Top Apple TV Series of 2021: A Diverse Showcase of Engaging Stories
Looking for the best Apple TV series to binge-watch in 2021? Look no further as we bring you a tantalizing lineup that will transport you to gripping worlds, provoke thought, and keep you glued to your screens. From the star-studded drama of "The Morning Show" to the mind-bending mysteries of "Foundation," and the enchanting animation of "Wolfwalkers," these are the shows that will have you hitting that play button without hesitation. So, grab your popcorn and get ready for a year filled with thrilling plot twists, unforgettable performances, and storytelling at its finest!
The Morning Show
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The Morning Show began as a powerful statement about the widespread problem of sexual harassment and abuse of power in the entertainment industry. It drew inspiration from the scandal surrounding the real-life Today Show scandal. However, as the show progressed, one question kept coming to mind: How did it evolve into what it is now? Three seasons in, it's clear that The Morning Show could have been a miniseries. But if it had ended after its star-studded and grounded first season, we wouldn't be able to enjoy the addictive melodrama that defines the series today.
Starring and executive produced by Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, Apple TV's flagship series follows Alex (Aniston) as her co-host Mitch (Steve Carell) is exposed for workplace abuse and sexual misconduct. The show delves into the chaotic world of the Morning Show network, where Alex struggles to maintain her position while reluctantly teaming up with fiery reporter Bradley (Witherspoon). In subsequent seasons, The Morning Show takes on various issues, including COVID and the influence of big tech. It boldly combines prestige storytelling with soapy drama, creating a series that is both popular and captivating. —Anna Govert
View full post on YoutubeChris Evans and Michelle Dockery star in this critically acclaimed miniseries about parents grappling with the devastating reality that their teenage son is the prime suspect in a murder trial. If you had any doubts about Chris Evans' acting range after his Marvel stint, this series will dispel them. Oh, and if you loved Knives Out, you'll enjoy this too.
Lessons in Chemistry
View full post on YoutubeLessons in Chemistry will inspire you to grab a cookbook and a beaker. Brie Larson takes on the role of Elizabeth Zott, a brilliant chemist who finds herself expelled from her research lab. Soon, she is offered the opportunity to star in a cooking show, which she transforms into a powerful lesson for not only herself but also those around her.
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Created and executive produced by Annie Weisman, Physical is set in the sun-drenched backdrop of early 1980s San Diego. Rose Byrne stars as Sheila Rubin, an unhappy housewife struggling with self-image and an inability to assert herself. This extends to her marriage to Danny (Rory Scovel), whose liberal ideals don't seem to align with their home life.
Sheila tirelessly manages their household while juggling the responsibilities of raising their four-year-old daughter, all while also navigating Danny's political campaign. Frustrating as it may be, it's a testament to how deeply she loathes herself and how it has shaped her perception for decades. However, everything changes when Sheila discovers a renewed sense of purpose through aerobics, the latest fitness craze sweeping the nation. While Sheila finds strength, confidence, and a new venture in the present day, her struggles persist in different forms.
At times, Sheila's self-centeredness threatens to undermine the show's message of female empowerment. Nevertheless, Physical is well-crafted, captivating, and features episodes that run under 30 minutes. It may even fill the void left by Netflix's canceled series GLOW. [Full Review] —Kaitlin Thomas
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
Apple TV What started as a thrilling sci-fi drama set in an alternate history, where Russia reached the moon before America and sparked an extended space race, has evolved into one of the best shows on television. With influences from Battlestar Galactica, Ronald D. Moore combines politics, technology, and complex character relationships to create a truly unique viewing experience. Season 2 sees the characters settle on the moon, while Season 3 aims for even higher stakes as they strive to reach Mars. Alongside breathtaking action sequences, the show explores rivalries, both international and within private tech firms. For space geeks and lovers of speculative fiction, this series is a must-watch. Joel Kinnaman, Wrenn Schmidt, and Krys Marshall deliver standout performances. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
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If I had to describe Christopher Miller's genre-defying murder mystery The Afterparty in one word, it would be "super-freaking-fun." The first season's eight episodes take us through the investigation of a highly publicized murder that takes place at a high school reunion afterparty. Each episode offers a fresh retelling of the night's events, seen from the perspective and personality of a different person being interrogated. This unique approach not only delves into the murder mystery genre, but also takes elements from romantic comedies, psychological thrillers, musicals, and high school movies. Though it may not be the deepest show, the cast, filled with actors and actresses who consistently bring humor and brilliance to their roles, ensures a thoroughly entertaining experience from beginning to end. [Full Review] —Kaitlin Thomas
The Big Door Prize
For fans of: Small town comedies, existential questions, comically large bowls of spaghettiNumber of seasons: 1 (Renewed for Season 2)
Chris O'Dowd, The Big Door Prize
Apple TV Chris O'Dowd stars in this delightfully whimsical comedy about the residents of a small town who find themselves in a frenzy when a mysterious machine called The Morpho arrives. Promising to reveal their life potential on a small blue card, The Morpho sparks a series of hilarious and thought-provoking situations as ordinary people suddenly develop interests in archery, motorcycle riding, and other activities they were previously uninterested in. The show tackles themes of prophecy, hidden desires, and divine intervention with humor and charm, weaving together intertwining narratives heightened by an air of mystery. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
For fans of: Maya Rudolph, wealthy individuals with poor decision-making skills Number of Seasons: 1 (Renewed for Season 2)
Nat Faxon and Maya Rudolph, Loot
Apple TV Here's what you need to know about Loot: It stars Maya Rudolph as "the most famous cheated-on woman on the planet." Need I say more? This Apple TV comedy brings Rudolph together with the creators of Amazon's Forever, Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard. This time, Rudolph's character has been publicly betrayed by her wealthy husband (Adam Scott), leading her to discover her hidden billions and a charity foundation she never knew existed. Determined to prove she's more than just a victim, she becomes more involved in the charity, resulting in a series that's part comedy, part billionaire ex-wife transformation. While it may not fully showcase Rudolph's talents as a leading star, Loot is a solid comedy with plenty of laughs. -Kelly Connolly [Trailer]
For fans of: The enchanting films of Cartoon Saloon, wolves, Irish mythology (and accents)
Apple TV Wolfwalkers is a stunningly animated film that was released in theaters in 2020. However, many may have missed it due to the circumstances. As the third installment in Cartoon Saloon's series of films based on Irish folklore, it follows in the footsteps of the critically acclaimed The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea (which I highly recommend). The story revolves around a young girl who journeys from England to Ireland with her father to eradicate the last wolf pack. However, she ends up befriending a girl who is part of a tribe that can transform into wolves at night. Wolfwalkers captures the essence of Hayao Miyazaki's works more than Disney or Pixar, earning it an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature. Gather your loved ones, prepare some popcorn, and enjoy this visually stunning and captivating film. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
For fans of: Hard work, sunny vibes, telenovelasNumber of seasons: 2 (Renewed for Season 3)
Enrique Arrizon, Acapulco
Apple TV If you're looking for an escape and a feel-good experience, check in at the Las Colinas resort in Acapulco. This comedy takes place in 1980s Mexico and follows the journey of Maximo (Enrique Arrizon), who starts as a pool boy and eventually becomes a successful hotelier. Acapulco exudes sunny optimism and blends elements from Jane the Virgin, The White Lotus, and How I Met Your Mother. The show seamlessly swaps between English and Spanish, offering an authentic bilingual experience. With its charm, uplifting atmosphere, and lounge singers performing '80s classics in Spanish, Acapulco is a delightful watch. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
View full post on YoutubeBased on Isaac Asimov's acclaimed sci-fi novels, Foundation tells the gripping story of a mathematician who predicts the impending cataclysm that will plunge the world into chaos. With a fresh adaptation by David S. Goyer, known for his work on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the series follows a group of exiles as they embark on a mission to take down the Galactic Empire and save humanity. While some fans of Asimov's original series may not appreciate the deviations, the show's massive budget is evident in its impressive world-building and visually stunning set design.
The Sky Is Everywhere
For fans of: Teen love, teen grief, trees, emotions brought to life
Jacques Colimon and Grace Kaufman, The Sky Is Everywhere
Apple TV Two powerful emotions dominate the lives of teenagers: grief and love. In A24's The Sky Is Everywhere, directed by Josephine Decker, these emotions collide in a visually stunning triumph. The story revolves around Lennie (Grace Kaufman), a high school girl torn between two boys following the sudden death of her older sister. Decker seamlessly weaves together fantastical elements—a new boy's trumpet drops waves of musical notes that induce swooning—with the natural beauty of California's Redwood forests, using the interplay of light between trees to illuminate the characters' emotional journey. The film is packed with teenage melodrama, but it's the raw emotion and visual storytelling that make The Sky Is Everywhere a captivating escape. Added to the mix is a love triangle involving Lennie's sister's ex-boyfriend. Will she choose the one who understands her grief, or the one who holds the promise of healing? -Tim Surette [Trailer]
The Tragedy of Macbeth
For fans of: Willy Shakespeare, the Coen brothers, Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth
Apple TV Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand shine in this adaptation of Shakespeare's timeless tragedy, Macbeth. Directed, adapted, and produced by Joel Coen, one half of the Coen brothers, it represents his first solo effort. The film, presented in black-and-white with an Expressionist touch, captures the essence of the classic play. Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand's performances as Lord and Lady Macbeth are truly historic, and the movie itself was nominated for three Academy Awards. Its artistic credibility is further enhanced by its monochromatic visuals. If you appreciate artful cinema, this is an unmissable experience. -Liam Mathews [Trailer]
Recommended for: Fans of Planet Earth and adorable small cuddly creaturesNumber of seasons: 2
Apple TV strives to provide some of the finest wildlife series in the absence of Sir David Attenborough's narration, challenging the dominance of The BBC and Discovery. In this series, the spotlight is on the tiny creatures of the world, revealing a lesser-seen struggle for survival compared to other similar shows. The narration for this technological marvel, which features minuscule frogs, beetles, birds, and more, is appropriately done by Paul Rudd, known for his role as Ant-Man. Apple TV is also the home of the captivating nature documentary film The Elephant Queen, which follows a herd of elephants and other animals in Africa. -Tim Surette [Trailer]
As we eagerly dive into 2021, one thing is for certain: the world of Apple TV series is set to deliver another remarkable year of captivating stories, memorable characters, and breathtaking visuals. From the intense drama of "The Morning Show" to the gripping mystery of "Defending Jacob," the lineup is brimming with promising titles. With shows like "Lessons in Chemistry" and "Physical" exploring compelling narratives that push boundaries, and exciting ventures like "Acapulco" and "Foundation" transporting us to new worlds, there is no shortage of entertainment worth devouring. So buckle up and get ready to embark on a thrilling journey as Apple TV series continue to redefine excellence in storytelling in 2021.
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