Apple TV+ was launched in 2019 and has quickly emerged as one of the best streaming platforms, providing audiences with a wide variety of shows ranging from high-concept science fiction to period dramas. The service features many original award-winning movies and television shows. Many of Apple TV+’s lineup includes big-name actors, including their newest show, The Crowded Room starring Tom Holland.
Many of Apple TV+’s shows feature unique stories from various different genres and have become a place for prestige television. From Severance to Ted Lasso, there are countless shows worth watching, but only ten can be considered the best.
Updated on October 2, 2023, by Jessie Nguyen:
The recent release of Season 3 of The Morning Show, alongside several other high-quality, intelligent sci-fi series, reaffirms Apple TV+’s position as a significant contender in the ongoing streaming wars. Although it only made its debut in 2019, the network has consistently produced outstanding Apple TV+ original shows across a wide range of genres. Fans should not overlook these shows because they are genuinely remarkable and deserving of attention.
15 ‘See’ (2019 – 2022)
See is set in a post-apocalyptic future where a virus has almost entirely wiped out humanity, and the survivors are all blind. The show follows Baba Voss (Jason Mamoa), a tribal leader who is forced to protect his tribe from various threats, including a powerful queen who wants to capture and control his children because they are born with the ability to see. As their ability to see is both a blessing and a burden in this harsh environment, the presence of these sighted children brings both promise and danger to the world.
With three seasons released, See has a rich tapestry of world-building and a developing tale with real emotional weight, even though it may not be the most approachable television, and its propensity for the weird is oftentimes silly. Moreover, despite the mixed reviews from critics, it has a devoted following due to its original premise and aesthetic.
14 ‘The Morning Show’ (2019 – )
The Morning Show primarily follows the behind-the-scenes workings of a fictional titular morning news and talk show. The show’s anchor, Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell), is fired due to sexual misconduct allegations, which sets off a chain of events that disrupts the show and the lives of its employees. The story also focuses on the challenges faced by the show’s co-host, Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston), as she tries to navigate the crisis and maintain her position in the cutthroat world of morning television.
The Morning Show has one of Jennifer Aniston’s best performances to date and is a witty, provocative, and profoundly depressing crusade against sexual harassment in the workplace. Additionally, even though its execution can be erratic at times, its goal is always clear. It’s quick-paced, aggressive, and compulsive, which makes it worthwhile to stick around for.
13 ‘Foundation’ (2021 – )
Adapted from the same-name acclaimed novels penned by Isaac Asimov, Foundation follows a group of outcasts as they embark on a monumental odyssey to rescue humanity and reconstruct civilization in the midst of the Galactic Empire’s collapse.
This series should serve as the gold standard for all science fiction programming, with two seasons already available on Apple TV+. The story’s breadth, production quality, and character performances are all excellent. Furthermore, while Foundation succumbs to the recurring pacing issues often found in peak TV, it successfully accomplishes the dual task of adapting a seminal classic sci-fi series and rejuvenating it for a contemporary audience, ensuring its continued relevance despite the age of its source material.
12 ‘Silo’ (2023 – )
In a dystopian future in which a community lives in a massive subterranean silo with 144 levels, Silo follows Juliette (Rebecca Ferguson), an engineer tasked with solving the death of a coworker, who learns surprising secrets that endanger the very foundation of their walled-off society.
Silo, which has only had one season released, has already become a sensation in the sci-fi genre on Apple TV+. Compelling and immersive, the book-based dystopian sci-fi show is an outstanding contribution to the genre, solidifying its status as the top science fiction noir film of the year. Also, Ferguson delivers a mesmerizing performance, deserving of all sorts of accolades. With elements to cater to a wide range of viewers, the show masterfully blends elements of conspiracy thriller, dystopian nightmare, and science fiction. In doing so, it effectively foretells a bleak future for humanity.
11 ‘Ted Lasso’ (2020 – 2023)
After gaining control of the London football club, AFC Richmond, Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham) hires Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis), an American football coach, to lead the team in hopes that they fail. Against the odds, Lasso’s good nature helps turn the doubters into believers.
Having just wrapped up its third season, Ted Lasso was a huge hit for Apple TV+. The series at one time was the most watched program on the service and won several awards, including the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series and Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Audiences certainly don’t require a passion for soccer, or even sports in general, to be captivated by the enduring charm of this show. They will easily appreciate its unwavering focus on the importance of unity and maintaining a positive outlook.
10 ‘Servant’ (2019 – 2023)
After the death of their young child, Servant follows Dorothy (Lauren Ambrose) and Sean Turner (Toby Kebbell) to undergo transitory object therapy using a lifelike doll to help with the trauma. The couple hires a young nanny, Leanne Grayson (Nell Tiger Free), to move in a care for the doll, which opens the home to strange occurrences.
Released in 2019, the first season of Servant was a success for Apple TV+, with critics praising the show’s atmosphere and powerful performances. Now among the best Apple TV+ originals, the series ran for four seasons, with the final series premiering in 2023. Servant unfolds at a deliberate pace, carefully unraveling its core mystery, and while the journey may appear familiar, it has a few unexpected surprises in store. Furthermore, it achieves a level of eeriness and disquiet that television often aspires to but seldom achieves.
9 ‘Shrinking’ (2023 – )
After struggling to grieve the loss of his wife while being a father and a therapist, Shrinking centers on Jimmy (Jason Segal) who decides to change his ways and give unfiltered, brutal honesty. To his surprise, this change ultimately helps lead to a change in his patient’s lives as well as his own.
Created by series star Jason Segal and Ted Lasso‘s Brett Goldstein and Bill Lawrence, Shrinking is a critically acclaimed comedy-drama that premiered in 2023. Additionally, thanks to its talented cast, consistent comedic success, and skillfully crafted character-driven drama, it not only lives up to the standards set by Ted Lasso but also stands as a delightful show in its own right. Although it frequently employs humor, the show remains a sincere and gentle exploration of the challenges and emotions tied to coping with grief.
8 ‘Dickinson’ (2019 – 2021)
Dickinson reimagines Emily Dickinson‘s (Hailee Steinfeld) life as a young woman in the 19th century, offering a modern and somewhat anachronistic perspective on her experiences. While the series draws on real events and people from Dickinson’s life, it incorporates elements of contemporary language, music, and sensibilities to create a fresh and unconventional portrayal of her world.
The show spans for three seasons, and gracefully navigates the boundary between drama and comedy, blending elements of biography and the supernatural with a seamless fusion of historical and modern sensibilities. Additionally, Steinfeld’s performance is consistently remarkable and intricately layered as she endeavors to explore the allure and anxiety of fame through the life of an author who, in reality, never achieved it during her lifetime.
7 ‘Slow Horses’ (2022 – )
Slow Horses centers on Slough House which is depicted as an administrative limbo within MI5, reserved for agents who have failed in their duties but haven’t faced dismissal. These individuals, often referred to as “slow horses,” are led by their discontented supervisor, Jackson Lamb (Gary Oldman), who anticipates that they will resign due to either sheer ennui or mounting frustration.
Even with the release of two seasons within a single year, Slow Horses doesn’t introduce much innovation to the spy genre. Nevertheless, it compensates with its meticulously crafted plot, beautifully written dialogues, and uniformly exceptional cast. The show embodies the quintessential British spy atmosphere, replete with cover-ups, conspiracies, and characters at odds with one another. It evokes the nostalgic essence of vintage John le Carré novels.
6 ‘Mythic Quest’ (2020 – )
After creating one of the biggest video games ever, Ian Grimm (Rob McElhenney) and his team struggle to keep their game on top. With the people in charge equipped with their own massive egos, the team fights to ensure that each of their own unique vision stays at the forefront, for better or worse.
Released in 2020, the first season of Mythic Quest received critical acclaim and has a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, with subsequent seasons faring even better. Although the show heavily utilizes parody, often with humorous results, it manages to avoid descending into mere irony. Moreover, the supporting characters in the show about and for gamers are intricately developed, allowing viewers to become emotionally invested in their moral growth, rather than solely relying on the thrill of unveiling the truth behind the scenes.
5 ‘Severance’ (2022 – )
Severance follows Mark (Adam Scott) is the lead of an office team whose memories have been surgically divided between their work and personal lives. After he is contacted outside of work by someone claiming to be a colleague, Mark begins searching for the truth about his job.
Premiering in 2022, Severance proved to entice audiences with an interesting concept of free will and an extreme view of the work/life balance. The show is undeniably a series with a well-crafted overarching narrative, capable of engrossing, amusing, and bewildering its audience all at once. It caters to viewers who appreciate the style of Black Mirror, especially in episodes where the world depicted feels just slightly askew from our own reality.
4 ‘Black Bird’ (2022)
After being arrested on drug charges, James “Jimmy” Keene (Taron Egerton) accepts a plea deal in hopes that he’ll be released early. After finding out that his plea would lead to more prison time than expected, he is offered the opportunity for early release. Keene must befriend Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser) and illicit a confession from him to find the bodies of his victims.
Released in 2022 as a limited series, Black Bird told the true story of a lesser-known serial killer and the lengths that the FBI and James Keene went to keep him locked away. The great and often overlooked miniseries was succinct and received praise from critics due to both the story and the performances by the lead. At the Emmy Awards, Hauser was nominated, and won, the award for Best Actor in a Limited Series.
3 ‘Bad Sisters’ (2022 – )
After Grace Williams’ (Anne-Marie Duff) abusive husband dies unexpectedly, she and her four sisters find themselves at the center of a life insurance investigation. The series, presented in two different time periods, shows both the sister’s murder plot and the immediate aftermath where they are investigated by a determined insurance agent, Thomas Claffin (Brian Gleeson).
Based on the Flemish television series, Clan, Bad Sisters was released on Apple TV+ in 2022, with a second season on the way. The show achieves a commendably intricate and nuanced storytelling approach by placing its characters at the forefront. This makes it the kind of series that will undoubtedly be cherished and appreciated for many years to come. Furthermore, it’s a dark comedy with a central focus on a manipulative and abusive misogynist – a genius premise.
2 ‘Acapulco’ (2021 – )
In 1984, young Maximo Gallardo Ramos (Enrique Arrizon) gets his dream job of working at the famous Las Colinas Resort as a pool boy. From there, he works his way up in a rags-to-riches story. In the modern day, an older Maximo (Eugenio Derbez) tells his nephew Hugo (Raphael Alejandro) the details of his life.
Premiering in 2021, Acapulco is an English and Spanish-language television series that was inspired by 2017’s How to Be a Latin Lover. Despite its cozy rom-com exterior and the scent of nostalgia that permeates it, Acapulco‘s fundamentally a tale of determination and the pursuit of one’s dreams. Acapulco has already been renewed for a third season, proving the impact of how it emphasizes the importance of maintaining a positive outlook on life, regardless of the challenges one faces.
1 ‘Drops of God’ (2023)
After the death of her father, Camille (Fleur Geffrier) travels to his home in Japan where she is informed that she has inherited his wine collection, which is considered the most incredible collection in the world. To claim the inheritance, however, she must compete with his protégé, Issei Tomine (Tomohisa Yamashita), whom her father saw as a son.
Drops of God premiered in 2023, with an eight-episode run, and is based on a popular Japanese Manga series of the same name. Drops of God is a beautifully narrated story that revolves around the theme of discovering one’s family, all while serving as a heartfelt tribute to wine enthusiasts and the intricate world they inhabit. Furthermore, it accomplishes the remarkable feat of transforming what might initially appear to be a non-competitive industry into a high-stakes, emotionally charged drama.