- Unveiled in late 2019, Apple+ TV is Apple’s content-on-demand video streaming platform.
- In early 2020, Apple acquired licensing rights to a large back catalog of television shows and movies.
- Apple+ TV also produces original programming, and grew to include an estimated 40 million users by the end of 2020.
Despite Apple+ TV’s growing popularity, many would-be customers are still on the fence about signing up. If you’re one of them, the acclaimed shows and movies profiled here might just give you the impetus to subscribe.
This Emmy Award-winning comedy is probably Apple+ TV’s best-known show. It has glowing reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, with 95% positive responses from critics and an 88% average score from viewers. It stars Saturday Night Live alumni Jason Sudeikis, along with Brendan Hunt and Brett Goldstein.
The show follows a simple premise. Ted Lasso (Sudeikis) is a U.S. college football coach who relocates to England to coach soccer. Of course, the sporting mix-up comes from the fact that the British call soccer “football.” The surprisingly heartwarming series exploded in popularity in 2020 as shut-in viewers sought to escape the COVID-19 pandemic.
This sci-fi hit debuted in 2021 and is the co-creation of Batman Begins scribe David S. Goyer and TV veteran Josh Friedman. Foundation is based on a trilogy of the same name penned by legendary author Issac Asimov.
Set in the future, this show follows a powerful empire whose future is threatened by a mathematician’s prediction of its demise. The visually stunning series is popular among both sci-fi fans and critics. As of October 2021, Rotten Tomatoes rates the show at 71% fresh.
Apple produced this award-winning Sundance Film Festival sensation, distributing the movie on Apple+ TV. It is a remake of La Famille Bélier, a 2014 French film that scored success on the European festival circuit. The coming-of-age drama follows a teenage girl who is the only member of her family that can hear. Its title is an acronym of “Child of Deaf Adults.”
On Rotten Tomatoes, 96% of critics and 94% of viewers give the tearjerker a thumbs-up. Multiple sources advise strongly watching it with a box of tissues on hand.
This intriguing limited series originated in Israel and is distributed in the U.S. on Apple+ TV. Described as a psychological thriller, the show follows a middle-aged film director struggling to remain relevant. Opportunity arises in the form of a young screenwriter whose project could revive her career, but ruin her personal life.
The creative team behind the show draws on heavyweight influences including David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock. Seductive and sexy, the show enjoys excellent reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and is filled with twists and surprises.
Apple just renewed this sleeper hit for a third season, which is set to premiere in November 2021. Dickinson focuses on the youth of iconic American poet Emily Dickinson, portrayed by Hailee Steinfeld. Rap star Wiz Khalifa also has a turn, playing the role of Death!.
Dickinson caused an entertainment industry buzz when the project was first announced. Its themes explore the gender disparities and social constraints of the 19th century in rich visual detail. Period-piece aficionados will appreciate it, just as critics do.
For All Mankind
Like many great works of speculative fiction, this sci-fi drama generates its premise by asking “what if?” In this case, the question is: “What if the Soviets had been the first country to put astronauts on the moon?”.
According to the show, history would have been significantly different and far more dramatic. If its premise intrigues you, you’ll be pleased to hear Apple recently committed to a third season.
Horror fans have been taken in by Servant, which premiered in 2019. The show is executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan, the auteur behind The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. It also stars Rupert Grint, who many viewers know best from the Harry Potter series.
Set in Philadelphia, the story follows the aftermath of a horrific family tragedy. Unexplained happenings begin to plague their home and…to say any more would spoil your viewing experience. Rest assured that 85% of critics find the spine-chilling show worth the watch.
Visible: Out on Television
This miniseries debuted at a time when the LGBTQ+ community was finally beginning to gain positive representation on television. It appeals to fans of documentary, TV history buffs, LGBTQ+ allies, and viewers with progressive sensibilities.
Visible: Out on Television chronicles the way LGBTQ+ people have been portrayed on the small screen since TV’s advent. It includes appearances by luminaries including Ellen DeGeneres, Rachel Maddow, Oprah Winfrey, and many other A-list stars.
Apple+ TV has made quite a name for itself in the niche world of nature documentaries. Tiny World ranks among the platform’s most critically and popularly successful such entries.
Narrated by Ant-Man alumnus Paul Rudd, the show explores the fascinating secrets of nature’s smallest fauna. Creatures like beetles and frogs have never been so fascinating. Tiny World makes an excellent complement to The Elephant Queen, another acclaimed Apple+ TV nature documentary.
This comedy features actor Rob McElhenney of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia fame. This send-up of the video game industry generates big laughs, but there’s more. It also includes two of the most talked-about standalone TV episodes in years.
The first standalone episode was released midway through season one. It examines the trade-off between creativity and commercial concerns with surprisingly deep and fascinating insight. The second was made during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been described by Entertainment Weekly as one of the best TV episodes of 2020.
This charming animated family movie received a theatrical release in November 2020. It deserved a better fate, as most cinemas were closed for much of the year. Apple took notice, acquiring the digital distribution rights and streaming it to viewers on Apple+ TV.
Produced by the Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon, Wolfwalkers is part of an ongoing series inspired by Emerald Isle folklore. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2021, a first for Apple.
This short-form series debuted in 2021. Its mysterious story unfolds through a series of phone calls. The unconnected strangers who receive the calls eventually realize they are related to an impending event with apocalyptic consequences. Each episode connects to the last, building across its first season to a memorable climax.
Think this premise sounds familiar? Calls retreads some familiar territory, but in new and interesting ways. Critics and audiences agree, propelling the show to “fresh” ratings of 95% and 86% respectively on Rotten Tomatoes.