TV reviews from 2022

To rule them all.

Akhil Arora’s TV series reviews from 2022 feature a trip to Middle-earth and a galaxy far, far away.

Morfydd Clark as Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

“[Nothing] says you’re trying to cash in on the success of the Lord of the Rings films than The Rings of Power’s ultimate villain […] Sauron. After a brief tease at the start, just as with the movie trilogy, he mysteriously disappears. […] That hollowness is intentional, for [it] hangs itself around the suspense of Sauron’s true identity. Take a trip around the Internet, and you will notice that a majority of the discussion about the first season during its six-week run revolved around ‘Who is Sauron?’”

Monika Panwar as Gudiya Singh in Jamtara: Season 2

Jamtara: Season 2

“As my mind began drifting thanks to the unengaging plotting and problematic choices, I began to wonder: what is Jamtara really trying to say? On one level, [it’s] about how a lack of good jobs and opportunities drives small-town India into get-rich-quick schemes. They’ve got nothing better on offer. On another, it’s about how money is also power. […] Politics may be more central than ever, but Jamtara season 2 doesn’t have anything new to say.”

Diego Luna as Cassian Andor in Andor


“There’s a degree of murkiness in every corner of Andor—and that makes sense. After all, there are no Jedi here chasing a purity of mind or heart, no do-gooders who believe in the Force, and no heroes with a hurrah can-do spirit willing to put everything on the line. This is the gritty end of the line, following the non-lightsaber folks who must get by with ingenuity, negotiation, and hardiness. It’s about those sketching out an existence on the fringes of the Empire.”

Milly Alcock as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon is a thing of beauty […] Of course, the Thrones prequel benefits from existing world-building—Westeros, King’s Landing, and the Red Keep aren’t foreign to us now—but the writing, direction, and performances elevate it further. It nails scene construction, narrative momentum, and the moment-to-moment flow. These might seem like small things, but they can make or break a TV show.”

Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/Daredevil, and Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

“At times, [Jennifer] Walters talks to us as if she’s like one of us—a She-Hulk viewer herself. Walters is hyper-aware that she’s inside the telly, and who’s who in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. […] But just because she’s aware of how filmmaking and ‘film criticism’ works, doesn’t always help She-Hulk as a show. It’s a blatant attempt to have your cake and eat it too, and unfortunately, the ingredients of the newest MCU series can be pretty mundane at times.”

Shoorveer poster


“Everything shot against the sky is fully reliant on green screens or computer-generated imagery (CGI). The latter is plain awful. Video games from 10 years ago have better graphics than the quality of CGI on Shoorveer. Look, I wasn’t expecting Top Gun: Maverick … but Star Wars did better with its miniatures in the ’70s and ’80s than Shoorveer does with its computer animation.”

Ewan McGregor in and as Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan Kenobi had no time for the character to have a journey. And hence, despite [Ewan] McGregor’s best efforts to imbue some depth to the role he reprised after a gap of nearly two decades, he couldn’t make him feel like a living breathing human. There wasn’t any room for that growth, of a disillusioned Jedi Master, who had pulled himself away from the Force, finding his way back to his old way of life.”

Aaditi Pohankar Bhumika Pardeshi She Season 2

She: Season 2

“[One] of the worst things Imtiaz Ali has ever put on paper. From the start of season 1, Ali’s tenet with She has been that sexuality can empower women. But he hasn’t had the faintest idea how to go about it. […] Ali’s scripts … are entirely incapable of sketching its characters and its world out for themselves. Basically, he doesn’t know how to show it, so it’s shoved into empty dialogues.”

Ms. Marvel Iman Vellani Kamala Khan

Ms. Marvel

“[Inspired] by her Marvel comics … in more ways than one. Its titular protagonist loves to fantasise and doodle, and as such, her chats and conversations are turned into larger-than-life animation on walls, are imprinted on roads, or take over neon lights and building signage. To me, it felt reminiscent of both Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. In their vein, Ms. Marvel’s comic book-inspired stylisations are spot on.”

Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven/Jane Hopper in Stranger Things 4

Stranger Things 4

“[In] trying to be bigger, grislier, and longer than ever, Stranger Things 4 … ends up feeling a lot like standard genre stuff of its ilk. The bigger problem though isn’t that the new season of the hit Netflix series is formulaic. It’s that it’s lacking in joy and humour. Stranger Things 4 is so immersed in its plot demands that it forgets what made the previous seasons exciting.”

Ranveer Brar as Rajveer, and Pratik Gandhi as Manzar "Manzu" Ali in Modern Love Mumbai

Modern Love Mumbai

“[Most] of its stories—each Modern Love Mumbai episode is standalone since it’s an anthology—are humdrum. While some episodes start off poorly and never get you on their characters’ side, others begin in a promising manner only to fade out eventually. Many don’t earn their insights, consist of clunky dialogues, or make superficial observations. And some cram too much into their 40-minute runtimes.”

Arjun Rampal as Om Singh in London Files

London Files

“[A] hilariously bad cop show. [… Arjun] Rampal’s police detective is stuck inside the TV, except he doesn’t know it. After all, that’s the only way to explain his bewildering actions, things no cop in his position would do.”

Sakshi Tanwar as Sheel Chaudhary in Mai


“[A] thoroughly unconvincing transformation of a 47-year-old housewife … into an ice-cold operator who’s thinking two steps ahead of everyone. She repeatedly discovers key information simply through luck, mostly by being at the right place at the right time. If your protagonist’s superpower is chance, you’re going to get eye-rolls if not outright laughter.”

Oscar Isaac in and as Moon Knight

Moon Knight

“[A] snooze fest. Most of it is about MacGuffins … and as the hero and villain chase, find, and procure them, the new Marvel series becomes too plot-driven. […] Lead director and executive producer Mohamed Diab—the first Arab man to take control of an MCU property—has made a big deal of how Moon Knight will fix pop culture representation of Egyptian culture, but that doesn’t mean anything when scene to scene, it’s not fun to watch.”

Madhuri Dixit Nene as Anamika Anand in The Fame Game

The Fame Game

“[Despite] being made by some of the biggest insiders in town—Karan Johar is a producer—The Fame Game has very little of concrete to say about the underbelly of being famous. If anything, it comes across as fan fiction at times, like outsiders projecting what they hear in the news. It ought to offer a deeper reflection—but too often, it ends up treading in clichés and surface-level observations.”

The Book of Boba Fett Temuera Morrison Ming-Na Wen Fennec Shand

The Book of Boba Fett

“[Poor] and lazy writing. The first four episodes, devoted to [Boba Fett], were entirely useless. The backstory was largely boring … and the present-day story moved at a humdrum pace. Stuck in one place … The Book of Boba Fett ground to a halt. It could have overcome that if it had something to say or show [… But] when they ran out of Fett’s past and present, [it] simply ditched him and switched over to Din Djarin.”

Pratik Gandhi as Suraj Yadav in The Great Indian Murder

The Great Indian Murder

“Most scenes land with absolutely zero impact—as we push deeper and deeper, it’s mind-bogglingly excruciating to watch as [director Tigmanshu] Dhulia haplessly struggles with the material. […] The Great Indian Murder is disjointed, a mess from start to finish, and ends on a whimper. It’s quite possibly the worst thing Disney+ Hotstar has ever said yes to.”

Jim Sarbh as Homi Bhabha in Rocket Boys

Rocket Boys

“[Largely] speaking, a masterly act. As a character drama, Rocket Boys deftly balances the personal and professional worlds of its dual leads. […] Ruminative at times, [it] reflects on the characters’ internal struggles, pursuits, and challenges. It chronicles their brilliance and perseverance (aside from their friendship), but it’s also not afraid to reckon with the fact that [Homi] Bhabha and [Vikram] Sarabhai didn’t always deliver on their promises.”

Anchal Singh as Purva Awasthi in Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein

Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein

“[Wants] to depict the slow but inevitable descent of a man who is caught between sticking to his principles and pulling out of [an admirer]’s orbit. Except Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein takes too long to get there—and the journey is not remotely interesting or intriguing enough.”

Shefali Shah as Dr. Gauri Nath in Human


Human’s biggest undoing though is in thinking that it’s an operatic drama. It pushes its narrative elements—trauma therapy, heedless ambition, and class commentary among others—to such a comical degree that its characters threaten to boil over into caricature. [It] tries to tackle too much [and] in doing so, Human drives itself off the cliff in the process.”