Apple TV+ shows
Apple TV+ debuted on November 1st, 2019 and it doesn’t have as much going on comparing to its competitors yet, also it’s this weird mixture of iTunes and its streaming service, so most films you buy and the original series you stream. I do love that they, as with HBO, still follow the one episode per week format so I don’t binge and actually get to enjoy the show for longer (I have a long rant about this but maybe I’ll write about it in the future.
I have so far seen only four shows and here is the thing, they are ok if not forgettable; All of the shows have at least one very famous person in the cast and yet I can’t seem to remember the stories (to the exception of one show).
The Morning Show
The first one I watched was the one I kept reading about since long before the launch of the service: The Morning Show. It was not a surprise why it generated so much buzz, it was after all the return of Jennifer Aniston to the “small screen” (does that term still exists?) and with no one else than Reese Witherspoon. The story itself had a lot to do with its buzz since it was the first story to come out of the MeToo movement as a central plotline of a tv show not as fiction but based on real events. The show is based on the book Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV, where Brian Stelter narrates the lives of several daytime television shows, their hosts, and events that he oversaw while working as a media reporter.
I watched The Morning Show when it came out and haven’t seen it since, and the review I’m about to give will say everything that needs to be said about the problem with Apple’s shows: I liked it, I really did; The story was heavy due to its theme but enjoyable, the cast was strong and did a terrific job, but I don’t remember any scene in specific just that I really liked it, however, I do remember the intro animation. Bravo to the animators and designers who did that intro because I loved it. That’s all I can truly describe from the whole show: the intro.
Amazing Stories is a reboot of the beloved 1985 anthology television created by Steven Spielberg. These series have had a long way looking for a home and creators until finally it came out this year, consisting of 5 different stories for its 2020 season.
This, as with all Steven Spielberg projects is for sci-fi lovers; Spielberg has a way to bring back nostalgic fantasy in a way no one else can and this show is excellent yet lacking; These kind of stories are in no way original: we’ve had the 85 version of this, the twilight zone, black mirror, among others. As with all those shows there were some memorable episodes and some forgettable.
The first episode I loved merely I guess for being a hopeless romantic and because of Victoria Pedretti: She’s gorgeous and talented and girl can sing. It’s always nice to see actors that are actually trained to be and take their job seriously, and I believe she’s one of them. Anyway, the other episodes.. It was more as if I was forcing myself to like them because it’s Spielberg and it’s sci-fi and I’m a sucker for these type of stories but, they needed more. It was as if the identity of the show wasn’t resolved yet, some episodes were dark but could’ve been darker and some looked a lot like a child’s tv show fro the 80s which, again, I know that’s Spielberg’s thing but there needs to be more to catch a child’s attention nowadays.
Defending Jacob is an American crime adaptation of the novel by the same name written by William Landay. Crime and thriller genres are hard to adapt because people who are fans of the book not only they have the same attachment as with all the other books adaptations, but they know how it ends and how the crime is resolved, which is the most important part of the suspense created by the story.
I enjoy crime stories, more than I would like to admit. Ever. This show, however I would describe with a word I’ve been using a lot in this entry: Lacking. Considering the three leads have strong screen presence and are quite talented I still don’t understand why I didn’t love the series more, and so far the “critics” are divided as well. Some love it and some agree it’s a mediocre effort.
Defending Jacob narrates the story of a family dealing with the accusation that their 14-year-old son may be a murderer. In the show you see two trials going on: one in present time and one in the past. The last episode is where things may go off with some of the book’s readers as the ending is different. The show leaves an open ending and in the book a bit more resolved (not explicitly though). I don’t want to go into this to avoid spoilers but I have to be in favor of the book, there’s this one scene involving Hope that could’ve changed the way you see Jacob but the show went the other way.
One thing I did like about this story was the way it is more focused on the character’s grieve and how they deal with what’s going. I hadn’t read the book when I first started watching the show so I was rooting for Jacob so hard, which quickly turned into confusion an then I couldn’t stand his adolescent ass. Andy Barber’s (Captain America hehe) was insufferable for me, but I got his point, he is a respected assistant district attorney that finds himself in the middle of a case involving his own son, so he’s in denial for pretty much the whole show, blindly believing Jacob’s story. Laurie is my kind of character, she as a mom tries to believe her son constantly seeing pictures of him as a baby, but struggles as she sees her own crumble apart: She loses her job, she has no privacy, she starts questioning her son. I would’ve liked her to have the same ending as in the book, but her show version wasn’t bad for me either.
Now, I left this one for last because it’s the best show so far from Apple TV+ and it’s the one that has gotten the least attention: This comedy follows a similar format of Hulu’s The Great, and a trend that I hope stays for long. The peculiar mix of history set in the past and modern concepts, language and music work very well in the series that doesn’t take itself too seriously and it’s appreciated.
it’s loosely based on the life of Emily Dickinson, following her as a young woman who struggles to be a writer and learn about the world in an oppresive society that don’t see women as value.
In Dickinson, Emily is a girl: she whines and complains about her corset and period and having to stand up straight. She throws a party when her family is out and get high with her friends while twerking to Carnage. That reminds me, the soundtrack is a delight, with indie pop and hip hop nominating the story.
The show also plays with Emily’s first love Susan Gilbert who happens to be her friend and soon-to-be sister-in-law. One of my favorite scenes is when they dress up as boys in order to attend a university lecture with Lizz’s song Boys in the background.