The best Apple TV Plus shows: 33 great series to stream in July 2024

Rusty Sabich is flanked by two police officers in a court room in Presumed Innocent, one of the best Apple TV Plus shows
The best Apple TV Plus shows include legal thrillers like Jake Gyllenhaal-fronted Presumed Innocent (Image credit: Apple TV+)

The best Apple TV Plus shows offer viewers an eclectic mix of award-winning comedy, sci-fi, documentaries, powerful dramas, and legal thrillers. While Apple TV Plus has taken some time to establish itself as one of the best streaming services, it's most certainly done so nowadays, with a platform boasting both an impressive back catalogue of high-budget and high-quality originals.

In fact, populating a proportion of our list are some of the Apple Originals content that is added to the platform every single month. With such choices available, there should be a show (or 20) for viewers to enjoy. So, if you're in the market for something brand new, or perhaps there's a show you've been meaning to watch that Apple TV Plus can offer you, you're in the right place. Plus, these shows include stellar cast lists, compelling storylines, and some seriously unique formats that you didn't even know you were missing, until now. Let's get into hunting for your next big watch.

Presumed Innocent

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Release date: June 12, 2024
Seasons: 1
Main cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Ruth Negga, Peter Sarsgaard, Bill Camp, and O-T Fagbenle
Age rating: TV-MA (US); 18 (UK); MA15+ (Aus)
RT score: 77% (critics); 85% (audience)

Presumed Innocent adopts a TV format for the first time with Jake Gyllenhaal taking on the role of prosecutor, Rusty Sabich, the prime suspect in the murder of his colleague/mistress. Originally a 1987 novel of the same name, then a 1990 film adaptation with Harrison Ford as Rusty, it’s been transformed once again as an Apple Original series.

While Gyllenhaal is no stranger to the big screen, this limited series marks his first TV role. And viewers can watch the tale unfold over eight intense episodes. There are impressive performances to enjoy from a big-name cast, too, including Ruth Negga as Rusty's wife, Barbara, and Gyllenhaal’s real-life brother-in-law, Peter Sarsgaard, as the head of homicide.

Sugar

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Release date: April 5, 2024
Seasons: 1
Main cast: Colin Farrell, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Amy Ryan, Dennis Boutsikaris, and Nate Corddry
Age rating: TV-MA (US); N/A (UK); M (Aus)
RT score: 82% (critics); 75% (audience)

Colin Farrell is private detective John Sugar in this mystery thriller investigating the disappearance of Olivia Siegel, a Hollywood producer’s beloved granddaughter. While John Sugar appears pretty well put together for tackling the case of a missing person in LA’s dark underbelly, it’s his personal demons that chase him throughout. Throw in some murky waters surrounding the Siegel family’s history and you’ve got a show full of suspicion and suspense.

Colin Farrell’s performance catches the eye, even though there’s a lot of talk around the eight-episode run taking a while to reveal its true self. But, with the mystery genre behind it, there's always a lot to unravel, and you're sure to find yourself with jaw agape as its most shocking moments are unveiled.

Dark Matter

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Release date: May 7, 2024
Seasons: 1
Main cast: Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Connelly, Alice Braga, and Jimmi Simpson
Age rating: TV-MA (US); 15 (UK); M (Aus)
RT score: 81% (critics); 75% (audience)

Based on the New York Times’ bestseller, sci-fi thriller Dark Matter follows Jason Dessen (Joel Edgerton) as he finds himself abducted into an alternate reality of his own life, by himself. Stripped away from his idyllic family life, he must fight to return to what he knows while navigating a vast array of other realities. 

It’s dark and complicated leading the Chicago Sun-Times to call it: “mind-bending and dense and at times exhilarating.” It’s another entry for Apple TV Plus’ commitment to providing adult sci-fi originals, joining the ranks alongside For All Mankind, Silo, and Foundation also on our list.

Severance

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Release date: February 18, 2022
Seasons: 1
Main cast: Adam Scott, Britt Lower, Patricia Arquette, Dichen Lachman, and Zach Cherry
Age rating: TV-MA (US); 12 (UK); M (Aus)
RT score: 97% (critics); 87% (audience)

One of Apple TV Plus’s most curious originals, Severance centers on a mysterious biotech firm that offers its employees an ingenious solution to humanity's perennial search for work/life balance: a medical procedure that completely separates memories of your home and professional existences.

Starring Parks and Recreation's Adam Scott as a cog in the machine who begins to question the whole process, the show's intriguing blend of workplace satire, existential crises and psychological conspiracies is undoubtedly something of a slow burn. But, as we explain in our Severance season one review, sticking with its inherently unsettling Charlie Kaufman vibes brings the reward of a brilliantly tense finale which genuinely leaves you wanting more. With more episodes on the way, read up on everything we know about Severance season 2 before it arrives. 

Silo

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Release date: May 5, 2023
Seasons: 1
Main cast: Rebecca Ferguson, Common, Tim Robbins, and Harriet Walker
Age rating: TV-MA (US); Caution (UK); M (Aus)
RT score: 88% (critics); 64% (audience)

Possibly the most talked about new Apple TV Plus show last year, Silo is dystopian sci-fi delivered with all the style and storytelling prowess we've come to expect from the streamer. Speed writer Graham Yost gets more mileage out of trapping people in an enclosed space in this adaptation of Hugh Howey's book series, about a community living in a vast underground bunker.

Mission: Impossible's Rebecca Ferguson plays an engineer who starts to ask questions about the silo's origins and what happened up above, while powerful forces try to keep its history under wraps. What follows is 10 episodes of smart, tense storytelling enclosed in spectacular brutalist sets. Filming for the show's second season returned finally wrapped in March after a strike-induced hiatus, but a release date is yet to be confirmed.

Ted Lasso

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Release date: August 14, 2020
Seasons: 3
Main cast: Jason Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham, Brett Goldstein, Phil Dunster, and Juno Temple
Age rating: TV-MA (US); 15 (UK); M (Aus)
RT score: 90% (critics); 85% (audience)

Sure, its impossibly optimistic view of the world takes as much suspension of disbelief as Apple TV Plus's sci-fi fantasies. But at a time when the entire universe appears to be going to pot, a show as relentlessly feel good as Ted Lasso is what so many of us desperately needed. The hit series became an awards darling thanks to its heart-warming depiction of a middling soccer team in the English Premier League, and the fish-out-of-water American coach who unexpectedly finds himself in charge. 

Jason Sudeikis is brilliantly endearing as the moustachioed, cookie-baking lead, but every loveable character – most notably Brett Goldstein’s Roy Keane-esque hardman, Roy Kent – is perfectly cast. And, even though Ted Lasso season 2 and Ted Lasso season 3 can't quite live up to the all-round brilliance of Ted's first year in the dugout, this is undoubtedly one of the big winners among the best Apple TV Plus shows.

Manhunt

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Release date: March 15, 2024
Seasons: 1
Main cast: Tobias Menzies, Anthony Boyle, Hamish Linklater, Brandon Flynn, and Patton Oswalt
Age rating: TV-MA (US); N/A (UK); M (Aus)
RT score: 88% (critics); 69% (audience)

The assassination of Abraham Lincoln and its aftermath are the subject of this classy crime drama. The 1865-set story begins where most Lincoln biographies end, as the President’s death at a Washington theater initiates the eponymous manhunt for perpetrator (and perennial pub quiz answer) John Wilkes Booth.

Part detective drama, part US history lesson, it’s a gripping retelling of the story – even though most of the twists are easy to find on Wikipedia. Tobias Menzies (The Crown, Outlander) holds everything together as Edwin Stanton, the real-life Secretary of War charged with bringing the killer to justice.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

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Release date: November 17, 2023
Seasons: 1
Main cast: Anna Sawai, Wyatt Russell, Kurt Russell, Mari Yamamoto, and Kiersey Clemons
Age rating: TV-14 (US); 12 (UK); M (Aus)
RT score: 89% (critics); 77% (audience)

Having made a sizeable footprint on the big screen with Kong: Skull Island and the Godzilla movies, the self-styled MonsterVerse stomps onto Apple TV Plus. Unfolding across two distinct timelines, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters is part origin story for the eponymous beast-hunting organisation, part angst-ridden drama about a bunch of 20-somethings caught in Godzilla and co’s blast radius.

It’s all tied together by father-and-son stars Kurt and Wyatt Russell (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier), both brilliant as the old and young versions of cynical military man Lee Shaw. But your enjoyment of the series will depend on how much you want to see giant creatures beating the hell out of each other – when the Titans clash, the visuals are worthy of the big screen, but the monster sightings don’t happen nearly often enough.

Masters of the Air

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Release date: January 26, 2024
Seasons: 1
Main cast: Callum Turner, Austin Butler, Anthony Boyle, and Matt Gavan
Age rating: TV-MA (US); N/A (UK); MA15+ (Aus)
RT score: 85% (critics); 72% (audience)

Having gone back to World War II in Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers and The Pacific, executive producers Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks report for another tour of duty in their latest military drama, Masters of the Air. This time out they take to the skies to tell the story of the 100th Bomb Group, flying missions over Nazi Germany.

As with Band of Brothers – which featured future A-listers Damian Lewis, Michael Fassbender and Tom Hardy – the cast is loaded with up-and-coming screen talent, including Elvis’s Austin Butler, The Banshees of Inisherin’s Barry Keoghan and new Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa. With all nine episodes of season one receiving primarily positive reviews from critics, it’s earned a place among the best Apple TV Plus TV shows.

The Buccaneers

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Release date: November 8, 2023
Seasons: 1
Main cast: Kristine Froseth, Alisha Boe, Matthew Broome, and Josh Dylan
Age rating: TV-14 (US); 15 (UK); M (Aus)
RT score: 77% (critics); 94% (audience)

Apple TV Plus makes a bid to entice Bridgerton fans with this adaptation of an unfinished novel by The Age of Innocence author Edith Wharton. It’s the story of a group of young American women who move to 1870s London in search of husbands, and their carefree attitudes prove a breath of fresh air among the stiff upper lips of the English aristocracy.

The Buccaneers is a period drama made with 21st century sensibilities, a fun, lavishly costumed romp that also finds time to deal with a few contemporary issues along the way. And while The Buccaneers is undeniably lightweight, the winning ensemble ensures you’ll be captivated by their adventures in high society.

Criminal Record

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Release date: January 10, 2024
Seasons: 1
Main cast: Peter Capaldi, Cush Jumbo, Aysha Kala, and Dionne Brown
Age rating: TV-MA (US); 15 (UK); MA15+ (Aus)
RT score: 89% (critics); 63% (audience)

There’s no shortage of police procedurals available on streaming services, but the two lead performances in Criminal Record lift it to the next level. Peter Capaldi adds another memorable role to a resumé that already boasts Doctor Who and The Thick of It’s sweary Malcolm Tucker, as cynical and abrasive veteran cop Daniel Hegarty. The ever-brilliant Cush Jumbo (star of The Good Fight, one of the best Paramount Plus shows), meanwhile, proves to be the perfect adversary as younger, more idealistic detective June Lenker.

So even though the investigation that brings these two very different detectives together isn’t up there with the crime genre's best, watching them spar with one another is well worth your time.

For All Mankind

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Release date: November 1, 2019
Seasons: 4
Main cast: Joel Kinnaman, Michael Dorman, Sarah Jones, Wrenn Schmidt, and Krys Marshall
Age rating: TV-MA (US); 15 (UK); M (Aus)
RT score: 93% (critics); 82% (audience)

Much as Prime Video's The Man in the High Castle asks, ‘What if the Germans won the war?,’ For All Mankind imagines an alternate timeline where the Soviet Union made it to the moon before America.

Co-created by Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica), the Saturn Award-winning series mixes real-life figures such as Neil Armstrong and Ronald Reagan with fictional astronauts to build a handsomely-recreated vision of the 1960s and early ’70s – and in subsequent seasons, the ’80s and ’90s. But the personal drama, particularly the stories which put the women front and centre, are often just as gripping as its exploration of the global space race. In fact, we believe For All Mankind has the right stuff to be your next TV binge. For All Mankind has officially been renewed for season 5, as well as new spin-off series, Star City, announced for Apple TV Plus.

Lessons in Chemistry

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Release date: October 13, 2023
Seasons: 1
Main cast: Brie Larson, Lewis Pullman, Aja Naomi King, Stephanie Koenig, and Marc Evan Jackson
Age rating: TV-MA (US); 12A (UK); PG (Aus)
RT score: 86% (critics); 80% (audience)

Apple TV Plus continues its impressive record of enticing A-listers to the small screen with a series fronted by Oscar-winner and Marvel Cinematic Universe star Brie Larson. Based on Bonnie Garmus's 2022 novel, this 1950s-set drama tells the story of Elizabeth Zott (Larson), a promising young chemist who finds her academic career repeatedly held back because she's a woman. But she fights back in the most spectacular way, applying her scientific knowledge to cooking and becoming a successful TV chef in the process.

Empire praised Larson's performance and the period setting, while pointing out that "Lessons in Chemistry sticks pretty closely to a conventional TV formula", while The Guardian described it as "a wholly enjoyable watch", but noted that – when it comes to saying something new about the sexism and racism of the era – it is an "opportunity wasted".

Hijack

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Release date: June 28, 2023
Seasons: 1
Main cast: Idris Elba, Neil Maskell, Max Beesley, Ben Miles, and Kaisa Hammarlund
Age rating: TV-MA (US); 15 (UK); M (Aus)
RT score: 88% (critics); 50% (audience)

Idris Elba gets to live his best 24 life in this mostly real-time high-altitude drama. While Jack Bauer was a highly trained counter-terrorism operative, however, Elba's Sam Nelson is a business negotiator, more likely to be found in corporate boardrooms than dealing with hijacked aircraft.

This Die Hard/Passenger 57-like scenario has become something of a Hollywood cliché but, despite the almost obligatory implausible moments, Hijack functions as a gripping seven-episode thriller. Elba is as watchable as ever as the reluctant hero, and he gets quality support from Peaky Blinders' Neil Maskell, Torchwood's Eve Myles and The Good Wife's Archie Panjabi. A second season of Hijack was announced in January 2024.

The Changeling

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Release date: September 8, 2023
Seasons: 1
Main cast: LaKeith Stanfield, Clark Backo, and Adina Porter
Age rating: TV-MA (US); N/A (UK); MA (Aus)
RT score: 74% (critics); 40% (audience)

Precision-engineered to tap into the fears of all parents – particularly those of new arrivals – The Changeling is a deeply unsettling affair. It starts off as a love story between Apollo (LaKeith Stanfield) and Emma (Clark Becko), but their relationship takes a dark and unexpected turn soon after the birth of their first child, when Emma vanishes and Apollo embarks on a quest through New York's magical underworld to find her.

Based on Victor LaValle's 2017 novel, the show incorporates powerful performances, plenty of visual flair, and nightmarish fairytale themes. But be warned, some viewers may find The Changeling's dreamy, freeform narrative structure a tad frustrating. 

Bad Sisters

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Release date: August 19, 2022
Seasons: 1
Main cast: Sharon Horgan, Eve Hewson, Sarah Greene, Anne-Marie Duff, and Eva Birthistle
Age rating: TV-MA (US); 15 (UK); M (Aus)
RT score: 100% (critics); 59% (audience)

Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe) is the co-creator and star of this pitch-black comedy-drama. Inspired by the Flemish series Clan, it tells the story of four Irish sisters (played by Horgan, Eva Birthistle, Normal People's Sarah Greene and Behind Her Eyes' Eve Hewson) who despise their brother-in-law John-Paul (Dracula's Claes Bang) so much that they come up with a succession of schemes to kill him, in order to protect their sister, Grace (Anne-Marie Duff).

The plot unfolds in two parallel timelines: one leading up to John-Paul's demise, the other following a pair of insurance agents (played by Peaky Blinders' Brian Gleeson and Good Luck to You, Leo Grande's Daryl McCormack) who suspect foul play. The results are compelling, darkly funny, and packed with unexpected twists and turns. You can read our full Bad Sisters review here.

Slow Horses

Release date: April 1, 2022
Seasons: 3
Main cast: Gary Oldman, Jack Lowden, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Rosalind Eleazar
Age rating: TV-MA (US); 15 (UK); MA15+ (Aus)
RT score: 97% (critics); 94% (audience)

Although set in the world of espionage, Slow Horses has as much in common with the workplace drudgery of The Office as the glitz and glamour of James Bond. Its admin department setting is even called Slough House. 

Adapted from Mick Herron’s 2010 novel, this darkly comic espionage tale stars Gary Oldman as a misanthropic boss forced to take Jack Lowden’s disgraced agent under his grimy, pencil-pushing wing. But his team of misfits – aka the slow horses of the title – do eventually find themselves in more high-octane situations when the new recruit uncovers a right-wing nationalist conspiracy that may well incriminate his former colleagues. The show's proved so popular that a fifth season has been confirmed before the fourth has even aired.

Foundation

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Release date: September 24, 2021
Seasons: 2
Main cast: Jared Harris, Lou Llobell, Leah Harvey, and Terrence Mann
Age rating: TV-14 (US); 12 (UK); M (Aus)
RT score: 86% (critics); 72% (audience)

Loosely based on sci-fi legend Isaac Asimov’s book series of the same name, this ambitious drama centers on a group of exiles who set out to establish a new society to overthrow the ruling Galactic Empire and ensure the survival of humanity.

Foundation may well be Apple TV Plus’s most visually spectacular original, and its cinematic scope is matched by magnetic performances from Jared Harris as a mathematician turned Nostradamus-like rebel leader, and Lee Pace as a succession of ruthless cloned Emperors. With a storyline that stretches out over centuries, it can be a challenging watch, but Foundation's immersive, intelligent script (featuring moral dilemmas and even the occasional mathematics montage) ensures it's worth sticking with the drama. Our season 2 premiere review explains why – and be sure to read our Foundation season 3 hub for the lowdown on what's coming in its next chapter.

Shrinking

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Release date: January 27, 2023
Seasons: 1
Main cast: Jason Segel, Harrison Ford, Jessica Williams, Christa Miller, and Luke Tennie
Age rating: TV-MA (US); Caution (UK); M (Aus)
RT score: 91% (critics); 87% (audience)

Shrinking stars Jason Segel as grieving therapist Jimmy Laird, who is spiralling after the death of his wife in a car crash. Jimmy begins to shake up the advice he gives to his patients by telling them what he really thinks, breaking all the rules – and changing lives in the process. The emotionally-driven comedy (created by Segel, along with Ted Lasso's Brett Goldstein and Bill Lawrence) also stars the legendary Harrison Ford as Dr Paul Rhodes, a fellow therapist who is battling Parkinson's disease. 

The series was mostly well-received, with critics praising its exploration of radical honesty. Some are calling it heartwarming, others over-earnest, but either way we believe it's one of the best Apple TV Plus shows, and we're not surprised to hear it's been renewed for a second season.

Shining Girls

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Release date: April 29, 2022
Seasons: 1
Main cast: Elisabeth Moss, Wagner Moura, Phillipa Soo, and Jamie Bell
Age rating: TV-MA (US); 15 (UK); MA15+ (Aus)
RT score: 84% (critics); 87% (audience)

In this eight-parter adapted from Lauren Beukes’ novel, the ever-watchable Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid's Tale) tops the bill as Kirby Mazrachi, a Chicago newspaper archivist. She wanted to be a journalist, but that had to be shelved after surviving a brutal attack that has left her in a constantly shifting reality. 

Then, one day, she learns that a recent murder is linked to her assault. On the hunt for answers, she teams up with veteran reporter Dan Velazquez (played by Narcos’ main man Wagner Moura) to understand her ever-changing present and confront her past. Trippy and gripping with a great supporting cast (including Jamie Bell and Amy Brenneman) this is another top-notch entry in our list of the best Apple TV Plus shows. 

Mythic Quest

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Release date: February 7, 2020
Seasons: 6 (3 on Apple TV Plus)
Main cast: Rob McElhenney, Charlotte Nicdao, Ashly Burch, Jessie Ennis, and David Hornsby
Age rating: TV-MA (US); 15 (UK); M (Aus)
RT score: 97% (critics); 85% (audience)

Between racking up the umpteenth season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and randomly buying a (then) non-league Welsh football team with Ryan Reynolds, Rob McElhenney has also found the time to co-create and star in another smartly-written comedy. 

Set at a video game studio responsible for a World of Warcraft-esque MMORPG, Mythic Quest is more sincere and less nihilistic than The Gang’s exploits in Philly. But it’s equally hilarious and – as proven by the episode filmed using 40 iPhones, and the standalone tale charting the life-cycle of an indie game – just as willing to think outside the box. 

Servant

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Release date: November 28, 2019
Seasons: 4
Main cast: Lauren Ambrose, Toby Kebbell, Rupert Grint, and Nell Tiger Free
Age rating: TV-14 (US); 18 (UK); M (Aus)
RT score: 90% (critics); 77% (audience)

You never quite know what you’re going to get with M. Night Shyamalan – a masterclass in Hitchcockian suspense or an exercise in self-indulgent nonsense? Luckily, his showrunner stint on Servant has steered more towards the former. This deliciously creepy horror sees a wealthy couple attempt to overcome the loss of their child via a reborn doll, only for this crutch to take on a life of its own when a mysterious young nanny enters the picture.

Lauren Ambrose is nothing short of phenomenal as the reporter mother in the midst of a psychological breakdown. But the sumptuous food porn shots (Toby Kebbell plays a stay-at-home chef) ensure you’ll be just as famished as you are frightened.

Platonic

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Release date: May 24, 2023
Seasons: 1
Main cast: Rose Byrne, Seth Rogen, and Luke Macfarlane
Age rating: TV-MA (US); Caution (UK); MA15+ (Aus)
RT score: 93% (critics); 74% (audience)

Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen reunite with their Neighbors (Bad Neighbours if you live in the UK) director Nicholas Stoller for this defiantly un-romantic comedy. Created by Stoller with his real-life wife Francesca Delbanco (Friends from College), it tells the story of two college BFFs (Byrne's Sylvia and Rogen's Will) who reconnect after his divorce – and remain just good friends.

The premise may have echoes of classic movie When Harry Met Sally, but Platonic has enough new ideas to keep things feeling fresh. The (platonic) chemistry between the two leads is impressive, while many 30-/40-something viewers will relate to their efforts to revisit the things they enjoyed in their youth before real life got in the way.

Hello Tomorrow!

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Release date: February 17, 2023
Seasons: 1
Main cast: Billy Crudup, Haneefah Wood, Alison Pill, and Hank Azaria
Age rating: TV-MA (US); 15 (UK); MA15+ (Aus)
RT score: 54% (critics); 72% (audience)

You could look at Hello Tomorrow! as a comedic companion piece to For All Mankind – though we'll add the caveat that it's nowhere near as good as Ronald D. Moore's alternative history of the space race. Set in what looks like the 1950s – at least, it would if it weren't for all the robots and the hovercars – it's the retro-futuristic tale of ambitious Jack Billings and his efforts to sell timeshares on the moon.

Billy Crudup, who's also a regular in The Morning Show, delivers a charming performance as Jack, and the show captures the spirit of a time when many people believed personal jetpacks would be part of their future. The premise is ultimately better than the execution, however, with some critics regarding it as a triumph of style over substance. 

Five Days at Memorial

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Release date: August 12, 2022
Seasons: 1
Main cast: Vera Farmiga, Cherry Jones, and Cornelius Smith Jr.
Age rating: TV-MA (US); 12 (UK); M (Aus)
RT score: 86% (critics); 85% (audience)

Centered on real-life events during Hurricane Katrina, Five Days at Memorial takes place at a hospital in New Orleans that was left without power for five days after the earth-shattering storm of 2005. The eight-part series is based on the non-fiction book Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital, written by Sheri Fink in 2013. It tracks the hospital staff's impossible choices as they tried to give care to patients in an unthinkable situation – and the criminal investigation that followed.

It's a heart-wrenching story, and the series has been widely praised by audiences and critics alike. The attention to detail is remarkable, immersing you in the action and keeping you emotionally invested throughout. 

Black Bird

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Release date: July 8, 2022
Seasons: 1
Main cast: Taron Egerton, Paul Walter Hauser, Greg Kinnear, and Ray Liotta
Age rating: TV-MA (US); 18 (UK); MA15+ (Aus)
RT score: 98% (critics); 95% (audience)

Taron Egerton (who also headlined Tetris, one of the best Apple TV Plus movies) and the late Ray Liotta star in this gripping drama from the pen of crime maestro Dennis Lehane (writer of the book that inspired Shutter Island, one of the best Martin Scorsese movies).  

Egerton plays James Keene, a drug dealer who is given the chance to win his freedom if he enters a maximum-security prison for the criminally insane to solicit a confession from a suspected serial killer. The alleged killer, Paul Walter Hauser's Larry Hall, is regarded by local police as a fantasist, and there's every chance his conviction will be thrown out on appeal, meaning Keane has to work fast. Dark as the blackest cup of coffee and featuring a score from Scottish doom rockers Mogwai, Black Bird is a tough watch at times, but also very compelling.

Pachinko

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Release date: March 25, 2022
Seasons: 1
Main cast: Lee Min-ho, Choi Joon-Young, Soji Arai, Jin Ha, and Minha Kim
Age rating: TV-MA (US); 15 (UK); M (Aus)
RT score: 97% (critics); 88% (audience)

Min Jin's bestselling novel is adapted in this sweeping eight-part series, which has won rave reviews before Apple confirmed a second season of Pachinko was on the way. 

The series is a sweeping saga following four generations of a Korean immigrant family, and the decisions they make as they seek a better life for themselves and the generations to come. Tearjerking, poignant and skilfully plotted, Pachinko may be a slow burn, but it's one of the best Apple TV Plus shows and well worth sticking with. 

The Afterparty

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Release date: January 28, 2022
Seasons: 2
Main cast: Tiffany Haddish, Sam Richardson, Zoë Chao, John Cho, and Ken Jeong
Age rating: TV-MA (US); 15 (UK); M (Aus)
RT score: 92% (critics); 76% (audience)

Having co-directed some of the most entertaining animated films of recent years with The Lego Movie and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs – not to mention producing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and its sequel – Christopher Miller left his regular collaborator Phil Lord behind for this live-action (well, mostly) murder mystery set around a high school reunion. 

Dave Franco’s intensely smug Bieber-esque pop star is the victim, Tiffany Haddish plays the ballsy detective investigating his death, and suspects include Sam Richardson’s escape room designer and Jamie Demetriou’s forgotten loner. As you’d expect, The Afterparty is chock-full of inspired pop culture references (particularly the spoof Hall and Oates biopic) and zips along with more wit and verve than Kenneth Branagh’s Poirot whodunnits.  

See

SEE – Official Trailer | Apple TV+ - YouTube SEE – Official Trailer | Apple TV+ - YouTube
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Release date: November 1, 2019
Seasons: 3
Main cast: Jason Momoa, Sylvia Hoeks, Hera Kilmar, and Christian Camargo
Age rating: TV-MA (US); 15 (UK); MA15+ (Aus)
RT score: 63% (critics); 83% (audience)

While our list of the best Apple TV Plus shows is lacking a bona fide epic fantasy equivalent of Game of Thrones, this ambitious drama is arguably the most obvious candidate. See takes place in a dystopian future where mankind has been forced to adapt to a complete loss of vision. But when two twin girls are born fully-sighted, the residents of this dark world start reassessing everything they thought they knew. 

Aquaman's Jason Momoa brings the necessary brawn as the heroic tribe warrior who must protect his adopted daughters, while Alfre Woodard provides the brains as his wise foster mother. The sheer brutality on display, meanwhile, ensures See definitely isn’t for the faint-hearted – indeed, the inspired casting of Guardians of the Galaxy's Dave Bautista for the show's second season made it even more of a gorehound’s dream come true. 

Schmigadoon!  

Schmigadoon! – Official Trailer | Apple TV+ - YouTube Schmigadoon! – Official Trailer | Apple TV+ - YouTube
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Release date: July 16, 2021
Seasons: 2
Main cast: Keegan-Michael Key, Cecily Strong, Dove Cameron, and Alan Cumming
Age rating: TV-14 (US); 12 (UK); PG (Aus)
RT score: 93% (critics); 86% (audience)

If you’re more of a Brigadoon person than a Hamilton one, then this affectionate homage to the Golden Age of musicals should be right up your street. Schmigadoon! stars Keegan-Michael Key and Cecily Strong as a quarrelsome couple who become trapped in an all-singing, all-dancing town, and can’t leave until they’ve rediscovered what it means to be in love – whether that’s with each other or with one of its numerous quirky inhabitants. 

Oscar winner Ariana DeBose and Broadway regulars Kristen Chenoweth and Aaron Tveit all help elevate the ambitiously-staged numbers, while Alan Cumming, Fred Armisen and Only Murders in the Building's Martin Short (in a brief cameo as a leprechaun) add to the self-knowing fun. It won't be back for a third season, so two is as good as it'll get for this one.

The Shrink Next Door

The Shrink Next Door — Official Trailer | Apple TV+ - YouTube The Shrink Next Door — Official Trailer | Apple TV+ - YouTube
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Release date: November 12, 2021
Seasons: 1
Main cast: Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, and Kathryn Hahn
Age rating: TV-MA (US); 15 (UK); M (Aus)
RT score: 58% (critics); 72% (audience)

Who knew that the impossibly likeable Paul Rudd had it in him? Playing against type, the ageless actor constantly sparks fury in The Shrink Next Door as the real-life therapist who essentially scammed his most gullible client for the best part of 30 years.

Will Ferrell also shines by subverting his usual persona, imbuing said victim with a melancholy and vulnerability far removed from his signature man-child schtick. Also featuring a scene-stealing supporting turn from Wandavision MVP Kathryn Hahn, The Shrink Next Door is not just one of the best Apple TV Plus shows – it's that rare podcast adaptation that builds on, rather than detracts from, its source material.

Physical

Physical — Official Trailer | Apple TV+ - YouTube Physical — Official Trailer | Apple TV+ - YouTube
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Release date: June 18, 2021
Seasons: 3
Main cast: Rose Byrne, Rory Scovel, Dierdre Friel, and Paul Sparks
Age rating: TV-MA (US); 15 (UK); M (Aus)
RT score: 83% (critics); 79% (audience)

Fully leaning into the era when Jane Fonda’s aerobics videos were all the rage, ‘80s-set pitch-black dramedy Physical again proves Rose Byrne is one of her generation’s most unsung comic talents. The Australian star fully commands attention in and out of spandex as a deeply insecure mother who reinvents herself as an exercise guru – albeit one who loathes her clients almost as much as she does herself. 

Indeed, Byrne’s Sheila Rubin isn’t the most likeable of protagonists – her internal monologues are astonishingly caustic – but it’s refreshing to see a woman allowed to play the antihero in a novel spin on the bored suburban housewife narrative.   

1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything  

1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything — Official Trailer | Apple TV+ - YouTube 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything — Official Trailer | Apple TV+ - YouTube
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Release date: May 21, 2021
Seasons: 1
Main cast: Elton John, Graham Nash, Ringo Starr, and Chrissie Hynde
Age rating: TV-MA (US); N/A (UK); MA15+ (Aus)
RT score: 100% (critics); 64% (audience)

Having documented the lives of Ayrton Senna, Amy Winehouse and Diego Maradona in compelling fashion, director Asif Kapadia tackled an entire year of music for this exhaustive eight-part series. The Oscar winner makes a strong case for 1971 as the most important period in pop history, using a fascinating mix of voiceovers and archive footage to cover everything from the rise of the Laurel Canyon movement to the release of The Rolling Stones’ seminal Sticky Fingers album. 

Kapadia also draws upon The Stanford Prison Experiment, groundbreaking reality show An American Family and the Manson murders to paint a wider picture of a game-changing era.  


For more Apple TV Plus-based coverage, read our guide on the best Apple TV Plus movies. Alternatively, read our articles on whether there's a free Apple TV Plus trial and how much Apple TV Plus costs.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across. Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.