New Shows on Apple TV+

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New Shows on Apple TV+

Since Apple TV+ launched in late 2019, the maker of iPhones, iPads and the MacBook Pro I’m typing on has delivered more than 75 TV shows and docuseries—with nearly that many more already in the works. Some have been fantastic (looking at you Ted Lasso) and some forgettable, but the speed of new TV series releases can be tough to keep up with. Below you’ll find our guide to 10 of the latest scripted TV shows from Apple TV+, and we’ll keep this updated regularly.

1. Bad Sisters

bad-sisters.jpg Release Date: August 19, 2022
Creator: Sharon Horgan
Stars: Anne-Marie Duff, Eva Birthistle, Sarah Greene, Eve Hewson, Claes Bang, Brian Gleeson, Daryl McCormack, Assaad Bouab, Saise Quinn
Genre: Comedy Thriller

Watch on Apple TV+

Sharon Horgan who turned a one night stand into poignant hilarity in Catastrophe is back with a 10-episode dark comedy about the Garvey sisters. When Grace’s (Anne-Marie Duff) husband John Paul (Claes Bing) suddenly dies in an accident, Ursula (Eva Birthistle), Bibi (Sarah Greene), Becka (Eva Hewson) and Eva (Horgan) must protect their sister especially when life insurance agents Thomas (Brian Gleeson) and Matthew (Daryl McCormack so fantastic recently in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande) start investigating John Paul’s untimely death. And how did the sisters feel about Grace’s husband? Well the first episode of the series is called “The Prick.” —Amy Amatangelo

2. Five Days at Memorial

5-days.jpg Release Date: August 12, 2022
Creators: John Ridley, Carlton Cuse
Stars: Vera Farmiga, Cherry Jones, Cornelius Smith Jr., Robert Pine, Adepero Oduye, Julie Ann Emery, Michael Gaston, Molly Hager
Genre: Medical drama
Paste Review Rating: 6.9

Watch on Apple TV+

Written and directed by John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) and Carlton Cuse (Lost), and adapted from a book by Sheri Fink, Apple TV+’s Hurricane Katrina drama Five Days at Memorial feels emblematic of larger problems with the prestige TV format—sharpened contradictions made ever more apparent by the streaming system beginning to devour itself. The show could have been a 2-and-a-half-hour movie. But restraint is in as short supply as water rises and hope dwindles in a hospital hit by a hurricane. So we get eight episodes that should have been less: five on the tragedy (three that I can discuss per embargoes) and three about the ensuing investigation. Five Days at Memorial’s unearned length enables its tone and character focus to regrettably shift halfway through. It goes from being a survival drama with disaster and light horror elements to a police procedural. But to call it indulgent would be unsympathetic to the real-life victims of the tragedy it covers: 45 patients died at Memorial in the wake of the storm, and the show is concerned with whether these deaths were preventable or premeditated. The series is about the aftermath of a tragedy. Hurricane Katrina wrought devastation on the city of New Orleans and the surrounding Gulf Coast, further compounded by state incompetence and, in the case of Memorial Hospital, corporate malfeasance which led to 45 people dying or being killed there. The show does an excellent job conveying the dire circumstances enabled by the levees breaking after the initial storm surge. It feels frightening before and during the storm, and exhausting afterward. It highlights the hard work of doctors and nurses to keep people alive amid being essentially abandoned by their corporate owners and three levels of government. Archival and documentary footage is spliced into the dramatization to ground the event. There’s a lean drama miniseries in here mixed with a disaster film, a superfluous love story, and a police investigation. But high-highs and low-lows make it come across confused when it should feel necessary. Five Days at Memorial is an important story that deserved better. —Kevin Fox, Jr.

3. Surface

surface.jpg Release Date: July 29, 2022
Creators: Sam Miller
Stars: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Stephan James, Ari Graynor, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, François Arnaud, Millie Brady
Genre: Thriller
Paste Review Rating: 6.0

Watch on Apple TV+

The amnesia plot is nothing new. Watching Apple TV+’s eight-episode Surface, it almost feels that the writers also forgot the lack of novelty around memory loss. However, Surface’s stab to enliven this trope falters over the course of the season, as its protagonist Sophie (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) makes an attempt to track down the forgotten shards of her life, piece them back together, and make sense of the past in context of her confusing present. The premiere of the series sets up very spare details of the cause of Sophie’s devastating accident. There was a boat, water, a fall, and then a great forgetting. With information spotty, both the audience and Sophie alike struggle with acceptance. Can this be all that we know? What can we trust from a baseline of knowing so little? From this generalized and totalizing anxiety, Surface constructs its thriller. Every other character in the show gets infused with both Sophie and the audience’s plausible mistrust. Who can we view as honest from the perspective of someone who has lost all foundational background knowledge of herself? What Surface fails to understand is that it isn’t clever in its lack of clarity. Sure, revelations about Sophie’s previous memories shouldn’t be abundant. But giving nearly nothing to viewers, Surface makes a poor case for itself as anything but fluff TV. As the viewers, we want to root for Sophie’s story. But with the story we got, the argument for another season is the same: I can’t recall one. —Katherine Smith

4. Black Bird

black-bird.jpg Release Date: July 8, 2022
Creators: Dennis Lehane
Stars: Taron Egerton, Paul Walter Hauser, Sepideh Moafi, Greg Kinnear, Ray Liotta
Genre: Crime drama
Paste Review Rating: 9.0

Watch on Apple TV+

A former high-school football star and son of a decorated police officer, Jimmy Keene is sentenced to 10 years in a minimum security prison for dealing drugs when he’s given an offer he can’t refuse. If he agrees to enter a maximum security prison for the criminally insane and gets vital information from a suspected serial killer, he can have his sentence erased. The influence of series developer Dennis Lehane’s previous work, most notably Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone, can clearly be felt in Black Bird, which is also carried by memorable performances from Paul Walter Hauser and Taron Egerton. Hauser is mesmerizingly disturbing while Egerton turns in an equally masterful performance as a drug dealer-turned-hero. —Terry Terrones

5. Loot

loot.jpg Apple TV+ Release Date: June 24, 2022
Creators: Alan Yang, Matt Hubbard
Stars: Maya Rudolph, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Joel Kim Booster, Nat Faxon, Ron Funches
Genre: Comedy

Watch on Apple TV+

For their Prime Video series Forever, creators Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard explored the implications of marital vows, but made it comedy. For their new Apple TV+ series, the duo look at corporate greed and redemption. Casting Forever lead Maya Rudolph as a billionaire who spirals publicly when her husband takes everything but the non-profit she forgot she had, the show is both a workplace comedy and a message on what it means to be a “good” person. Michaela Jaé Rodriguez also stars as Sofia Salinas, the head of the non-profit who worries that bad exposure will hurt the cause, while Ron Funches, Nat Faxon, and Joel Kim Booster also appear. —Whitney Friedlander

6. The Essex Serpent

essex-serpent.jpg Apple TV+ Release Date: May 13, 2022
Creators: Sarah Perry, Anna Symon, Clio Barnard
Stars: Claire Danes, Tom Hiddleston, Frank Dillane, Hayley Squires, Clémence Poésy, Jamael Westman
Genre: Period drama

Watch on Apple TV+

The obvious reason to check out The Essex Serpent, the new limited series based on the 2016 novel of the same name, is Tom Hiddleston. More specifically, it is Tom Hiddleston’s excellent scarves and cute sweaters. But there’s more to the show than a hunky British actor dressed for cool temperatures. Set in Victorian England, the series spends most of its time in a tiny waterfront village plagued by rumored sightings of a mysterious and deadly serpent. Hiddleston portrays the local vicar, a skeptic who denies any such serpent exists beyond a carving in a church pew. When Claire Danes’ Cora, a wealthy widow and woman of science, learns of the mythical beast, she becomes enamored by the story and sets out from London with her young son to investigate it for herself. This inevitably puts her on a collision course with Hiddleston’s vicar, sparking a unique conflict driven by science, love, faith, and superstition. — Kaitlin Thomas

7. Shining Girls

shining-girls-210.jpg Apple TV+ Release Date: April 29, 2022
Creator: Silka Luisa
Stars: Elisabeth Moss, Wagner Moura, Jamie Bell, Phillipa Soo
Genre: Supernatural thriller

Watch on Apple TV+

Based on Lauren Beukes’ best-selling novel of the same name, the eight-episode limited series Shining Girls is set in the 1990s and stars Emmy Award winner Elisabeth Moss as Kirby Mazrachi, a promising journalist whose career is cut short after a brutal attack leaves her with lingering trauma and a frequently shifting reality. Upon discovering that a recent murder shares similarities to her own attack, Kirby—now working as a newspaper archivist for The Chicago Sun-Times—partners with troubled alcoholic reporter Dan Velazquez (Wagner Moura) to find the perpetrator and hopefully piece together what’s happening to her. What ensues is a compelling (though often confusing) meditation on trauma and the disorienting and terrifying way it can change one’s life and warp one’s reality. Only in this case, it’s not just a metaphor; Kirby’s reality really has been warped in the wake of her assault. Sometimes the shifts in her life are small—a new hairstyle, different clothes—but sometimes they’re much larger, like a different apartment or a husband who didn’t previously exist. If this all sounds a bit strange, it’s because it is. Shining Girls is a mind-bending series that attempts to merge a story about trauma and the failings of law enforcement and the press in relation to victims of assault with the narrative beats of science-fiction as a means of making sense of a situation that rarely, if ever, has a logical explanation. It’s not always successful in this attempt to blend genres, but it’s a well-acted, intriguing series that separates itself from the traditional crime dramas and serial killer-themed series we are used to seeing across popular culture. —Kaitlin Thomas

8. Roar

roar-210.jpg Apple TV+ Release Date: April 15, 2022
Creator: Liz Flahive, Carly Mensch
Stars: Issa Rae, Nicole Kidman, Betty Gilpin, Cynthia Erivo, Merritt Weaver, Alison Brie
Genre: Drama

Watch on Apple TV+

Apple TV+’s feminist anthology series Roar is based on the Cecelia Ahern short-story collection and takes on a surrealist tone: think a female-focused Black Mirror. Ahern’s book featured 30 stories, while the anthology series adapted by Glow creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch only features eight of them on screen. Each episode includes high-caliber actresses like Issa Rae, Nicole Kidman, Merritt Wever and more, and zeroes in on issues and anxieties that women face in the world today and makes them literal. After childbirth, a career-woman is literally eaten alive by her many responsibilities and guilt; a student takes up a relationship with a duck she meets at the park after a string of failed relationships, only to find out that he’s not any better than his human counterparts. Each chapter examines the trauma that women often endure silently, finally holding space for females to unpack it. For many of the stories, the slip into the surreal is subtle. In the Rae-led episode, she plays an author whose book is being optioned for an on-screen adaptation. As she takes meeting after meeting with white male executives, she finds not only her ideas disappearing from the project but also her literal self, culminating in a party in which no one can see her. It’s a story about agency and how women often feel in the workplace: invisible and afraid to take a stand for fear of retaliation. While the show brings a lot of pertinent issues into focus through its absurdist premise, it’s not always actually saying something at the conclusion. There are some brief moments that hint at power shifts or peace of mind or the ability of the character to take solace in the relationships around her, but the series doesn’t really offer any answers to these existential questions or add anything more to the story beyond the metaphor come to life. So, while stylish and provocative, the series ultimately falls a little flat in its message. If a woman’s plight is to suffer, then Roar doesn’t end up giving its women a way out. —Radhika Menon

9. Slow Horses

slow-horses-210.jpg Apple TV+ Release Date: April 1, 2022
Creator: Mick Herron
Stars: Gary Oldman, Jack Lowden, Kristin Scott Thomas, Olivia Cooke
Genre: Thriller

Watch on Apple TV+

Slow Horses’s Jackson Lamb is an out-of-shape, slovenly, insulting cynic who runs the small fiefdom known as “Slough House,” an outpost of British foreign intelligence where the worst spies in MI5—the ones who have screwed up to an almost unforgivable degree—are put out to pasture in the hopes that they’ll never be heard from again (worst case) or simply quit in shame (best case). Slough House is itself a term of derision (it’s not actually in Slough, but so far from the main action that it might as well be), and the term “Slow Horses’’ is a perfect punny fit for the has-beens and screw-ups who populate its halls. Lamb is their cruel king, and as such, you might suspect, the worst offender—but also a complicated character and a tremendous one, portrayed by the man who once played LeCarre’s stand-out, George Smiley: Gary Oldman. To say it’s a pleasure to watch Oldman in this role is inadequate; if you’re a fan of spy fiction, you have to use words that make you feel almost corny, like, “it’s a gift.” Depending on the scene, he’s hilarious, odious, intimidating, and thrilling, and unlike the genius of his understated Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Here he has free emotional range to embody the almost repellent cynicism of Lamb. Much of it is deeply, darkly funny, and his treatment of his team is verbally abusive in ways reminiscent of the best Iannucci characters. If this show were simply a showcase for Oldman-as-Lamb, it would still be worth watching. Luckily, as adapted by Veep writer and producer Will Smith, it’s far more. A British student of Middle Eastern descent is taken hostage by a group of white nationalists calling themselves The Voice of Albion who apparently want to behead him in what they see as a poignant commentary on similar crimes across the globe. To say more would be to give too much away, but the show has just the perfect amount of twists and reversals to keep the characters, and the viewers, on their toes. Slow Horses manages the incredible task of being a human redemption story, a genuinely funny comedy, and above all, a terrific spy saga. Apple TV+ has a hit on its hands, and unlike the sad, exiled souls of Slough House, you won’t have to look very hard to see its merits. —Shane Ryan

10. Pachinko

pachinko.jpg Apple TV+ Release Date: March 25, 2022
Creator: Soo Hugh
Stars: Soji Arai, Jin Ha, Jun-woo Han, In-ji Jeong, Eun-chae Jung, Min-ha Kim
Genre: Drama

Watch on Apple TV+

Apple TV+ has been on a hot streak recently, and with their new trilingual epic, Pachinko, they hit the jackpot. Pachinko takes place over three distinct periods in Korean history through the eyes of Sonja. Over the course of Sonja’s childhood (Jeon Yu-na), adolescence (Kim Min-ha), and senior years (Academy Award-winner Youn Yuh-Jung), the show reveals the hardships Koreans had while under Japanese rule. But before you start thinking this show is only interested in history, there’s an intriguing romance with a man connected to Japanese gangsters (Lee Min-ho) and an immigration story complete with heartbreak and longing. Although the series explores a very specific time period in the lives of a Korean family, the themes are universal to anyone connected to a diaspora or who has suffered unjust treatment. And, by the end of the first season, Pachinko has laid the groundwork for even more riveting stories from Sonja and her extended family. —Max CovillMax Covill