This year’s best list needs a bit of context.
2022 hit me like a ton of bricks.
I’ll divide my year into two halves. The first half of the year was go-go-go. I was still working at SickKids on The Skoop and managing Still Standing‘s social media, I was deep into my first year of my MBA, and the pandemic meant a return to in-person events so my extroverted soul was thrilled. At times, I was so busy I felt like I wasn’t really watching or reading anything. In late May, I didn’t sign on for another contract at SK because I wanted a new challenge and I felt ready to take on more… then my dad died.
Everything came to a crashing halt.
Since then, I’ve found myself struggling with my capacity and pace in general. I really like being busy, productive, and creative. I love being go-go-go. But I’ve felt ‘slow’ during this 2nd half of the year — like I’m wading through life in molasses. I’m still volunteering, still working on my MBA, but I’ve been struggling to find the right professional fit. I’m still looking for that new challenge, but instead of a project-based contract — I’m looking for a role that will allow me to grow and evolve at a large company. At times I’ve felt lost and disheartened but I keep trucking along, knowing that the right fit will come. I’ll be honest – so often in this 2nd half, I’ve curled up and shut out the world with a show.
With that context let’s dive into my best of 2022. The things I consumed this year fit into two general categories – things that were so good I prioritized making time for them or things that allowed me to turn my brain off and fully relax.
So without further ado…
Best of Canada: The Canadian Screen Awards braodcast. It might seem strange to rank the awards show over the shows, but this year’s CSAs were extremely well produced and truly showed the range of talent in our country. 10/10 my favourite moment in Canadian TV all year.
Honourable Mentions: Run the Burbs (so authenticity 2022 Canada), Shorsey (very sharp), Timber Creek Lodge (Below Deck meets Whistler), and Last One Laughing (we need more shows like this – it’s a star builder).
Also watched: Drink Masters, Son of a Critch, Big Brother S10, The Junos, The National, and Mattea Roach on Jeopardy.
Best of YA: The Summer I Turned Pretty. I loved the books and I loved the series. The casting was perfect, the set was stunning, and the music was great. It was a perfect YA watch. I stand by my theory that Jenny Hann writes incredible first books but struggles as the trilogy progresses (see To All The Boys I Loved Before), so I’m just going to appreciate this first season for what it was. They are in production for S2… I’m cautiously optimistic for the next season… but worried about S3.
Honourable Mentions: Sex Lives of College Girls (iykyk- it’s a true joy!)
Also watched: The Recruit, Never Have I Ever S3, and The Come Up.
Best of Reality: Summer House. Was this the “best” show? No – but this was truly the best show for me on a deeply personal level. When my dad’s health took a turn, this was my comfort show. After he died, I couldn’t do anything but watch this show. Hub House, Carl, Amanda, and Kyle were my people. Their shenanigans were truly the perfect escape for me when I truly needed it the most, and for that – it’s my “best”.
Honourable Mentions: Below Deck: Sailing Yacht (killer trio with Gary-Daisey-Colin), Lizzo Watch out for The Big Girls (what a fresh take on the dance genre), Sister Wives (watching women leave a narcissist… 10/10), and The Kardashians (for the Khloe episodes).
Also watched: The Ultimatum, Love is Blind, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Real Housewives of Dubai, Real Housewives of NYC, Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, The Circle, Buying Beverly Hills, Glow Up, Selling Sunset, Indian Matchmaking, BravoCon22, Winter House, Southern Charm, Southern Hospitality, Below Deck, Below Deck: Med, Below Deck: Down Under, and RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Best Documentaries: Harry & Meghan. You knew this was going to be my top. I am an avid royal watcher and this series was fascinating. I’m decidedly neutral-positive on these two – I truly want the best for them and believe they’ve had awful press. That being said, I have a hard time with their PR strategy – it sometimes feels a bit much. I understand this documentary was made with consent and allows them to tell their own story, but I still want them to take a proper break. They have been deeply hurt and because I like so much them, I really don’t need a 6-part doc to share their story. I just want them to enjoy their kids, relax with friends, and have a private life in the most sincere way possible. But yes… I will be reading his book. I’m just a bit confused atm with what else he can say…
Also watched: Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99, The Tinder Swindler
Best Comedy: Hacks. I watched the entire series on a flight home from Amsterdam. It was such a joy. Huge fan.
Honourable Mentions: How I Met Your Father (I love H-Duff, it feels like a grown-up Lizzie) and The White Lotus (Just S1, I’m into it but not 100% sold – I need to watch S2).
Best “Drama”: Brigerton S2. It’s just Jonathan Bailey. S2 was significantly better than S1. I can’t remember why I felt that way, but I’ll give it to Jonathan Bailey.
Also watched: Sweet Magnolias (it’s so trashy- it’s so good, makes me want to drink Margaritas lol)
Best Live Productions: The Queens Death. This was the news event of 2022. Love her, hate her, you cannot deny her impact (good or bad). The constant stream of coverage was a marathon and the actual funeral day was a juggernaut. I woke up at 5 am to watch it all and I was personally, overwhelmed by the level of pomp and circumstance. It was incredible. But I’m super interested that the Royal family gets to veto what is used in future broadcasts from the funeral coverage… it just feels messy and odd considering so much of it went online and as we all know… nothing can get fully erased from the internet.
Honourable Mentions: Power and Politics (The best coverage on Ukraine, The Truckers, and all other major news events. I’m constantly impressed with Vassy and her team) and The 2022 Winter Olympics (I’m a sucker for feel-good sports moments).
My 2022 Rewatches: Rookie Blue and Gilmore Girls. GG is an obvious fall rewatch, but if you’ve never seen Rookie Blue, I’d highly recommend. It’s about rookie cops in Toronto in the early 2010s. There are moments that haven’t aged well – as many cop shows have – but the interpersonal drama between the cops is still 10/10. Andy + Sam 4eva.
DNF but only because of my life…
I need to circle back to A League of Their Own, Formula 1: Drive to Survive. I loved both of these shows, I just started them at weird moments and got distracted. I will circle back. I promise.
One episode left… Derry Girls S3 and This is Us. For the same reason. I love these shows so much, but both ended their 2nd last episodes with a parent death and I couldn’t handle it for obvious reasons. I’ll try again later because I do want to finish them, I just need to be in the right head space.
Worst of 2022: The Crown S5. I want to love this show so much but it was not good this season… the casting was totally off for Charles, it dragged, and it just generally felt off. It’s still beautiful, and the production is top-notch, but IMO, they should have ended this season with Diana’s death and as always – more Anne.
Not worth talking about: Too Hot to Handle, Byron Baes, Cheer S2, and Queer Eye S6
Best Kids: Turning Red. An instant classic. A Pixar movie for the pixar generation – boy bands, tamagotchis, and Toronto views this was a perfect 12/10 film. Cannot say enough good things.
Honourable Mention: Encanto. (But we ACTUALLY don’t talk about Bruno anymore because I worked with children at the start of the year who were addicted to this movie and I’m deeply sick of this film…)
Best RomComs: Lost City – This was a rom-com’s dream. Everyone was perfect – Daniel, Sandy, Brad, and Channing. I still think about this film. It was great. If you haven’t seen it yet, find the time and make it happen.
Honourable Mentions: Marry Me (JLO was great, the music was great, Owen was great… just a great easy movie), Ticket to Paradise (the plot was meh, but I’d watch anything with George and Julia.)
Also Watched: People We Hate at the Wedding, and Falling for Christmas
Best Drama: The Worst Person in the World. A truly beautiful film. It felt modern, fresh, and I could not stop thinking or talking about this movie when it first came out. It’s Norwegian, so you’ve got that added Scandinavian cool. The sets, costumes, music… it’s all great. It will break your heart, but in the best way possible.
Honourable Mention: Women Talking. (Sarah Polley is a national treasure and this film will go down as one of her best. It just came out, so go see it!!!)
Also watched: Don’t Worry Darling,, Belfast, The Adam Project
Best Musical: Elvis. It’s all about Austin Butler. The rest of the movie – it’s long, it’s a bit chaotic – is just fine. But Austin Butler stole my heart. I have had a deep crush on this man ever since. It was overwhelming…
Honourable Mention: tick, tick.. boom. (Andrew… he’s hot)
Best Documentary: Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts. I adored this. I love Harry Potter so so so so much. It’s been hard with you-know-who’s stupid viewpoints, but this doc brought so much light into my life. I adored it. Mostly for Tom-Emma but all of them were so great.
But also… White Hot: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie and Fitch. (Raise your hand if this brand caused you harm in middle school…. yup. this explained everything)
Worst of 2022: Land and House of Gucci. Ugh. both were terrible. Moving on.
Best of Non-fiction – Pop Culture: The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor–the Truth and the Turmoil by Tina Brown. This was so well written: juicy, scandalous, and just pure fun. Much like Summer House, this is the book I picked up right after my dad died and I was able to escape into the world of Royal drama. Highly recommend.
Honourable Mention: Most Talkative by Andy Cohen. (I’m 70% through this. I’ll technically finish in 2023, but it’s great. Love Andy.)
Best of Non-fiction – School: I blacked this out. I’m sure I had a bunch… I feel like I read * a lot * but nothing is particularly standing out…
Best Contemporary Fiction: Every Summer After by Carly Fortune. This was my book of the year. I read it sitting under a willow tree on my cousin’s Lavender farm… so perhaps that’s part of it. But it was so perfect. Set in Barry’s Bay Ontario, this is a love letter to teenage love and Canadian Cottage Culture. It’s The Summer I turned Pretty for adults with an adult perspective. I gifted this book to so many people this year. I even went to a book signing to get in front of Carly to find out if the rights to the tv show/movie had sold… they have 👀.
Honourable Mentions: Book Lovers by Emily Henry and The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun. (Loved both of these)
Also read: Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey
Best Historical Fiction: The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel. This was a beautiful book. Not something that I would have reached to on my own but a friend recommended it and I loved it. Set in WWII, it’s an adventure, a romance, and a mystery. Loved it.
Honourable Mentions: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid. (She doesn’t miss.)
DNF: My “Did not finish” list could go on for days… I could not finish a book this year. For example, I got about 70% through One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston, I haven’t finished this book on Negotiation that I’ve had on my bedside table for months. It’s been a bit brutal…
Best of Canada – News: CBC’s Front Burner. All hail Jamie. It was my top podcast on Spotify for a reason. It’s phenomenal.
Honourable Mentions: The Decibel and The Big Story. (Both are daily news shows for Canadians and I rotate round to get different perspectives. The Big Story specifically had a great Bill C-11 pod I’d recommend)
Best of Canada – Pop Culture: The Canadian Star System with Steve Paterson. The pod ended this year and I was devastated. I listened to the entire back catalogue. I think we need to talk about our Canadian celebs more and I loved that this pod started that conversation.
Honourable Mentions: Canadian Made by Olivia Danylchuk and The Best Hang. (My actual friend and my fake internet friends lol. Both have good things to say)
Also listened to: q: The Podcast Popcast
Best Sports: The Gist of it. My only sports pod for a reason. It’s fantastic. It’s feminist, smart, and such a joy.
Best News: The Guardian Today in Focus. The Brits had great news this year – and I mean they had good stories, big moments, and complex scandals. This podcast kept me up on all the Liz Truss drama and then some. It also gets bonus points for being such a lovely pod to listen to, the hosts have the best voices.
Honourable Mentions: Post Reports (the best American daily) and The Guardian-Politics Weekly (long form, deep dive version of the daily Today in Focus).
Best Pop Culture: Spectacle. Every season this podcast comes out with a new theme. It’s phenomenal. I got hooked with the Unscripted TV season, but the True Crime deep dive was also excellent.
Honourable Mentions: Whenever there is a big pop culture movement I turn to Comments by Celebs and Deux U. They are both incredible Instagram accounts, but the podcasts are great too.
Best Music: NYT Popcast. It’s a classic for a reason.
Honourable Mentions: Rolling Stone Music Now (Also great).
Best Rewatch: It’s Not Only Football. A late contender this year, just starting a month ago – but it’s fantastic. If you are also Friday Night Lights people – this the show. Street, Saracen, and Mae Whitman co-host this rewatch and it’s a lot of fun.
Honourable Mentions: Gilmore to say with Tara Llewellyn and Haley McIntosh (not quite a rewatch, more of a topic dive which is why I like it) and Drama Queens (One Tree Hill Queens!)
Also listened to: Scott Pateron’s I’m All In.
Bonus – Best One-off Episodes: Stephen/Lauren/Kristin
Best Life: Creative Pep Talk by Andy J Pizza. This podcast got me through a lot of that slog I felt. Andy just has a way of making you feel less alone in your creative process and I’d recommend this podcast to ANY creative – but also anyone working on any project. I really look forward to Wednesdays to listen to new eps and get my weekly pep talk.
Honourable Mentions: How to Fail with Elizabeth Day (a brilliant pod that also helps me out a lot) and The Irish Time’s The Women’s Podcast (smart, Irish, just wonderful)
Also listened to: Bad on Paper.
Best of Canada: Charlotte Cardin’s Juno’s sweep. A personal professional highlight for me was working with her and her team on the Juno’s this year. If you are not listening to her music, start. She’s brilliant. A true star.
Best Concerts: I went to a few this year but I loved Maisie Peters live, Vance Joy is always a joy, and The Chicks were phenomenal.
Best new Album: Surrender by Maggie Rogers. A killer Coachella set, a master’s degree in Divinity and a dynamic new album – 2022 was definitely Maggie’s year. It truly is a rom-com soundtrack.
Honourable Mentions: Harry’s House by Harry Styles and Midnights by Taylor Swift.
Also listened to: Dermot Kennedy, Lizzo, Maren Morris, and Arkells on repeat.
Best internet music moment: Joni Mitchell singing Both Sides Now at Newport Folk Festival this weekend. A true legend. The folk fans on the internet went appropriately nuts.
Honourable Mentions: One Direction’s creation exposed (It was Harry/Niall the band was built around… not Liam as he claimed) and Usher on Tiny Desk.
I started out writing this section and I
gave up switched gears. I’ve got some write-outs, others are just lists of things I love. It’s a bit mish-mashed… kind of like the internet. I hope you click the links and find something fun.
Best Canadians: For this list, I can’t separate the Canadians fully out — there are Canadains in every category, but I want to give a few special shoutouts. 2022 was Liz Duff’s year. How I found her, I have no idea but I am so glad I did. I’ve watched her grow her following from a few thousand to nearly 50k. If you were into the Don’t Worry Darling drama then you probably saw a @producerliz tiktok as she was a leading voice in making it all make sense. If you don’t follow her yet – do it.
Honourable mentions: Pavlina Sudrich from the Yukon (incredible content), Brian aka thebnoth (always makes me alugh with his niche Loblaws and Dougie complaints).
Big moments for Canadians on the internet: Lisa Laflamme’s firing. I can’t even begin to explain how much this impacted me. She is a true journalism icon and I have immense respect for her. Watching this go down was extraordinarily disappointing. Media twitter was outraged for weeks. I was glued to twitter.
Honourable mention: The incredible response from Canadians when the Sheppards of Good Hope Shelter in Ottawa was impacted by the trucker occupation.
Best Celebs on the Internet: Ryan Reynolds – for obvious reasons, Chantalkrev is having a MOMENT, and no one does trends like Bublé.
Best general ‘Life’ Influencer: The “this is a ___ in your 40s” guy – Timm Chiusano Timmchiusano. I cannot say enough good things about this guy and how much I adore his style of vlogging.
Honourable mentions: Victoria Garrick, Dylan Mulvaney, Chris
Also love: Drew Afualo, Hank Green, and Serena Kerrigan (do it for the plot!).
Best of Food: I only want to eat what Wishbone kitchen makes and Never ending fail’s “Can it Kirkland” brings me never-ending joy.
Best internet Activist: I’m giving this one to Ontario’s own Dr. Naheed Dosani. There is no one I see re-shared more than @NaheedD’s twitter account when it comes to news that matters. He hold’s Canadian officials to account and is able to communicate complex ideas in a matter that allows folks to understand why it matters. I’m constantly impressed.
Honourable mention: Greta Thunberg (for taking down A*ndr*w T*t* with a single tweet) and Farrah Khan (for her incredible work as a gender justice advocate)
Best Brands: The Gist – specifically the Canadian side. Everything about them is a 10/10
Honourable mention: 💌 shit you should care about 💌 (Imporant shit with a side of Harry Styles). Girl Boss Town (While she’s not a brand, she talks about brands in a really smart way).
Also love: The Washington Post and @davejorgenson
Best of Sports – I’m giving it to a group of people – the Canadian Olympic TikTokers – Piper Gillies, Sarah Nurse, and Jake Thiel to name a few. I love the Olympics, but I got so much more into this year because I felt like I *knew* the athletes. Huge props.
Honourable Mentions: Paris 2024 (it’s brilliant), Lawson McDonald (the brains behind The Hockey Guys) Devin Heroux,(CBC’s top guy)
Also love: Bar down crew , Shawn McKenzie, and the Savannah Bananas
Shows: Amelia Dimoldenberg’s Chicken Shop Date has fully stolen my heart. I am obsessed. I want to be her when I grow up. What an incredible career this young woman has infront of her.
IT’S A TIE: I am also equally obsessed with Ziwe. She is extraordinary.
Also loved: Nardwuar @nardwuar and Hot ones.
Best in Animals: When I need to fully zone out. I watch Right choice shearing.
Also loved: WeRateDogs for obvious reasons. Nala Stomps.
Best in Music: I can’t fill this. There is too much. But here are three things I liked: I was not into wordle. I’m a Heardle girl, choir director Itsmrfinn, and Tiny Habits
Best Royals: I annoyed everyone in my life with updates on “ the queue”. Aka the line to pay respects to HRH Queen Elizabeth II. This thread was my fav and the memes were excellent.
Honourable mentions: Matta of fact, Elizabeth Holmes
Also huge shoutout to: Paddington Bear. Their royal partnership was top knotch this year between the sandwich in the purse sketch and their final tweet.
AND BONUS – My top internet moment this year was having the photo of my conversation with the Queen used on Canada’s official commemorative site.
Top Internet Moments:
The internet’s response to the rotating door of UK Prime Ministers…
The whole Don’t Worry Darling debacle.
Alabama Rush Week. Shoutout to BamaRushTok queen Kylan Darnell.
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