Monarch: Legacy of Monsters storms the charts as Apple TV Plus enters a new era

Monarch Apple TV Plus screen capture
(Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

The Apple TV Plus streaming service has been around for a few years at this point and it's been able to claim a few big wins in that time. Some of the streamer's shows have seen huge popularity, while some of its movies have also proven to be hits both on-screen and at awards ceremonies. And after something of a lull, things are picking up again.

As with so many endeavors in life, it's relatively easy to make an impact once. But it's following that up with something new that can be difficult. Something that not only captures the imagination every bit as well as what you did before but goes beyond it as well. Following shows like Ted Lasso, The Morning Show, For All Mankind, and of course Severance, was never going to be easy. All of those shows have picked up multiple seasons with Ted Lasso having come to an end after a run that saw it become a global phenomenon. How do you follow that? How do you top that?

It seems that Apple TV Plus might finally have found the answer to that question — you top it with a giant lizard and a scientist turned chef.

Quality over quantity

Apple TV Plus might not have a library the size of a Netflix or a Disney Plus, and it might never be able to boast such a thing. Netflix has been throwing money at content for a lot longer than most, and Disney has been buying properties and companies for decades, creating a behemoth the likes of which nobody can hope to compete with. But Apple TV Plus, since day one, has gone about things a bit differently.

Where you can open the Netflix app and find something new on the daily, Apple TV Plus has a more discerning schedule. And two of its most recent additions are working their way to the top of JustWatch's collection of the most popular TV shows around.

JustWatch November 26 chart

(Image credit: JustWatch)

You don't have to get far down the list of the most popular shows from November 20 through November 26 to find Apple TV Plus. In third place, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters continues where the various Godzilla and King Kong movies left off, while the fourth spot goes to Lessons in Chemistry, a TV show that is based on a hugely popular book. The ever-popular Doctor Who is all the way down in seventh, above The Crown in ninth and the real-life Squid Game show.

In these two shows, Apple has found its next generation of hits

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters might just be the best thing on TV right now, although nobody could accuse it of being high-brow. But it does seek to fill in some of the gaps the movies created, and a handful of episodes in it's shaping up to be a show that deserves its place alongside Apple TV Plus bigshots like the ones I mentioned earlier.

As for Lessons in Chemistry, that show was always going to be popular. It stars Brie Larson and tells the story of a 1950s woman who dreamt of being a scientist but winds up fronting a cookery show instead. Based on the acclaimed, bestselling novel by Bonnie Garmus, the show will run for eight episodes and is, by all accounts, brilliant.

A return of the old guard

These are just two of the latest shows to hit Apple TV Plus of course, and there are others. But we've also seen the return of some of the streaming service's best as well — Foundation's second season arrived not that long ago and more recently the fourth season of For All Mankind landed, too. The third season of the excellent Slow Horses premiered this week. There's so much to watch, it's hard to know where to start.

And there's more, too. The recent ending of various entertainment industry strikes should hopefully see new life breathed into one of the most anticipated follow-ups to any show I can remember — Severance Season 2. And once that arrives, it's game over for JustWatch's charts. You just wait and see.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.