The Best Series on Apple TV 2021: A Captivating Lineup of Drama, Comedy, and Suspense!
Are you in search of the most captivating and enthralling series to binge-watch on Apple TV? Look no further! We've curated a list of the best series on Apple TV in 2021 that will have you glued to your screen from start to finish. From the darkest comedy about family and murder in "Bad Sisters" to the Michael J. Fox movie that will warm your heart, "Platonic, Still," there's something for everyone in this exceptional lineup. Get ready to be immersed in thrilling mysteries, mind-bending dramas, and laugh-out-loud comedies that will keep you entertained for hours on end. It's time to dive into the acclaimed series that have captured the hearts of millions.
Bad Sisters (2022): A Dark Comedy About Family and Murder
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Thriller
Starring: Brian Gleeson, Anne-Marie Duff, Claes Bang
Created By: Brett Baer, Dave Finkel, Sharon Horgan
TV Rating: TV-MA
Number of Seasons: 1
The Garvey sisters are known for their toughness, but are any of them capable of murder? That's the question on everyone's minds after the abusive husband of their friend Grace (Anne-Marie Duff) is found dead.
Bad Sisters is an Irish comedy based on the Belgian show Clan. The story unravels as a mystery, so it's best to approach it without any preconceived notions of what will happen.
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You may remember that Byrne and Rogen played an old married couple in Neighbors and its sequel. Both films were directed by Nicholas Stoller, who has now co-created Platonic with his wife, Francesca Delbanco. They have reunited Byrne and Rogen to portray Sylvia and Will, former best friends in college who had a falling out when she advised him against marrying his now ex-wife, Audrey (Alisha Wainwright). Despite this, Sylvia discovers through social media that Will is recently divorced, prompting her husband, Charlie (Luke Macfarlane), to suggest she reconnect with Will and mend their friendship. Long story short, they do, and their bond becomes both a source of emotional support and chaos. The push and pull between Sylvia and Will is written in a way that even when they make major mistakes in their relationships, work, or social lives, you can't help but be intrigued by where it will all lead. Platonic succeeds in making you want to know the answers to those questions and more. Through its screwball and sometimes cliched humor, Platonic offers a captivating character study of two flawed individuals who truly understand each other. —Tara Bennett
Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie
For fans of: Michael J. Fox!
Michael J. Fox, Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie
Director Davis Guggenheim (known for An Inconvenient Truth) helms this documentary about 1980s Hollywood icon Michael J. Fox, who had to put his career on hold after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. The film is successful because it captures Fox's optimism and showcases his wit and charm, turning Still into an uplifting tale of resilience rather than a sad story of missed opportunities. Guggenheim skillfully incorporates classic clips of Fox to advance the narrative, reminding viewers of his incredible talent. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
For fans of: Politics, Lord of the Flies, the future of America, chaos
Apple TV's Boys State was one of the standout documentaries of 2020. The film follows the annual Boys State event, a summer camp held in Texas and sponsored by the American Legion, where over 1,000 high school boys come together to create their own two-party government, complete with elections, voting, and political maneuvering. It offers a fascinating exploration of the flaws in our current political system, toxic masculinity among teenage boys, and the future of America. Beyond its intriguing subject matter, the documentary is visually stunning and expertly crafted, giving it the feel of a scripted film rather than a documentary shot on the fly. If you enjoyed Lord of the Flies or Kid Nation, you'll find much to love in Boys State. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
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Created and executive produced by Annie Weisman, Physical takes place in the sun-drenched backdrop of early 1980s San Diego. It stars Rose Byrne as Sheila Rubin, a discontented housewife struggling with her self-image and her inability to assert herself in various aspects of her life, including her marriage to Danny (Rory Scovel), whose liberal ideals seem to stop at their front door.
Sheila is responsible for managing the Rubin household, caring for their 4-year-old daughter, and overseeing Danny's political campaign. It's a frustrating watch, intentionally designed to be so. But Sheila's story becomes even more complex when her deep self-hatred and the impact it has had on her self-perception for years are revealed. However, everything begins to change when Sheila discovers a renewed sense of purpose in the form of aerobics, the latest fitness trend sweeping the nation. While Sheila finds strength and confidence through aerobics and pursues a new business venture, many of her other problems remain unresolved, creating a trade-off of one issue for another.
At times, Sheila's selfishness threatens to undermine the show's narrative about women's empowerment. However, Physical is excellently made, featuring compelling episodes that clock in at under 30 minutes each. It manages to fill the void left by Netflix's canceled series GLOW, offering a unique blend of human redemption, genuinely funny comedy, and an enthralling spy story. Apple TV has a hit on its hands, and you won't have to search hard to see its merits. -Kaitlin Thomas
For fans of: Musical comedies, corn puddingNumber of seasons: 2
Apple TV's Schmigadoon! defies the odds for musical comedies, which often struggle to find success on television (looking at you, Galavant). This genre-busting series stars Keegan-Michael Key and Cecily Strong as a couple who stumble upon a magical town where everyone seems trapped in a 1940s musical. They find themselves stuck in this town, creating a scenario reminiscent of a Twilight Zone episode or a horror movie where everyone sings about corn pudding. Plus, Martin Short portrays a leprechaun. While Schmigadoon! may appear goofy on the surface, it has a twisted side that makes it a truly unique viewing experience. In its fantastic second season, the show shifts to "Schmicago" to satirize musicals from the '60s and '70s. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
For fans of: Murder mysteries, your favorite comedians, genre switching Number of seasons: 2
Tiffany Haddish, The Afterparty
Apple TV's The Afterparty is a comedic murder mystery anthology series that combines the plot mechanics of Knives Out with the humor of an Upright Citizens Brigade sketch. The first season, featuring an all-star cast including Ben Schwartz, Sam Richardson, Ilana Glazer, John Early, Tiffany Haddish, Ike Barinholtz, and Jamie Demetriou, centers around the murder of a pop star at his high school reunion's afterparty. The second season, with returning stars like Haddish, Richardson, and Zoë Chao, along with newcomers John Cho, Jack Whitehall, and Poppy Liu, tackles a whole new case involving a wedding that goes awry when the groom is killed. The show offers a thrilling blend of genres that will keep you hooked. -Liam Mathews [Trailer]
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The “Slow Horses” of MI5 refer to the exiled, the failures, the individuals no longer wanted where the real action is. Their leader, Jackson Lamb, is a slovenly, cynical, occasionally cruel boss who embodies the typical washed-up persona. However, Gary Oldman's brilliant performance reveals that there is more to him than meets the eye, waiting to be unraveled by the right circumstances. He is the central figure in this outstanding spy drama, supported by a superb cast that includes Jack Lowden and Kristin Scott Thomas. Slow Horses joins a short list of recent TV series in the espionage genre that achieve greatness, with its strength lying in portraying wounded characters. From Lamb to Cartwright and their semi-miserable colleagues, humanity can be found within them. The show is a remarkable tale of human redemption, a genuinely funny comedy, and above all, a terrific spy story. Apple TV has a hit on its hands, and you won't have to search hard to see its merits. -Shane Ryan
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Apple TV struck gold with their trilingual epic, Pachinko. This sweeping series spans three distinct periods in Korean history, following the life of Sonja. From Sonja's childhood (Jeon Yu-na) to her adolescence (Kim Min-ha) and her senior years (played by Academy Award winner Youn Yuh-Jung), the show explores the struggles Koreans faced under Japanese rule. However, Pachinko is not just interested in history; it offers an intriguing romance involving a man associated with Japanese gangsters (Lee Min-ho) and an immigration story filled with heartbreak and longing. While the series focuses on a specific timeframe in the lives of a Korean family, its themes are universal and resonate with anyone connected to a diaspora or who has experienced unjust treatment. By the end of the first season, Pachinko sets the stage for even more captivating stories from Sonja and her extended family. —Max Covill [Full Review]
For fans of: The weekend, r/antiwork, mind-bending thrillers Number of seasons: 1 (Renewed for Season 2)
Apple TV's Severance reexamines the concept of work-life balance with a technological twist in this sci-fi thriller that will make you question your day job. Mark (Adam Scott) works at Lumon Industries, where a new procedure implants a chip into employees' brains, effectively separating their consciousness into their work and personal lives. This division allows them to live two separate lives, with no knowledge of what happens in the other. It's evident that Lumon has ulterior motives, and as the employees get closer to discovering the truth, the line between their work and personal lives begins to blur. Severance features a stellar cast including Patricia Arquette, John Turturro, and Christopher Walken, and is visually stunning, making it one of the most visually appealing shows in recent memory. It's a uniquely weird and captivating series, interweaving a complex conspiracy that will keep you hooked. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
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Jimmy Keene, a former high school football star and the son of a decorated police officer, is sentenced to ten years in a minimum security prison for drug dealing. However, he receives an offer he can't refuse: if he agrees to enter a maximum security prison for the criminally insane and gathers vital information from a suspected serial killer, his sentence will be erased. Black Bird, developed by Dennis Lehane, the mastermind behind Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone, channels the influence of his previous works. The series delivers gripping performances from Paul Walter Hauser and Taron Egerton, with Hauser delivering a mesmerizingly disturbing portrayal while Egerton masterfully transforms from a drug dealer into a hero. —Terry Terrones [Full Review]
Home Before Dark
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Female journalists are often portrayed poorly in television and film. However, Hilde Lisko, played by Brooklynn Prince, breaks this mold in the series Home Before Dark. Hilde is based on real-life crime reporter Hilde Lysiak and embodies the qualities of a heroic journalist. Despite being only 9 years old, she possesses incredible attention to detail, builds relationships with local law enforcement, and knows how to challenge community figures who may be hiding the truth.
The story takes place in a small logging town that evokes a sense of mystery and intrigue. The Lisko family moves to this town after Hilde's father loses his job, and their arrival sets off a chain of events. Hilde becomes determined to uncover a potential cover-up of a child abduction from the 1980s, involving various community members including the sheriff, mayor, Hilde's grandfather, father, and school principal.
It's refreshing to see that the creators and Brooklynn Prince have given Hilde depth beyond being a cute and precocious child. Hilde's character represents strength and determination, challenging the dismissive attitude of police officers. It's important to have a strong female reporter like Hilde as a role model, especially for young viewers. While it would be great to have more adult versions of Hilde on screen, the portrayal of her job could be handled more responsibly in this era of fake news and for the sake of young viewers. [Full Review] —Whitney Friedlander
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In Trying, Nikki and Jason, a couple in their thirties, have been together for three years. The show centers around their attempts to have a baby. They carefully monitor Nikki's ovulation cycles and even have sex on a bus to avoid missing the window. However, they face the harsh reality that Nikki's fertility is low, making it highly unlikely for them to conceive with her eggs.
This leads Nikki and Jason on a new path of exploring adoption. They discover the double standard in society, where anyone who can get pregnant can have a baby with minimal requirements. However, the adoption process is long and arduous. They undergo assessments and meet with other prospective parents. There are workshops on topics like child behavior disorders and child development. They even have to go through a panel to prove they are worthy of adopting a child.
Written by Andy Wolton and directed by Jim O'Hanlon, each episode of Trying ends with a montage that checks in on various characters, showcasing the commonalities of human experiences. The show progresses quickly, but leaves room for a potentially long and fulfilling journey for Nikki and Jason. I eagerly look forward to seeing their continued efforts. [Full Review] —Amy Amatangelo
For fans of: Workplace comedies, the video game industryNumber of seasons: 3 (special episodes)
Charlotte Nicdao and Ashly Burch, Mythic Quest
Rob McElhenney, known for It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, takes on the video game industry in the smart and funny series Mythic Quest. The show strikes a balance between humor and respect for gamers, recognizing their large and passionate community. McElhenney plays the egotistical creative director of a popular MMORPG, facing various challenges that plague the game. The star-studded cast, including F. Murray Abraham, Danny Pudi, Ashly Burch, Jessie Ennis, David Hornsby, Imani Hakim, and Charlotte Nicdao, deliver excellent performances. Despite a slightly weaker third season, this workplace comedy remains one of the best shows on television. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
The Big Door Prize
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The Big Door Prize combines science fiction, philosophy, and heart in a delightful and mysterious comedy series. Based on M.O. Walsh's book, the show introduces a small town called Deerfield, where a machine called the Morpho appears. This machine promises to reveal each resident's life's potential, but at a price. Despite the initial skepticism that this would be a dark sci-fi drama, the show takes a lighthearted approach, exploring existential questions through quirky characters. Each episode focuses on a different individual, while a married couple played by Chris O'Dowd and Gabrielle Dennis provide an anchoring storyline. The show doesn't provide clear answers, but it's worth watching for its beautiful cinematography, unique design, and memorable performances. — Kaitlin Thomas
Visible: Out on Television
For fans of: The LGBTQ community, the progressive movement, television history
Asia Kate Dillon, Visible: Out on Television
Visible: Out on Television is an expansive and meticulously crafted documentary series that examines the history of LGBTQ representation on TV. The series offers a thoughtful and authoritative portrayal of the struggles and triumphs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and non-binary individuals throughout television history. It delves into the earliest days of television, where queer people were often portrayed as a menacing threat through hyper-paranoid news reports. The show features archival footage, news reports, and interviews with a wide range of LGBTQ TV stars and allies, including Oprah Winfrey, Billy Crystal, and more. Visible: Out on Television is not only an important educational tool, but it also serves as a celebration of the LGBTQ community's journey and achievements on television. -Malcolm Venable [Trailer]
For fans of: Psychological and erotic thrillers, getting mindf---ed, delicious subtextNumber of seasons: 1
Lihi Kornowski, Losing Alice
Losing Alice is a captivating Israeli psychological drama that takes inspiration from the greats of the film world, such as Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch. The story revolves around an aging female director, played by Ayelet Zurer, who becomes obsessed with a young and seductive screenwriter, portrayed by Lihi Kornowski. As the director immerses herself in the screenwriter's film, she must navigate the boundaries between her personal and professional life. The show is beautifully shot and features a talented cast. It offers a mix of mystery, sensuality, and intrigue, making it a must-watch for fans of psychological and erotic thrillers. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
For All Mankind
For fans of: Putting boots on the moon (and Mars), space travel, alternate historyNumber of seasons: 3 (Renewed for Season 4)
Krys Marshall, For All Mankind
For All Mankind is a thrilling and unique sci-fi drama that presents an alternate history where Russia reaches the moon before America. The show, created by Ronald D. Moore, combines politics, technology, and character development to create a compelling narrative. In the third season, the story expands to include a mission to Mars, accompanied by breathtaking action sequences. The cast, including Joel Kinnaman, Wrenn Schmidt, and Krys Marshall, delivers outstanding performances. For space enthusiasts and fans of speculative fiction, For All Mankind is a must-watch. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
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Dickinson is a lovingly weird and wonderfully imaginative take on the young adulthood of the poet Emily Dickinson. Although surrounded by mystery during her reclusive life, it's easy to imagine that the real Emily Dickinson would appreciate this series. Alena Smith and Hailee Steinfeld bring the poet to life with a delightful blend of fun and strangeness. The show presents little moments of character development and original mood setting, accompanied by gorgeous cinematography, costuming, and metatextual design. Each actor delivers charming and unique performances, with Smith and Steinfeld leading the way with their confident vision. Dickinson stands out as one of Apple TV's brightest shows, inviting viewers to immerse themselves in its prose alongside Emily. [Full Review] —Alexis Gunderson
For fans of: Heartwarming movies, Deaf culture
Apple TV CODA, which stands for Child of Deaf Adults, is a heartwarming coming-of-age story. The film follows a 17-year-old girl named Emilia, played by Emilia Jones, who is the only hearing member in her Deaf family. She faces a difficult choice between pursuing her own dream of becoming a singer and supporting her family's fishing business. CODA is a crowd-pleasing tearjerker, featuring a standout performance from Emilia Jones. It made history as the first movie released by a streaming service to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
For fans of: Thunder lizards, better than average CGI, David AttenboroughNumber of seasons: 1
Apple TV Prehistoric Planet takes the concept of a nature show and adds dinosaurs into the mix. Unlike previous attempts, the show successfully creates realistic and visually stunning dinosaurs thanks to advancements in CGI technology. Narrated by the legendary David Attenborough, the series explores various biomes and allows viewers to witness thrilling moments like a baby pterosaur racing against a predator. It's a captivating and immersive experience that resembles Planet Earth, but with dinosaurs. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
The Velvet Underground
For fans of: Art films, innovation, rock band turbulence
Apple TV Film director Todd Haynes, known for his artful approach, presents a documentary about one of America's most groundbreaking rock bands, The Velvet Underground. In this film, Haynes eschews the typical format of rock documentaries, instead creating an arthouse gem that captures the essence of the band. While still featuring the band's music and insights into the tumultuous relationships among the members, Haynes adds a trippy visual aesthetic that sets it apart. This documentary is hailed as one of the best music documentaries ever made. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
For fans of: Science fiction, the afterlife, surreal dreamlike sequences Number of seasons: 1 (Renewed for Season 2)
Apple TV Apple TV's first Korean drama, "Brain," is a science-fiction series that explores the concept of transferring memories from one brain to another. The story revolves around a renowned brain scientist who discovers this ability and uses it to investigate a tragedy involving his wife and child. The show presents these memory transfers as surreal dream sequences, offering visually stunning scenes that captivate the audience. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
The Tragedy of Macbeth
For fans of: Willy Shakespeare, a Coen brother, Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington stars in "The Tragedy of Macbeth," an adaptation of Shakespeare's Scottish play. Directed, adapted, and produced by Joel Coen, this film is a visual masterpiece, presented in black-and-white with an Expressionist style. It features Frances McDormand alongside Washington, making it a historic collaboration between two talented actors. Despite not winning any Oscars, this film retains its artistic credibility and offers a unique cinematic experience. -Liam Mathews [Trailer]
The Sky Is Everywhere
For fans of: Teen love, teen grief, trees, emotion visualized
Jacques Colimon and Grace Kaufman star in "The Sky Is Everywhere," a film that explores the themes of teenage love and grief. Directed by Josephine Decker, the movie combines imagination with stark reality as it tells the story of Lennie, a high school girl dealing with the loss of her sister. The film showcases visually stunning sequences, blending fantastical moments and the natural beauty of the California Redwoods. It offers a captivating narrative that delves into raw emotion and provides a thought-provoking depiction of a love triangle. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
For fans of: Wild comedy, stories about women being weird, excellent castsNumber of seasons: 1
"Roar" is a surreal anthology series that features wild comedy and stories showcasing the eccentricities of women. Created by the team behind "GLOW," the show offers unique and unconventional narratives. The episodes feature ghosts, a wife returning her husband at a husband store, and a woman with a relationship with a duck, among other bizarre scenarios. With an excellent cast that includes Merritt Wever, Cynthia Erivo, Betty Gilpin, and Alison Brie, "Roar" promises to be an entertaining and offbeat comedy series. -Kelly Connolly [Trailer]
For fans of: Homeland, thrillers, stress, espionageNumber of seasons: 2
"Tehran" is an Israeli spy thriller series that follows the story of Tamar Rabinyan, a female Mossad agent navigating the world of espionage. Set in Iran, the show explores the challenges and double crosses faced by Tamar as she works to thwart Iran's plans for atomic weapons. In the second season, Glenn Close joins the cast as a British agent, adding another layer of intrigue to the story. With its intense plot and gripping characters, "Tehran" offers a thrilling and suspenseful viewing experience. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
Cha Cha Real Smooth
For fans of: Dancing at bat and bar mitzvahs, crowd-pleasing tearjerkers
"Cha Cha Real Smooth" is a heartwarming film that tells the story of Andrew, a young man who finds himself working as a party starter at bat and bar mitzvahs. When he falls for an engaged mother of an autistic child, Andrew faces post-college confusion as he tries to navigate his place in the world. The film combines tearjerker moments with comedic elements, resulting in a crowd-pleasing coming-of-age story. Starring Cooper Raiff and Dakota Johnson, "Cha Cha Real Smooth" offers a touching and relatable exploration of love and self-discovery. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
For fans of: The immigrant experience, anthologies, crying your eyes out in a good wayNumber of seasons: 2
"Little America" is an anthology series that highlights the true stories of immigrants in America. Each episode offers a glimpse into the successes and experiences of immigrants, presenting their stories in a humorous and heartwarming manner. The show focuses on the challenges faced by immigrants within the system, providing an authentic portrayal of their journey. With its varied narratives and uplifting themes, "Little America" is a must-watch series that celebrates the immigrant experience. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
For fans of: Planet Earth, adorable wittle cuddle creaturesNumber of seasons: 2
"Tiny World" is a nature documentary series that focuses on the smaller creatures of the world. Offering a unique perspective, the show delves into the lives of tiny frogs, beetles, birds, and more, showcasing their struggle for survival and the intricacies of their habitats. Narrated by Paul Rudd, the series captures the beauty and wonder of these creatures in stunning detail. In addition to "Tiny World," Apple TV is also home to other captivating nature documentaries, such as "The Elephant Queen." -Tim Surette [Trailer]
For fans of: Maya Rudolph, stupid rich people Number of Seasons: 1 (Renewed for Season 2)
"Loot" stars Maya Rudolph as a famous woman who has been publicly cheated on by her rich husband. Left with billions of dollars and a charity foundation she never knew existed, she takes on a more active role in the charity to prove her worth. Created by Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard, the series is a decent comedy that offers a humorous exploration of the lives of stupid rich people. While showcasing Rudolph's comedic talent, "Loot" also provides social commentary on the lives of the wealthy. -Kelly Connolly [Trailer]
For fans of: Hard work, sunny vibes, telenovelasNumber of seasons: 2 (Renewed for Season 3)
"Acapulco" is a comedy series set in a high-end resort in Mexico. The show follows the journey of Maximo, a young man who starts as a pool boy in 1984 and eventually becomes a wealthy hotelier in the present day. Combining hard work, sunny vibes, and elements of telenovelas, the bilingual series offers a charming and nostalgic look at the rise of Maximo. With its '80s setting and lounge singers performing Spanish renditions of '80s classics, "Acapulco" provides a delightful viewing experience. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me
For fans of: Selena Gomez, getting to know a down-to-earth megastar
"Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me" is a documentary that delves into the life of Selena Gomez. It explores her struggles with stardom, as well as her diagnoses of lupus, bipolar disorder, and depression. The film showcases Gomez's journey of self-discovery and her efforts to help herself and others. Whether you're a fan of Selena or simply seeking a cathartic film about personal growth, this documentary offers a compelling and inspiring narrative. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
For fans of: A-list celebrities singing and dancing, charming cheesiness
Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell star in Spirited
Apple TV's first major Christmas movie features a star-studded cast: Will Ferrell plays the Ghost of Christmas Present, while Ryan Reynolds portrays the man he's trying to change in this musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol. The film includes impressive song-and-dance numbers, exciting cameos, and humorous moments for adults. If you're tired of the usual holiday classics, this is a great alternative. Just don't expect it to become a yearly tradition in your household every December. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
For fans of: Action and artistry combined, guns with emotional depth
Number of seasons: 1
Jessica Ann Collins stars in Echo 3
Imagine if the action-packed series Strike Back took moments to appreciate the beauty of life and nature between explosive moments. That's what Echo 3 is like. Created by Mark Boal, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of The Hurt Locker, the series follows a scientist (Jessica Ann Collins) who is captured by South American rebels. Her husband (Michiel Huisman) and brother (Luke Evans), both Special Forces operatives, embark on a mission to rescue her. The show combines intense, no-nonsense action sequences with contemplative shots of nature and emotional flashbacks. While the mix may not always work seamlessly, it offers an elevated military drama that is worth exploring. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
The Reluctant Traveler with Eugene Levy
For fans of: Complaining, watching someone navigate uncomfortable situations
Number of seasons: 1
Eugene Levy stars in The Reluctant Traveler with Eugene Levy
If traditional travel shows with their enthusiasm and wonder seem overwhelming, join Schitt's Creek's Eugene Levy on a tour around the globe. Despite his initial reluctance, Levy travels to beautiful locations such as Finland, the Maldives, and Venice, all while griping about the weather and discomforts of the journey. The show's unique appeal lies in Levy's amusing complaints, which often steal the spotlight from the destinations themselves. It's less of a travel show and more of a one-man comedic performance. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
The Essex Serpent
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The main reason to watch The Essex Serpent, a new limited series based on the 2016 novel, is Tom Hiddleston. And, of course, his excellent collection of scarves and charming sweaters. But this show offers much more than just a heartthrob in cozy attire. Set in Victorian England, the series takes place in a small village plagued by rumors of a dangerous serpent. Tom Hiddleston portrays the local vicar, a skeptic who denies the existence of the creature beyond a carving in the church. When Cora (Claire Danes), a wealthy widow and scientist, becomes fascinated by the legend, she embarks on a journey to investigate alongside her young son. This leads to a confrontation between Cora and the vicar, creating a compelling conflict driven by science, love, faith, and superstition. -Kaitlin Thomas
Watch on Apple TV
Apple TV's mind-bending thriller Shining Girls is an intriguing addition to its lineup. Starring Emmy Award winner Elisabeth Moss, the series is based on the best-selling novel by Lauren Beukes. Moss plays Kirby Mazrachi, a promising journalist whose career is abruptly halted after a brutal attack leaves her traumatized. What sets this series apart from typical crime dramas and serial killer shows is its use of time travel to explore trauma and individual agency. While the explanations could be clearer, the performances at the heart of the show make it a captivating watch. You'll find yourself eager to uncover the mysteries at play. [Full Review] -Kaitlin Thomas
Watch on Apple TV
As the highly anticipated adaptation of Isaac Asimov's iconic series, Foundation carries immense responsibilities: honoring the expansive source material, impressing longtime fans, and condensing a sprawling story into digestible television. Originally a collection of short stories before expanding into a seven-book series, Foundation explores a vast universe. David S. Goyer, a devoted Asimov fan himself, knew the risks of attempting such an ambitious project. After a tumultuous journey marked by pandemic-related challenges, Goyer and executive producer Robyn Asimov have successfully brought Foundation to life on a grand scale. The series is visually stunning, featuring vibrant costumes and breathtaking visual effects. With multiple timelines and various settings, each impeccably designed, the show delves into themes of class, wealth, and humanity's relentless struggle for survival. Foundation's characters are accompanied by an unwavering sense of hope, despite facing mathematically predicted doom. While the series may stumble at times, its unwavering commitment to hope and its extraordinary performances make it a compelling watch. [Full Review] -Kristen Reid
The Morning Show
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The Morning Show began as a powerful statement inspired by the #MeToo movement, shedding light on the sexual harassment and abuse of power prevalent in the entertainment industry. It also draws parallels to the real-life scandal involving the Today Show. However, as the show expanded across three seasons, one might wonder how it reached this point. It probably could have worked as a limited series. Nonetheless, The Morning Show's continued success can be attributed to its star-studded cast, led by Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. The series follows Alex, played by Aniston, navigating the aftermath of her co-host Mitch's (Steve Carell) exposure for workplace misconduct. The story takes viewers into the chaotic world of the morning news, as Alex tries to maintain her position amidst the volatile environment of the show's network. Along the way, she drags along Bradley (Witherspoon), a passionate small-town reporter, adding further complexity to the narrative. While The Morning Show may not be Apple TV+'s best offering, it remains their most popular drama series, providing an addictive and soapy experience. -Anna Govert
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Defending Jacob is an eight-episode series based on William Landay's 2012 novel. Set in Newton, Massachusetts, the story revolves around Assistant District Attorney Andy Barber (Chris Evans) and his wife Laurie (Michelle Dockery). Their idyllic upper-middle-class life is shattered when a classmate of their son is found murdered in a nearby park. The shocking twist? Their 14-year-old son Jacob (Jaeden Martell) is arrested for the crime. The series shifts back and forth between the events leading up to and following the murder. In the present day, Andy finds himself on the witness stand, questioned by his former colleague Neal Logiudice (Pablo Schreiber). Throughout the series, clues are dropped, and various suspects emerge, but none capture the audience's curiosity as much as the gripping performances by Evans and Dockery. Dockery's portrayal of Laurie, a mother torn between believing her son is innocent and questioning every parenting decision she has made, is particularly captivating. While the pacing can be languid and the reveals drawn out, Defending Jacob is still a captivating murder mystery. The lingering question of guilt and innocence, coupled with outstanding performances, holds your attention until the very end. -Amy Amatangelo
Truth Be Told
Watch on Apple TV
Based on Kathleen Barber's novel Are You Sleeping, Truth Be Told is a compelling yet uneven murder mystery. Octavia Spencer stars as Poppy Parnell, a journalist-turned-podcaster who reopens a case from 19 years ago to investigate whether a boy was wrongfully convicted of murder. Poppy has a personal connection to the case, as her previous reporting helped paint Warren Cave (Aaron Paul), the teenage suspect, as a psychopathic adult. The series delves into the difficult decisions doctors face during disasters, showcasing the bravery of frontline workers. As an exploration of guilt and the complexity of defending someone with a controversial background, Truth Be Told shines in Octavia Spencer's portrayal. However, its pacing is disjointed, jumping between different storylines without sufficient buildup or explanation for the twists and reveals. Despite its flaws, the series offers an intriguing murder mystery that fans of true crime will appreciate. -Allison Keene
For fans of: 24, but with an airborne setting and a limited time frame
Number of seasons: 1
Idris Elba stars in Hijack
This seven-episode thriller features Idris Elba as a man on board a flight that gets hijacked by terrorists. Elba's character, a skilled business negotiator, becomes the perfect hero to negotiate with the terrorists. Each episode represents an hour of the harrowing ordeal, creating a sense of urgency as the clock ticks. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
Five Days at Memorial (2022): Remembering the Heroes of Hurricane Katrina
IMDb Rating: 8.2/10
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Cherry Jones, Cornelius Smith Jr.
Created By: Carlton Cuse, John Ridley
TV Rating: TV-MA
Number of Seasons: 1
During one of the most catastrophic storms in American history, the New Orleans Memorial Medical Center operated for five days without power. Five Days at Memorial tells the true story of the doctors and nurses who persevered through the storm. This miniseries, based on a book of the same name, explores the tough decisions medical professionals face in the midst of disasters. Above all, it pays tribute to the bravery of frontline workers.
The Big Conn (2022): Baddest Social Security Scandal of the Last Century
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Genre: Documentary, Crime
Starring: Ella Frazee, Jackson Janowicz
Created By: James Lee Hernandez, Brian Lazarte
TV Rating: TV-MA
Number of Seasons: 1
Meet Mr. Eric C. Conn, the infamous Kentucky lawyer who executed a massive Social Security fraud, stealing half a billion dollars. This classic true crime series examines the scandal, shedding light on the role played by complicit judges and doctors. If you enjoy watching white-collar criminals face justice, The Big Conn is a must-watch.
The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey (2022): Most Mind-Bending Mystery Series
IMDb Rating: 7.8
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Dominique Fishback, Walton Goggins
Created By: Walter Mosley
TV Rating: TV-MA
Number of Seasons: 1
At 91 years old, Ptolemy Grey (Samuel L. Jackson) becomes the caretaker of a teenage girl named Robyn (Dominique Fishback). As Grey's dementia worsens, Robyn helps him regain his memory and unravel the truth behind his nephew's death. Based on the novel by Walter Mosley, who also directs the show, The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey presents a gripping mystery with powerful performances.
For fans of: The enchanting films of Cartoon Saloon, wolves, Irish folklore (and accents)
Wolfwalkers is a beautifully animated film that was released in theaters in 2020. However, it may have gone unnoticed due to certain circumstances. The film is the third installment in a series by Cartoon Saloon, following the highly acclaimed The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea (both highly recommended). Wolfwalkers tells the story of a young girl who travels from England to Ireland with her father to exterminate the last wolf pack. However, she forms a friendship with a young girl who is part of a tribe that can transform into wolves at night. The film channels the spirit of Hayao Miyazaki more than Disney or Pixar and was even nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. So, gather the family, make some popcorn, and enjoy this captivating movie. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
With a diverse range of genres and captivating storylines, the best series on Apple TV in 2021 offer something for every viewer. From the dark comedic tale of "Bad Sisters" to the thought-provoking drama of "Five Days at Memorial," there is no shortage of thrilling and immersive entertainment. Whether you're a fan of murder mysteries, sci-fi epics, or heartwarming comedies, Apple TV has you covered. So, grab some popcorn, settle into your favorite spot on the couch, and get ready to embark on a journey filled with suspense, laughter, and unforgettable moments.
Discover the top TV series on Amazon Prime in 2018, ranging from captivating stories set in Harlem to thrilling adventures in the jungle. Uncover the ultimate guide to binge-worthy shows that will keep you glued to your screen. Updated and carefully curated, explore the best that Amazon Prime has to offer. Start streaming now!
Discover the comedy/musical series that are sure to tickle your funny bone as the network secures not just one, but two nominations for the top honors. Get ready to double the laughs and Dive into the hilarious world of these must-watch shows!
Discover the ultimate binge-worthy TV series on Amazon Prime that will keep you glued to your screen. Unveiling the prime picks, this curated list showcases the best of the best, promising captivating storylines, thrilling plot twists, and unforgettable characters. Get ready to be hooked and embark on a binge-watching journey like no other.
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