TV preview: eight must-see TV shows to air in 2022

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From Imelda Staunton as the Queen to another adaptation of Sally Rooney, there’s something to be excited about. Georgia Humphreys shares her top picks.

It can feel overwhelming at times when deciding which series to dive into next.

But fear not; As we head into 2022, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to TV shows you just can’t miss next year.

From the latest episodes of huge Netflix dramas, to a fan-favorite finale series, to all-new thrillers, there is something for everyone.

Here’s everything you need to know about the shows that are set to be big hits …

RESPONDENT

Martin Freeman is leading this new BBC show, which is a unique take on the crime drama genre.

It focuses on morally compromised emergency response officer Chris, who tackles a series of rhythm night shifts at Liverpool.

In crisis, he fights both personally and professionally – then he faces a new challenge, as he is forced to face a new rookie partner, Rachel (Adelayo Adedayo).

Based on the real-life experiences of the writer, ex-cop Tony Schumacher, this promises to be a dark and intense watch.

DERRY GIRLS SERIES 3

The Channel 4 sitcom – which takes place during the Troubles – has so much heart, as well as brilliantly written characters.

But – sob – creator Lisa McGee has confirmed that the next series will be the last.

Series two had an emotional ending; James (Dylan Llewellyn) decided to stay in Derry with his friends Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), Clare (Nicola Coughlan), Orla (Louisa Harland) and Michelle (Jamie-Lee O’Donnell).

And we have a feeling there will be plenty of bittersweet moments in the final episodes, as the teenagers slowly grow into adults and Northern Ireland enters a new, more upbeat period.

BRIDGERTON SERIES 2

Coughlan also stars in this Netflix period drama, based on a Julia Quinn romance series, and became the nation’s talking point when it launched on Christmas in 2020.

We’ve now had time to get over the heartbreak that Rege-Jean Page – who played Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings – won’t return for the final season.

What we can expect are some stunning costumes, another catchy soundtrack and more emphasis on one of the Bridgerton brothers, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey).

THE THIEF, HIS WIFE AND THE CANOE

You’ll probably remember the shocking news that this four-part ITV drama is based on.

In 2002, John Darwin disappeared while canoeing off Seaton Carew in Cleveland – but it turned out that he had faked his own death to claim life insurance and avoid bankruptcy, and his wife Anne was an accomplice.

You just know it’s gonna be good; the screenplay was written by acclaimed screenwriter Chris Lang – of Unforgotten and Innocent fame – and Eddie Marsan and Monica Dolan play John and Anne.

VAL BRILLANT

Big fan of Friends? This family-friendly horror comedy series – which will be available in the UK in March, on the Starzplay streaming service – sees Courteney Cox return to television.

Oscar nominee Greg Kinnear performs alongside him; they play as a couple who decide to buy a 200-year-old haunted mansion with their savings.

The show has even more big names behind it – one of the creators is Sharon Horgan of Catastrophe.

THE SERIES 5 CROWN

The end of 2022 will see the long-awaited sequel to Netflix’s hit The Crown. There’s a brand new cast featuring the Royal Family, to reflect the years that go by – including Imelda Staunton as Queen and Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret.

It is expected that the fifth series will cover the events of the late 90s. According to the Deadline news site, this will include Princess Diana’s famous interview with Panorama on the BBC.

And there’s more good news for viewers: Writer Peter Morgan has confirmed there will be a sixth – and final – series.

THE RIGGING

Line of Duty star Martin Compston has arguably become one of the UK’s most beloved actors, and one of his plans for 2022 is this new Amazon series.

This is a six-part thriller set on the Kinloch Bravo oil rig, stationed in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland.

When the crew is faced with a serious danger – fog, jolts and loss of all communication with the shore – they have to try to figure out what is going on – and also the question of who to trust on board?

It’s going to be captivating to watch …

CONVERSATIONS WITH FRIENDS

Excitingly, BBC Three and Hulu are bringing another book by Sally Rooney to our screens, following the massive success of the 2020 series, Normal People.

This time, it’s the Irish author’s debut novel, about the complex relationship that develops between young designers Frances (Alison Oliver) and Bobbi (Sasha Lane), and older couple Melissa (Jemima Kirke) and Nick (Joe Alwyn).

Expect a witty love story – set in Dublin – that will likely have a similar style to Normal People, considering they are the same team leading this 12-part drama.

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