It may still be in its infancy, but Apple TV+ has come a long way in a few short years.
The streaming service, which launched back in November 2019, burst onto the scene with a selection of well-received “prestige” films and TV shows, incuding the starry drama The Morning Show and the uplifting Coda, which won the Oscar for Best Picture back in 2022.
In the world of streaming, original content is king, and competitors such as Netflix now have more than a decade of original films and TV series in their back catalogue. What has made Apple TV+ stand out, however, is the consistency of its output.
The Independent has already compiled a list of the 15 best TV shows to watch now on Apple TV+, as well as a rundown of the best films.
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But what about those wishing to travel a little further off the beaten path? Everyone has heard of Ted Lasso, Apple’s hit feelgood sitcom about a chirpy American football coach trying to make it in the Premier League. But how many people have watched Drops of God, the power-struggle drama billed by some critics as the streamer’s answer to Succession?
Several Apple TV+ series have earned the rare distinction of “perfect” 100 per cent positive scores on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, among them the affirmational comedy Acapulco, and the reality series My Kind of Country.
Here are seven of the best hidden gem TV series to watch now on Apple TV+.
Drops of God
Based on a hit manga series, this stylish drama begins with the death of wealthy celebrity Alexandre Léger (Stanley Weber). At stake is Léger’s extravagant wine collection, worth a staggering $148m – which he is bequeathing to the victor of three challenges he orchestrated before his demise. Fleur Geffrier stars as his daughter Camille and Tomohisa Yamashita plays protégé Issei Tomine in this universally acclaimed multi-language series.
This comic whodunnit focuses on the afterparty of a high school reunion, with a dead body at its centre. The twist? Each episode is told from the perspective of a different character, Rashomon style. One version is told in the style of a romcom, another in the style of an action film – y ou get the gist. What makes this premise sizzle is the comic pedigree of its ensemble cast, which includes Sam Richardson (Veep; Detroiters), Zoë Chao (Strangers), Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation), Ilana Glazer (Broad City) and Jamie Demetriou (Stath Lets Flats). Tiffany Haddish, meanwhile, plays the detective hunting for the killer of Xavier (Dave Franco). A second season, featuring a mostly new cast, premieres in July 2023.
Patricia Arquette anchors this witty, dynamic series about Peggy, a chaotic ex-felon who becomes a private eye. As Peggy gets sucked into an eccentric mystery involving a stolen Picasso painting and a number of skeevy figures from her past, she struggles to keep her own demons at bay. Arquette is undisputedly the star here, but High Desert is enlivened by a number of quirky, charismatic supporting performers, including Rupert Friend, Matt Dillon, and Bernadette Peters.
Any fans of Ted Lasso still mourning the end of Apple TV+’s sorbet-sweet footballing sitcom might do well to check out Acapulco, another comedy series that goes straight for the heartstrings. Loosely adapted from the 2017 film How to be a Latin Lover, the series follows the rags-to-riches story of self-made mogul Maximo Gallardo Ramos (Eugenio Derbez), much of which takes place in 1984 via flashback. After two roundly well-received seasons in 2021 and 2022, Acapulco was renewed for a third run of episodes earlier this year.
My Kind of Country
Reality TV has rightly been getting a bad rap lately, with singing competitions such as The X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent coming under fire for their harsh treatment of contestants. This Reese Witherspoon and Kacey Musgraves-produced talent show, however, is a welcome respite. Judges Jimmie Allen, Mickey Guyton and Orville Peck nurture a roster of aspiring country singers through the rounds of this uplifting series, which subverts a lot of problematic time-worn trends about who gets to become a country music star.
In Platonic, Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne play Will and Sylvia, two former best friends who reconnect in their early 40s after Will gets a divorce. There’s much to like about this sitcom, which plays out with a Nora Ephron-esque lightness of touch. Rogen and Byrne, who formerly starred together in Bad Neighbours, make for an electric – and, as the title asserts, platonic – couple, while the series itself has plenty to say about life, relationships and ageing.
Developed by The Big Sick’s husband-wife team of Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V Gordon alongside Jury Duty’s Lee Eisenberg, this anthology drama series follows true stories rooted in the American immigrant experience. Zachary Quinto, Mélanie Laurent and Twin Peaks’ Sherilyn Fenn are among the bigger names to populate the show’s world, though Little America also championed a range of lesser known talents, with compelling results. The first season was released in January 2020, with a second batch of episodes arriving in late 2022.