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Saturday 29 January 2022

Welcome back to The Ephemeric's 2022 Hot List. This week we will have a look at the most exciting new literature and novels you'll be reading in the coming year.

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Some good news, book sales have soared over the past couple of years. People of all ages are getting back into reading, which is just as well because there has never been more content more readily available. Meanwhile the newest range of digital devices and subscription services allow for essentially unlimited reading without having to worry about the cost or storage. Get yourself into reading and you will suddenly find yourself open to countless new stories and adventures.

So here it is: your reading list for 2022, our list of the top 10 upcoming releases from the world of literature to keep an eye on this year, starting, as always, with number 10:

10. "Black Cake" by Charmaine Wilkerson

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We start with Black Cake, the debut novel of Charmaine Wilkerson, a former journalist and short story author with roots in the Caribbean, now based in Italy.

In present day California, two siblings must respond to the sudden death of their mother, and the two unusual items bequeathed to them in her will: a Caribbean black cake, and a mysterious audio message. What ensues is a winding tale of secrets, betrayal and murder.

Black Cake finds itself on the reading list of many a literature pundit as we head into 2022 and has benefited from plugs by some very influential boosters. This seems set to be one of the bigger book releases of the year. 

9. "Glory" by NoViolet Bulawayo

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The sophomore novel to a well received, award nominated debut is always a tricky beast. But you wouldn't know it from the looks of Noviolet Bulawayo's ambitious new novel, Glory.

Based on the real life events following the fall of Mugabe, Glory is set in a fantastical nation populated by intelligent animals. A ruthless, charismatic leader is deposed, leading to a scramble for power. Basically, Animal Farm in Africa.

It's certainly a passionate and ambitious piece of commentary, one which presents a perspective on a part of the world of which we ordinarily see very little. I imagine it could make quite an impact when it releases in March.

8. "The Perfect Golden Circle" by Ben Myers

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Another sophomore novel, this time for Ben Myers, known for his well received debut The Offing

The Perfect Golden Circle is set in 1980s England, a time of economic hardship, class war and austerity for many. Over the course of a very strange summer, two rural outcasts set out in an old campervan to perpetrate an elaborate act of rebellion, forming ever more complex crop circles, and in the process spawning a cultural phenomenon.

This sounds like it will be a delight. A rural setting, UFO culture, 1980s nostalgia, all mixed in with intelligent and exhilarating historical perspective. This is coming out in May.

7. "The Anomaly" by Hervé Le Tellier

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The only reason this one is lower down the list is that it is technically not a new novel. Hervé Le Tellier's million selling novel The Anomaly originally launched in its native French back at the tail end of 2020, but it is only now that an English translation is hitting the bookshelves.

An ambitious and original piece of work, The Anomaly is a high concept work of science fiction. An airplane full of passengers inexplicably duplicates, resulting in hundreds of people now with an identical double living the same lives as them.

It's a highly philosophical work that asks questions of the nature of identity and reality. The original French release went on to win the Prix Goncourt.

6. "Yerba Buena" by Nina LaCour

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Young girl arrives in the big city of Los Angeles looking to make it, working as a mixologist in a high-end restaurant. She meets and falls for a floral designer. It's all going so well, until the sketchy histories of both characters begin to catch up with them, and chaos ensues.

This is the plot of Yerba Buena, new novel and first foray into adult literature from Nina LaCour, an author until now best known for her work in YA fiction.

Yerba Buena promises a bit of escapism at a time when we all really need it. The food and drinks, the southern California coastline, and the dramatic, twisty narrative. This is out in May and will make for some ideal summer reading.

5. "The Candy House" by Jennifer Egan

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Certainly one of the more hyped releases of 2022. The Candy House is the new novel from the Pulitzer Prize winning author Jennifer Egan

This is best kind of science fiction, the kind that is disturbingly plausible and forces you to ask questions of your values. Told in a series of interconnected stories, The Candy House imagines a world where the technology exists to record and store memories, and all the benefits and potential risks such a concept brings.

Coming out in April, The Candy House promises a very current subject matter with observations on social media, technology and our own insecurities.

4. "The Premonitions Bureau" by Sam Knight

best literature 2022 novel book premonitions bureau aberfan sam knightThe somewhat true story of a Government investigation into apparent psychic premonitions leading up to the Aberfan disaster of 1966. The Premonitions Bureau is the debut work of journalist Sam Knight.

This is the story of John Barker, the psychiatrist tasked with running this investigation, who would go on to interview hundreds who had shown apparent abilities, and attempt to determine if there was any truth to these supernatural claims.

It's one of those so crazy you can't believe it's true stories, and a must-read when it releases in May.

3. "Illuminations" by Alan Moore

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A rare foray into non-graphic literature from legendary comic book artist Alan MooreIlluminations is a collection of short stories, all charged with the wild imagination of one of the literary world's true originals.

Moore is best known for his work with graphic novels, notably Watchmen, V for Vendetta and, arguably the best of all Batman novels, The Killing Joke. But the quality of his writing shouldn't be underrated. Moore has often garnered acclaim on the basis of his craft, and Watchmen was even named by Time Magazine among the 100 greatest novels of the 20th Century.

When it comes to Alan Moore, you're never quite sure what to expect. What we can safely say is that it will be unique when it releases this October.

2. "How High We Go in the Dark" by Sequoia Nagamatsu

best literature 2022 novel book how high we go in the dark sequoia nagamatsuThink Cloud Atlas mixed with Station Eleven and it will give you some idea of what to expect from Sequoia Nagamatsu's debut novel. An ambitious sci-fi depiction of a world where global warming has unleashed a catastrophic ancient virus, the events of How High We Go in the Dark unfold over hundreds of years, featuring multiple characters and perspectives.

Perhaps you will feel you've had enough of virus stories? This may actually be exactly what you need. A rich vision full of hope, compassion and humanity. If How High We Go in the Dark touches a little close to home at times, it does so for the right reasons and provides reason to be inspired.

Nagamatus's debut is considered by many to be one of the year's hottest releases. It is out end of January.

1. "Sea of Tranquility" by Emily St. John Mandel

best literature 2022 novel book sea of tranquility emily st john mandel station eleven And finally, our number one most hotly anticipated novel of 2022 is Sea of Tranquility, the new novel of Emily St. John Mandel, the award winning author of Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel.

This is about as close to an "event" novel as it can get. Mandel's latest is a hugely ambitious time-hopping odyssey that explores locations as disparate as 1912 British Columbia, a black-skied cityscape of the future, and the Moon. Sea of Tranquility ponders the nature of reality, the passage of time, art, love and everything in between. 

Not to be missed, Mandel's latest novel will release April of this year.

So there you have it folks: 2022 in literature. Tune in soon for our next instalment of the Hot List, covering the essential new theatre coming up in 2022!

Thursday 13 January 2022

Hello and welcome back to the Hot List. This week we will turn our attention to the videogame industry, previewing for you loyal readers the most exciting videogames set for release in 2022.

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If 2021 will be remembered for something in gaming, it is the release of the Playstation 5... even though it actually came out in 2020. Yes, unfortunately the global chip shortage continues to wreak havoc, leading to skyrocketing prices on even second hand hardware. There are signs that governments are beginning to take steps to alleviate the crisis, but we shall have to wait and see. Otherwise it has mainly been a year of slowly regaining normalcy, with pandemic-related delays easing up and most industry events returning in at least some, mostly still remote, form. 

One area that has thrived this year is the indie game scene, as well as published games from new developers, new voices. An abundance of good development, funding and delivery resources, as well as a thriving market for escapism, means that there has rarely been a better time to get into the industry for those so inclined, and 2021 saw a remarkable slew of high quality games from unexpected sources. I am excited to see what new feats of creativity and design 2022 has to offer in this increasingly democratised space.

So here it is, the 15 key videogames to keep an eye on in the coming year (trailers linked in the title where available), starting with number 15:

15. Homeworld 3 (PC)

homeworld 3 best games 2022 pcThe original Homeworld was an extraordinarily hyped title back when it launched in the late 1990s. A massive, bombastic space opera with cutting edge graphics and presentation, not to mention pioneering 3D gameplay unlike anything other developers were putting out at the time. 

While critically acclaimed at the time, the series pretty much vanished after 2003's Homeworld 2, due in part to the IP kerfuffle in the wake of original publisher Sierra's collapse. Homeworld went on to form something of a legendary cult status and has seen a revival in recent years with a prequel spin-off and remastered versions of the original games finding release. The announcement, finally, of Homeworld 3 may have been somewhat inevitable in retrospect, but still a very welcome surprise. 

Little is known so far, but it can be presumed that Homeworld 3 will follow its predecessors in gameplay and style. This has been tentatively pencilled in for a Q4 2022 release.

Release Date: Q4 2022

14. Hogwarts Legacy (PC, Xbox, Playstation)

hogwarts legacy harry potter best game 2022When Hogwarts Legacy first leaked a few years back, it created about as much of a stir as one would expect. A massive open world RPG based on the Harry Potter franchise is the stuff of many gamers' dreams, not to mention the closest thing to a money-printer you can find in the entertainment industry.

Following its official reveal at the end of 2020, we have learned a few more things about this title. Players will control a student at Hogwarts in the 1800s, attend classes, explore the environs, and presumably embark on some grand adventure. The game looks to be extremely customisable, with players able to design their character in quite specific detail, choose their House and wizarding proficiencies.

I predict this will be a big deal when it releases, barring some unprecedented botching. We do not yet have a release date, but it has been said to be due during 2022.

Release Date: TBA 2022

13. Oxenfree II: Lost Signals (PC, Mac, Xbox, Playstation, Switch)

oxenfree 2 II lost signals netflix 2022 best gameThe first game was an acclaimed indie darling, a surprise hit that delighted with its smart design and accomplished writing. The sequel, Oxenfree II: Lost Signals comes with rather more auspicious trappings; the weight of expectation from its forebear and the status of being the first major acquisition in Netflix's new push into interactive media.

But that new expectation is also driving greater ambition. Oxenfree II is bigger than its predecessor, more open ended, more personalised. The aesthetic and tone may be familiar for fans of the developer, but it is clear that with this next release they are trying to mix things up a bit in surprising ways.

While an official release date has not yet been provided, it has been confirmed to be out in 2022, and leaked data suggests February.

Release Date: February 2022

12. Harold Halibut (PC)

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Taking inspiration from the likes of Wes Anderson and Aardman Animations,
Harold Halibut is the culmination of ten years' painstaking work in perfecting a unique and, frankly, stunning hand-made claymation art-style. The result is one of the most striking games in recent memory, which from early appearances seems to have the humour and narrative flair to match. 

Looking past the aesthetic flair, one finds a fairly traditional point-and-click adventure game in the style of Monkey Island, Sam and Max, or for more recent gamers the various output of Telltale Games. Set on a marooned space ship some 250 years in the future, players must help unravel the mysteries of their new home and find a way to return their ship on course before time runs out.

Harold Halibut is currently due for release in 2022. The only reason it isn't higher up this list is my skepticism that it will actually manage to meet this target.

Release Date: TBA 2022

11. Star Trek: Resurgence (PC, Xbox, Playstation)

star trek resurgence telltale best game 2022 pc xbox ps4 ps5And speaking of Telltale Games (I think I mentioned them above. If I have since deleted this reference then please disregard), we have Star Trek: Resurgence.

So this isn't actually a Telltale Game, but the debut project of a team of 20+ former Telltale developers cast adrift by the company's recent turmoil. A third person adventure game crafted very much in the mold of a Telltale game, with dialogue driven point-and-click adventure gameplay familiar to fans of the genre.

It's also a Star Trek game, which is frankly a rarity these days and a surprising treat for fans of the series. If the team can craft a solid narrative in this universe, drawing on the thought-provoking sci-fi and optimistic, character-driven adventuring of classic Trek, then that will make it one of the potential standouts of 2022.

Release Date: TBA 2022

10. Stray (PC, Playstation)

stray best pc ps5 playstation game 2022 cat kittyIn Stray, you play a cat, and you do cat things. What's not to like? More specifically, Stray is a gorgeous platformer set in an open world that is dripping with personality. The gameplay is focused on exploration and puzzle solving with the help of your drone buddy as you try to uncover the mysteries of this world and return home.

This is the latest title from Annapurna, who in recent years have established themselves as one of the most consistent marks of quality in the gaming industry, with excellent releases such as What Remains of Edith Finch and The Artful Escape.

Stray is set to launch towards the end of 2022 on PC and Playstation.

Release Date: Q4 2022

9. Victoria 3 (PC, Mac)

victoria 3 iii paradox grand strategy europa universalis crusader kings best game 2022Grand strategy is a blossoming genre in gaming, and Paradox Interactive are the undisputed kings of that genre. Victoria 3 is the Swedish developer's latest in the Victoria series, a strategy game focused on the 1836 - 1936 period that saw the advent of colonialism and the rapid escalation between global empires that gave rise to the wars of the 20th Century.

The Victoria series is somewhat unique among strategy titles in that is blends traditional strategy gameplay with more political elements. Nation management involves deft handling of demographics and class strata, with minutely detailed pops each with their own needs and wants. As befits the era, international competition depends as much on alliances and influence as brute strength.

Release date is TBA but rumoured to be early 2022, perhaps as soon as the end of February.

Release Date: February 2022

8. Nivalis (PC)

nivalis cloudpunk lifesim best game 2022 pcIon Lands' debut title Cloudpunk placed them as one of the new darlings in indie gaming. But while the cyberpunk taxi simulator was blessed with smooth driving mechanics and surprisingly capable storytelling, what really elevated tie game to prominence was its world, a stunning voxel cyberpunk dystopia oozing with atmosphere. Follow up project Nivalis builds on that strength. A slice of life sim set in that wonderful setting.

Precisely what that means is still shrouded in mystery, but we do know that Nivalis will feature business management, social simulation and home decorating. Like a cyberpunk version of Stardew Valley, with more life-sim features. dexter new. Whatever they come up with, I could not be more excited about returning to this world.

Release date is still very much TBA, but the suggestion is that Nivalis has been in production since before Cloudpunk launched, and could be due for a surprise release before the end of 2022.

Release Date: TBA 2022

7. Fermi Paradox (PC)

fermi paradox indie best game 2022A 4X game the likes of which you have never seen, Fermi Paradox is one of the most exciting indie titles I have seen in some time. While it would be easy, from a glance at the game's star-map, to draw comparisons with the likes of Stellaris and Master of Orion, this is something else entirely. 

An exploration of the paradox between the age of the universe and the lack of life we see elsewhere, this game is very much about the hard science. A choice-driven narrative strategy game in which players guide a number of different species across the galaxy through their evolution, from primordial stew to the space age and beyond. Each choice you make (as well as the decisions and actions of each species) can potentially doom their civilisation, or lead them to colonise the far reaches of space. All the while you are constrained by the harsh realities of physics, providing a surprisingly excellent illustration of the difficulty in exploring and understanding the universe. 

This is one of the smartest strategy concepts I think I've ever seen. Currently in early access, Fermi Paradox is expected to see full release towards the end of 2022. 

Release Date: Q3 2022

6. Triangle Strategy (Switch)

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It may have the worst name for a videogame since "Returnal", but Triangle Strategy is shaping up to be a very exciting prospect. This is the newest project from the Square Enix team behind Octopath Traveler. The 2018 JRPG was highly praised for its modern twist on retro aesthetic and its character-driven storytelling that hearkened back to the glory days of genre classics like Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger. 

Triangle Strategy, by contrast, takes its inspiration from the like of Fire Emblem and the Final Fantasy Tactics series and the subgenre of tactical strategy that those games exemplify. That genre, combined with Octopath's graphical style and storytelling, is a home run if ever I saw one.

Triangle Strategy will launch in March.

Release Date: March 2022

5. Bomb Rush Cyberfunk (PC)

bomb rush cyberfunk jet set radio hideki naganuma best game pc 2022I'm a 90s kid. That means I inherently love Sega. But Sega are an objectively bad company. How else can you explain why a company that always appears to be on the verge of collapse is allowing an astonishing catalogue of classic intellectual properties and franchises (arguably matched only by Nintendo in depth) to just collect dust in a warehouse somewhere? Chief among these is the great Jet Set Radio series of games. Frustrated by their intransigence, a group of indie devs (and apparent fans of the series) have taken matters into their own hands by crafting their own spiritual successor to the long dormant franchise. The result is Bomb Rush Cyberfunk.

Fans of Jet Set Radio will find much of what they love here. Bright, cell-shaded visuals, the funky musical stylings of the brilliant Hideki Naganuma, and the same mesmerising neo-futuristic urban setting. Featuring a colourful cast of characters, you will skate around a dizzying cityscape full of gangs, graffiti and rebel-spirit. So far it looks great.

Release is confirmed to be sometime during 2022. Can this indie team succeed where larger studios have failed and emulate the success of this classic title? We shall see.

Release Date: TBA 2022

4. Kerbal Space Program 2 (PC, Xbox, Playstation)

kerbal space program 2 jebediah best game 2022The original game remains one of the greatest gaming surprises of recent years. Created by one amateur coder during his lunch break, the concept was fairly simple: build rockets and try to launch them into space under realistic physics and orbital mechanics. The deceptively deep toybox-like design tools proved such good fun that you could sink hours into just getting that one perfect spacecraft into orbit before even realising you had other planets to visit. Now a full team of professional designers are bringing a full-blooded sequel, Kerbal Space Program 2.

The goal of this sequel appears to be to take the successful foundations of the original and just build on it. More parts, colony building, multiple star systems. It's the type of feature list that fans and modders have been dreaming about, but the key will be to get the basics right. The physics system has to feel as solid as the original, the building tools need to be as intuitive. It won't be enough to just slap a coat of Kerbilish paint on a pale imitation.

Originally revealed back at the end of 2019 with an expected 2020 release date, it has to be a concern that we have seen so little since then. The team has evidently been hit bad by the pandemic, but two years' worth of delays appear to finally be on the verge of bearing fruit. The recently returned series of dev diaries doing much to allay fans' fears. KSP2 is now set for a 2022 release.

Release Date: TBA 2022

3. Haunted Chocolatier (PC)

haunted chocolatier stardew valley best game pc 2022The story of how Eric Barone (aka ConcernedApe) made Stardew Valley has become the stuff of legend in the gaming industry. Newly graduated and unemployed, Barone decided to create his own game, based on a niche and mostly forgotten genre. Over four years, he did just about everything himself. He did the coding, the artwork, the music. To say that people were skeptical of his life choices would be an understatement, but Stardew Valley went on to sell tens of millions of copies and become one of the decade's most celebrated releases.

After Stardew, Barone could have gone anywhere and done anything, but he has chosen to stay true to his roots and take on another niche solo project of questionable marketability, and it looks amazing. Haunted Chocolatier is the new project, and unlike Stardew it has no clear genre parallels or influences. This is something entirely original. Players take on the role of a haunted chocolatier, living in a haunted castle and running a chocolate shop staffed by adorable little ghosts. The concept is fascinating and original, but let's remember that Stardew didn't succeed simply on the basis of its gameplay, but on the quality of its world and characters. This will be the magic dust that HC needs if it is to achieve similar success.

Haunted Chocolatier currently has a strict TBA release date and I wouldn't be surprised if it slips until next year, but it just looks too great not to mention.

Release Date: TBA 2022

2. Starfield (PC, Xbox, Playstation)

starfield bethesda fallout best game 2022 pc xbox ps4 ps5For many, this is the biggest game coming in 2022. Starfield promises a grand space opera in the style of a Mass Effect or Star Wars, with open-world exploration built around the same concepts as Bethesda's tried and tested Fallout and The Elder Scrolls series, only set over a series of star systems and multiple worlds. 

Bethesda games often get a lot of flack, sometimes deservedly, but their track record speaks for itself and includes some of the most celebrated titles of the past 20 years. Engrossing world-building and lore, moddable to an unprecedented extent. Open world RPGs are incredibly complex beasts and few developers have ever managed to create such immersive and flexible examples as Bethesda. While there may be valid criticisms over some of their recent decisions and business practices, they truly are one of the grand masters of the genre.

It is also notable that Starfield comes in the wake of 2019's The Outer Worlds, a similarly spacefaring RPG created by rivals and original Fallout creators Obsidian. That title met with moderate initial success, and it will be interesting to see how a competing effort from the current Fallout stewards compares.

After many years of speculation and delay, we do finally have a release date. Starfield is due out in November this year.

Release Date: November 2022

1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 (Switch)

legend of zelda breath of the wild 2 sequel switch best game ever 2022But as hyped as I am for a new Bethesda RPG, there are few things in any part of the entertainment industry that catch the spotlight as much as a new entry in Nintendo's fabled The Legend of Zelda series.

How do you follow up a game that is often considered to be one of the greatest ever made? That is the question Nintendo will be asking now as they craft The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 (presumably a working title). In fairness, it is a position in which they have found themselves before in following up the Ocarina of Time. The result on that occasion was Majora's Mask, a game considered by many to be even better than its predecessor. So no pressure then.

We know precious little about this game. BotW2 will apparently make use of the same open world as its predecessor, with some added verticality judging by the most recent trailer, and will feature some form of time manipulation. Otherwise all we have to go on is speculation. One of the major boons in Majora's Mask's development was the fact that the engine and assets were already there, which meant that the developers could use their time more for adding finesse and character. If they pull the same trick this time around then we could be in for something special.

Release Date: TBA 2022

So there you have it folks: 2022 in videogames. Tune in next week for the most exciting new novels and literature coming this year!

Friday 7 January 2022

Happy New Year to all and welcome back to The Ephemeric. I hope you are all well rested and well fatted from your holidays, but now 2022 is upon us it's time to get down to business. A new year can only mean one thing, it's time to break out The Hot List and see what's coming up next.

So here it is, your ultimate guide to the year ahead, The Ephemeric's 2022 Hot List. In this first entry we will be looking at the most exciting things happening in the world of television over the next 12 months, with a particular eye cast over the brand new shows hitting your screens in 2022.

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In 2021 the TV industry demonstrated the full impact of the ongoing pandemic. Several shows have been delayed, some (Stranger Things, The Boys, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) by as much as two years, and others potentially even longer (Russian Doll). Others (Glow) were even less fortunate, their return eventually canned entirely in the face of recurring delays and their associated costs. It is impressive that despite these setbacks, the television pipeline in general has continued to deliver such volume and quality. We now have more streaming networks than months in the year and each one of them spending the GDP of a small nation in order to craft enough original content to gain a leg up on their competitors. 

2022, again, looks to be a year overstuffed with exciting television, both new and returning series. Many  on this list have been delayed from one or both of 2020/2021, while others are only recently announced. Whether your taste is quirky comedies, historic dramas, thought-provoking sci-fi or horror, 2022 really is going to have something for you. Whether it is really sustainable to continue such a vast array of separate streaming platforms, with billions spent on production, is very much up for debate. But for the time being, we can all enjoy the astonishing array of content that ensues.

So without further ado here are the top 15 essential television shows, both new and returning, that will hit the airwaves and their web-equivalent in 2022:

15. The First Lady - Showtime (New TV Show)

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Described as America's version of The Crown, Showtime's new anthology series The First Lady dramatises some of the most powerful women in America's history. 

Each episode will cover the story of a different First Lady, with Michelle Obama, Betty Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt revealed so far, to be portrayed by an all-star cast that includes Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer and Gillian Anderson. The impressive array of talent is not limited to the cast either with each episode set to be helmed by an A-list director, starting with award winning director Susanne Bier.

Production began in earnest back at the start of 2021 and despite a pandemic-related delay, we are now expecting to see this debut early this year.

Start Date: Spring 2022

14. Inside Man - Netflix/BBC (New TV Show)

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BBC/Netflix joint production Inside Man is the latest from the Emmy award winning gold-weaver Steven Moffat, best known for his work on Doctor Who and Sherlock

This highly mysterious project is said to be a thriller focused on a patient waiting on death row in the US, who crosses path with a vicar from a quiet English town for the most unexpected reasons. Top tier talents David Tennant and Stanley Tucci are set to star.

Filming began in the summer of 2021 and is said to have concluded late last year. We do not know precisely when it will release, but the BBC's own press release appears to confirm that it will be out sometime in 2022. 

Start Date: TBA 2022

13. The Boys - Amazon 

the boys amazon season 3 2022 most anticipated tvOne of Amazon's bigger successes in original TV content, The Boys is an adaptation of a little known comic book series satirising the superhero genre by imagining a world where the super-powered have become corrupted by greed and corporate interests. If the first season drew headlines for its violence and raunchiness, season two took the series to a more complex and highly polished level.

The main cast of Karl UrbanJack QuaidAntony Starr, and Erin Moriarty returns. It's anyone's guess where season three will go from a narrative perspective, although the second season's cliffhanger ending certainly provide a hint of what to expect. It has also been floated that this season will see a depiction of the "herogasm" plotline from the comic series, the name of which should give some clue as to what it entails.

Following numerous delays over the past two years, production is now said to be complete on this third season with an expected release date in June. 

Start Date: June 2022

12. Inventing Anna - Netflix (New TV Show)

inventing anna netflix tv show 2022 best most anticipatedEveryone loves a conman story, and in Netflix's new series Inventing Anna, they have got a good one in store. Inspired by real events, this is the story of Anna Sorokin, a Russian fraudster who, for years, had infiltrated some of the most exclusive social circles of New York posing as a German heiress.

This is the first production to come of the much ballyhooed new exclusive deal between Netflix and Shonda Rhimes, best known as the creative mind behind Grey's AnatomyHow to Get Away with Murder and Scandal. Dawn of an exciting new era? We shall see. Julia Garner stars, with a cast also featuring Anna ChlumskyKatie Lowes and Laverne Cox.

Another show hit by pandemic-related delays, having originally been set for release in 2021. Production is now complete and Netflix have pencilled in this series for release in February.

Start Date: February 2022

11. Station Eleven - HBO Max (New TV Show)

station eleven hbo max 2022 most anticipated tv showsSomewhat topical. Station Eleven is the adaptation of the 2014 Emily St. John Mandel novel of the same name, quite presciently depicting the aftermath of a flu pandemic that has brought the world to its knees. A little too close to home perhaps? Don't worry, this is supposed to be the uplifting and optimistic type of post-apocalypse. If anything it will come as reassuring.

Patrick Somerville is on as show-runner, best known for his work as writer on The BridgeThe Leftovers and Maniac. The cast will feature Mackenzie Davis, who you might recognise from Black MirrorThe Martian and Blade Runner 2049, alongside Himesh Patel, best known for his role in Eastenders and the Richard Curtis movie Yesterday.

After, you guessed it, delays, Station Eleven launched in the US at the end of December and will launch in the UK (on Sky) by end of January.

Start Date: January 2022

10. This is Going to Hurt - BBC (New TV Show)

adam kay this is going to hurt bbc amateur transplants london underground 2022 most anticipated tv showsThe name Adam Kay means a lot of different things to different people. To some, he is a former doctor and graduate of my alma mater Imperial College. To others of a certain age, he is one half of The Amateur Transplants, a musical comedy duo that brought us such classics as London Underground and The Drugs Song (Kay would probably rather we not remember some of his other, most disturbing songs like "Never let a Woman Drive" to the tune of the Sheila's Wheels jingle, and "Rohypnol" to the tune of Blondie's Maria).

But to most, he is the author of the medical memoir This is Going to Hurt, detailing some of the horror stories from Kay's time as a doctor. The best seller is now being adapted to TV by the BBC. If some of his material can be considered in bad taste, there is no denying that Adam Kay is a witty man. His writing is blistering, incisive, and hilarious, and if that translates well to the screen then this will be a very worthwhile series.

This is one of those series that has been kicking around on The Hot List for a few years, having been originally announced in 2019. After many delays and a whole lot of radio silence, this has now been tentatively pencilled in by the BBC for an early 2022 release date.

Start Date: TBA 2022

9. Pistol - FX (New TV Show)

pistol fx sex pistols danny boyle 2022 most anticipated tvThis should be a tasty one. Pistol is the biographical miniseries on 1970s punk rock band The Sex Pistols. Written by Craig Pearce, who is best known for his collaborations with Baz Luhrmann including The Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby, directed by the incomparable Danny Boyle.

There are a few recognisable actors in the supporting cast, such as Maisie Williams and Talulah Riley, but for the most part the principal roles are played by lesser known up and comers like Toby Wallace, a Venice Festival award winner in 2019 for Babyteeth, and Louis Patridge who you may recognise from the recent Netflix film Enola Holmes.

Filming took place over the summer of 2021 and a release is expected at some point later this year.

Start Date: TBA 2022

8. The Sandman - Netflix (New TV Show)

the sandman netflix gaiman 2022 most anticipated tvAnother notable coup for Netflix, this is the long-mooted adaptation of Neil Gaiman's graphic novel The Sandman. As with most Gaiman works, the plot is such that it would be difficult to describe it in any meaningful way with the amount of space I have available. Suffice it to say, this is going to be every bit as weird and wonderful as you would expect from the man who wrote CoralineStardustAmerican GodsGood Omens, among others.

The Sandman has endured something of a tortured production history, beginning life as a Goyer film that had been intended to star Joseph Gordon Levitt way back in 2013. That production ultimately stalled and eventually gave way to the new miniseries with which we have ended up. The cast is led by Tom SturridgeGwendoline Christie, and Boyd Holbrook, with an extended cast that features big names like Charles DanceDavid ThewlisStephen Fry, and Patton Oswalt among others.

Filming began at the tail end of 2020 and, following delays, stretched into the summer of 2021. A release date is currently unknown, but having been originally set for 2021 a 2022 release now appears likely.

Start Date: TBA 2022

7. The Midnight Club - Netflix (New TV Show)

midnight club mike flanagan netflix best tv show television 2022Netflix sure love Mike Flanagan, and after consistently delivering horror gold for the network with The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass, why wouldn't they?

Considered by many to be a master of his genre, Flanagan's latest is an adaptation of the novel of the same name. A group of terminally ill young adults resides in a hospice run by an enigmatic doctor. They meet at midnight every night to tell each other scary stories. One night they make a pact that the first one to succumb to their disease is responsible for communicating with the others beyond the grave. After one of them dies, bizarre occurrences begin.

Production was completed in September last year. A firm release date has yet to be confirmed, but is expected to land sometime this summer.

Start Date: Summer 2022

6. The Orville - Hulu

the orville hulu family guy seth macfarlane season 3 2022 most anticipated tv
The Orville had a great first two seasons in 2017 and 2018, finally giving fans that proper spiritual sequel to Star Trek that they had so badly been craving. It's been a rough few years since then, however. A transfer from Fox to Hulu would have been difficult under any circumstances, let alone in the middle of a pandemic that ultimately delayed production further. Production did finally resume in 2021, and it is expected that we will finally see the third season this year.

Imaginative and timely with its moral-driven plotlines, Orville sees Seth MacFarlane move out of his comfort zone and into a less slapstick genre, one which showcases his talents as a writer. In an era when anything even vaguely sci-fi feels the need to be über grim-dark or full of over the top action, it's nice to see a series that's more about provoking thought than a visceral reaction.

If season 3 can maintain the consistency and quality of its storytelling, then we could have the makings of a very strong science fiction franchise here.

Start Date: March 2022

5. The Crown - Netflix

the crown season 5 2022 staunton pryce west best television
The most prestigious of prestige dramas, Netflix's The Crown returns. Season 5 sees another jump in time to the 1990s and, presumably, a heavy focus on all things Charles and Diana.

A new decade also means a new cast taking the reins, with Imelda Staunton in the lead role, joined by Jonathan Pryce, Jonny Lee Miller, Dominic West and Lesley Manville. Originally set to be the final season in Peter Morgan's award winning series, Netflix have since ordered a sixth and, at the time of writing, final season. 

Production on season 5 is now complete and set for release in November.

Start Date: November 2022

4. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - Amazon

2022 most anticipated tv marvelous maisel amazonIt's finally back, and unlike every other show on this year's list it has had absolutely no delays... nah just kidding The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has been punted like a football for two years in a row, leaving fans hanging after season 3's cliffhanger ending.

At its best, Maisel is one of the finest series on TV. A love letter to a bygone era of Golden Age New York, this tale of 1950s feminism is hilarious, with strong performances and impeccable production that evoke the mood of the period without feeling too much like a pastiche. 

After many delays, season 4 finally approaches with a release on Amazon Prime set for February of this year.

Start Date: February 2022

3. Stranger Things - Netflix 

stranger things best tv show television 2022 season 4And of course you can't have a Hot List without a new season of Stranger ThingsNetflix's mega hit remains one of the best things on television, and I know I'm not the only one who can't wait to see where season four takes us.

Little is known about the new season. The last season left us on something of an ambiguous note, with certain central characters potentially gone, and the ongoing status of Stranger Things' main villain left uncertain. And what of Eleven's sibling and the ambiguous fate of her "papa"?

While there are clear plot-threads to follow going forward, no one really knows what direction the Duffer Brothers will take this. Whatever the case, the strength of the writing and production thus far gives us no reason for concern, and we expect great things when this releases this summer.

Start Date: Summer 2022

2. Daisy Jones & The Six - Amazon (New TV Show)

2022 most anticipated tv amazon daisy jones six novel reece witherspoonThis is the adaptation of the Debbie Award winning novel Daisy Jones & The Six, a miniseries that has been in production basically ever since Taylor Jenkins Reid's novel first dropped. Snapped up by Reece Witherspoon's production company, the series was first pitched as potentially making its way to HBO, it has since ended up finding a home on Amazon.

This is of course story of the titular Daisy Jones and her fictionalised 1970s rock band, allegedly based loosely on the history of Fleetwood Mac. The novel was written in the format of a documentary film, but it is expected that the series will be a more traditional drama, albeit with an Office/Parks and Rec confessional mockumentary style.

The cast may be mostly unknown, but in its lead they have some bona fide musical credentials in Riley Keough, grandchild of none other than the king Elvis Presley himself. She is joined in the cast by Sam Claflin, who you might recognise from the recent Pirates of the Caribbean films. Release data is still TBA, but this is one of the most exciting series in production. We will watch its production closely.

Start Date: TBA 2022

1. Ted Lasso - AppleTV+

ted lasso season 3 apple appletv+ plus new most anticipated tv 2022One of television's great surprise hits, Ted Lasso has turned its forgettable origins into a masterstroke of feel-good comedy and taken its place as the flagship of Apple's nascent original programming division.

Great credit needs to go to showrunner Bill Lawrence and lead man Jason Sudeikis for helping to craft an unforgettable array of loveable characters, but what shone from season 2 was the increased ambition and ramped up drama that brought unexpected levels of depth without sacrificing everything that made its debut so enjoyable.

Season 3 will begin filming soon, with an expected release late this year. This is currently set to be the final season. Fingers crossed Apple convinces them to keep going, but if not then let's enjoy it while we can and hope they go out with a bang.

Start Date: Late 2022

So there you have it folks: 2022 in television. Tune in next week for the essential new videogames of the year!

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