few episodes. What is heartening is that many of the shows are not new and the fact that they can still generate public buzz is a remarkable achievement.

Will the summer of 2023 and future summer TV seasons match the quality and quantity of this summer’s exceptional genre TV shows? Who knows? Hopefully this trend will continue for a long time!

4 comments on “The Summer Of 2022: A Golden Season For Genre TV Shows

  1. The scope and scale of the TV shows we’ve enjoyed in recent months has been truly staggering. Many of them have been of an extremely high standard as well. Old favourites like Stranger Things and new shows like Kenobi and now House of the Dragon has kept them momentum building throughout the spring and summer. Its certainly a great tine to be a Sci-Fi / superhero, and fantasy fan right now!

    • I knew this had been going on for the past couple of summers, but this year was very obvious. Summer of 2022 will probably become as fondly remembered for genre shows as Summer of 1982 was famous for classic genre films like E.T., Star Trek II, and Blade Runner.

  2. I wonder (and this idea is coming to me and forming just as I type so we’ll see where it goes XD) if part of the reason we’re seeing such high quality TV shows is because of the all headaches that go with streaming. Or rather, the idea that content is always shifting around based on who owns which rights and instead of the bygone era of cable and then premium cable, all the major companies are creating their own platforms. With that comes the attempt to woe subscribers and so they’re up the diversity and production value. I know I often get headaches over trying to decide which services I want to have but this is a decent side effect of the streaming wars, too. Heck, I’m living in a world where the last two weeks I’ve watched a new episode of ‘Harley Quinn: The Animated Series’ and ‘She-Hulk’ each Thursday and I love that :).

    • Those are some valid points and probably the main reasons for the increased quantity and quality of the shows. Sure, it is easy to just crank out garbage to flood the market but this won’t generate dedicated fans or critical acclaim. It will be interesting to see how long this goes on, fingers crossed that we’ll keep getting quality shows for a good while!🙂

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