Apple TV+: Is it worth streaming?


Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell in a scene from “The Morning Show,” debuting Nov. 1, as part of the first wave of series that will launch the Apple TV+ streaming service. [Hilary B. Gayle/Apple TV+]

Brenna Flanagan, Lifestyles Editor

Welcome to the age of streaming! It was only a matter of time before Apple, the world’s biggest tech company, developed its own streaming platform to try to reach the ranks of Netflix, Hulu and Prime Video. And with Disney launching its new platform soon, along with a host of other streaming options on the radar, consumers must start making some choices. Apple TV+ is just $4.99 a month, with a deal for new Apple product owners to get a year’s subscription for free after their purchase. With no other content to offer yet, Apple is relying on its original series to attract and keep customers. I have covered the four main shows Apple TV+ released, with a verdict at the end regarding if you should purchase or not. 

For All Mankind 

For All of Mankind (Apple TV+/TNS)

A show based in an alternate reality where the USSR beat America in the space race sounds like an interesting premise. The Americans in the show picking themselves up by the bootstraps and not giving up is something that Apple knows appeals to the masses. And it comes from the mind of “Battlestar Galactica” creator Ronald Moore. But based on other reviews, I was fully prepared to be disappointed by “For All Mankind.” However, the show, while slow and tedious in the beginning, is thoroughly entertaining. The writers have not figured out how to tell its story just right yet, and it might not ever find that perfect spot; the plot can be a bit dense at times and the pace is simultaneously too fast and too slow. Concern over burnout at its current breakneck pace over advancing technology and programs is apparently not a top priority. It sometimes leaves major moments out of the audience’s view altogether, which does not make sense considering each episode reaches the hour mark. Besides the stunning visuals (it is space after all), the moments where the characters connect with each other, especially the women, are the best parts of the show. The show may be trying to show how the space program is all-encompassing, but once “For All Mankind” figures out how exactly to tell its story, the entire story, it will be even more entertaining than it already is. 

Rating: 7/10 


Dickenson (Apple TV+/TNS)

Is Emily Dickinson the new trend? Everyone’s favorite lesbian goth poet has her own show now titled simply “Dickinson,” aptly named because the show follows her entire family, black sheep Emily at the forefront. This is not your average historical fiction retelling though; showrunner and creator Alena Smith’s version is a teenage coming of age story the 2000s have been so good at producing with none other than angsty teen movie favorite Hailee Steinfeld as the famed poet. We get to watch as she rebels against gender norms, carries on a secret relationship with her brother’s fiancée Sue, and she tries to get her work published against her father’s orders. “Dickinson” is like “Schitt’s Creek,” “Lady Bird” and “Pride and Prejudice” all had a baby. The show is refreshing and never stale; the 1850s wardrobes and social norms juxtaposing with modern slang and hip-hop songs makes Emily’s tale relatable in all the right ways. Even Wiz Khalifa makes an appearance as Death, who inspires Emily’s writing. The only thing that takes away from the series is the literal appearance of Emily’s words on the screen when she gets inspired, which is ultimately a too literal representation of a writer at work. But “Dickinson” gets it. It understands where it’s going and what it’s trying to say, making the whole experience of saying it remarkably fun. 

The Morning Show

The Morning Show (Apple TV+/TNS)

Created by Jay Carson, “The Morning Show” is the most high-profile show on Apple TV+, boasting stars Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell. This show is Apple’s version of the inner workings of a cable morning show, most likely based on NBC’s “Today” show and its sexual misconduct scandal with Matt Lauer. The show follows the aftermath of firing a cohost and the search for a new one, including all the network bureaucracy drama in between. There are so many moving plot points that “The Morning Show” tries to cover, at times it can seem like it is  juggling too much at once. The show is good, but it is not different—same plot, different circumstances. There are not major issues that writers need to iron out, but that is almost its problem—the show is too safe and too familiar, mimicking other successful shows. The action is mostly forgettable, not having the same enduring qualities of the other shows Apple TV+ has to offer. The thing that keeps this show interesting is its star power and the depth these well-seasoned actors bring to the dialogue, but even that does not make a good drama. “The Morning Show” just proves that it cannot solely rely on its talent to carry the show. 

Rating: 6/10


See (Apple TV+/TNS)

“See” seems like one of those shows that stems from an idea that should not make it past the drawing board without series revisions. Before release, this Jason Momoa led show was dubbed the substitution for everyone’s “Game of Thrones” size hole in their TV viewing. However, they are going to be disappointed. One major thing it gets wrong is its lack of human connection and conflict that made “Game of Thrones” so good. “See” is set in a future world where civilization fails and a disease wipes out almost the entire world population, leaving those remaining completely blind. How they went blind or the origins of the disease are not yet revealed in the three initial episodes, and neither is how the society reverted to prehistoric times or why most people believe sight is heresy. For some reason, blindness does not detract from the characters’ ability to stab each other.  “See” is unbelievable at times, or difficult to understand, with not even blind Jason Momoa’s acting and manliness saving the show. 

Rating: 3/10 

With an average rating of 6/10, Apple TV+ is not a must-buy yet, unless you really like space or Emily Dickinson. The shows are good, and the current price for all four is less than a movie ticket. However, you are not going to get the same amount of content as you would on the main streaming platforms—not yet anyway. As for me, I am keeping my prescription for now, so Apple’s doing something right.