Apple TV Plus shows started immediately with the streaming service’s launch in November 2019. Since then, we have seen a low but steady trickle of new series debut on the service, and now there’s enough content to really dive deep into its selections. But which series are the best Apple TV Plus shows? Good question, and one we aim to explore here.
Read more: Best Apple TV Plus movies
As you will see, the original Apple TV Plus series already have a variety of content; from children’s shows to more mature series just for their moms and dads.
Remember, if you buy a new iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV box, you get one year of the service for free (read more about it here.) For everyone else, you can sign up now for Apple TV Plus for $4.99 a month, following a seven-day free trial, at the link below.
Best Apple TV Plus shows:
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best Apple TV Plus shows regularly as new ones hit the streaming service.
1. For All Mankind
This is our favorite of the current crop of Apple TV Plus shows. It’s an alternate history tale, showing the Soviet Union winning the race to put a man on the moon in 1969. In response, the NASA of this timeline decides to keep going. Part of their plan is to recruit more women and minorities into the US space program much earlier than what happened in our reality. It’s a different look at how early space exploration could have happened. The second season of the show is currently streaming and a third is in the works.
Emily Dickinson is the real life US poet who inspired tons of other writers over the decades. This show examines a fictionalized version of Dickinson’s early life. The twist is that this incarnation of the poet, as played by Hailee Steinfeld, and her friends act and sound more like teenagers in modern times. It’s not exactly historically accurate, but it is entertaining. You can watch the first two seasons now.
3. Home Before Dark
We have read stories about fictional young reporters in school. However, this show tells the story of a real-life young journalist, Hilde Lysiak. As played by Brooklynn Prince in this series, the 11-year old Lysiak publishes her own newspaper for her community. Things take a big turn for her as she starts investigating a murder that happened near her home.
This reboot of the classic children’s TV series focuses on four kids. They attempt to solve mysteries that are tied into well-known books like The Jungle Book and Alice in Wonderland. If you have kids and want to encourage them to read more, this series might be a good first step.
5. Defending Jacob
This Apple TV Plus show is based on the best selling novel of the same name by William Landay. Chris Evans takes off his Captain America uniform and shield as the star of this series. He plays an assistant DA in a Massachusetts town, who suddenly has to deal with the fact that his son Jacob is accused of murdering a fellow classmate in school. This is an old-fashioned murder mystery, but with some family drama as well.
6. Mythic Quest
HBO’s Silicon Valley made a comedy out of the creation of tech startups. Mythic Quest does something similar. Instead of an internet app company, this show is about the workings of a video game developer. Specifically, it centers on the creator of an MMO game, and his team members that have to deal with his sometimes outrageous ideas and requests. Rob McElhinney, the co-creator of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, also co-created this show, and stars as its lead character Ian Grimm, who sometimes believes his job is to “create worlds.” A second season is in the works.
7. Little America
This series isn’t as flashy or as high concept as most of the other Apple TV Plus shows on this list. However, it may be more human and heartwarming. It’s an anthology show, with each episode following an emigrant as he or she tries to make a life in America. Episodes have shown the life of a Nigerian boy who comes to Oklahoma and becomes a cowboy, along with a Chinese woman who ends up winning a cruise for her family. It shows the American experience through many different eyes.
This sci-fi series takes place hundreds of years in the future, after an unnamed disaster strikes the Earth, and blinds all humans. The few survivors manage to stay alive, and one tribe of people, led by Aquaman’s Jason Momoa, weds an already pregnant woman. To their surprise, she has twins, both of which can see. This development gets the attention of a rival tribe, who wants the twins for their own purposes. This is a different sort of post-apocalyptic tale with heart and family. A second season is in the works.
M. Night Shyamalan is an executive producer of this thriller series, and also directed two of its episodes. The show itself fits with his dark storytelling themes. A young couple deal with the tragic death of their baby boy. However, the wife later starts to take care of a reborn doll that she thinks is really alive. The husband hires a nanny to help take care of their “child” but she seems to act like this thing is real as well. Get ready for some Shyamalan-style twists and turns in this series. You can watch the first two seasons now.
10. The Morning Show
This show is by far the biggest high-concept series on Apple TV Plus. It also has the biggest stars, with Jennifer Aniston as a national morning news anchor who is shocked when her co-anchor, played by Steve Carell, is fired for alleged sexual misconduct. To make matters worse for Aniston’s character, she also has to deal with a rising young female reporter, played by Reese Witherspoon. The office and media politics can sometimes get a bit confusing and dull, but the performances by Aniston, Carell, Witherspoon and Billy Crudup as a news executive make this show very watchable. A second season is in the works.
11. Central Park
This animated show comes from Bob’s Burgers creator Loren Bouchard. Like that show, Central Park was developed first for the Fox network. However, Fox decided not to move forward so Apple snapped it up. It takes place in and around New York City’s Central Park, and centers on people who either work in the park or make their living in the area as “buskers” or street performers. Josh Gad voices a busker and serves as the show’s main narrator. Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn are also among the show’s main voice cast, as is Stanley Tucci. He takes on the role of businessperson Bitsy Brandenham, who wants to take over Central Park so she can put up condos.
12. Ted Lasso
Culture clash, with some very funny results, in this latest entry on the Apple TV Plus shows lineup. Jason Sudeikis plays the title character. Ted Lasso loves football, and he’s managed to snag a position as a football coach in a small college. However, through some unlikely means, Lasso is about to hit the big time. He’s going to coach a major professional football team….that is, a major professional UK football (a.k.a. soccer) team. Lasso tries to show confidence, but he knows nothing about this sport. His move to win over the team with the lessons he learned across the pond makes this one of the funniest of the Apple TV Plus shows. You can look forward to two more seasons of Ted Lasso in the future.
This is the first non-English language Apple TV Plus series, but don’t let the idea of reading subtitles keep you from watching this show. This espionage series focuses on a female Israeli Mossad agent. She’s been sent to Tehran, Iran on a mission to help Israel shut down Iran’s nuclear facilities. Things don’t go as planned, however, and she is forced to go into hiding while being hunted by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. This is a taut spy thriller that should be of interest to fans of Showtime’s recently ended series Homeland.
That’s our look at the best Apple TV Plus shows so far. We will update this list when more shows debut on the service.