Friday, May 01, 2020

Six Months Later: Apple TV+

It has now been six months since Apple launched its TV streaming service - Apple TV+.

As I purchased a new iPhone 11 in the weeks leading up to the launch, I was given a free one-year subscription to the service and signed up on day one.

In today's post, I'll write about all of the drama and comedy series' I've watched on Apple TV+ and then write about whether I feel the product is value for money. So far.

The Morning Show
Apple TV - The Morning ShowAn inside look at the lives of the people who help America wake up in the morning, exploring the unique challenges faced by the men and women who carry out this daily televised ritual

Episodes Watched: All ten episodes of season one

Do I Plan To Watch More?: Yes

Well, that little synopsis I took from IMDB doesn't really explain the programme at all. This is the big budget series starring Jennifter Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. It's very topical as it plays on the #MeToo movement as one of the morning show hosts - played by Steve Carell - is ousted from his job following allegations of sexual misconduct. This leaves the show looking for a replacement to work alongside Aniston's character. As you've probably guessed, if you haven't watched the series, this turns out to be Witherspoon's character.
This was the first series I watched on Apple TV+ and I enjoyed it.

Apple TV - SeeSynopsis:
Far in a dystopian future, the human race has lost the sense of sight, and society has had to find new ways to interact, build, hunt and to survive. All of that is challenged when a set of twins is born with sight

Episodes Watched: One

Do I Plan To Watch More?: NO WAY!

The first episode was enough for me. I found it bad. It's like a Poundland version of Game of Thrones. Or something.

Apple TV - DickinsonSynopsis:
An inside look at the world of writer Emily Dickinson

Episodes Watched: One

Do I Plan To Watch More?: No

Well, it would be 'an inside look at the world of writer Emily Dickinson' if the dialogue was similar to how they'd talk back during her day. This was a 'modern' (?) tale about Dickinson's life. Only it wasn't. I couldn't get into it. It wasn't for me, but I don't hate on it as much I loathe See.

For All Mankind
The series explores what would have happened if the global space race had never ended

Episodes Watched: All of season one

Do I Plan To Watch More?: Absolutely. This is obviously dependent on there being further seasons. If so - Yes!

Apple TV - For All MankindThis had a really interesting concept as it's a telling of alternate history. Can you imagine America's reaction if Russia had been the first country to land a person on the moon? Well - in this series they did just that. It shows how NASA, evidently in second place, ran the space race. I really enjoyed the main plot, but there were so many other subplots that helped it along the way.
I also enjoyed the special effects watching it on a 4K TV. It looked stunning.

Little America
From the people who brought you The Big Sick and Master of None, Little America is an anthology series that observes the funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring and surprising stories of immigrants in America.

Episodes Watched: Five.
Apple TV - Little America

Do I Plan To Watch More?: Yes. I have three more episodes to watch and will certainly watch more if further seasons are produced.

I didn't think I would like this anthology series about immigrants finding, and living, the American Dream any good when I first came across it.

I was very wrong.

I've watched five episodes so far and think all have been good. Some better than others, though. Had I not decided to do this post, it's possible I could have passed on watching this. That would have been a huge error because I have enjoyed watching this series.

Apple TV - ServantFrom M. Night Shyamalan, Servant follows a Philadelphia couple in mourning after an unspeakable tragedy creates a rift in their marriage and opens the door for a mysterious force to enter their home.

Episodes Watched: 6 out of 10.

Do I Plan To Watch More?: I'm at least planning to get to the end of episode 10.

This is an intriguing tale. As noted, I'm closing in on seven episodes in and it's a very creepy drama. I just don't know where it's going, which is probably a good thing.

There is something I find irritating, though. Rupert Grint has a dreadful American accent. In my opinion, of course.

Truth Be Told
Apple TV - Truth Be ToldNew evidence compels podcaster Poppy Parnell (Octavia Spencer) to reopen the murder case that made her a media sensation. Aaron Paul stars as the man she may have wrongfully put behind bars.

Episodes Watched: 4 out of 8

Do I Plan To Watch More?: Yes

I believe this is a 'limited series'. Therefore, it has a fixed number of episodes. I am half-way through it and I'm enjoying it so far. I will be sticking around until the close.

 Mythic Quest - Raven's Banquet
Apple TV - Mythic QuestMeet the team behind the biggest multiplayer video game of all time. But in a workplace focused on building worlds, molding heroes, and creating legends, the most hard-fought battles don't occur in the game - they happen in the office.

Episodes Watched: 4 out of 9.

Do I Plan To Watch More?: I guess so...

This is a comedy based inside a software production company. It has its moments, but I'm not sure if it's really my cup of tea. With that said, I am nearly half-way through the series and the episodes are only close to half-an-hour long, so it isn't that much of an investment in my time if I were to catch further episodes now and again.

I guess what I'm implying is I wouldn't go out of my way to watch an episode.

Amazing Stories
Amazing Stories, executive produced by Steven Spielberg, will transport the audience to worlds of wonder through the lens of today's most imaginative filmmakers, directors and writers.

Apple TV - Amazing StoriesEpisodes Watched: All of season one.

Do I Plan To Watch More?: Yes.

I am a Twilight Zone fan. Therefore, it should go without saying that this is the series for me.

I liked the original Amazing Stories back in the 1980's (they had a video of it in my local video shop), so I looked forward to this anthology series and watched each episode almost as soon as they were released.

Of the five episodes, there was only one that I wasn't completely keen on even though it wasn't bad. It's just that I didn't really care for the story. This was the second episode titled 'The Heat'.

The rest range from good to very good.

Home Before Dark
Apple TV - Home Before DarkA mystery inspired by the reporting of a real nine-year-old journalist. When a young girl and her family back to the small town her father left behind, her pursuit of the truth leads to the unearthing of a long-buried cold case.

Episodes Watched: 2 out of 10

Do I Plan To Watch More?: Maybe

I'm not really digging this one. Granted, I am only two episodes in, but I am finding it a chore to sit through right now.

I need it to pick up some pace before I state whether I like it or not.

Defending Jacob
Apple TV - Defending JacobA family's lives are irreparably disrupted when the son is accused of murdering a fellow classmate in this dramatic legal thriller. Chris Evans, Michelle Dockery and Jaeden Martell star in the adaption of William Landay's bestselling novel.

Episodes Watched: 1 of an available 3 (more will be added as the weeks progress)

Do I Plan To Watch More?: Definitely

The first episode has locked me in for at least the next few chapters. I haven't read the book, so I am unaware how the story unfolds. However, after the first episode's cliffhanger, I have to give it a thumbs up with an asterisk until I sit through the rest. So far, I will definitely stick through with this programme until the end. I surmise that this is also a limited series considering it's an adaption from a novel.

Is It Worth It?
As stated in the opening, I am basing my opinion on the Apple TV+ streaming service on the two things I mainly watch on it: drama and comedy. There are other genres available like children's TV, a couple of movies and documentaries, but I think the bread and butter are drama and comedy.

With that preface once again out of the way, I have to say that - had I paid for the year - I would feel that I have not had my money's worth so far.

This is mainly because of the lack of a full library. Look at Apple TV+'s competitors, like Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime TV (or whatever it's called!). All three of those have catalogue-upon-catalogue of old content alongside new programming.

I know Apple wants to have original content, but I personally believe that it also needs to have had extra content to bring - and ultimately retain - interest in the product.

I cannot see the service flourish without old stuff. It evidently works with the aforementioned services.

There is no doubt in my mind that, when my twelve-month trial is up, I will have some serious thinking to do about signing up for a full year or dipping in and out a couple of times a year just to cherry pick any new seasons of the programmes I was high on above or for anything that might have people talking.

Speaking of which, that's something that I have noticed. Nobody I know or follow on Twitter has ever mentioned Apple TV programmes. I see lots of talk about the other platforms like Netflix, Amazon and Disney Plus, but never the Apple streaming service.

I'm sure people are talking about those shows, it's just that Apple TV+ is a rarity inside my bubble.

And it isn't anything to do with them not being Apple customers, because a lot of my friends have Apple products.

There is something that's not making them want to venture over to that service.

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