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.
Stumbling across the TV show Modern Love was a weird experience – it was promoted on the Apple TV homepage and warranted further investigation. When we saw it was created by John Carney, who was also behind some of our favourite Dublin-based films, then it was a given we were going to watch this one.
Anthology series’ aren’t always my favourite, but when they’re done well, like Black Mirror and now like Modern Love, they are a gem.
I knew I was going to love Dickinson because, from the trailer, it was a modern take on the early life of this infamous poet. I’ll be honest and admit to knowing little about Emily other than her name, but as soon as I knew Hailee Steinfeld was in it, I was on board.
And it was SO GOOD. Ten half-hour episodes of Hailee and her friends reinventing what a good period piece is.
Sure, the last thing the world needs is another television streaming service and yes, there is a question mark about where Britbox sits in the current market but you know what? I kinda like it.
Britbox is a long-in-coming platform initiated by ITV and the BBC, with Channel 4 and Channel 5 on board, to offer UK-based programming to mostly a UK-based audience. It sounds like a good thing, bringing together the main terrestrial channels from the big four, but it does get a bit wobbly when you start to look at what’s available.
The US version of The Office has been off air for over six years, but it is barely out of the public consciousness and rarely a day goes by that I don’t see an Office gif fly by on my Twitter stream. The success of the Office didn’t diminish the brilliance of the original UK version but it certainly dwarfed it in popularity – spreading its wings to be much more of an ensemble piece, and covering far more ground than the original two series ever could.
I recently discovered the podcast Robot or Not which is an audio show where: “Jason Snell asks John Siracusa to rule on the meaning of various words and concepts. It’s not just about robots anymore.” I have been listening to the entire back catalogue, partly because the episodes are so short but also because they’re so fascinating.
As the title suggests, the concept started out solely about robots but has branched out to food, ethics, religion and actually quite a lot about food.
I’m behind the times on this, but I’m glad I waited to watch Aisling Bea’s new comedy This Way Up. I bought the entire series to binge on the Apple TV and got through it in super quick time - it was wonderful and heartbreaking and genuine and lovely and inspirational and sobering all in equal measure.
The two areas it particularly shines in are the portrayal of struggling with mental health - Bea’s character Aine is recovering from a nervous breakdown and trying to deal with life in a very lonely London.
So the new trailer for Apple TV+ series The Morning Show looks gooood.
I didn’t want it to be good because I have too much TV to watch as it is, but trust Apple to dive in with some quality TV straight from the off. It’s some of my favourite people and it looks dramatic and interesting and dammit… gonna have to clear some time in my schedule.
I’ve recently started catching up on podcasts again, and this time I’ve discovered Rene Ritchie’s Vector. It’s officially a YouTube show, covering the latest news and insights into the world of Apple and technology, but there’s also an audio-only podcast which is my preferred method.
As I’m a little behind, I was listening to the shows released around WWDC, and this episode about the new tvOS caught my attention.
Specifically this bit towards the very beginning: