Things We Actually Liked in 2022

Tár, Deborah Eisenberg, and a cross-eyed cat got us to pause our hateration this year

Lydia Tár conducting a book, a cat, and a Regal unlimited card.
Photos: Focus Features, Macmillan, @fatfatpankocat, Regal Cinemas. Photo-collage: Gawker.
Life's Pleasures

Should, by some power greater than any of us can truly comprehend, every bitchy hater be removed from this planet, this website would cease to exist. As a group, we tend to think a lot of things are corny, or stupid, or not worth our time. But contrary to popular belief, we are capable of liking things. And in the spirit of the holidays, we have decided to share some things from this year that we genuinely liked. Don’t get used to it, because we will be back to calling Kate Middleton “frigid” in 2023.

A Cross-Eyed Cat

I enjoyed Panko Cat, who this year has risen to the top of my favorite internet cats roster. — Jenny G. Zhang, features editor

Regal Crown Club Unlimited

I love my Regal Crown Club Unlimited pass, which lets me see a bazillion movies a month for the low, low price of $23 a month. I promise I am not being paid by Regal Cinemas to say this, in part because Regal recently filed for bankruptcy. I can’t tell if this is something they’ve done because the Crown Club card is too good a deal or not a good enough deal, but I will tell you that I have loved using the card to go see stupid movies at the theaters outside of the NYC rep and festival circuit. Top Gun: Maverick? Crown Club. See How They Run? Crown Club. Ticket To Paradise? Yes please! At Regal, as they say in the stupid commercial for Regal that plays in front of Regal movies comprised of all quotes from other movies, “it’s all happening.” — Fran Hoepfner, contributing writer


I loved Tár. What a romp! Todd Field gets an A+ from me. — Leah Finnegan, editor-in-chief

Hollywood Handbook: Pro Version

The thing I liked in 2022 is the podcast “Hollywood Handbook: Pro Version.” Sometimes my boyfriend will want to stay up at night and watch a basketball game that doesn’t come on until 100 o’clock because it’s happening in LA, and I get to take a Delta 8 and go to bed alone with my other boyfriends: Sean Clements and Hayes Davenport. Obviously I love the regular “Hollywood Handbook,” but the Pro Version’s 30-minute episodes provide the exact amount of time I need to lie comfortably and listen to something before being able to fall asleep. The idea that Hayes and Sean will stop doing “Hollywood Handbook” is one of my greatest fears, because they seem to genuinely dislike both doing it and its fans, but I pray I will be able to include it on my “something I liked in 2023” list, too. — Kelly Conaboy, senior features writer

Holidays That Help Mark the Passage of Time

I’ve begun to observe and celebrate little seasonal things (as a way to cope with the discomfort of mortality, both mine and others’). I gave out candy for Halloween, got and decorated a tree this year, went in a pool this summer, went to church on Easter. I had not done any of these things since I was a kid, and I find it soothes the terror of the unstoppable barreling forward of time. I realized on Halloween that you really have to celebrate for a couple weeks before, because November 1 is a hard stop. I found myself disappointed at 10 p.m. because it was over, and I only had about five hours of celebrating. That was really edifying. — Darcie Wilder, senior social media editor

The Banshees of Inisherin

Poor Jenny 😭 — Brandy Jensen, deputy editor

An Assortment of Pleasures

I probably ate the breakfast sandwich at Winner in Park Slope 40 times this year.

Nothing made me laugh harder than Jojo Siwa and Candace Cameron Bure feuding.

The Vow season two was a marked improvement on The Vow season one, resulting in the best show of the year besides Sister Wives season 17. I liked to see how Keith Raniere’s lawyer tried to craft a defense around his client being a bad creep, but not necessarily a criminally bad creep. Plus, I LOVED the portrayal of the so-called “NXIVM Five,” the handful of acolytes Raniere still has on his side, marshaled by a fascinating figure named Nicki Clyne.

Lastly, I’ve been learning how to skateboard as an adult, and my boyfriend bought me pink velvet trucks for my board. — Claire Carusillo, features writer

Nevada by Imogen Binnie

Originally published in 2013 but reissued by FSG Originals last summer, Nevada took me out of one of the worst reading ruts of my life. A woman going through a breakup acquires a ton of heroin, steals her ex-girlfriend’s car and drives west in order to figure out who she wants to be. Stream-of-consciousness digressions about gender, relationships, aging, and punk politics burst with deadpan one-liners and social commentary that feels like it’s written by a person with skin in the game rather than a nonprofit publicist, all building up to a perfectly devastating finale. When a strung-out monologue in the country music section of a Wal-Mart ends with “Miranda Lambert is a contingency plan to save my life,” you believe it. — George Civeris, senior editor

A TV Show, Some British Scandals, and a Hot Panzanella

I watched The Larry Sanders Show, and it is as fun as people say. Glad it walked so Curb and 30 Rock could run. I also loved when Liz Truss resigned and when that gossip blog said the Queen was dead way too early. Finally, the restaurant Roman’s in Fort Greene had a hot panzanella this summer that’s in the running for tastiest dish I ever had. — Tarpley Hitt, staff writer

Marry Me

I really liked the movie Marry Me starring J.Lo and Owen Wilson. My sisters and I saw it at Regal Essex Crossing, and we were 20 minutes late because we wanted to get wine and pretzels and popcorn, and it didn’t even matter. We laughed, we cried, we sang the theme song for a week. J.Lo should make this same movie every year. — Allie Jones, contributing writer

Deborah Eisenberg’s Short Stories

This year I read all of Deborah Eisenberg’s short stories for the first time, and they were all so good. It was so nice to be able to experience a writer I love a lot in a complete way. — Sarah Hagi, contributing writer

Brian Jordan Alvarez’s Chef Character

I watched way too many TikToks this year, but the only ones I actually return to are in a playlist called “The Chef” on Brian Jordan Alvarez’s page. The Chef is not Alvarez’s most popular character on the app — that would be Rich Aunt — but to me he is the funniest. He owns several “onion-themed restaurants” in mid-tier American cities, and people are clamoring for him to open more. In May, the chef made a major announcement: he would be opening up a “garlic-themed restaurant” in a skyscraper that’s under construction in Denver. I watch this video maybe once a week. — Olivia Craighead, staff writer