Staffer Subjectivities: ‘Kung Fu,’ ‘The Sandman,’ ‘Strange New Worlds,’ and more of our most anticipated 2022 TV

As Subjectify gears up for a new year of entertainment coverage, we’re letting you know what we’re all personally chalking up on 2022’s most anticipated TV slate.

As release dates draw closer, we’re getting excited to watch and prepare coverage for many of the following TV shows that we can’t wait to welcome (or welcome back) onto our screens. Here’s a glimpse at what 2022’s most anticipated TV looks like for our Subjectify team – and more importantly, why we’re so keen for them. We’ll update this with specific release dates when they become available.

‘Call Me Kat’ season 2 (FOX)

Returns January 9, 2022: The British comedy series Miranda (written by and starring comedian Miranda Hart) is critically-acclaimed for all the right reasons. In true British television fashion, it only aired 20 episodes over the course of its run, between November 2009 and January 2015, but each one is a gem. Laugh out loud hilarious while still being filled with heart, Miranda’s internal and external love story is such a joy to root for. An American reimagining of Miranda, I was hoping for the best with Call Me Kat, only to be pleasantly surprised to find a show that stands out all on its own.

Unlike Miranda, Kat starts off the series already confident in the person she is, and in her ability to woo the man of her dreams. A few years older than Miranda, we meet Kat after she’s already started the journey to finding fulfillment with herself— she’s living out her dream of owning a cat cafe, everything else be damned. A multi-cam filled with cats and karaoke, every episode of this show feels like a cozy hug.

The cast is full of all-stars — Mayim Bialik is back to her sitcom leading lady roots as Kat, while Swoosie Kurtz plays her lovingly overbearing mother. Cheyenne Jackson plays Kat’s impossibly handsome best friend and bartender Max — based on Gary, the Tom Ellis role in Miranda — while Leslie Jordan and Kyla Pratt star as her adorably kooky friends and coworkers at the cat cafe. – Ariana Quiñónez

‘How I Met Your Father’ season 1 (Hulu)

Premieres January 18, 2022: I love Hilary Duff, I love Kim Cattrall, and I love How I Met Your Mother, so I’m really, really hoping that this show is a slam dunk for me. My expectations are certainly a little tempered after what was potentially the most hated series finale of all time, but that just gives How I Met Your Father ample room for improvement, right?

In my opinion, the best things about HIMYM were the characters, the ongoing jokes, and some of the love stories. If the spin-off can nail those three things, they could have another phenomenon on their hands. Based on the trailer for the series, they’ve got the tone dialed in, and with the addition of Duff and Cattrall, along with the rest of the cast, I’m hoping it’ll be just as special as the original. – Kendra Cleary

’Kung Fu’ season 2 (The CW)

Returns March 9, 2022: In 2021, there was only one network tv show that I watched live, as it aired, commercials and all, and that show was the CW’s Kung Fu. I was curious but wary as soon as I heard rumors of the reboot. It was a show my dad liked when I was young, so I had watched enough of the original to be interested in what they might do with it. When I saw they were changing the main character to an Asian-American woman, I was even more interested. But when I found out one of my favorite TV writers, Supernatural EP Robert Berens, would be co-showrunning with creator Christina Kim, I was ride or die.

Kung Fu season 1 was an absolute delight. For a show that is ostensibly a superhero narrative, where it really thrived was in the family scenes. The smaller, character-driven scenes were by turns dramatic, heart-wrenching, funny and sweet. While the focus was on Nicky and her epic hero journey, season 1 also never let you forget about the real-people drama of the rest of the family. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Nicky’s fight scenes and the mythology the show built around the magical weapons and the family history of a “chosen one” in each generation, but every week I tuned in to be utterly delighted by the Shen family dynamics. It may be one of the most charming casts on television. They way that they all have the ability to deliver high stakes drama but also bring the humor and joy is unparalleled.

Kung Fu season 1 successfully wrapped up a lot of the big questions while opening the door to some new threats that have me very curious, but mostly I’m just looking forward to spending an hour of my week with the Shen family again soon! – Nichole David

’Bridgerton’ season 2 (Netflix)

Returns March 25, 2022: At the conclusion of the first season of Netflix’s Bridgerton, I cataloged the series as “something I sure had watched.” It did not leave me clamoring for a second season, but I was interested enough in the plot of what was to come for the sibling that would step into the spotlight. That said, a single tweet, “Anthony has no idea of the storm that is coming his way,” led me to The Viscount Who Loved Me, Julia Quinn’s second Bridgerton novel.

The story sets the eldest Bridgerton sibling on the hunt for a wife just as his younger sister makes her debut into society. Pressured to find the right woman, he finds that Kate Sheffield is not his love match, but certainly his perfect sparring partner. The novel has it all — an enemies to lovers plot that has some delightfully ridiculous Regency scandals, a story that turns our first impression of Anthony Bridgerton from a hard-ass to a soft little kitten who must be protected at all costs, and a ruthless sibling sporting event.

The show’s Anthony, Jonathan Bailey, is perfectly cast to pull off this transformation from season 1 to season 2 and beyond, and from the clips released from the Bridgerton season 2 so far, there is no doubt that Simone Ashley will be an incredible Kate. I hope that the series will shake up the book stories of the other characters and lean into the queerness of two certain other Bridgerton siblings, but if season 2 doesn’t mess with the version of Anthony I fell for in the The Viscount Who Loved Me, I will be entirely too pleased. – Brittany Lovely

Related: Staffer Subjectivities: ‘Downton Abbey,’ ‘Lightyear,’ and more of our most anticipated 2022 movies

’Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ season 1 (Paramount+)

Premieres May 5, 2022: It takes over 600 hours to watch the Star Trek franchise, with its multitude of shows, numerous movies and alternate timelines, in its entirety. In the precedented times, such an undertaking could take years to complete.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately?), we are in unprecedented times, which means I was able to go from having watched only a handful of episodes and the rebooted film to now having watched the entirety of the Star Trek franchise in the span of five months. So it only makes sense that the upcoming Star Trek prequel series Strange New Worlds would be at the very top of my 2022 most anticipated TV show list. And while there are a certain subsection of fans who decry all things new when it comes to the Star Trek franchise (their loss!), I’ve absolutely enjoyed every new Star Trek series we’ve been gifted so far and especially love the way each one brings a different and exciting facet to the Star Trek universe.

Strange New Worlds feels like it’ll be a bridge between older Trek shows and the modern ones: It will return to the flagship of the federation, with more episodic storytelling and a host of characters we recognize from the original series, but will also have more modern storytelling aspirations, production value that rivals any big budget blockbuster, and a much more diverse cast. I’m incredibly excited to travel to strange new worlds and to seek out new civilizations with Captain Pike, young Spock and Una Chin-Riley — aka Number One — and can’t wait to see what this newest Star Trek has in store for us. – Lelanie Seyffer

’Stranger Things’ season 4 (Netflix)

Released May 27, 2022: When we last left the Hawkins, IN crew, Hopper was feared dead, Eleven and the Byers family had packed up and moved out, and the rest were settling into a new normal. Fresh off the show’s best chapter yet, Stranger Things left us with all kinds of hope for another fantastic season. When season 3 began, the youngest kids had moved into their teenage years and brought all the hormones and emotions that go with it, Steve Harrington has fully come into his own, we met a fantastic new character in Robin, and a new enemy was born. Well, a new old enemy, really.

There is so much to look forward to, but I think I’m most excited to see what’s next for Steve and Dustin’s friendship, Robin’s future in just about every aspect (professionally, personally, etc), and what exactly Hopper has been going through all this time. Hawkin, IN will never be the same if the Byers don’t find their way back, but they have every reason in the world to resist ever stepping foot in that crazy town again. Hopefully Stranger Things season 4 will bring us a fantastic new adventure, even better character development, and an epic finale to lead us to season 5, which, as of early 2022, we now know will be the finale season. – Kristen Kranz

’The Orville’ season 3 (Hulu)

Returns June 3, 2022: One upside to being an extreme latecomer to The Orville is that I’ve managed to avoid most of the three year long gap that longtime fans have waited through since the second season concluded way back in April of 2019. That said, despite the far shorter time frame between finishing my accidental binge of the show last month and its upcoming return, I still find myself eagerly seeking out more details about what’s to come for the crew of my new favorite exploratory spacecraft.

While The Orville has never shied away from meaningful stories, its old home on Fox meant that each episode had strict runtime requirements which precluded the writers from exploring as deeply as they might otherwise have liked. It’s hard to imagine that the third season won’t take advantage of the longer runtime its new home on Hulu affords it (according to several interviews, along with these tweets from The Orville’s editor Tom Costantino, we can expect episodes to be quite a bit longer than in previous seasons) to dig further into the core of its characters than ever before.

From Isaac’s betrayal of Claire and the rest of his crewmates, to the ongoing tension in Bortus and Klyden’s relationship, to the presumably intense fallout following the season finale’s time-travel disaster, there are so many things I’m desperately waiting to learn more about. And if EP and director Jon Cassar’s 2019 statement at NYCC still holds true? A musical performance from Bortus is on the horizon. I’ve got my fingers crossed for some Celine Dion. – Cass Cooper

’Ted Lasso’ season 3 (Apple TV+)

Premieres 2022, filming in progress: It’s Ted’s world, we just live in it. How could the (potential) final season of the most carefully crafted show I’ve ever seen NOT be my most anticipated TV of 2022? 

Sometimes I think I’ve reached the peak of my capacity to love, and something else always comes along to prove me wrong. But Ted Lasso is just special. Everyone knows it. I’ve written a little about how much of a difference Ted Lasso’s careful, intentional writing makes to the impact of the story and the characters. All shows should try as hard as this one does to be good. No, that’s unfair — of course everyone tries, but for whatever reason, the odds were in the Ted team’s favor and provided a circumstance that allowed them to craft something far more carefully than most shows get the chance to. A huge part of that was their immediate three-season order. They knew how they wanted their characters to land from the moment they began, and they got the chance to do that with plenty of time, plenty of budget, and plenty of creative freedom. Now it’s time for them to reach the end of their planned story, and I expect them to stick the landing harder than a landing has ever been stuck before.

Of course, I desperately don’t want it to actually end. I suspect it will, as planned, even if they’re offered the chance to keep going. But even if they do continue, or spin-off (my current theory is that Ted goes home to Kansas at the end of season 3 and we get a Roy Kent spin-off as he takes over as Richmond’s manager) the story that Jason Sudeikis and co set out to tell will come to an end this year. My anticipation is matched by my dread — I will be grieving Ted Lasso, no doubt. But I cannot wait to see all the ways that the story develops, and where we leave the beloved characters, what might be in their futures.

I’m especially keen to be delighted, horrified, amazed or satisfied by all the hints laid in season 1 or 2 that will come to light in season 3 – a factor that has been promised by the writers. I will never not be gunning for Roy, Jamie and Keeley to sort out their love triangle with polyamory. I am so nervous about the idea of a Nate redemption arc, and equally, a lack thereof. I have no clue whether we’re meant to be rooting for Ted and Rebecca to fall in love, and if they do, whether they’ll last (I feel like they won’t, as I suspect that Ted will find he needs to go back to Kansas and parent his son.)

But most of all, Ted Lasso has always primarily been a show about how people respond to trauma (there’s no debate about this – even EP Bill Lawrence told me I was right!) and as someone with a very similar childhood trauma to Ted’s, I’m desperate to see what sort of closure, if any, is given to his story. Jamie’s trauma is also very important to me, and – as I mentioned in our 2021 best TV moments article (link below) – Ted’s trauma is often triggered by Jamie’s trauma. How those two stories eventually come to a head is probably the thing I’m most needing from the final season of the show. No matter what, I know that I’ll be watching Ted Lasso in its entirety for years and years to come, and likely – like a favorite classic novel – finding details and facets that mean something different and new to me every time. — Natalie Fisher

Related: Staffer Subjectivities: ‘Ted Lasso,’ ‘Hacks,’ ‘Younger,’ ‘Pen15,’ and more of our best 2021 TV moments

’Derry Girls’ season 3 (Channel 4)

Returns 2022, filming completed: Sadly, season 3 of Derry Girls, which airs on Channel 4 in the UK and comes to the rest of the world via Netflix, is set to be its last. According to creator Lisa McGee, it’s a planned ending, but it’s several years overdue. Like several other shows on this list, the new season of Derry Girls has been delayed due to the pandemic — season 2 aired in April 2019, and production on season 3 finally began in late 2021, wrapping up in December. As of now, there’s no release date, but Channel 4 did release a short teaser first look on Christmas Eve with the promise of a 2022 arrival.

My love for Derry Girls truly knows no bounds. If I’m ever looking for something to cheer me up, or a show to watch with a friend while killing time (ESPECIALLY if they’ve never seen it before), Derry Girls is my go-to. It’s like a warm hug that also makes your face and stomach hurt from laughing so hard. The characters are endlessly charming and warm, and the situations they find themselves in are truly bananas.

I’ve probably seen the show’s two existing seasons at least four times apiece, and that doesn’t include watching random episodes here and there. And so I can’t wait to dive into new content and antics as soon as it returns. Will Orla continue on her path to Jazzercise fame? Will Erin actually write something of value? Will the hot priest return, potentially not as a priest? Will Gerry ever get any respect from his family? I CAN’T WAIT TO FIND OUT.

Sure, I’ll be very upset about the fact that the world won’t be blessed with more seasons of Derry Girls beyond this upcoming season, but I’m so grateful for all of the joy the show has given me.

And I truly can’t wait to see what James does with his newly-Christened Derry Girl status. – Danielle Zimmerman

’The Sandman’ season 1 (Netflix)

Premieres 2022, filming completed: So I’ve picked two properties for this list, but this one’s more personal, so it’s a little bit different. I bought my first Sandman editions at the Forbidden Planet near Union Square, back in 2008. I was staying in New York by myself for a period of time before embarking on a three month bus tour across the USA as part of a music festival crew. I was a fan of Neil Gaiman’s novels, and it goes without saying that the story of Sandman is phenomenal. It’s one of the greatest tales ever told, it has everything you could hope for in a story. It is a story, after all, about the power of stories, and like it did for so many others, it was my gateway into comics in general. It showed me the depth and capacity of the medium.

In September 2009, a year and a bit after I first read The Sandman, I bumped Neil Gaiman on a staircase at the Forbidden Planet in Shaftesbury Avenue, London. We’d communicated a little on Twitter – it wasn’t a very big place, Twitter, back in 2009, but I didn’t expect him to know who I was or anything. To my surprise, he did, and he signed my new copy of Good Omens (he was not there for a signing, I had just been buying it because I leant mine to someone and didn’t get it back — a classic Good Omens problem) with an in-joke he’d made with me online. We’ve been friends ever since. I am obviously still a huge fangirl, but it’s not possible for me to be anything other than intensely subjective about Neil’s projects, particularly anything new. Aside from being a living legend, he’s one of the kindest people I’ve ever met, and I’ve realized that if I want to write about his stuff, it feels inauthentic unless I also write about how I feel about him and what my relationship to his work has been. I have to own that personal bias.

But like, without trying to sound like a massive wanker, the very first piece of Sandman visual that hit the internet, back in November 2020, was in a Tweet from Neil to me (it’s the blurry corner of some dailies footage showing a recreation of the iconic cover page for The Sandman issue #1, “Sleep of the Just.” The shot can be seen properly in the September 2021 teaser trailer) so it’s like, a little bit weird, you know? I write this overlooked by a fountain pen sketch of Morpheus that Neil drew for me, framed on my office wall. If I’m writing about what the show is going to mean to me, it’s difficult to unpick what the concept of a Netflix adaptation of The Sandman means to me purely as a reader, what it means to me while knowing Neil, and what it means to Neil himself. The fact that he’s so involved and so happy with what’s to come for this Sandman show, after so many failed attempts over the past 30 years, is all I need right now to know that Netflix’s The Sandman will be massively important to me. That being said, the story of Sandman truly stands alone, and I expect to have a great time watching the episodes, listening to the audiobook, re-reading and re-exploring the world of the Endless and actually digging into how I feel about the story somewhat more objectively, because when I am actually in the thick of reading Neil’s work, the story is all that matters, and this story is everything.

Funnily enough, I also met Tom Sturridge exactly one day after I first met Neil, at the opening night of his first play, Punk Rock, which I had found out about by a postcard in a Soho gallery I happenstanced into. I’d loved him in The Boat That Rocked and impulse-bought a ticket, and it was the kind of play where the actors come out and drink in the bar with the audience after it finished. Since then, I’ve kept a keen eye on Sturridge’s career and seen him in two other plays – 1984 and Sea Wall/A Life. He’s a marvelous actor who hasn’t yet had the chance to truly shine as a multi-faceted leading man, and I cannot wait to see him as Morpheus. Over the years, as people have fancast the comic, every pale, dark haired British actor has had a turn in the Sandman fandom spotlight, and I don’t know if any of them have ever fit the Dream ideal for me as well as Tom does. — Natalie Fisher

’Mythic Quest’ season 3 (Apple TV+)

Predicted return 2022, filming unknown: I found Mythic Quest this year after season 2 had already finished airing, which meant I could sit down and binge the entire series in one go. But now it’s over, and I can’t stop thinking about anything else. Don’t get me wrong, plenty of great television hit our screens this year (Ted Lasso! The Witcher! Locke and Key!), but there’s something about Mythic Quest that has wormed its way into my soul.

Maybe it’s that the characters are absolutely ridiculous, and yet it’s not hard to see their humanity. Sure, Ian is insufferable, but he’s actually a good dude who cares about people. And yeah, Poppy is neurotic in all the worst ways, but she’s damn good at her job and always comes through for her friends. Shockingly, Brad and Jo also have redeeming qualities, even if they’re a little harder to see. Every time I think I truly despise a character, this show finds a way to make me care again.

At the end of season 2, it’s clear that the chapter has closed for several of the characters. It’s so obvious, in fact, that I was terrified this was the end of the series. Thankfully, Mythic Quest has been renewed by Apple+ TV not just for season 3 but for season 4 as well, which means we’re nowhere near done with this crazy crew. I can’t even begin to anticipate what Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, and Megan Ganz will give us next, but I know I’ll be right there, waiting with bated breath. This show has already proven it’s capable of giving us season-long arcs for our favorite characters, as well as one-off episodes (like “Everlight” –link to other article) that simply ooze creative inspiration. There’s really no telling what heights they’ll go to next, and I can’t wait to be there to witness every second. – Karen Rought

Related: Staffer Subjectivities: ‘Plan B,’ ‘CODA’, musicals, Marvel, and more of our best 2021 movie moments

’You’ season 4 (Netflix)

Predicted return 2022, filming unknown: You might be a guilty pleasure, but it’s one I’m not quite ready to give up yet. Somehow, the high stakes, anyone-can-be-murdered drama has yet to burn me out. The characters fight, fornicate, and form friendships at a fast pace, which makes it sounds like a typical daytime soap until Joe goes on a rampage and graphically murders anyone that gets in the way of him winning over the woman of his current obsession.

That last point is disturbing and it often has me second-guessing my interest in the show. Joe is a disgusting creature, and his stalking habits should not be condoned or supported. It’s just… There’s something about Penn Badgely’s demeanor that carries me through all of his heinous actions to condone and support his horrible antihero actions, but I swear, I swear that’s only because it’s fiction. Be nicer to other people, people; especially be nicer to women.

I digress; Joe is a creep and I am unfortunately rooting for him. His monologues captivate me, and I’m excited to see what he thinks of Paris and all of its different cultural norms. The carryover of Marienne (The Librarian) is interesting, as this plot breaks the formula that Love and Beck built, in that Joe has yet to win her over. Love’s final conversation with Marienne may convince her to keep away from Joe, but it’s likely only a matter of time before he weasels his way back into her life. And I’ll be there to watch. – Mitch Clow