Our Favourite Viewing Experiences of 2022 (So Far)

Andrew Buckle,

It is hard to believe that we’re half way through another year. We’ve reflected on 2022-to-date across the broad spectrum of Movie and TV Shows available to us, and plucked out some of our favourite viewing experiences so far.

This is a mix of newly released titles that get the stamp of approval from the Fetch editorial team – Andrew, Adam and Drew.

Andrew

Dune

Buy or rent in the Movie Store.

The first part of Denis Villeneuve’s (Arrival, Blade Runner 2049) gargantuan adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal classic sci-fi novel, long thought to be near-impossible to adapt, was even better than I expected. This jaw-dropping spectacle of a film is one of the few released this year that I have genuine regret about missing in the cinema.

The casting, top to bottom, is perfect with Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa and Sharon Duncan-Brewster particularly impressive. The scale of the story is enormous, but it doesn’t work without the time and attention dedicated to the complex world-building, establishing the perils of the Atreides mission on Arrakis and maintaining that palpable sense of dread.

RRR

Stream now on Netflix.

This Telugu-language action-drama-musical epic landed unexpectedly on Netflix in May riding an impossible wave of buzz after a scattered theatrical release in Australian cinemas early in 2022. This exhilarating film operates at an extreme pace throughout its swift (no joke) 182-minute runtime, and contains a handful of the most exciting action sequences in recent memory. It also has a posh British garden party dance-off featuring the film’s hunky stars that is amongst the most joyous scenes put to film.

In this fictional exploration of an undocumented period in the lives of two real-life Indian revolutionaries, Alluri Sitarama Raju (portrayed by Ram Charan) and Komaram Bheem (portrayed by N.T Rama Rao Jr), writer-director S.S Rajamouli imagines what would have happened had they met and become best buddies. The film is wholesome entertainment for its wholehearted maximalist approach to historical drama and blockbuster action and with it’s technical marvels *whispers* it shows up many a Hollywood tentpole along the way.

After Yang

Buy or rent in the Movie Store.

The latest film from South Korean filmmaker Koganada (see also Columbus) is a quietly stunning exploration of the make-up of family and how humanity’s reliance on the material can unhinge them from deeper human connections. This low-key sci-fi is set in the near future and deals with the complex metaphysics of what makes us human.

When his daughter’s android companion, Yang (Justin H. Min), malfunctions and breaks down Jake Fleming (Colin Farrell) traverses a complicated bureaucratic process of repairing him. Farrell’s wonderfully understated work is just further proof that he is one of the very best actors working today. The decisions his character is tasked with here as he reckons with his daughter’s reaction to the loss are all beautifully considered by Farrell. On his endeavour he also seeks to sew a fraying connection with his wife Kyra (Jodie Turner-Smith), while grappling independently with the implications of a historically-significant discovery.

Severance

Available on Apple TV+

To find the trippiest and most groundbreaking new series of television you’ll need to be an Apple+ subscriber but there’s no denying the heightened stimulation that this unnerving mystery series provides for the privileged initiates.

Created by Dan Erickson, and with six of the episodes directed by Ben Stiller, there’s an impressive uniformity to Severance’s tone and look – the pacing, cinematography, set design, musical score and performances (notably Adam Scott and Tramell Tillman) are all perfectly complementary and committed to realising this truly unique vision. It’s rare to find a show that is so polished while spinning so many concepts at once.

Evil Season 1-2

Stream now on Paramount+

Season 3 has just released on Paramount+, and I’m keen to dive in. I have had a great deal of fun working through the first two seasons, and have a lot of confidence that this razor sharp concoction of wicked humour and unsettling supernatural imagery will offer up even more bizarre cases for the team to confront.

The playful chemistry between said team – Kristen (Katja Herbers), David (Mike Colter) and Ben (Aasif Mandvi) – is an absolute pleasure to watch. In their investigations into alleged supernatural phenomenon their array of encounters – including misdiagnosed ailments, potential demonic possessions and various manifestations of evil – permeate their personal lives and challenge their beliefs.

Station Eleven

Stream now on Stan.

I wrote about this in further detail here, but Station Eleven was a show that I had been recommended by several friends. It was released to limited fanfare, and easy to miss (or dismiss), but is truly an unsung gem.

Station Eleven is based on the acclaimed novel by Emily St. John Mandel and tells a post-apocalyptic saga spanning multiple timelines. It offers up a rich, if often deeply upsetting, experience for the patient and contemplative viewer.

Other notable recommendations include: Top Gun: Maverick, The Quiet Girl, The Batman, Hustle, The Afterparty Season 1 and Is it Cake? Season 1


Adam

1883

Watch now on Paramount+

1883 was as much a surprise to me as I imagine it probably would be to any Yellowstone naysayers. Those who are immediately turned off at the thought of a carbon copy spin-off of that show. When a prequel series was announced, many simply assumed a lift and shift situation – Similar characters and story set 150 years earlier.

The truth is that 1883 is nothing like Yellowstone. While the latter is more “Dynasty on a ranch” and (somewhat unfairly) brandished as boomer-fodder, 1883 is something else entirely, and without doubt the biggest surprise on television this year.

Why? Well, firstly because you will find nothing like it on TV. There’s a calming simplicity to it that is rare to see these days. This is a journey narrative…and that’s it. Characters needing to get from one part of the US to another. The genius lies in the obstacles they face on the way, the captivating landscapes and the personalities we meet.

Oh, and obviously Sam Elliot (and his magnificent moustache) is reason enough to watch.

Severance

Available on Apple TV+

It’s daring, unique, perplexing, and doesn’t offer what many would consider any satisfying answers. Still, when that final episode of the season played out we all knew we had just watched something special.

Severance feels like a shot in the arm of episodic television. Mostly because it dares to be obtuse, strives to be surreal, and succeeds in being esoteric and thought provoking. Wow, that’s a lot of brain work for an hour of television each week. But so totally worth every minute.

While a lot of the focus has been on the tone and set design of Severance, it’s easy to forget just how spot-on the casting is. Adam Scott anchors the show with his nuanced performance as a damaged everyman, while the supporting actors are all endlessly watchable.

The Dropout

Watch now on Disney+

The Dropout was never on my “Must-Watch” list in 2022, but we all know that sometimes the best viewing experiences can be stumbled upon; a fellow housemate binge-watching a show that hooks you in as you walk past the TV, or your partner pulling you into their latest obsession. The Dropout was a stumble I was very happy I took.

There has been a spate of these Docu-dramas over the past year, everything from Inventing Anna on Netflix, Super Pumped on Paramount+ and We Crashed on Prime Video, but I’m here to say that The Dropout was far and away the pick of the bunch. I had seen the Elizabeth Holmes HBO documentary so knew the story, but somehow I was still regularly gripped and consistently surprised by each episode.

Maybe it was the performances, lead by Amanda Seyfried whose take on Holmes’ voice was hilariously accurate. I’m more inclined to think that it was the overall production. This was far from a cash-in take on a buzzy true life scam, it was a very well made, slick and well written drama on the shocking true events.

The Worst Person in the World

Buy or rent in the Movie Store.

As a self-confessed, world weary movie aficionado with a slightly cynical eye, I always sit up and take notice when a movie resists the temptation to go into well worn territory. The Worst Person in the World could have so easily taken the safe route and added itself to the large pile of harmless romantic comedies that came before it.

Instead, it throws out all tropes, turns its back on predictability and thumbs its nose at contrivance to become a heartfelt, tragic, touching and honest portrayal of a woman finding her true self and accepting that not all things work out…and that’s ok. Such a refreshing message, especially for younger people, that is so rarely captured on screen.

If you are looking for a smart take on romance, coming of age and the step into true adulthood, walk past the new Jennifer Lopez romcom and try The Worst Person in the World on for size. You might be glad you did.

The Northman

Buy or rent in the Movie Store

Looking for a strong, visceral experience from a film? The Northman is it. There’s blood, there’s guts, there’s violence and anger. I’d call that that a pretty good way to spend an evening.

Don’t worry if director Robert Eggers’ previous films put you off (The Lighthouse, The Witch) this is a hyper real revenge flick at its core. Sure, it’s dressed up with oddities and some head-scratching moments, but you’ll be hard pressed finding a more intense action splatterfest this year.

Keep an eye on the technical details too. This is one incredibly well made movie where ever head blow and bone crunch is detailed clear and crisply while the landscape and scenery is stunningly shot.

The Lost Daughter

Stream now on Netflix.

The Lost Daughter is my undisputed winner of best cast this year. Who cannot like Olivia Colman? I’ve been singing Peter Sarsgaard’s praises for years (and yet he still feels underrated) while Dakota Johnson is magnetic in any movie (especially when she chooses the good ones!)

The film has an hypnotic, unsettling tone throughout as we follow Colman’s character around on her solo seaside holiday. You do get the feeling that the movie may have failed with anyone else playing the lead, as every nuance of Olivia Colman’s face and mannerisms captures a woman in pain, and in search of answers about her own past. It’s a powerful performance that I doubt many actresses could pull off this well.


Drew

Everything Everywhere All At Once

Premium buy or rent in the Movie Store.

Weird, Wacky and Wonderful! This is this best way to sum up Everything Everywhere All At Once. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t hooked in the first half of the movie but by the end it had taken the spot as my favourite movie of the year so far. 

Michelle Yeoh delivers a stellar performance, absolutely stealing the show. She is supported by an amazing cast including Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis and James Hong. Though the story can be complicated at times the film does a brilliant job of wrapping up all the threads, making for an awesome and unforgettable viewing experience.

The Adam Project

Stream now on Netflix.

Now, as a massive Ryan Reynolds fan this one may be a little biased. Besides this fact The Adam Project delivered a simple but hilarious story with some interesting sequences. The golden moments come through the interactions between Ryan Reynolds and new up-and-coming star Walker Scobell, who each play the older and younger version of the same character.

The Adam Project is an easy, relaxing Sunday afternoon watch. Perfect for when you feel like having a lazy day.

The Lost City

Buy or rent in the Movie Store.

If you asked me if The Lost City would make my list before it came out I probably would have thought it unlikely. It wasn’t a movie I rushed off to the cinema to check out, but it’s a top choice to wind down to after a long week.

Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum were a duo that I thought I’d never be wanting more of. They deliver fantastic performances in this jungle adventure that will have you laughing out loud throughout the whole film. Also Brad Pitt co-stars, what more could you want?

The Boys S3

Stream now on Prime Video.

I’ve been a fan of The Boys ever since the first episode. It has been one of my favourite shows of all time. Some series can lose their magic over time, but this is not the case with The Boys. The third season has been the best by far, as the show continues to push boundaries with every new episode drop. This show is not for the faint of heart.

For all you Supernatural fans out there Jensen Ackles has taken the mantle of Solider Boy. This addition, plus the development of Homelander losing the plot, has made for one of the most full-on seasons. If you’re a fan you know that’s no easy feat.

From

Stream now on Stan

From was just fantastic! If you are a fan of horror or mysteries this show needs to be next on your list. From had me sitting on the edge of my seat from episode one all the way to the finale. It’s filled with twists that keep you guessing, and that makes it hard to just watch a single episode at a time.

If you watched Lost you might recognise lead actor Harold Perrineau Jr. But From takes on many of the aspects that made Lost the long running hit it became, without feeling like a carbon copy. So if you liked Lost I can almost guarantee you’ll get a thrill out of this thrilling series.

Super Pumped

Stream now on Paramount+

Super Pumped explores the story of Uber’s rise to the top and all the issues that came along with that. It is a must-watch drama. Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives a brilliant performance as the problematic CEO Travis Kalanick. The story follows him as he builds Uber into the empire it is today, and not always in the most ethical way.

Super Pumped doesn’t shy away from the problems that Uber caused within society and the issues that arose from it’s rapid rise to the top. It explores Uber’s origin story in an interesting way that will keep you wanting more.

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