I think I talked about the comedy series Mythic Quest when I first watched it last year, it’s a series from the creators of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia and while a very different kind of comedy to that just as funny.
Until yesterday that was the only Apple original show I had watched on the tech giants streaming service. I did watch the Beastie Movies documentary they bought the rights to and enjoyed that a lot, but none of the shows, of which there is a surprisingly large number, had peaked my interest enough to warrant giving a shot.
When the Jason Sudeikis led comedy Ted Lasso dropped last summer it got a quiet buzz and many people described it as just the right level of fun optimism the world needed in the midst of a godawful year. The premise is a simple one, a successful college American football coach is hired to manage a British soccer team with absolutely no knowledge of the sport, country or culture.
I hate, no, I loathe soccer. I think it is plight on this country and if not the, then at least a root cause of so much of the disgusting behaviour and attitude that permeates our culture.
Due to the subject matter of the show, despite great reviews from critics I trust and coming from Bill Lawrence, creator of Scrubs, I avoided it.
The buzz continued to grow though and I have just finished watching a couple of shows that also have a really positive, optimistic outlook and wanted more so I decided to watch the first few episodes.
I have to say the show is a lot like the titular character, Ted Lasso, you think it’s going to be dumb and annoying but it is just so damn earnest and nice that you can’t help but smile and root for it.
I’m going to stick with it for now and hope that it continues to not really be about the sport at all because that is when I instantly lose interest.
The other show I’ve literally just finished the pilot episode for is the dramatic series, For All Mankind. This was one of the series that Apple TV+ launched with and I think got lost in the shuffle of mostly mediocrity.
It is an alternate history show that follows NASA personnel right around the time of the Apollo Eleven mission to the moon, except in this version the Russians managed to get there a month earlier and thus changed the entire spectrum of the space race.
I found myself quickly invested in the show as it is a topic I always have found interesting and the production value is second to none. It seems to me that instead of the real life victory the US claimed in the space race despite really only beating Russia at one thing, the show is more about the American determination to turn a failure into a success.
The second season just started and I gather from the trailers there is a time jump so I’m eager to see how the plot develops further as it goes forward.
I feel like all of these shows are getting overlooked at the moment. Apple TV+ is a weird platform, it is obviously designed to keep people in the overall Apple ecosphere, as evidenced by the fact that you get a full free year of the service whenever you buy a new piece of hardware. But it is also available on all other devices too much like Netflix, Prime Video or any of the other dozens of streaming platforms.
I don’t know anyone who is watching these shows and I think the fact that they are available to everyone gets overlooked.
I’m undecided at the moment if they alone make the service worth paying for monthly, even if it is the cheapest of all the platforms, but I am glad to be getting more usage from the free time I have with it. If the new things they have coming up are as good as these bits though I might stick with it.
In the mean time I would recommend these three if you’re looking for something new to watch and I’ll be back tomorrow with some other nonsense.