Over the holidays, I had a chance to check out the Apple TV+ landscape much more thoroughly than I had in recent months. What I found surprised me. Although the paid video streaming service will never compete with Disney Plus, Netflix, HBO Max, etc., from a content quantity perspective, its library is noticeably more extensive than many might realize. And with lots of new and returning content set to launch in the coming months, an Apple TV+ subscription is even more worth it.
Though everyone's entertainment tastes are different, there are several Apple TV+ events worth getting excited about in 2022. Each will be available on the best Apple TV devices, and through supported Apple TV app across various platforms.
The end of Ted Lasso?
I'll start with the good news. The award-winning Ted Lasso is almost certainly coming back this year for its third season. But, unfortunately, it might also be the show's final season unless series star and recent Golden Globes winner Jason Sudeikis comes to terms with Apple for more seasons.
No doubt, if Sudeikis wants to continue with Ted Lasso, Apple will bring in the truckloads of cash to make it happen, which is what's probably going to happen. Regardless, Ted Lasso put Apple TV+ on the map, and whether we have just three seasons or many more, it's been a fun ride.
More reasons to laugh
We're now officially starting the third year of the never-ending pandemic, and we all deserve reasons each week to smile and occasionally laugh. At Apple TV+, most of those chuckles have come from watching Ted Lasso. In the coming months, Apple will debut a few new comedy series, each headlined by a well-known star.
Billy Crudup (The Morning Show) is set to star in the half-hour dramedy, Hello Tomorrow! The series stars Crudup as Jack, "whose unshakeable faith in a brighter tomorrow inspires his coworkers, revitalizes his desperate customers but threatens to leave him dangerously lost in the very dream that sustains him." Jackie Weaver, featured in the most recent season of Yellowstone, co-stars.
Also ordered is High Desert, a half-hour comedy starring Patricia Arquette, Matt Dillon, Bernadette Peters, Christine Taylor, and directed and executive produced by Ben Stiller. The series follows former addict Peggy (Arquette) as she struggles to make a new start after her mother dies.
Interestingly, this will be the third collaboration between Arquette and Stiller and the second on Apple TV+. The two previously starred in Showtime's Escape at Dannemora and will also be seen on the Apple TV+ drama Severance, which debuts on February 18 (see below).
The Afterparty is another comedy series set to make its debut. Launching January 28, it stars Tiffany Haddish, Sam Richardson, Zoë Chao, Ben Schwartz, Ike Barinholtz, Ilana Glazer, Jamie Demetriou, and Dave Franco.
If Shakespeare isn't your thing, but you still like suspenseful storytelling, Apple TV+ is the place to be in the coming weeks. On February 4, we'll see the debut of Suspicion, an eight-part drama that stars Uma Thurman of Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction fame. The series is about an American businesswoman (Thurman) who's kidnapped from a New York hotel, which sets up a trans-Atlantic cat and mouse race.
Two weeks later is the debut of the previously mentioned Severance, a workplace drama that features a fantastic cast. Besides Ben Stiller and Patricia Arquette, the series stars Adam Scott of Parks and Recreation fame, John Turturro (The Night Of), and many more.
Meanwhile, sometime later will see the debut of Manhunt, a limited true crime series based on the events of the Abraham Lincoln assassination. Based on the best-selling book by James Swanson, the title stars 2021 Emmy Award winner Tobias Menzies (The Crown).
Eventually, we'll also see the launch of Disclaimer from Academy Award-winning director Alfonso Cuarón, that stars and is executive produced by Academy Award-winner Cate Blanchett and also stars Kevin Kline in his series debut. The drama is based on the novel of the same name by Renee Knight.
It seems Apple TV+ has focused the most on airing drama series in its short history, and this probably isn't going to change. The new shows to get excited for this year include Masters of the Air, a sequel of sorts to the Band of Brothers and The Pacific series. Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks are producing it. Also looking good are the Vince Vaughn helmed Bad Monkey, the limited series Hedy Lamarr with Gal Gadot, and Lady in the Lake starring Academy Award-winners Natalie Portman and Lupita Nyong'o.
Ted Lasso isn't the only Apple TV+ series making a return later this year. On January 21, we'll see the third season debut of M. Night Shyamalan's Servant, an ever-popular psychological thriller series that's already been renewed for its fourth season. New seasons of Invasion, the underrated For All Mankind, and The Morning Show are also anticipated as it is season three of Truth Be Told with Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer.
When it was announced in 2020 that existing and future Peanuts specials were arriving on Apple TV+, I was skeptical whether Charlie Brown and friends could leave a mark on a new generation of kids. However, nearly two years later, it's clear the arrangement is working very well. Iconic specials like A Charlie Brown Christmas and new ones such as *Snoopy Presents: For Auld Lang Syne*" prove that Charles Schulz's creation is alive and well 22 years after his death.
A growing film library
The pandemic has pushed film viewing primarily into our homes, which has resulted in some well-received Apple originals debuting exclusively on the service. These have included the recently released Swan Song and CODA, Cherry, and many others in the last year. The result is a fast-growing library of films with more anticipated in '22.
Among those films debuting in the coming weeks are The Sky is Everywhere, an unnamed Brad Pitt-George Clooney thriller that was announced in September, a Brad Pitt helmed Formula One film, and many more.
Macbeth. Yes, that Macbeth
One of the first new films to arrive on Apple TV+ this year is also one of the boldest. Academy Award winners Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand star in The Tragedy for Macbeth. Arriving January 14, director Joel Coen's creation offers a fresh take on William Shakespeare's play, Macbeth.
Though the new film won't be for everyone, it's great to see nonetheless. Moreover, it proves Apple is committed to offering various forms of entertainment through its site.
Being a known star doesn't necessarily make for great content. And yet, it's undoubtedly been one of the components Apple has relied on to grow its subscription service with new content. Looking beyond the familiar names mentioned above, some of the series set to debut star Academy Award-winner Brie Larson, Maya Rudolph, Jennifer Garner, Rose Byrne, Seth Rogan, and many others.
In its short history, Apple TV+ has also become a place to find excellent documentaries that highlight important subjects. We should expect more of the same in the coming months taking the form of films and docuseries.
Among these are two titles that focus on climate change, Extrapolations and Losing Earth. The former is an anthology series from Scott Z. Burns. It haves some big names attached, including Meryl Streep, Kit Harington, Daveed Diggs, David Schwimmer, Forest Whitaker, Tobey Maguire, Edward Norton, and more. The latter project is based on a long-form article from The New York Times Magazine.
Meanwhile, Five Days at Memorial is a limited series based on an award-winning non-fiction book from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Sheri Fink. It chronicles the first five days in a New Orleans hospital after Hurricane Katrina made landfall, causing much havoc in 2005. A "documentary event series" about the life and career of two-time NBA Hall of Famer Earvin "Magic" Johnson is also on the docket.
Much to see
As you can see, there's a lot of new content set to arrive on Apple TV+. For more information, be sure to check out running list of Apple TV+ series and movies.
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