When I got a new iPhone last Spring, it came with a special treat: one full year of Apple TV+, Apple’s streaming service featuring their own original content. Who am I to say no to free content? I used it to watch a few episodes of The Morning Show and then the much talked-about Ted Lasso. Occasionally I check in to purchase seasons of my favorite television show, the History Channel’s Alone, and to rent films not available on other streaming services, like Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man or the films of Tony Scott. I am a simple woman with simple needs.
Sometimes though, I go through all the streaming services I’m subscribed to or steal from friends, and I can’t think of anything to watch, so I remember to click on over to Apple TV+. And each time I go through their selections, I am newly shocked — do people know these shows exist? Or do they only exist in an alternate reality when I am bored and can’t find anything to watch?
Every streaming platform has original content nobody’s really paying attention to, or at least that the young and cool people I surround myself with are not so into. Just go through Netflix and tell me who has heard of shows like Marco Polo or Cursed . I’m sure they have their fan bases, but there’s also just too much television out there these days; it makes sense that there are a handful of shows nobody really watches. The difference with Apple TV+ is that not a single person talks about what’s on there outside of The Morning Show, Ted Lasso, Oprah’s various programming options, and maybe Physical — and yet, unlike Netflix’s random series, they have bonafide A-listers headlining shows that are well into their second seasons.
When I go through the Apple TV+ selections, I feel like I’m scrolling through fake television shows that exist only within a movie. Think I’m wrong? Joseph Gordon-Levitt had an entire show called Mr. Corman that was recently canceled after just one season. Chris Evans and Michelle Dockery have a whole TV show in which their son kills a classmate. Julianne Moore and Clive Owen have a television show based on the Stephen King novel, Lisey’s Story. Is this happening on everyone else’s screen? Jason Momoa, Dave Bautista and Alfre Woodward star in an extremely violent show about a post-apocalyptic world in which everyone is blind, which got some press coverage during its initial premiere (some sexy Momoa cover stories) but since then? Zilch.
What really sent me over the edge was a show starring Octavia Spencer and Kate Hudson, two incredibly famous, Oscar-winning and nominated actresses (Spencer should have gotten another one for her turn in Ma). Together, they star alongside Eminem’s pal Mekhi Phifer in Truth Be Told, for which Apple TV+ asks you to, “descend into the world of true-crime podcasts. This NAACP Image Award- winning mystery series stars Octavia Spencer as podcaster Poppy Parnell, who risks everything — including her life — to pursue truth and justice.” After premiering in 2019, the show has had two seasons air on the platform. Who has heard of this show?
When Quibi was announced, Twitter had a field day going through their programming, like this legendary show with Rachel Brosnahan, who plays a woman with a golden arm that is quite literally killing her. I would love to see the same passion for Apple TV+ programming. There’s a new one coming up in which Jason Segel plays a therapist. Maybe people will watch that one.