What to Watch on Apple TV Plus
Apple TV+’s library of TV shows and movies is small but mighty. We’ve picked a bushel of our favorites to stream right now.
Unlike most other on-demand streaming services, Apple TV+ doesn’t carry any content from outside sources, only exclusive original TV shows and movies. Apple TV+’s curated library is about quality over quantity.
Thanks to the recent addition of live sports (Friday Night Baseball), Apple TV+ has a little something for everybody: dramas, comedies, documentaries, kids’ shows, and even a triple-Oscar-winning movie (CODA). There’s more to Apple TV+ than just Ted Lasso—let’s look at a few of our favorites.
Recommended TV shows on Apple TV Plus
Ted Lasso | Comedy
Believe the hype—Ted Lasso really is that good. The unlikely story of an American college football coach (Jason Sudeikis) who’s recruited to rehab a failing British soccer team sounds like a single-joke setup, but Ted Lasso is a huge-hearted jolt of cheer and camaraderie with a fantastic cast of characters. The Emmy-winning show also isn’t overstaying its welcome, as the upcoming third season of Ted Lasso will be its last—time to jump in and see what the kerfuffle is about, mate.
Severance | Drama, sci-fi
On the opposite end of the feel-good spectrum, the Ben Stiller–produced Severance is some of the most uneasy viewing you’ll ever happily binge-watch. Workers in a mysterious office space (including Adam Scott and John Turturro) have their memories of the outside world erased when they clock in, then their work consciousnesses are deleted when they clock out. Eventually, this extreme work/life “balance” gets complicated in the wildest ways.
The Morning Show | Drama
Before Ted Lasso, the highest-profile original series on Apple TV+ was The Morning Show, starring Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carell. This behind-the-scenes drama, unlike HBO’s heavy-handed The Newsroom, tackles hard news and harder issues—some within its own TV studio—with a lighter touch and deft comedic timing (as you’d expect from the show’s leads). The Morning Show is a star-powered soap opera, but those stars are on point.
Mythic Quest | Comedy
Like a crossbreeding of Silicon Valley and Veep, Mythic Quest mines laughs from the internal chaos of a successful videogame company trying to expand on its first campaign. Creative director Ian (Rob McElhenney, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) is at constant odds with his engineers and creatives (including Charlotte Nicdao and F. Murray Abraham) as Mythic Quest veers between being a love letter to and a snarky takedown of the videogame industry.
For All Mankind | Drama, sci-fi
Set in an alternate reality where Russia landed on the Moon before the USA in 1969, For All Mankind is a sprawling sci-fi epic that blurs the line between historical fact and fantasy. Creator/producer Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica) has built a timeline where the space race never ended, crafting three seasons that have landed For All Mankind in review site Rotten Tomatoes’ upper stratosphere. It’s a sci-fi saga, political thriller, and family drama in one.
Recommended movies on Apple TV Plus
CODA | Drama
Ruby (Emilia Jones), a child of deaf adults, or CODA, dreams of becoming a singer. But, since her parents are deaf, she’s resigned herself to working in the family fishing business, where her ability to hear is crucial. Ruby’s high school choir teacher sees Ruby’s potential, however, and agrees to coach her for an audition to Berklee. CODA is a sweet coming-of-age story with a twist that’s been nominated for over 130 awards, including three Oscars (which it won).
Finch | Drama, sci-fi
If you thought you couldn’t love American cinematic icon Tom Hanks any more, prepare your feels for Finch, in which he plays a dying scientist who builds an android to care for his dog when he’s gone—awww! Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Finch is a minimal-cast sci-fi adventure with Hanks’ titular character as the last man on Earth, and only Goodyear the dog and Jeff the android to keep him company. At least they’re better companions than a soccer ball.
Cha Cha Real Smooth | Comedy, drama
Twentysomething bat mitzvah DJ/hype man Andrew (Cooper Raiff) falls for thirtysomething single mom Domino (Dakota Johnson) at a party. On the upside, Andrew gets on swimmingly with her autistic daughter Lola; on the downside, Domino has a fiancé. Cha Cha Real Smooth subverts the usual romantic comedy tropes with a beginning, middle, and end that don’t go where you think they will. It’s also a win for Johnson, finally charming her way out of Fifty Shades.
The Tragedy of Macbeth | Drama
Director Joel Coen (minus his usual partner, brother Ethan) takes on the tale of Shakespeare’s Macbeth—with a twist. Lord (Denzel Washington) and Lady Macbeth (Frances McDormand) are a bit older than in traditional iterations, and the look and feel of The Tragedy of Macbeth is film noir, in stark black and white with a boxy 4:3 aspect ratio (shades of Zack Snyder’s Justice League). At 105 minutes, Time Out called The Tragedy of Macbeth “short, sharp, and savage.”
The Velvet Underground | Documentary, music
A rock doc about one of the most influential bands ever was long overdue, and director Todd Haynes’s The Velvet Underground doesn’t disappoint. The Velvet Underground was more than Lou Reed’s pre-solo band; they were the definition of art-over-commerce cool in ’60s and ’70s New York City. The doc features interviews with surviving members and peers, archival footage, and (of course) Andy Warhol visuals. Even snooty rock critics liked it, and they hate everything.
Recommended drama TV shows and movies on Apple TV Plus
- Black Bird
- Defending Jacob
- Shining Girls
- Slow Horses
Recommended nonfiction shows on Apple TV Plus
- 1971: The Year That Changed Music
- Beastie Boys Story
- Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry
- Earth at Night
- Greatness Code
- Long Way Up
- Oprah’s Book Club
- The Problem with Jon Stewart
Recommended kids’ shows on Apple TV Plus
- Doug Unplugs
- Duck & Goose
- El Deafo
- Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock
- Ghost Writer
- Harriet the Spy
- Hello Jack! The Kindness Show
- Here We Are
- The Snoopy Show