From Andor to Top Gun: Maverick and the Black Ferns, these are the best entertainment moments of 2022

Jennifer Coolidge, Tom Cruise and Ruby Tui.
These are the moments that have defined entertainment in 2022 - in a good way. Photo credit: Getty Images

There is perhaps nothing more contentious than end-of-year best of lists.

The arguing over where things have been placed, whether one thing is better than another, and whose opinion matters most. But what have been the best moments of the year - and what pop culture events are likely to form the debate at your Christmas get-togethers?

Newshub has rounded up a list of the stand-out moments from across New Zealand according to our brightest and best along with a few MPs.

Matiu Walters of Six60 on stage in Christchurch
Matiu Walters of Six60 at their Christchurch date. Photo credit: Getty Images

Mike McRoberts, Newshub: Six60 in Christchurch

I feel very lucky to count the guys from SIX60 as good friends, and I've seen them play many times over the years. Their gig in Christchurch at the beginning of December was the best I've been to. I don't mind admitting I shed a few tears when they performed 'Don't Forget Your Roots/ Kia Mau Ki Tō Ūkaipō' and 'Pepeha' with a local Kapa Haka group, and a backing choir of 20,000 at Orange Theory Stadium.

As a Māori boy growing up in Christchurch in the '70s and '80s I could never have imagined that ever happening. They topped it off by bringing on the World Cup champion Black Ferns for 'The Greatest' and then the irrespressible Ruby Tui led the crowd in 'Tutira Mai Nga Iwi'. It was pure joy.

The Black Ferns celebrate their champions status.
The Black Ferns celebrate their champions status. Photo credit: Getty Images

Kanoa Lloyd, The Project: The Black Ferns vs England final

Not just because of the heart stopping final minutes where we stole the line out and won the game. but everything that led up to that. 

My favourite part of the whole night was walking up to Eden Park, surrounded by Mums with their kids and groups of women with signs and poi. It was such a lovely feeling and everyone was just buzzed to be a part of it. 

Kate Rodger at the Top Gun: Maverick premiere.
Kate Rodger at the Top Gun: Maverick premiere. Photo credit: Kate Rodger

Kate Rodger, Newshub: Top Gun: Maverick premiere

After two years on COVID-19 lockdown my red carpet need for speed finally delivered with the Top Gun: Maverick world premiere on the flightdeck of the USS Midway. 

Fighter jet flyovers, The Cruisinator arriving via helicopter, and his epic four hours of media interviews culminating in his final interview of the day with Newshub/The Project NZ's extremely patient and excited Kate Rodger.  Maverick my friend, it's good to be back.

Ruby Tui after the Black Ferns' win.
Ruby Tui after the Black Ferns' win. Photo credit: Getty Images

Janika Ter Ellen, Newshub: Ruby Tūī singing after the Black Ferns win

My favourite moment was when a fired up Ruby Tūī sang 'Tu Tira Mai Nga Iwi' with the crowd at Eden Park, after the Black Ferns' win. Her joy and  the crowd's rapturous response made me want to cry! It also brought back memories of the kids at my school years ago competing to say the "Aue" bit the loudest. A proud kiwi moment and definite highlight. 

A Sadowy DJ figure behind a keyboard.
Tom Findlay of Groove Armada. Photo credit: Getty Images

Andrew Gourdie, Newshub: Groove Armada at the Auckland Domain

I wasn't quite sure what to expect of a live performance from Groove Armada, but these guys were truly amazing. This wasn't just a couple of DJs playing old bangers off of a laptop - this was a full concert, with a rotating cast of amazing vocalists, live instrumentation (including a trombone!), and all set in the Auckland Domain with the stunning War Memorial Museum lit beautifully against the clear skies on a perfect spring evening.

Jodie Whittaker's Time Lord regenerates.
Jodie Whittaker's Time Lord regenerates. Photo credit: BBC

Darren Bevan, Newshub: Doctor Who's big year

When you hit 60, you're expecting to chill and basically get ready to die. Not so for long-running sci-fi series Doctor Who which came out all-guns blazing ahead of its 60th year in 2023.

From the departure of Jodie Whittaker, the first female Time Lord behind the TARDIS to the return of fan-faves David Tennant and Catherine Tate via the radical casting of Sex Education's Ncuti Gatwa as the 15th Doctor and Disney+'s announcement they will broadcast it to the world, the show I used to love that was uncool in the 70s and 80s, is hella cool again.

Julia Fox at a fashion show.
The iconic Julia Fox. Photo credit: Getty Images

Lana Andelane, Newshub: Julia Fox - just Julia Fox

Everything she wears is iconic. Her TikTok is iconic. Her eyeliner is iconic. Her being Josh Safdie's muse for 'Uncah Jams' is iconic. The fact she "actually did it myself" is iconic. All hail the new icon. 

A smiling Bob Odenkirk in Better Call Saul.
Bob Odenkirk in Better Call Saul. Photo credit: Facebook

Daniel Rutledge, Newshub: Better Call Saul

This year has been extraordinary for prestige TV with many, many great shows to enjoy, but one stands out as the very best. The final season of Better Call Saul stuck the landing and gave us one of the greatest TV finales of all time, capping off a truly brilliant series that retroactively makes Breaking Bad even greater than it already was and, arguably, elevates the whole medium.

Andor is the space opera that impresses.
Andor is the space opera that impresses. Photo credit: Disney+

Finn Hogan, Newshub: Andor

With exceptional writing, cinematography and a grounded take on space opera, Andor has managed to make Star Wars feel fresh again. As a fan who was losing faith, I'm so happy to discover there’s still incredible stories to tell in a galaxy far, far away.

Drink it in, because Season 2 of the White Lotus was as good as the first.
Drink it in, because Season 2 of the White Lotus was as good as the first. Photo credit: Supplied

Rebecca Wright, Newshub: The White Lotus

Quite honestly I was ready to be disappointed by season two of The White Lotus, I didn't think Mike White could do it again, but it's darker, funnier - even more bizarre and macabre. I've hung out for - then loved - every single episode. 

A man staring off in a kitchen
The Bear makes for stressful but brilliant TV. Photo credit: Dinsey+

Jesse Mulligan, The Project: The Bear

There's so much brilliant TV around but I thought The Bear this year was on another level - a simple story of a fine dining masterchef returning home to Chicago to take on his late brother's deeply indebted restaurant, it's fun and intense and compelling and even, for somebody who hasn't worked in a commercial kitchen, educational. Plenty of friends tell me that they found the vicarious stress of watching this series simply too much to deal with but for me there are enough moments of joy, hope and triumph to make a few tense scenes worthwhile.

Tom Cruise in a Top Gun Maverick jet.
Top Gun: Maverick was David Seymour's pick of the year. Photo credit: Paramount

David Seymour, ACT MP: Top Gun: Maverick

I absolutely loved Top Gun: Maverick, it got better each time I watched it. With 36 years' suspense built up, they had to stay true to the original without parody. They delivered all the way through from beginning to end, with cheeky references to the original while telling their own story. I also loved the way they managed to move with the times without trying too hard. Maverick was far more diverse and inclusive than the original, but without the tryhard wokeism so deadly to good art.

Marama Davidson, Green Party co-leader: The Black Ferns final at Eden Park

I never thought I'd be at Eden Park with my little mokopuna, swinging our poi together with pride with thousands of diverse others. These athletes haka their hearts out with the kaha coursing through their veins as if their lives depended on it. Black Ferns you are the best of us!

James Shaw, Green Party co-leader: Andor

Andor was my stand out entertainment moment of 2022. A Star Wars spin-off with superb writing, acting and casting, that tells a story of a rebellion against a fascist power. What more could you want?