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What to watch on Apple TV Plus: A quick guide to the streamer’s offerings

ByASNF

Mar 24, 2022

Credit: Apple

Most streaming services offer you an almost impossible selection of films and TV. Apple TV Plus is a bit smaller in its scope, with a growing but limited number of originals on offer. Still, there’s a fair amount to root through. This guide takes the work out of it for you, highlighting the best shows and movies across a number of genres.

Read more: How Apple TV Plus became a major player in the streaming game

So, read on for our complete guide of what to watch on Apple TV Plus, including shows and movies in many genres, and an impressive selection of music documentaries. Unlike most of our other streaming guides, we’ve dropped or reduced categories where necessary to account for Apple’s smaller offering, mostly just to ensure a solid selection.

And if you’re not already a subscriber, hit the link below to sign up.

Apple TV Plus
Apple TV Plus has quickly become a major player in the streaming game since its launch in 2019. Its slate of original programming includes shows like Ted Lasso, The Morning Show, Foundation, and For All Mankind as well as movies like The Banker, Greyhound, and Palmer.

What to watch on Apple TV Plus by genre


Comedy

Ted Lasso (TV series)

  • Original release: 2020 – present
  • Episode runtime: 30-45 minutes
  • Genre: Sports comedy
  • Director/Creator: Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly
  • Main cast: Jason Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham, Brett Goldstein, Juno Temple

One of Apple TV Plus’ biggest hits, Ted Lasso is an enchanting workplace comedy. Ted is an American football coach who relocates to England to take over a soccer team. He knows nothing about soccer, but that’s no problem, as the team’s new owner is hoping he’ll fail to spite her ex-husband, who lost the soccer club in the divorce. Instead, Ted works hard to prove himself and make the team (and its new owner) stronger than ever.

Dickinson (TV series)

  • Original release: 2019 – present
  • Episode runtime: 30 minutes
  • Genre: Comedy, historical drama
  • Director/Creator: Alena Smith
  • Main cast: Hailee Steinfeld, Toby Huss, Adrian Blake Enscoe, Anna Baryshnikov, Ella Hunt, Jane Krakowski

A clever reimagining of American poet Emily Dickinson’s youth, Dickinson is one of the best shows on Apple TV Plus. Mixing historical accuracy with contemporary flourishes, the series presents Emily as a headstrong and rebellious teen looking for love and her chance to prove herself as an artist.

On the Rocks (Film)

  • Release year: 2020
  • Runtime: 96 minutes
  • Genre: Comedy, drama
  • Director: Sofia Coppola
  • Main cast: Bill Murray, Rashida Jones, Marlon Wayans

Sofia Coppola fans wondering what to watch on Apple TV Plus will be pleased to discover her Apple original film On the Rocks. A woman who suspects her husband of cheating goes on a bizarre stakeout with her playboy father in this smart, hip comedy from the Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette director.

Looking for more comedies?


Action

Tehran (TV show)

  • Original release: 2020 – present
  • Episode runtime: 47 minutes
  • Genre: Spy thriller
  • Director/Creator: Moshe Zonder, Dana Eden, Maor Kohn
  • Main cast: Niv Sultan, Shaun Toub, Navid Negahban, Liraz Charhi

Originally created for Isreali public channel Kan 11, Tehran is an Apple TV Plus original series internationally. A Mossad agent and hacker goes undercover in Tehran, the city where she was born. Her mission fails, and she must go into hiding in this tense, action-packed thriller.

See (TV show)

  • Original release: 2019 – present
  • Episode runtime: 55 minutes
  • Genre: Science-fiction
  • Director/Creator: Steven Knight
  • Main cast: Jason Momoa, Sylvia Hoeks, Hera Hilmar, Christian Camargo, Archie Madekwe, Alfre Woodard

In a future when almost all of humanity is blind, two seeing children are hunted by a religious sect as they seek out other people with sight with the help of their adoptive father.

Greyhound (Film)

  • Release year: 2020
  • Runtime: 91 minutes
  • Genre: War
  • Director: Aaron Schneider
  • Main cast: Tom Hanks, Stephen Graham, Rob Morgan, Elisabeth Shue

Tom Hanks plays a US Navy commander fighting off submarine attacks while escorting Allied merchant ships in World War II. Sony originally planned to release Greyhound theatrically but opted for an Apple TV Plus exclusive in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, it’s a top choice for any history buffs considering what to watch on Apple TV Plus.

Looking for more action?


Drama

The Morning Show (TV series)

  • Original release: 2019 – present
  • Episode runtime: 55 minutes
  • Genre: Sports drama
  • Director/Creator: Jay Carson
  • Main cast: Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell, Billy Crudup

Arguably Apple TV Plus’ flagship show, The Morning Show is a star-studded look at a morning news show reeling from revelations of its co-host’s history of sexual abuse. Now, the show has to find its footing in a post-MeToo world and examine its own power structures and path forward.

For All Mankind (TV series)

  • Original release: 2019 – present
  • Episode runtime: 60 minutes
  • Genre: Drama, science-fiction
  • Director/Creator: Ronald D. Moore
  • Main cast: Joel Kinnaman, Sarah Jones, Shantel VanSanten, Michael Dorman, Jodi Balfour, Wrenn Schmidt, Sonya Walger

From the creator of Battlestar Galactica comes a fascinating exploration of the space race, but with a twist. What if Russia had beaten NASA to the moon? What if Neil Armstrong had been part of the second manned mission to the lunar surface? That’s the starting point of For All Mankind, a smart and engaging series that imagines the employees of NASA and their families in a familiar past, but one that questions how history played out and what might have been if space had been the main battleground in the Cold War. Anyone wondering what to watch on Apple TV Plus would be wise to start here.

Hala (Film)

  • Release year: 2019
  • Runtime: 94 minutes
  • Genre: Drama
  • Director: Minhal Baig
  • Main cast: Geraldine Viswanathan, Jack Kilmer, Gabriel Luna, Anna Chlumsky

The story of a 17-year-old Pakistani-American teen, Hala explores the bonds of family and generational clash. Hala Masood loves skateboarding and has a crush on a non-Muslim boy. These desires don’t align with her parents’ plans for her, leading slowly to inevitable conflict.

CODA (Film)

  • Release year: 2021
  • Runtime: 111 minutes
  • Genre: Drama
  • Director: Sian Heder
  • Main cast: Emilia Jones, Troy Kotsur, Daniel Durant, Marlee Matlin, Eugenio Derbez,

A teen girl dreams of becoming a singer. Living in poverty as part of a fishing family — and the only hearing member of a Deaf family — she struggles with the weight of her responsibilities at home and her inability to show her parents her gifts in this feel-good indie.

Looking for more dramas?


Fantasy

Foundation (TV series)

  • Original release: 2021 – present
  • Episode runtime: 45-60 minutes
  • Genre: Science-fiction
  • Director/Creator: David S. Goyer, Josh Friedman
  • Main cast: Jared Harris, Lee Pace, Lou Llobell, Leah Harvey, Laura Birn

Based on the iconic sci-fi classic works of Isaac Asimov, Foundation tells the story of a galaxy on the verge of collapse. A group of exiles works to save the Galactic Empire from itself in secret, under the guidance of a prophet who has foretold the future using advanced mathematics. Perhaps the service’s most ambitious series, Foundation is a strong choice for what to watch on Apple TV Plus.

Mythic Quest (TV series)

  • Original release: 2020 – present
  • Episode runtime: 25-35 minutes
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Director/Creator: Charlie Day, Megan Ganz, Rob McElhenney
  • Main cast: Rob McElhenney, Charlotte Nicdao, Danny Pudi, F. Murray Abraham

Not exactly a fantasy series, Mythic Quest is nevertheless itself about fantasy. It follows the employees working for the biggest multiplayer video game of all time. It’s their job to create an engaging, immersive fantasy world for players — and to not drive each other mad in the process.

Swan Song (Film)

  • Release year: 2021
  • Runtime: 116 minutes
  • Genre: Drama
  • Director: Benjamin Cleary
  • Main cast: Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Awkwafina, Glenn Close

A man diagnosed with a terminal illness faces an impossible decision. He can enjoy what time he has left with his family before the end, or he can spare them the pain of his death by leaving them a carbon copy of himself to take over in his absence.

The Tragedy of Macbeth (Film)

  • Release year: 2021
  • Runtime: 105 minutes
  • Genre: Fantasy, drama
  • Director: Joel Coen
  • Main cast: Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, Kathryn Hunter, Bertie Carvel

Joel Coen, of the Coen brothers, directs this gorgeous adaptation of William Shakespeare’s classic play about a Scottish soldier and his wife consumed by murderous ambition and a prophecy from three witches. Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand shine as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.

Looking for more fantasy?


Horror

Servant (TV series)

  • Original release: 2019 – present
  • Episode runtime: 30 minutes
  • Genre: Horror
  • Director/Creator: Tony Basgallop
  • Main cast: Lauren Ambrose, Toby Kebbell, Nell Tiger Free, Rupert Grint

Produced by master of suspense M. Night Shyamalan, Servant is exactly the right show to watch on Apple TV Plus if you want something dark and spooky. A couple grieving the loss of their child hires a nanny to look after their “baby,” a lifelike replica. But soon their baby appears to be back, alive and healthy, in this chilling psychological game that keeps you guessing.

Severance (TV series)

  • Original release: 2022 – present
  • Episode runtime: 40-60 minutes
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Director/Creator: Dan Erickson
  • Main cast: Adam Scott, Zach Cherry, Britt Lower

A group of workers are part of a team that has undergone an experimental new procedure. They’ve split their work memories from their home memories. But now, they want answers about what’s been done to them and who’s pulling the strings in this bizarre blend of horror, comedy, and drama.

Looking for more horror?


Mystery

Home Before Dark (TV series)

  • Original release: 2020 – present
  • Episode runtime: 50 minutes
  • Genre: Mystery, teen drama
  • Director/Creator: Dana Fox, Dara Resnik
  • Main cast: Brooklynn Prince, Jim Sturgess, Abby Miller, Louis Herthum

A young girl moves to the small town her father left behind. There, her curiosity gets the better of her, and she uncovers a cold case the town — and her father — had hoped to keep buried.

The Afterparty (TV series)

  • Original release: 2022 – present
  • Episode runtime: 34 minutes
  • Genre: Mystery, comedy
  • Director/Creator: Christopher Miller
  • Main cast: Tiffany Haddish, Sam Richardson, Zoë Chao, Ike Barinholtz, Ben Schwartz, Ilana Glazer

Mixing genres, this outrageous comedy was a huge hit for Apple TV Plus. A high-school reunion afterparty ends in death. A detective investigates and soon finds that everyone has a motive, and everyone’s a suspect.

Looking for more mysteries?


Romance

Schmigadoon! (TV series)

  • Original release: 2021 – present
  • Episode runtime: 28 minutes
  • Genre: Musical comedy
  • Director/Creator: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio
  • Main cast: Keegan-Michael Key, Cecily Strong, Fred Armisen, Dove Cameron

Are you a fan of classical musicals looking for what to watch on Apple TV Plus? Schmigadoon! is about as perfect a choice as you could ask for. A couple having some problems find themselves stuck in a town where folks break into song and everything works according to movie musical logic. If they want to get out, they’ll have to find true love — whether with each other or someone new.

Trying (TV series)

  • Original release: 2020 – present
  • Episode runtime: 28 minutes
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Director/Creator: Andy Wolton
  • Main cast: Esther Smith, Rafe Spall

Nikki and Jason want a baby more than anything, and they can’t have one on their own. Once they decide to adopt, all they have to do is convince an adoption panel that they’re ready. But that may be harder than they thought.

The Sky Is Everywhere (Film)

  • Release year: 2022
  • Runtime: 103 minutes
  • Genre: Drama
  • Director: Josephine Decker
  • Main cast: Grace Kaufman, Pico Alexander, Jacques Colimon, Cherry Jones, Jason Segel

A teen musical prodigy grieving the death of her sister in California navigates first love and loss in this moving coming-of-age drama from director Josephine Decker.

Looking for more romance?


Thriller

The Mosquito Coast (TV series)

  • Original release: 2021 – present
  • Episode runtime: 50 minutes
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Director/Creator: Neil Cross
  • Main cast: Justin Theroux, Melissa George, Logan Polish, Gabriel Bateman

Based on the novel by Paul Theroux (and starring his nephew Justin), The Mosquito Coast is a gripping thriller for anyone searching for what to watch on Apple TV Plus. A rogue inventor and idealist uproots his family and takes them on a dangerous quest through Mexico while fleeing American authorities.

Losing Alice (TV series)

  • Original release: 2021
  • Episode runtime: 48 minutes
  • Genre: Psychological thriller
  • Director/Creator: Sigal Avin
  • Main cast: Ayelet Zurer, Lihi Kornowski, Gal Toren, Shai Avivi

Middle-aged filmmaker Alice embarks on an obsessive journey to take her career to the next level when femme-fatale screenwriter Sophie enters her life in this neo-noir miniseries on Apple TV Plus.

Looking for more thrillers?


Western

Little America (TV series)

  • Original release: 2020 – present
  • Episode runtime: 30 minutes
  • Genre: Comedy, anthology
  • Director/Creator: Lee Eisenberg, Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon
  • Main cast: Suraj Sharma, Mélanie Laurent, Zachary Quinto, Kemiyondo Coutinho

Apple TV Plus doesn’t really have any westerns. Or at least, nothing you’d recognize as a typical cowboy movie or show. It does have some solid programming that touches on some western themes though. Take Little America, for example. This anthology series explores the lives of immigrants settling in America from various perspectives. Based on true stories featured in Epic Magazine, the show seeks to dig into and challenge the idea of America as we know it.

Lincoln’s Dilemma (TV series)

  • Original release: 2022
  • Episode runtime: 55 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary, history
  • Director/Creator: David S. Reynolds

This documentary series about Abraham Lincoln digs into the lesser-known sides of the American President, known as the Great Emancipator. Historians and archival materials paint a new picture of the man in one of the best shows on Apple TV Plus.

Looking for more westerns?


Family and kids

Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock (TV series)

  • Original release: 2022 – present
  • Episode runtime: 25 minutes
  • Genre: Puppetry
  • Director/Creator: Matt Fusfeld, Alex Cuthbertson
  • Main cast: Lilli Cooper, Dave Goelz, Daveed Diggs, Cynthia Erivo

If you’re a fan of classic Muppets programming wondering what to watch on Apple TV Plus, this Fraggle Rock reboot may be just the thing for you. A woman named Doc and her pet dog Sprocket live in a house with a hole leading into Fraggle Rock, where the Fraggles Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Boober, and Red live and go on adventures.

Harriet the Spy (TV series)

  • Original release: 2021 – present
  • Episode runtime: 23 minutes
  • Genre: Children, animated
  • Director/Creator:  Will McRobb, Allison Craig
  • Main cast: Beanie Feldstein, Jane Lynch, Lacey Chabert

Harriet the Spy reboots a classic children’s series and is based on the book of the same name by Louise Fitzhugh. Harriet is a curious kid who wants to know everything about everyone. And that means spying on them. All of them.

Wolfwalkers (Film)

  • Release year: 2020
  • Runtime: 103 minutes
  • Genre: Family, animation
  • Director: Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart
  • Main cast: Honor Kneafsey, Eva Whittaker, Sean Bean

Trying to figure out what to watch on Apple TV Plus with your kids? Wolfwalkers is a perfect choice and will likely please parents as much as children. It’s the story of a girl in Ireland who befriends an outsider with the ability to become a wolf, the very animal her father has been tasked with hunting.

Looking for more family content?


Documentary

1971: The Year that Music Changed Everything (TV series)

  • Original release: 2021
  • Episode runtime: 45 minutes
  • Genre: Music documentary
  • Director/Creator: Asif Kapadia

Witness one of the most electrifying years in the history of music in this Apple miniseries. As America underwent a massive cultural and political change, the music scene was marked by innovation and an influx of new talent. One of the best series on the service, 1971 definitely belongs on your list of what to watch on Apple TV Plus.

Visible: Out on Television (TV series)

  • Original release: 2020
  • Episode runtime: 50-70 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Director/Creator: Ryan White

This five-part documentary explores the representation of LGBTQ+ people in television, tracing a history of queer inclusion in front of and behind the camera. Prominent queer TV personalities appear, with Janet Mock, Margaret Cho, Asia Kate Dillon, Neil Patrick Harris, Lena Waithe narrating episodes.

 The Velvet Underground (Film)

  • Release year: 2021
  • Runtime: 121 minutes
  • Genre: Music documentary
  • Director: Todd Haynes

Director Todd Haynes adopts some of the pop art aesthetics of the 1970s, juxtaposing Andy Warhol’s “Screen Tests” with interview footage to present a history of iconic New York band The Velvet Underground. One of the best films of 2021, The Velvet Underground is certainly a top choice for anyone wondering what to watch on Apple TV Plus.

 The Beastie Boys (Film)

  • Release year: 2020
  • Runtime: 120 minutes
  • Genre: Music documentary
  • Director: Spike Jonze

Mike Diamond (“Mike D”) and Adam Horovitz (“Ad-Rock”) discuss their 40-year history as the surviving members of iconic hip-hop trio the Beastie Boys. They walk a live audience through the highs and lows of their careers, from the creation of the group to the present day, including moving tributes to third member Adam Yauch (“MCA”). It’s a terrific film for fans and new listeners alike.

Looking for more documentary content?


Hopefully you’ll find something among these 34 titles to keep you occupied and getting the most out of your streaming subscription. It’s still a relatively small streamer, but there’s plenty to watch on Apple TV Plus, so it can be helpful to get a bit of direction sometimes.

Apple TV Plus
Apple TV Plus has quickly become a major player in the streaming game since its launch in 2019. Its slate of original programming includes shows like Ted Lasso, The Morning Show, Foundation, and For All Mankind as well as movies like The Banker, Greyhound, and Palmer.

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