The 10 best Apple TV Plus TV shows streaming right now

It may not have a lot of shows but Apple TV Plus still boasts some of the best TV series released in the past year

October 30, 2020
6 min read

It’s tricky to treat Apple TV Plus as a streaming service that needs an ongoing subscription, especially in comparison to an expansive library of choices on Netflix, Stan or Disney Plus. That’s because there’s not enough content to justify the ongoing price, despite a number of promising properties that are in the works right now for Apple TV Plus.

Still, whether you’re checking in for a seven-day trial or buying a month (or more), Apple TV Plus has a selection of TV series that are more quality than not, and the same is true of the Apple TV Plus movies.

Scroll on for our pick of the top 10 Apple TV Plus TV series you can watch right now.

Stream for free tonight with these trials

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1. The Morning Show

The best original Apple TV Plus series

There are so many ways this could have gone wrong. Despite the sunny name, The Morning Show dives headfirst into a fictionalised #MeToo scandal of a disgraced former morning show co-host, Mitch Kessler (Steve Carrel), and the lingering questions it raises during his exile. Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston) is the co-host left to pick up the pieces, while confrontational up-and-comer Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) has her shot at fame.

These intertwining stories are centre stage for an excellent ensemble cast in a drama that pulls no punches and warrants of all of its critical praise, with effective staying power beyond the pilot (which can’t be said of the similar setting for The Newsroom. It effortlessly walks a difficult tightrope of respecting heavy material, while also allowing room for constant humanising and occasionally hilarious moments.

Ted Lasso

The next best original series on Apple TV Plus

Episodes expertly proved that American and British humour can live in harmony when it paired two comedy legends with Matt LeBlanc (playing himself) in Hollywood. Ted Lasso takes the reverse approach by dropping funnyman Jason Sudeikis in England, and the results are very entertaining on and off the pitch.

Sudeikis plays the titular Ted Lasso, who’s an ex-American football coach who’s hired to be the manager of an actual football team in England. The fish-out-of-water setup creates plenty of room for cultural comedy moments, while Sudeikis’s charming Lasso will have you smiling when you’re not laughing out loud. Come for the laughs, but stick around for some inspiring moments and one of the most hopeful shows of 2020.

Defending Jacob

The best original miniseries on Apple TV Plus

Scroll back up to our top pick for the best drama on Apple TV Plus, but if you’re in the mood for more, Defending Jacob is absolutely worth watching, especially if you’re not hanging out for more seasons. It cements the reality that Apple is okay with exploring dark material, as this adaption of William Landay’s novel digs into a character-driven thriller wherein assistant district attorney Andy Barber (Chris Evans) has his world come crashing down after his quiet son (Jaeden Martell) is accused of murder.

Andy’s wife Laurie (Michelle Dockery) is also sent reeling from the accusation, as the parents drift between wholeheartedly believing in their son’s innocence and having grave misgivings. There are multiple mysteries at play as the story jumps around in time, and while there is closure to be found in the final episode, it’ll keep you guessing until the end as to what really happened.

Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet

The best comedy series on Apple TV Plus

Fans of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia may have already stumbled on Rob McElhenney’s latest creation, Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet. And while it’s not as nutty as Sunny, there’s still plenty of outlandish humour to love in this show about the constant struggles of a game studio trying to keep their game on top of the world. While the first episode is a little shaky, Mythic Quest quickly gets into comedic gear for the rest of its inaugural season.

You’ll learn to love to hate McElhenney’s egocentric Ian, you’ll be endeared to Charlotte Nicdao’s Poppy, and there’s a whole other host of familiar faces that will mostly make you laugh. Despite the frequent big laughs, Mythic Quest somehow manages to fit in one of 2020’s best episodes of, which is more poignant than hilarious, but it’s ultimately utterly brilliant. Mostly Mythic Quest is about the laughs, though, and with a pitch-perfect pandemic-shot episode to round off season one, you’ll be counting down to season two in 2021.

Tiny World

The best docuseries on Apple TV Plus

Nature documentaries tend to bring our big, beautiful planet to the small screen, relaying a bigger world in a smaller, relatable way. Tiny World flips the first part on its head, focusing on the smaller underfoot critters of nature and presenting a docuseries that’s a breezy six episodes all about mighty miniscule creatures.

Fittingly narrated by Paul “Ant-Man” Rudd, this is a documentary that’s designed to be as entertaining as it is informative, with a world-class crew that captures incredible footage of some of the world’s smallest marvels. Whether it’s covering tiny birds, spiders, or monkeys, there’s a lot to love about Tiny World.

Long Way Up

The next best docuseries on Apple TV Plus

Back in 2004, household name Ewan McGregor and his bestest bud Charley Boorman got on their bikes and made a 31,000-kilometre trek around the world for the Long Way Round series. This was followed up in 2007 with Long Way Down. Fast-forward 16 years, and the pals are back at it again for Long Way Up.

For fans of the original series, this is Return of the Jedi-like essential viewing to complete this particular trilogy (despite the likelihood that, like Star Wars, there may be more to come). For everyone else, Long Way Up sees McGregor and Boorman tearing up 13,000 miles of track through Central and South America, this time on electric motorbikes. You definitely don’t have to love motorbikes to love this doco.


Scratches the sci-fi itch for Apple TV Plus subscribers
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What is a new streaming service without a show that’s all about some kind of dystopian future? While not as legendary a sci-fi series as The Expanse (not yet at least), See will still scratch the sci-fi itch for fans of the popular genre. In a world where most people are quite literally blind, this Children of Men-like story has some impressive behind-the-camera crew, most notably creator Steven Knight of Peaky Blinders fame.

Naturally, it helps that Jason Momoa takes on the leading role, competent in both drama, charismatic screen presence, and taking care of himself when things frequently get messy. He’s the protector of two twins that are born with sight, and a word of metaphorically and literally blind foes stand in his way of keeping them safe.


The best horror series on Apple TV Plus

There was a time when “from the twisted of mind of M. Night Shyamalan” didn’t mean what it used to, but after a recent return to form, the infamous twister’s name has gravitas again. So when Apple has Shyamalan’s name prominently placed on the Servant poster and trailer, you can safely assume that’s a good thing. Servant is a psychological horror series that’s already been approved for a second season, so you can safely get attached to the characters of its sinister world.

Like a creepy reimagining of Pinocchio, a married couple attempt to deal with the death of their infant son by using a lifelike doll as a coping method. While the couple disagree on how real the doll is, their dynamic changes further when a zealous babysitter is brought into their home.

For All Mankind

The best sci-fi streaming on Apple TV Plus

Alternative history is a popular subgenre in novels but less so when it comes to the small screen, unless you’re looking at shining recent examples like The Man in the High Castle or Watchmen. For All Mankind isn’t quite as sparkling as either of those two, but the scene is set for some fascinating dramatic storytelling when, in 1969, the Soviet Union beats the United States to the moon.

For the show, this sparks a grander space race amid the Cold War. Even though For All Mankind is slow to start, the more time you commit to it, the more rewarding it is. In terms of talent, Ronald D. Moore of Battlestar Galactica fame is behind the camera, while Joel Kinnaman leads a talented cast of actors on the other side of the camera.

Visible: Out on Television

Another great original docuseries

While its focus is relegated to American TV only, Visible: Out on Television is a docuseries that follows the representation of LGBTQ personalities and characters on TV from the 1950s onwards. This representation in the 1950s was offensive, and while that’s improved in recent years, Visible: Out on Television has a powerful message that there’s still work to be done.

The docuseries combines archival footage and new interviews with familiar LGBTQ TV personalities to explore the impact of the LGBTQ movement in terms of on-screen representation. At times heartbreaking, at others uplifting, Visible: Out on Television is a powerful tale of how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go in terms of on-screen diversity.

Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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