A ray of sunshine and a magnet for NBA championships and MVP awards on the court, Earvin "Magic" Johnson was one of basketball's greatest ever players, but it was away from the arena that he would make his biggest impact. They Call Me Magic charts the extraordinary life of the towering point guard from the Midwest, including his perception-shifting HIV diagnosis, legendary battles with Larry Bird, and that instantly emblematic moniker. Below we explain how to watch They Call Me Magic online now, and for free on Apple TV Plus.
- Watch They Call Me Magic FREE: Sign up to the Apple TV Plus 7-day trial
Premiere date: Friday, April 22
New episodes: at 12am midnight PT / 3am ET / 8am BST
Cast: Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Cookie Johnson, Snoop Dogg, Samuel L. Jackson, Shaquille O'Neal, Barack Obama
Watch now: Apple TV Plus 7-day FREE trial
As the man himself puts it: "'Magic'? Yeah, right!" But, boy, did it stick. The Hollywood panache was clear for all to see long before he embarked on a glittering career with the LA Lakers, both at Everett High School, where racist teammates initially refused to pass to him, and later at Michigan State.
Magic's rivalry with Bird and the Boston Celtics may have helped save the NBA, but after he was diagnosed with HIV, he'd never feel truly welcome again. It was between the retirements, local but vocal opposition to his return to action, and eventual comeback that he did his most important work: changing perceptions of HIV en masse.
There were also stints as a late night talk show host, a motivational speaker, a coach and a commentator, as well as corporate and political America's attempts to get that Magic dust to rub off on them.
Featuring interviews from Michael Jordan, Snoop Dogg, Samuel L. Jackson and Barack Obama, keep reading as we break down how to watch They Call Me Magic online. It's 100% FREE too, if you’re a new subscriber.
How to watch They Call Me Magic online from anywhere
Apple TV Plus subscribers can watch the entirety of They Call Me Magic from Friday, April 22. All four episodes land on the platform at 12am PT / 3am ET / 8am BST.
Offering a raft of exclusive movies, documentaries and kids shows, with most offered in glorious 4K and HDR, there's currently a 7-day Apple TV Plus free trial for you to try it out. If you choose to continue, the Apple TV Plus cost thereafter works out as $4.99 / £4.99 / AU$7.99 per month.
Where is Apple TV Plus available?
Now available in over 100 countries, including the United States, the UK, mainland Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India, Apple TV Plus is Apple's very own exclusive subscription streaming service.
You can sign up and watch Apple TV Plus content through Apple’s TV app, which is available on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac computers, some supported third-party smart TVs from Samsung, LG and Sony. You can also get Apple TV Plus on Chromecast in addition to Roku and Fire TV devices, plus PlayStation and Xbox gaming consoles.
Alternatively, you could also watch Apple TV Plus on a browser like Google Chrome.
What else should I know about Apple TV Plus?
While Apple's answer to Netflix has a comparatively small library of films and shows to get stuck into – just over 100 and counting – what's available is a top-notch, well-produced fare with little in the way of filler.
The Morning Show was the calling card for Apple TV Plus at launch, costing $15 million per episode and is one of the best Apple TV shows on the platform. It was complemented by the epic sci-fi drama See starring Jason Momoa, space drama For All Mankind, and period comedy Dickinson. Severance is one of the more recent hits.
Of course, the service's breakout success has been the Jason Sudeikis comedy Ted Lasso. It's earned an army of fans and an impressive amount of awards attention, netting 20 Primetime Emmy nominations in 2021 – a record for a freshman series.
The small but great library is set to grow at a steady pace and Apple TV Plus looks to have a pretty strong-looking upcoming schedule of new exclusive content.
The thriller Shining Girls debuts on April 29. A highly-anticipated serialisation of a best-selling novel, this taut show has Elizabeth Moss play a newspaper archivist whose journalistic ambitions are derailed after enduring a traumatic assault.
A bit later in the year is comedy-drama Cha Cha Real Smooth, which bagged the Audience Award at Sundance this year and stars Dakota Johnson and which has its streaming premiere on June 17. Then at some unknown time in 2022, subscribers will finally be able to see Killers of the Flower Moon , Martin Scorsese's 'large-scale Western' featuring Hollywood big guns Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.
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Aatif is a freelance copywriter and journalist based in the UK. He’s written about technology, science and politics for publications including Gizmodo, The Independent, Trusted Reviews and Newsweek, but focuses on streaming at Future, an arrangement that combines two of his greatest passions: sport and penny-pinching.