The top Apple TV shows have been compiled on Apple TV Plus, which has assembled a sizable assortment of excellent programming in a relatively short period of time.
It may seem a little absurd to label a platform supported by a three trillion dollar, all-powerful company as an underdog. But that’s exactly the situation Apple TV Plus has found itself in throughout the streaming wars, unable to rely on established properties like Disney Plus or enormous back catalogs similar to Netflix and Prime Video.
As a result of the service’s entire reliance on original content since its 2019 launch, it may have struggled more to gain members than any of its competitors. It won’t take you more than a few minutes to view what’s available;
you won’t be able to spend hours aimlessly browsing through the library before choosing something you’ve previously watched numerous times.
However, having won numerous Emmy Awards courted a plethora of well-known figures in front of and behind the camera, and essentially performed a public service by releasing the most uplifting show during the pandemic, their strategy of focusing on quantity rather than quality seems to be gradually paying off.
However, with only about 20 million subscribers in North America compared to Netflix’s 75 million, Apple TV Plus still has a very small audience compared to the titans of the peak TV period.
However, those who have tried the service have been rewarded with some of the best television programming. The top shows on Apple TV Plus range from sports comedy and sci-fi thrillers to music documentaries and mystery dramas.
- Bad Sisters
This bleak comedy-drama, which debuted in the middle of August, is led by Sharon Horgan.
Based on the Belgian television series Clan, Horgan, Anne-Marie Duff, Eva Birthistle, Sarah Greene from Normal People, and Eve Hewson from Behind Her Eyes play the five Garvey sisters who hate Claes Bang’s John-Paul, the husband of Duff’s Grace, and who frequently devise ways to murder him.
When John-Paul does die away, the sisters discover that they are the subject of an investigation as two insurance agents arrive to investigate the cause of his death, which causes one major panic.
TechRadar’s Laura Martin praised Bad Sisters as being “quite humorous, really dry, and full with twists and turns.” You can read her review here.
This disturbing psychological drama, which has received positive reviews, stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw as the main.
Mbatha-Raw portrays Sophie Ellis, a young lady who sustains a serious brain injury from what she is informed was a botched suicide attempt and is left with no recollection at all.
Naturally, things end up being more complicated than that, and Sophie discovers that her life—which she was assured was very much ideal—is anything from perfect as she continues to look into the matter.
3. Black Bird
This riveting drama, penned by the master of the crime genre Dennis Lehane, stars Taron Egerton and the late, great Ray Liotta.
In the movie, Egerton plays James Keene, a heroin dealer who is offered the chance to win his freedom if he enters a maximum-security facility for criminally insane inmates in order to get a confession from a convicted serial killer.
Local police believe the alleged murderer, Paul Walter Hauser’s Larry Hall, is a fantasist. Since there is a good chance his conviction will be overturned on appeal, Keane must act quickly.
Black Bird is a difficult watch at times, but it’s also really intriguing. It’s as dark as the blackest cup of coffee and features a score by Scottish doom rockers Mogwai.
4. The Essex Serpent
This extravagant adaptation of Sarah Perry’s best-selling book stars Tom Hiddleston and Claire Danes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (opens in new tab).
The six-part series centers on Cora Seaborne, a widowed woman played by Danes who is drawn to a little Essex village by her interest in natural history and reports of a mystery serpent. She encounters Will Ransome, played by Hiddleston, a vicar who is battling to prevent his nervous congregation from erupting into a frenzy.
As the plot develops, the lives, motivations, wants, desires, and anxieties of the people all intersect, and a number of intricate love tales, both romantic and otherwise, start to play out.
You may read our complete review of this programme here if you enjoyed it. (new tab opens)
5. Shining Girls
Elisabeth Moss, who appears in this eight-part drama based on Lauren Beukes’ novel, steals the show as Chicago newspaper archivist Kirby Mazrachi. After suffering a violent attack that left her in a state of continually shifting reality, she had to put her desire to become a journalist on hold.
Then, one day, she discovers that her assault is connected to a recent homicide. She joins forces with seasoned reporter Dan Velazquez (played by Narcos star Wagner Moura) in search of the truth in order to comprehend her constantly shifting present and face her past.
This is another excellent drama that is trippy and compelling with a fantastic supporting cast that includes Jamie Bell and Amy Brenneman.
6. For All Mankind
What if the Germans win the war? is a similar question posed in The Man in the High Castle on Prime Video? In the alternate history depicted in For All Mankind, the Soviet Union reached the moon before America.
The Saturn Award-winning series, which was co-created by Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica), leans on some remarkably convincing deep fakery, bringing back everyone from Neil Armstrong to Ronald Reagan to create its beautifully reproduced vision of the 1960s.
However, personal drama, especially those that center on women, is frequently equally as compelling as the book’s examination of the global space race.
7. Ted Lasso
Yes, its absurdly upbeat worldview requires the same level of suspension of reality as Apple TV Plus’s science fiction illusions. But at a moment when it seems as though the entire universe is disintegrating, such a staunchly upbeat play was exactly what so many of us needed.
Due to its endearing portrayal of Premier League life and the American coach who unintentionally finds himself embroiled in it, Ted Lasso(opens in new tab) has rightfully won the Emmys and Golden Globes. While Brett Goldstein’s Roy Keane-like hardman and Jason Sudeikis’ thick-mustachioed, biscuit-baking lead are the most appealing characters, they are all expertly acted.
Severance, one of Apple TV Plus’s most intriguing original series, is about a shadowy biotech company that provides its staff with the ultimate work/life balance benefit: a surgical operation that fully severances your personal and professional memory.
Its fascinating fusion of corporate satire, existential crises, and psychological conspiracies is surely a slow burn, starring Adam Scott as a cog in the machine who starts to question the entire process.
But if you persevere through its naturally unnerving Charlie Kaufman-esque emotions, you’ll be rewarded with an incredibly suspenseful conclusion that actually makes you want more. Since Zoolander, this is the best project Ben Stiller has directed.
This expansive eight-part series, which has received excellent reviews and has already been renewed for a second season, is based on the best-selling novel by Min Jin.
The series is a grand narrative that follows four generations of Korean immigrant families as they make decisions to improve their lives and the lives of future generations.
This one is a slow burner, but definitely worth persevering with because it is tearjerking, tragic, and expertly constructed.
10. The Shrink Next Door
Who knew Paul Rudd, who is incredibly affable, had it in him? Playing against stereotype, the ageless actor consistently incites rage as the real-life therapist who, for the better part of 30 years, effectively connives with his most trusting patient.
Will Ferrell also excels by playing with his persona, giving the victim a melancholy and tenderness that are very different from his trademark man-child antics.
The Shrink Next Door, which also has a scene-stealing supporting performance from MVP Kathryn Hahn(opens in new tab), is a rare example of a podcast adaptation that enhances rather than diminishes its source material.
With the effortlessly entertaining Trying, Apple TV Plus joined the “parenting is hard” sitcom bandwagon, following in the footsteps of Motherland, Breeders, and Better Things. The main characters played by Rafe Spall and Esther Smith in this story are different because they are not yet parents.
Yes, the other comedy on the platform from London is about the difficulties of adoption, which the two are helped through by a marvelously eccentric social worker played by Academy Award contender Imelda Staunton.
The show’s lively style of humor makes sure you’re never too far away from a snappy one-liner, but Spall and Smith’s chemistry also keeps you fully immersed in their journey.
12. Mythic Quest
Rob McElhenney has found the time to co-create and feature in another cleverly written comedy in between filming It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s umpteenth season and haphazardly purchasing a lower-league Welsh football team with Ryan Reynolds.
Mythic Quest is more serious and less pessimistic than The Gang’s adventures because it is set at a video game studio that created an MMORPG that is similar to World of Warcraft.
It’s equally funny, though, and just as willing to think beyond the box, as evidenced by the episode shot on 40 iPhones and the solo story tracing the development of an independent game.
13. The Morning Show
The Morning Show portrays the ostensibly cozy world of breakfast television as being as competitive as the Mafia, with a star-studded cast and a constantly evolving plot that completely embraces the #MeToo movement.
As the long-time anchor whose world is turned upside down by Reese Witherspoon’s Tracy Flick-like upstart and a sexual misconduct scandal that accomplishes the impossible: making you detest Steve Carell, Jennifer Aniston gives a career-best performance.
Despite falling into the Aaron Sorkin trap of addressing too many contentious topics in its second season, the show’s first season, particularly its suspenseful finale, more than deserved its status as Apple TV+’s flagship programme.
With M. Night Shyamalan, you never quite know what you’re going to get. An exercise in self-indulgent folly or a masterclass in Hitchcockian suspense. Fortunately, his role as showrunner on Servant (opens in new tab) has tended to favor the former.
An affluent couple uses a reborn doll as a crutch in the fabulously spooky horror film to cope with the death of their kid, but when a mysterious young nanny enters the scene, this aid begins to take on a life of its own.
As the reporting mother who is having a mental breakdown, Lauren Ambrose is nothing short of amazing. However, the delectable food porn photos guarantee that you will be as hungry as you are afraid.
15. Defending Jacob
Chris Evans picked something a little more realistic for his first recurrent TV role in 20 years after eventually putting up his spandex. The Marvel favorite plays an assistant district attorney looking into the murder of a high school student in Defending Jacob, only for his 14-year-old son to be named the main suspect.
This eight-part series, which alternates between a courtroom mystery and a family drama, occasionally falls victim to clichés; at many points, you half-expect Evans to yell, “You can’t take the truth!” But because of Jaeden Martell’s deftly ambiguous portrayal of a troubled youngster in the movie It, spectators are kept guessing right up until the twisting conclusion.
Following his so-bad-it’s-good impersonation of Italian fashion designer Paolo Gucci, Jared Leto once again demonstrated in this gripping miniseries, WeCrashed, that accents aren’t his strong suit (opens in new tab).
Fortunately, the actor’s suspect Israeli-American accent doesn’t significantly detract from the deliciously schadenfreude story of WeWork founder Adam Neumann and his wellness-obsessed partner-in-crime Rebecca, who is played by an alluring Anne Hathaway.
Your mouth will drop at how the two turned a single co-working space into a $47 billion unicorn before letting vanity, delusion, and mind-boggling greed get in the way, even if you have previously watched the excellent Hulu documentary.
See, the most blatant attempt by Apple TV Plus to produce its own Game of Thrones(opens in new tab), is set in a dystopian future in which people must learn to live with the loss of all eyesight. But when two identical girls are born blind, this gloomy world begins to question everything it previously believed to be true.
She is obviously not for the faint of heart due to the sheer savagery on display, but Jason Momoa brings the required brawn as the brave tribe warrior who must protect his all-seeing adopted daughters, and Alfre Woodard brings the intelligence as his astute foster mother.
The second season of this gorefest is even more of a gorehound’s dream thanks to the brilliant casting of Dave Bautista.
The woman who is featured most heavily in all of the show’s promotional material only has approximately ten minutes of actual screen time, which is possibly the most questionable aspect of this remake of the Israeli smash False Flag.
But what it lacks in Uma Thurman, it more than makes up for in laughably absurd turns and turns. Suspicion concentrates on five separate suspects in the kidnapping of a media mogul’s son, giving its primarily British cast much more to accomplish while fostering the sort of palpable unease that was a trademark of ’90s spy thrillers.
Even if you overlook all the logical flaws, there is still a lot to love in this show, which is several episodes longer than most shows from the peak TV era.
This ambitious science fiction, which is loosely inspired by Isaac Asimov’s short novels of the same name, centers on a group of exiles who must defeat the governing Galactic Empire in order to secure the survival of humanity.
The Canary Islands’ volcanic landscapes served as the backdrop for the majority of the filming for Foundation(opens in new tab), which may be Apple TV+’s most visually stunning original.
Additionally, Jared Harris’s captivating performances as the rebel leader who resembles Nostradamus and Lee Pace’s evil Emperor brother, as well as an engaging, perceptive story chock-full of difficult moral conundrums and even the odd maths montage, equal its visual breadth.
Despite being situated in the M15 universe, Slow Horses(opens in new tab) frequently has more in common with the grind of The Office than the flash and gloss of the Bond movies. Slough House is the setting of its administrative division.
This darkly humorous spy story, which is an adaptation of Mick Herron’s 2010 book of the same name, stars the scenery-chewing Gary Oldman as a misanthropic boss who must take Jack Lowden’s disgraced agent under his grubby, pencil-pushing wing.
But when the new hire unearths a right-wing nationalist conspiracy that may very well implicate his former colleagues, his band of misfits, also known as the slow horses, eventually find themselves in more intense situations.
This loving homage to the Golden Age of musicals should be just up your alley if you identify more with Brigadoon than Hamilton.
Keegan-Michael Key and Cecily Strong play a squabbling couple in Schmigadoon! who are stranded in an all-singing, all-dancing town and are unable to leave until they have rediscovered what it is to be in love, whether it be with one another or with one of the town’s many eccentric residents?
Oscar nominee Ariana DeBose, Broadway veterans Kristen Chenoweth and Aaron Tveit, and Martin Short in a brief cameo as a leprechaun all contribute to elevating the ambitiously created numbers and adding to the self-aware hilarity.
This Sam Neill-starring sci-fi alien invasion thriller makes you wait until the middle of its first season before you even get a glimpse of extraterrestrial life. Thankfully, the compelling, very human stories that come before it keep people interested until the big surprise.
Invasion masterfully creates a sense of dread and emotional engagement by traveling the world to examine five very diverse human responses to the impending catastrophe. As a result, unlike the cardboard cut-out protagonists of most apocalyptic stories, you genuinely care when all hell breaks free.
23. The Mosquito Coast
The Mosquito Coast, one of Harrison Ford’s most commercially and critically unsuccessful films, wasn’t at first the most obvious choice for a reboot. However, the family-on-the-run notion of Apple TV+’s version has surprisingly managed to generate a lot of interesting mileage.
The original 1981 source material was written by Justin Theroux’s real-life uncle Paul. Justin Theroux is still captivating as the maverick innovator who finds himself unexpectedly on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.
In addition, this is a thriller with equal amounts of content and style thanks to the breathtaking vistas of the Mexican terrain, the heart-pounding action sequences, and the biting commentary on immigration, capitalism, and the American Dream.
Pitch-black dramedy from the 1980s, which is set in the time when Jane Fonda’s aerobics videos were popular, fully embraces that era. Physical once more demonstrates Rose Byrne’s status as one of her generation’s best-kept comic secrets.
The Australian actress, who portrays a highly insecure mother who reinvents herself as an exercise guru and despises her clients almost as much as she despises herself, totally commands attention both in and out of spandex.
Sheila, the heroine in Byrne’s novel, isn’t exactly the most endearing of characters; in fact, her inner monologues are even more biting than the Sidebar of Shame. But it’s encouraging to see a woman given the opportunity to portray the antihero in a fresh take on the tired suburban housewife story.
25. 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything
After compellingly chronicling the lives of Ayrton Senna, Amy Winehouse, and Diego Maradona, Asif Kapadia tackled an entire year’s worth of music for this in-depth eight-part series.
With a unique blend of voiceovers and archival material, the Academy Award winner convincingly argues that the year 1971 was the most significant in pop history, covering everything from the Laurel Canyon movement’s emergence to the publication of The Rolling Stones’ historic album Sticky Fingers.
To portray a more comprehensive image of a revolutionary era, Kapadia also references the Manson murders, the groundbreaking reality show An American Family, and The Stanford Prison Experiment.
26. The Afterparty
Christopher Miller, who also co-wrote and directed The Lego Movie and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, left his usual co-writer Phil Lord behind for this live-action (well, mostly live-action) murder mystery centered around a high school reunion.
The murder victim is Dave Franco’s immensely conceited pop singer, Tiffany Haddish plays the brave investigator looking into his death, and suspects include Jamie Demetriou’s completely forgotten loner and escape room designer Sam Richardson.
The Afterparty, as one might assume, is rife with clever pop culture allusions (especially the parody Hall and Oates biographical), and it moves along with far more wit and verve than Kenneth Branagh’s mystery.
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