Slowly but surely AppleTV+ find their marks. The streaming service, which we called at launch “weird, angsty, and hyped as hell,” has grown into a diverse library of dramas, documentaries, and comedies. It’s also pretty cheap compared to services like Netflix – and Apple often gives three months free when you buy a new iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV.
Are you curious but don’t know where to start? Below are our picks for the best shows on the service. When you’re done, head over to our guides for the
best Netflix shows, amazon prime watchAnd Disney+ showsbecause you can never have too much television. Ted Lasso
Ted Lasso sounds awful. The inconceivable story of an American football manager who has never watched a football game somehow lands a coaching job with a (fictional) Premier League club and tries to make up for it his total lack of qualifications in being a nice guy. Sounds unassailable, doesn’t it? And even Ted Lasso captured the hearts and minds of viewers on both sides of the pond with its larger-than-life cast and irresistibly wholesome messages, winning awards for the fun in the process. With Season 3 out now, there’s plenty of good-natured humor for you to immerse yourself in.
do you like to
Processing but i wish it was, you know, fun? SO Contraction can be good for you. Created by Bill Lawrence and Brett Goldstein—from Ted Lasso fame — and Jason Segel, the show is about Jimmy (Segel), a therapist struggling to recover from the death of his wife and reconnect with his daughter and his patients. That might sound depressing, and the show isn’t without its toughest moments, but it’s backed up by the fact that it’s also a workplace comedy focused on therapeutic practice where Jimmy works at the alongside Harrison Ford’s Paul and Jessica Williams’ Gaby. Contractionultimately is about the things people do to cope, but it also features a cast’s dream team and a very memorable party scene featuring a vomit-soaked piano (unrelated) and a Ford super stoned.
Cinematically, M. Night Shyamalan can be a bit hit and miss, but
Servant, which the executive filmmaker occasionally produces and directs, is stellar. It’s about a Philadelphia couple – a chef and a news anchor – who lose a child only to be revived mysteriously (maybe) with the arrival of their new nanny. (You really just need to watch the show for it all to make sense.) Moody, quirky, and sometimes even funny, it’ll suck you in. And now that it’s its fourth season, there’s a lot to enjoy. The Essex Serpent
Claire Danes does her best with a quivering chin in period attire; Tom Hiddleston as City Vicar; rumors about a mysterious mythological snake – is there something
not like this show? No there is not. The Essex Serpent, based on the novel by Sarah Perry, follows a recent widow (Danish) as she heads to rural Essex to investigate a “sea dragon”. There she meets a vicar, Will (Hiddleston), who is much more skeptical of the snake’s existence. Lush and inviting, it’s the perfect period mystery.
Of all the shows on this list,
Breakup may be the one that firmly established Apple TV+ as a streaming player with cutting-edge prestige content. Adam Scott plays Mark, a man distraught over the death of his wife who chooses to undergo severance pay, a procedure that separates his memories of work from those of his life at home. He’s pretty happy with the setup until a former colleague from Lumon Industries finds him when he’s out of the office, setting off a series of events that cause him to question not just Severance, but the work of his business. From there, it only gets weirder and darker with every passing minute. Tense and heartbreaking, this show, most of which was directed by Ben Stiller, will leave you guessing and questioning throughout.
Originally published when Donald Trump was still President of the United States,
Little America was and remains a timely reminder of what makes America great. Each episode of this anthology series focuses on a different story of immigrants living in America. Whether it’s an undocumented high school student discovering a talent for squash or a “bra whisperer” in Brooklyn, each of these 30-minute vignettes, all based on real people, is inspiring. and important. mythical quest
An all-too-rare example of a video game TV show that actually works,
mythical quest is one of the best new workplace comedies of recent years. Presented in perfectly bingeable half-hour episodes, the show follows a fictional game studio known for its World of Warcraft– like MMOs, mythical quest, like the people who weave it through their many offbeat relationships. The writing is excellent, consistently funny and emotionally impactful when you least expect it, and the show manages to tackle real industry issues without sacrificing laughs.
Foundation a “flawed masterpiece” in our review, which still gets high praise considering the complexity of adapting a sprawling sci-fi classic for television. Based on the book series of the same name by Isaac Asimov, the dizzyingly ambitious Foundation stars Jared Harris as Hari Seldon, a math professor who, along with his loyal followers, is exiled for predicting the impending end of the galactic empire that rules them. It looks amazing, and while the show may suffer under the weight of its huge reach, this Game Of Thrones-in-space wannabe is still worth checking out.
The morning show
Every streaming service needs a flashy mainstream drama with Hollywood heavyweights to draw in viewers. Apple TV+ a
The morning show. Stars Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell are all in fine form as part of the on-screen team that makes up The morning showa popular breakfast news show. The morning show wastes no time getting started, right away showing you co-anchor Mitch Kessler (Carell) being fired amid accusations of sexual misconduct. From then on, the show explores the ramifications of a #MeToo scandal, and while it doesn’t always work out, it’s often thrilling viewing, and you can’t accuse anyone of not giving their all on this important topic. Dickinson
Hailee Steinfeld is a rambunctious young Emily Dickinson in this half-hour show from creator Alena Smith. It was part of the original Apple TV+ lineup and quickly rose to fame with its quirky take on 19th-century Amherst, Massachusetts. The first season is a set of sharp, surreal vignettes, inspired by Dickinson’s work, that trace the imagined life of the young poet, who rebels against her father, the societal rules of the town, and just about everything else. The second and third seasons go deeper, examining not only the poet’s life, but also the roles of race, gender, sexuality, and class played in early America. If you’re a Dickinson stan, like a bit of smart queer comedy-drama, or just have a penchant for a modern soundtrack to a Civil War-era show, you’ll love this.
For all mankind
A solid slice of alternate history,
For all mankind starts with a very clever premise: what if the United States were beaten by sending a man to the moon? How would the space rivalry between the Americans and the Soviets have unfolded? It’s mostly a slick, sleek, NASA-heavy period drama, but, as it comes from the brains of Ronald D. Moore, there are a few standout moments and episodes with a split focus around the big overall cast. Easily the best science fiction show you don’t look.