Yesterday, Apple launched their new streaming service Apple TV+, one of the first in a new wave of upcoming streaming services. Apple TV+ appears to have a somewhat limited offering upon launch, with just four major narrative shows serving as the tentpoles for the platform.
The primary offering from Apple TV+ that’s received significant buzz is the comedy series The Morning Show. This flagship series for the network follows the crew of a live TV morning show in a story inspired by news headlines from the #MeToo era. Earlier reviewers of the show have noted that it clearly draws inspiration from stories like Matt Lauer (who is, incidentally, still denying the rape allegations against him). However, a review from Polygon notes that the show can’t seem to make any bold statements, saying, “The Morning Show is working with compelling material, but every move arrives with a safety net.” Even the star-studded cast featuring Steve Carell, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston wasn’t enough to save the show from its current 60% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Apple TV+’s other offerings include the teen period drama Dickinson, which Collider insists will be “the talk of the town.” The show stars the young celebrity Hailee Steinfeld as the author Emily Dickinson, and is especially notable in that it will include a lesbian romance between Emily and her best friend Sue. A review from The Verge describes the show as the “most earnest show on Apple TV+,” and the most fun. Dickinson appears to be doing slightly better in reviews than The Morning Show, with a 72% Rotten Tomatoes critic rating so far.
In an attempt to fill the space left by Game of Thrones, Apple TV+ has also debuted its new high-concept drama See starring Jason Momoa. The show takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where most of the population is blind, and follows the story of a father (Momoa) whose two children are born with the gift of sight. Early reviews of the show, like this one from Thrillist, note that though the show is well-produced and polished, it falls short of the mark. See currently only has a 39% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Finally, Apple TV+’s fourth initial offering for narrative TV is For All Mankind, a drama exploring a world in which the space race never ended. The show also includes a look at the rise of women in the NASA workforce. Initial reviews of the show are somewhat mixed; a review from Vulture says about the show that “its insides may be jumbled and too long, but its surfaces are full-on space-epic lovely.” For All Mankind currently holds a 74% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the highest out of the four initial Apple TV+ offerings.
Apple is currently offering a free year of Apple TV+ with purchase of a new iPhone. In lieu of that, Apple TV+ is only $4.99/month, making it one of the cheapest streaming platforms on the market.