I am completely in love with the show For All Mankind. The sheer audacity of the whole thing is wonderful. It’s out there but also somehow grounded in reality. If you’ve not seen it, or read my thoughts on Series 1, the premise is an alternative history where Russia landed on the moon before the US, and everything that follows from that.
I read a review of the show that explained how anything that tries to exploit the butterfly effect - small things creating exponential changes - is bound to start slow but gradually pick up speed.
The first two episodes of WandaVision appeared on Disney+ this week and I very quickly devoured them both. I wasn’t expecting to be as interested as I was, thought maybe I’d check it out when I had the time, but all the hype surrounding it completely sucked me in. Here are five immediate thoughts about the show:
In navigating the menus to get to the show, Disney+ recommended their new Marvel Legends series and I’m so glad I watched this first.
I can’t believe I didn’t write anything after watching the first series of Staged in summer of last year. David Tennant and Michael Sheen bantering for 6 x 20 minute episodes. It was one of the bright spots of culture that came out of the specific circumstances of lockdown. Despite it being an epic piece of work, I suppose no one really wanted a second series as it meant life hadn’t got back to normal.
It’s taken a while for me to get to the end of Tehran, the Apple TV espionage thriller based in the Iranian city. Initially, I was watching it week on week as it was released, but I’m no fool. I knew the penultimate episode would have one heck of a cliffhanger, so I opted to save it a week and watch two episodes together. But then, a week became two and other things got in the way and oop, finally it’s nearly Christmas and I need to finish watching Tehran before the jingle bells start.
I don’t normally care for nature programmes. I mean, let’s be clear, I think they’re incredible. The time, effort and production values always blow me away and whenever I see an episode of a nature show, I’m usually entranced. But they don’t really grab me and I don’t seek them out.
However, I couldn’t really ignore the enticing idea of Paul Rudd narrating a half hour show that focuses in on the smaller elements of this planet of ours - the new Apple TV nature show Tiny World.
I, like many many people, thought that the Ted Lasso series wasn’t going to be anything special. I was vaguely aware of the character, designed for a one-off sketch, and yea, that fish-out-of-water trope can be funny. But to bring the Southern American football coach to the UK to manage a Premier League team seemed ripe for sub-par comedy. I was expecting there to be a lot of jokes at the expense of the British way of life, lots of men bouncing off each other in the locker room, and a bit of a boorish ten episodes.
Recently, I’ve really struggled to find a TV show that grabs me and keeps me interested and also sits outside of the Apple TV+ catalogue. I’ve talked at length about how great their shows are and for whatever reason, despite there being so much (too much?) choice out there, I’ve barely been able to get past the first episode of anything. I was starting to wonder if the quality of Apple’s shows hadn’t ruined other TV for me!
I’m well aware that this blog has basically become an Apple TV+ review site, but everything I’ve watched on there so far has been really good quality. Okay, sometimes it doesn’t completely hit the spot (Truth Be Told) and some things just don’t look that interesting to me to even start (Servant) but what I’ve seen, I’ve liked.
This time, it’s the turn of MythicQuest: Raven’s Banquet – a workplace sitcom based in a games company that have made a hugely successful MMORPG.
Little America, the anthology series on Apple TV+, came at the perfect time in our household, as we’d just finished indulging in Modern Love and were in the right head-space for the ‘different story every episode’ style.
Little America takes the formula and applies it to immigrant stories across a broad range of ages and lifestyles and all walks of life in the US. There were eight episodes and it was wonderful how the same theme shone through them all – people don’t necessarily want hand outs, to take up too much space, or even necessarily to fit in.
Having loved both For All Mankind and The Morning Show, I was expecting big things from the next AppleTV+ adventure – this time, a crime mystery with a podcast host at the helm. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite stand up to the competition even within its own broadcaster, let alone looking further afield.
Let’s start with the good, though, the cast were great and they did the best they could with the scripts they had.