10 Best Apple TV Shows Right Now

10 Best Apple TV Shows Right Now

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When Apple TV+ first launched in 2019, its prospects seemed dim. It was entering a saturated streaming market with only eight titles to its name, and it was standing up to competitors with far more experience and recall in the entertainment game. 

But thanks to a quality-over-quantity strategy and a nothing-to-lose gumption—literally, the company had millions to spare—it now comes out on top of the streaming wars, right there with old-timers like Netflix and powerhouses like Disney+.

At the moment, Apple TV+ has more than 50 original shows (and a couple of Emmys, mind you) under its belt. Endearing comedies and hard-hitting dramas are what it does best, so we list the finest of them below. 

10. Shining Girls

7.6

Country

United States of America

Actors

Amy Brenneman, Chris Chalk, Elisabeth Moss, Jamie Bell

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Dark, Discussion-sparking

Shining Girls is painful to watch. How could it not be, when it follows the serial and brutal murders of female victims? Even when the series is told through the lens of sole survivor Kirby (played by the excellent Elisabeth Moss), we witness the indelible effects of assault and trauma. Kirby’s sense of reality shifts; time is circular and memories are provisional. She’s an unreliable source in her own story. 

And yet Shining Girls is also necessary to watch. It’s one of those stories where pain is the point, and it brings you close enough to the scene of the crime that it feels wrong to pull away too soon–not until you pull through the ending. 

As always, Moss is unrelentingly intense as she takes us through the deepest corners of the victim she portrays, but a strong supporting cast also rounds off the performances. Jamie Bell is particularly haunting as the yet-to-be-discovered killer. 

9. Slow Horses

7.8

Country

United Kingdom, United States

Actors

Gary Oldman, Jack Lowden, Kristin Scott Thomas, Olivia Cooke

Moods

A-list actors, Binge-Worthy, Easy

What if the UK’s MI5 was run not by sleek secret agents, but rather, a bunch of second-rate, hand-me-down spies? Slow Horses gives us a taste of that as it centers on Slough House, a division of MI5 that serves as a detention center for their smart but hopelessly damaged goods.

In this six-part miniseries, the Slough House agents reluctantly exchange their humdrum duties for a big and unexpected case. Led by the eccentric Jackson Lamb (a very funny and effective Gary Oldman), they track a group of Right-wing terrorists and their hostage before it’s too late. With its brisk pace, endearingly bumbling characters, and deft balance of suspense and humor, Slow Horses might just be one of the finest thrillers out there. 

8. Trying

best

8.0

Country

United Kingdom

Actors

Esther Smith, Imelda Staunton, Oliver Chris, Ophelia Lovibond

Moods

Easy, Emotional, Feel-Good

Trying is a realistic but charming take on couples venturing to build a life and stable future for themselves. Heavy themes are tackled here, like infertility, infidelity, and parenthood, but the immensely likable couple that is Nikki and Jase guide us through the murky ups and downs of them all. Their heart and humor aren’t just comforting to watch, they’re also inspiring in a TV age obsessed with heavy dramatics. Like Ted Lasso, Abbott Elementary, and other well-meaning shows like it, Trying is a bit of lighthearted fare that we’d do well to indulge in every now and then.

7. For All Mankind

best

8.0

Country

United States, United States of America

Actors

Casey Johnson, Casey W. Johnson, Coral Peña, Cynthy Wu

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Dramatic, Inspiring

What if the 1960s space race never ended? For All Mankind imagines such a world; here, Russia’s cosmonauts arrive on the moon first, the galaxy holds resources beyond belief, and global wars have expanded in stakes and scale. More than just the final frontier, outer space is now the focal point of warring nations hungry to capitalize and claim new assets. 

For All Mankind’s out-of-this-world premise alone make it a thrilling watch, but you’ll be glad to know that the show also feels intimate and affecting thanks to its fully fleshed-out characters. If you’re looking for an epic but grounded story to lose yourself in, this is it. 

6. Five Days at Memorial

best

8.5

Country

United States of America

Actors

Adepero Oduye, Cherry Jones, Cornelius Smith, Cornelius Smith, Jr.

Moods

Character-driven, Depressing, Discussion-sparking

Five Days at Memorial recalls the real and horrifying events that went on at a New Orleans hospital during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Over the course of five days, the caregivers in charge try their best to evacuate thousands of people from the building, but heavy floods, power outages, intense heat, and a sorry lack of planning result in some heartbreaking decisions about the fate of their patients.

The ongoing series is a gut-wrenching and at times excruciating watch, adeptly directed by John Ridley (American Crime) and absorbingly moored by a cast that includes Vera Farmiga (Conjuring)—by now an expert at exhibiting pure horror—and Cherry Jones (Succession).

5. Acapulco

best

8.5

Country

United States of America

Actors

Camila Perez, Damián Alcázar, Enrique Arrizon, Eugenio Derbez

Moods

Easy, Feel-Good, Funny

There is an art to making a comedy that can be enjoyed by all ages—a balance must be kept between mature and genial humor, serious and unserious matters—and it’s an art that Acapulco manages to execute with finesse. There’s something for everyone here, whether you’re a kid looking for a good story or an adult wishing to drive by memory lane. 

The colors are vibrant, the characters are alive, and the plot, while familiar, is charming nonetheless. But perhaps the best thing about Acapulco is its call for viewers to be kind. It’s never explicit or preachy about it; it just comes naturally, by way of practice.

4. Bad Sisters

best

8.5

Country

United Kingdom, United States of America

Actors

Anne-Marie Duff, Claes Bang, Eva Birthistle, Eve Hewson

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Easy, Grown-up Comedy

Bad Sisters is an Irish miniseries that is part romance, part murder mystery, and all-around cheeky, bold fun. It follows the Garveys, five sisters who’ve developed a tight bond after the untimely death of their parents. They protect each other mainly from their brother-in-law John Paul, whose antics have become increasingly threatening and toxic over the years.

The series is very much in the vein of Big Little Lies, Dead to Me, and Good Girls, where women who’ve kept up with so much for so long finally let loose in a fit of violent rampage. But Bad Sisters narrowly escapes cliches thanks to a winning ensemble and deft handling of its weighty subject matter.

3. Black Bird

best

8.8

Country

United States of America

Actors

Greg Kinnear, Paul Walter Hauser, Ray Liotta, Robert Wisdom

Moods

A-list actors, Binge-Worthy, Challenging

Based on true events, Black Bird follows James Keene (Taron Egerton), a narcotics dealer sentenced to ten years in jail. He makes a deal with the authorities to reduce his sentence, but in return, James has to befriend their deadliest convict—a child murderer played by the excellently terrifying Paul Walter Hauser—and extract a confession out of him before it’s too late.

If you’re a fan of gripping crime thrillers, anti-heroes, star-studded shows, and watching British actors do a perfect American accent, then Black Bird is right up your alley. The miniseries is also an excellent showcase of topnotch performances; Egerton and Hauser bring the house down in their excellently staged two-handers, Greg Kinnear is reliably sturdy as the determined detective, and Ray Liotta in one of his final roles is devastating as an ailing father. 

2. Severance

best

9.0

Country

United States, United States of America

Actors

Adam Scott, Britt Lower, Christopher Walken, Dichen Lachman

Moods

Challenging, Discussion-sparking, Original

In Lumon, a company that resembles the increasingly intrusive oligarchs of Big Tech, Mark (Adam Scott) and his colleagues undergo a procedure that allows them to separate their work memories from their non-work memories. It sounds like a dream: the perfect work-life balance. But things get complicated when one colleague mysteriously leaves and is replaced by confused new hire, Helly (Britt Lower). Mark and Helly dig into shocking truths about what they really do, and for whom.

Just like the endless halls of Lumon, Severance is filled with twists and turns, many of which are impossible to see coming. Slow, smart, and sneaked with a dystopian eerieness that doesn’t feel all that far off, Severance is sure to leave you wary of corporate slavishness, if you aren’t already. 

1. Pachinko

best

9.3

Country

Japan, Korea, South Korea

Actors

Anna Sawai, Eun-chae Jung, Han Jun-woo, In-ji Jeong

Moods

Character-driven, Dramatic, Emotional

Both poetic and epic in scale, Pachinko (adapted from the bestselling novel of the same name) tells the story of a family spanning four generations, three nations, and one dream: to ensure a better life for their children, and their children, and so on. Because the story is rooted both in the unique experience of immigrant life and in the universal values of family life, it can seem painfully striking and relatable all at once. 

Despite the many places and eras it traverses, Pachinko also feels less nostalgic and more real-time, deeply immersed in whatever setting it’s in, taking us breathlessly for the ride. 

Sensitively directed by Kogonada (Columbus, After Yang) and movingly acted by veteran Youn Yuh-jung and breakout star Minha Kim, Pachinko is certainly one for the books: an arresting adaptation through and through.

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