35 Apple TV+ Original Series You Should Be Watching

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A surprisingly endearing sitcom about an American football coach moving to the U.K. to coach the other kind of football, Ted Lasso was Apple TV+’s first breakout hit, but it’s long over by this point. While few of their other shows have commanded even a fraction of the zeitgeist as ol’ Ted, over the past few years Apple’s streaming service has built a small, but solid library of other original series that are at least interesting, or pretty good, or occasionally more. Apple’s offerings still can’t quite compare to what you’ll find on Netflix or Hulu, at least in terms of volume, but there’s enough money in the tech company’s bank account that they’ve shown a willingness to experiment, particularly when it comes to high-cost genres like science fiction, and that’s not a bad thing. Here are 35 of Apple’s best original shows so far. I’m highlighting the ones you may not have binged yet, so Ted Lasso isn’t on the list—but consider him mentioned here.
Sugar (2024 – )

Sugar doesn’t try to obscure or downplay its reliance on old-school Hollywood noir tropes: It’s characters are driven to emulate the style of antiheroes of old, and clips from old movies even play alongside the action as a means of driving the point home. The central mystery sees detective John Sugar (Colin Farrell) summoned to the mansion of a rich movie producer (James Cromwell), whose granddaughter has gone missing. We’re only a couple of episodes in, and rumor has it that there’s a big twist coming, but what’s occurred so far is intriguing, and even paradoxically unique: Sugar is kind of an anti-anti-hero…he’s an actual nice guy in a world where he’s expected to play the tough guy. The series comes from writer Mark Protosevich (The Cell, I Am Legend) and smartly directed by City of God’s Fernando Meirelles, so it has style to spare.Pachinko (2022 – , renewed for a second season)

Pachinko is technically an American production, but its largely South Korean cast and crew place it in very much in the wheelhouse of the K-Dramas that have found success in the U.S. in recent years. The multigenerational saga follows one woman (Youn Yuh-jung and Kim Min-ha) and her family from the Japanese occupation of Korea through the decades of the Korean diaspora. It’s as personal as it is epic, with better location cinematography than most movies—and it’s got an all-time great opening credits sequence. It’s been renewed for a second season, release date TBD.Bad Sisters (2022 – , renewed for a second season)

The comedy murder mystery genre is having a moment, with Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building, Apple’s own The Afterparty (to which I’ll return later in this list), and the Knives Out movies all doing brisk business. Bad Sisters is in that same category, but set apart in interesting (and significant) ways. The Dublin setting and the dark comedy stand out, and the show is as much about solving the core murder as it is about rooting for the killer, whoever they may be. Among the title sisters, one has a particularly odious husband. When he turns up dead, each of the sisters (one played by Catastrophe’s Sharon Horgan, who co-created) is revealed to have had good reason for doing the job.Severance (2022 – , renewed for a second season)

Late-stage capitalism encourages “work-life balance” while simultaneously making it impossible, and then makes us feel guilty about it. In Severance, biotechnology giant Lumon Industries has a solution: they split your consciousness between your life at work and your life outside of it. For our lead characters (played by Adam Scott, Jack Cherry, Britt Lower, etc.) the work- and home-based consciousnesses grow apart to the point that they become entirely different people. The show blends the conventions of office-based dark comedies with movies like Brazil and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and dives into the dangers of modern American-style totalitarian capitalism while providing a reminder that technology often promises to improve our lives while only making them worse.The Buccaneers (2023 – , renewed for a second season)

The sassy, revisionist period drama (think Bridgerton) is having a heyday and, with the success of HBO’s The Gilded Age (itself an Edith Wharton pastiche), it’s only natural things have come back around to the source—in this case, an unfinished Wharton novel telling the story of five American nouveau riche daughters being shuffled off to Europe to unite (in marriage) their family’s ready cash with old European titles and lands. It’s a fun, women-led show that splits the difference between The Gilded Age’s relative faithfulness to history and Bridgerton’s joyful anachronisms.Hijack (2023 – , renewed for a second season)

This solid action thriller stars Idris Elba as a business negotiator who finds himself among the passengers on a flight from London to Dubai that’s been…well, hijacked. He’s the only one onboard with a shot at saving himself and the other passengers, but will have to use his experience, brains, and brawn to do it. The show takes place in real time, more or less, adding to the suspense, and also making the second-season pickup slightly confusing. I’m not sure how a followup series will work, but if 24 could run for nine seasons, I’m sure that Elba’s Sam Nelson can sustain at least a couple more.For All Mankind (2019 — , renewed for fourth season)

I love a high concept, but execution is what counts, and For All Mankind makes good on its premise, thanks in large part to the involvement of writer/co-creator Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica). The show runs with a tantalizing what if?—what if Soviet space pioneer Sergei Korolev hadn’t died prematurely in 1966 and instead helped bring his country’s space program to full flower, extending the space race indefinitely? If we’d been forced to continue and expand upon the space program, our past (and present) would look quite different, and this show dramatically imagines how that might go, jumping across decades to reveal our alternate past (and future).Dickinson (2019 – 2021, two seasons)

Dickinson is so scrupulously weird that it gets points just for being unexpected. The most surprising thing about it, though, is that it’s good, not merely idiosyncratic. The show imagines the life of 19th-century poet Emily Dickinson, with the conceit that she didn’t fit especially well in her own time, a fact the show reflects through the casual use of anachronisms and more modern sensibilities. Think Netflix’s Bridgerton or Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette for similar vibes—but neither of those is about a person nearly as haunting ormysterious as Dickinson. Bonus: It’s also beautifully filmed and acted.Visible: Out on Television (2020, miniseries)

An effective update to The Celluloid Closet that takes us up to date for the Peak TV age, Visible brings that sweet Apple money to bear in gathering animpressive assortment of talking heads. Going back to the earliest days of television, when queer characters and themes were either ignored, heavily coded, or mocked, the docuseries traces the ups and downs of queer representation on TV right up until the present moment. It entertainingly documents how far we’ve come, and makes clear there’s still work to do.Manhunt (2024 – )

Based on James L. Swanson’s book Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer, Manhunt reenacts (in detail) not just the night of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination by John Wilkes Booth (Anthony Boyle), but the hours, months, and years that followed, examining the political and cultural fallout at the dawn of Reconstruction. The surprising star here is Tobias Menzies’ Edwin Stanton, the war secretary who fought to preserve Lincoln’s legacy, with mixed results. The show also offers strong parallels, intentional or not, between Booth—violently racist, bombastic, and vainglorious while also somehow a perpetual victim—and modern-day political figures with whom you might be familiar. The Last Thing He Told Me (2023 – , renewed for a second season)

Critics and audiences are divided over The Last Thing He Told Me, the crime drama earning only mixed reviews while also ranking as the streamer’s most watched limited series ever. Based on the bestseller by Laura Dave, the popularity of the book might have something to do with that, as might Jennifer Garner’s sensitive performance. While it scored those impressive numbers as a limited series, the series has subsequently been renewed for a new season, to be based on a forthcoming sequel novel , currently scheduled for release in 2025. Co-starring Angourie Rice, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and David Morse, the series finds Garner’s character trying to forge a bond with her stepdaughter in order to help solve the mystery of her missing husband.Monarch: Legacy of Monsters (2023 – , renewed for a second season)

Monarch does a rather surprisingly effective job of telling its own story within the universe of all those American Godzilla movies of the past decade or so, bringing those big stories back down to Earth while building out an entire Monsterverse mythology in the process. Anna Sawai stars as a young teacher searching for her father, missing since Godzilla’s attack on San Francisco (depicted in the 2014 film), and finds herself drawn into the past and present of a secret government agency. Wyatt and Kurt Russell play the past and present incarnations of the Army colonel who helped set the whole thing in motion. See (2019 — 2022, three seasons)

The pitch meeting for this must’ve been a hoot. “We’ll do ‘The Country of the Blind’… but, you know, in the future!” Just as in that H.G. Wells story, we learn here that being one of the only sighted people among the blind doesn’t necessarily grant you any special privileges. A few centuries from now, humans have lost their senses of sight, and the few born sighted are hunted and despised—as high concepts go, it’s a little goofy (and the reviews have been a little rough), but the beautifully produced and entertaining show blends Game of Thrones vibes with dystopian sci-fi, and boasts Jason Momoa and the always brilliant Alfre Woodard.Central Park (2020 — 2022, three seasons)

Central Park, from creators Loren Bouchard, Josh Gad, and Nora Smith, retains much of the look and feel of Bouchard’s beloved (and long-running) Bob’s Burgers, which is probably be enough of a recommendation to get many adult-leaning cartoon fans onboard. It differs, though, in its ambition: Unlike Bob’s, this show invests more heavily in serialization to tell the story of a park manager fighting to save the titular Central Park from greedy developers. It’s also a true musical, incorporating big numbers into each and every episode. (The more sporadic musical numbers in Bob’s Burgers are always the best part, so upping that quotient here is all to the good.)Foundation (2021 —, renewed for a third season)

Foundation frequently misses the point of its source material (a series of influential Isaac Asimov novels), but that doesn’t make it any less of an impressively realized science-fiction epic on its own terms. Lou Llobel and Lee Pace lead the centuries-spanning series that sees a group of scholars and rebels working to bring down a galactic empire in order to save it. The first season was pretty great, the second season was even better. Silo (2023 —, renewed for a second season)

The casts of many of these shows are pretty extraordinary, but this one is at least a small step above: Rebecca Ferguson, Rashida Jones, David Oyelowo, Common, and Tim Robbins are all included in the main cast. The science fiction series, based on High Howey’s self-published sensation Wool, is set in a post-apocalyptic future; the show’s characters live in the 144-story silo of the title, a sealed environment sustaining (and imprisoning?) the last dregs of humanity. Societal politics blend with elements of mystery (nothing in the silo is quite what it seems) in an impressively conceived dystopia.Schmigadoon! (2021 — 2023)

There’s a big theater-kid vibe to Schmigadoon, no question, with references and in-jokes not everyone is going to get. I’m not sure it matters. When Melissa (Cecily Strong) and Josh (Keegan-Michael Key) set out on a camping trip to strengthen their relationship, they instead stumble into the title town, where everyone sings their feelings, just like characters in a… you get it. The only way out? True love…which Melissa and Josh thought they already shared, but maybe not so much. It’s both a tribute to classic musicals and a satire of the common tropes and the more problematic aspects of those old productions. The second season switches location and eras to “Schmicago,” taking on the darker-tinged musicals of the 1970s.The Completely Made-Up Adventures of Dick Turpin (2024 – )

The Great British Bake Off’s Noel Fielding stars in this wildly ahistorical British import involving the real-life highwayman of the title, who lived in the mid-1700s. Truth and legend are impossible to sort out when it comes to Turpin, so the show defers to the legend, adding a bunch of inspired silliness to the mix. It’s not quite Our Flag Means Death, but it takes a similarly loose, and fun, approach to history. Masters of the Air (2024)

A spiritual successor and companion to earlier WWII minis Band of Brothers (2001) and The Pacific (2010), Masters of the Air focuses on the “Bloody Hundredth,” the 100th Bomb Group—pilots tasked with bombing targets inside German-occupied Europe. Austin Butler (Elvis), Barry Keoghan (Saltburn), and Ncuti Gatwa (Doctor Who) are part of the impressive ensemble.Constellation (2024 – )

Severance, Foundation, For All Mankind, and Silo have established Apple TV+ as a home for high-concept, big-ish budget science fiction. Which is cool, given that even the SyFy channel is’t filling that niche anymore. This one finds astronaut Noomi Rapace returning to Earth after an accident, and discovering that the reality she’s returned to isn’t quite the same as the one she left behind.Criminal Record ( 2024 – , renewed for a second season)

The apparently IRL delightful Peter Capaldi is one of our most effortlessly menacing actors, imbuing even Doctor Who with an unpredictable inscrutability, so it’s no surprise that he excels at playing a hardened police detective with a checkered past. He’s joined here by Cush Jumbo’s June Lenker, a by-the-book and far more idealistic detective who’s as suspicious of Capaldi’s DCI Hegarty as she is of the facts involving the cold case the pair are investigating. Think of them like a twisted version of Mulder and Scully (minus the aliens, of course).The Morning Show (2019 — , renewed for a fourth season)

Less high-concept than some of Apple’s other originals, The Morning Show still serves as a solid drama led by an out-of-character performance from Jennifer Aniston. She plays Alex Levy, co-host of a major network morning show. Or “co-host,” that is, until Mitch (Steve Carrell), with whom she’s worked for 15 years, is fired due to sexual misconduct shortly before the show goes on the air one morning (a la Matt Lauer), leaving Alex to explain the situation. The resulting shake-ups and power grabs (including by an up-and-comer played by Reese Witherspoon; the star power in this thing!) were inspired by Brian Stelter’s real-life book Top of the Morning, about the (perhaps) surprisingly dramatic and cutthroat world of morning television, so with the TV-ready drama comes an air of verisimilitude.The Me That You Can’t See (2021, miniseries)

An Oprah Winfrey/Prince Harry co-production might inspire understandable cynicism, but the effort here is worthwhile: approaching both stars and non-celebrities, the miniseries explores issues related to mental health, particularly the stigma and difficulties in finding care. The celebs are all impressively frank, and the less famous individuals come from a wide array of backgrounds and face a diverse set of issues. Naturally, the presentation is highly polished, but the mere fact that the streamer is putting its money into expanding conversations about mental illness make it worth checking out.Truth Be Told (2019 — 2023, three seasons)

Honestly, they had me at Octavia Spencer. It’s not just her, though: the cast here is uniformly first-rate: Lizzy Caplan, Aaron Paul, Mekhi Phifer, and Kate Hudson also star. The premise is also solid, and timely: Spencer plays a true crime podcaster who condemned a now-convicted killer with her reporting, but who now learns that she might have gotten some crucial details wrong. The execution stumbles a bit in the first season, but picks up in the second and into its concluding third.The Afterparty (2022 — 2023, two seasons)

At a high school reunion afterparty, a murder occurs that, naturally, sets the series in motion—a scenario rife with possibilities, given the dramas that swirl around any real-life reunion. The spin here on the comedy murder mystery is its Rashomon-like structure: each episode explores the night from the POV of one of the participants, shifting genre styles to suit the character in question. Tiffany Haddish and Sam Richardson are great as the leads.Little America (2020 — 2022, two seasons)

With a sense of humor, the anthology Little America dramatizes a series of Epic Magazine pieces telling the stories of immigrants in America. Each 30-minute episode plays like a movie in miniature, and each is packed with emotion—sometimes heartbreak, often joy; seriously, they cram a lot of heart into these little episodes. Each one ends with a tag about the real people on which it is based, which serves to ground the emotion in reality.Home Before Dark (2020 — 2021, two seasons)

I love, love, love that this one’s based on a true story. Home Before Dark dramatizes the story of Hilde Lysiak, award-winning crime reporter and the youngest member of the Society of Professional Journalists, who began her career at age 9 (she’s now a whopping 14). Here she’s fictionalized as Hilde Lisko (Brooklynn Prince), who moves with her mother to a Twin Peaks-esque coastal town where she slowly, doggedly, uncovers the truth behind a long-forgotten cold case.Servant (2019 — 2023)

Creepy nanny meets creepy doll in this utterly strange psychological thriller, co-executive-produced by the occasionally brilliant but notoriously inconsistent M. Night Shyamalan (the show was created by Tony Basgallop). The horror here isn’t really overt, but the show plays some interesting and disturbing games centered on the relationship of the lead couple, played by Lauren Ambrose and Toby Kebbell. Following the death of their 13-week-old son, the pair acquires a lifelike doll as a therapeutic tool. Naturally, something’s not quite right with the doll (or Dorothy’s attachment to it), and something’s definitely not right about the young live-in nanny that they hire (rich people, amirite?) to take care of fake baby Jericho.Ghostwriter (2019 — 2022, three seasons)

This new, updated Ghostwriter goes in a different direction than the ‘90s-era original, focusing a little bit less on the mystery elements of the stories and more on reading fundamentals: operating out of a bookstore belonging to the grandfather of two of the main characters, four kids are brought together by a ghost who brings characters from classic and modern literature to life, with CGI that’s sometimes great… and sometimes less so. Where the show really shines is in its depiction of kids who are believably smart and savvy, unlike an awful lot of shows that can’t seem to tell the difference between a 12-year-old and a 5-year-old. It’s definitely for kids, but that’s to its credit.Defending Jacob (2020, miniseries)

Based on the book by William Landay, this one’s premise is clever, and harrowing: in an upper-class Massachusetts suburb, Andy (Chris Evans) and Laurie (Michelle Dockery) learn that a classmate of their 14-year-old son has been murdered in a local park. What happens next is even more shocking: theirson is arrested for the murder. The show sometimes leans into melodrama unnecessarily, but the performances are solid and the central mystery is so compelling, it’s hard not to get drawn in.Black Bird (2022, miniseries)

Novelist Dennis Lehane (Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River) developed the based-on-a-true-story miniseries, and his touch is very evident if you’re familiar with his books, or with the movies they’ve inspired. Taron Egerton plays Jimmy Keene, a former football star given a ten-year prison sentence for drug dealing. Before long, he’s given another shot: his sentence will be erased if he transfers to a much higher security prison for the criminally insane and gathers evidence against a suspected serial killer incarcerated there. That’s a killer premise, and Egerton is great here.Trying (2020 — , renewed for fourth season)

After having difficulty conceiving a child, Nikki and Jason begin the adoption process, and find themselves in a bind. Were they able to conceive, there’d be no other qualifications necessary to have a baby. Adoption, on the other hand, is long process full of screenings, classes, paperwork, home visits, and money. This is one of those rare comedies that’s both genuinely funny and gentle—the show even revisits all of its characters at the end of each episode so that we know how everyone has made out.Mythic Quest (2020 — , renewed for a fourth season)

It might sound a little (or a lot) niche, but we’ve seen enough headlines about the working conditions at many video game production houses to understand why a workplace comedy set against such a backdrop would make for effectively dark and juicy comedy. Charlotte Nicdao and Rob McElhenney are the leads here, as a brilliant and driven workaholic and an unsociable egomaniac respectively, and the chemistry between their two characters give the show more than enough spark.Acapulco (2021 – , renewed for a third season)

Inspired by the 2017 film How to Be a Latin Lover, the ambitious English/Spanish-language comedy spans generations in telling the story of Maximo Gallardo Ramos (Eugenio Derbez), a Malibu mogul who began life as a pool boy at a fancy resort hotel. The sweet, sun-drenched show has a gorgeously retro visual style.Slow Horses (2022 – , renewed for fourth and fifth seasons)

With nods to the great spy dramas of John le Carré, Slow Horses updates the setting without losing either the thrills nor the style of a time-honored genre. The “Slow Horses” of the title are a group of has-been MI5 agents—they’ve all made messes of significant jobs, but are still seen as having some use, if only in dull administrative tasks. Naturally, the group (lead by Gary Oldman and Jack Lowden, with their spymaster played by Kristin Scott Thomas) finds themselves in deeper waters than anyone had expected of them. The show has a sly sense of humor, and balances a cynical tone with a conviction that redemption is more than possible.

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