You're reading this on your iPhone, listening to Apple Music on your AirPods, while eating a Granny Smith. You may as well get your TV through Apple, too. Apple TV+ launched on Nov. 1, 2019, becoming the latest behemoth to nudge its way into the streaming TV space, but its debut was lackluster, to put it gently. Things have gotten better since, with Apple nabbing great exclusive movies and adding some better shows to its lineup, but if you're only now activating your free trial or you haven't been paying attention since launch, you're probably wondering which Apple TV+ originals to watch. 

The good news is that Apple TV+ hasn't pegged any genre to focus on, so it has a little bit of everything: comedy, drama, horror, Tom Hanks, and more, including arguably the best documentary film and children's movie of the year. Apple TV+ has a ton of shows from other networks to subscribe to, but for the sake of simplicity, we've limited our list to the best Apple TV+ originals.

Looking for more recommendations of what to watch next? We have a ton of them! We also have hand-picked selections based on shows you already love.

Boys State

For fans of: Politics, Lord of the Flies, the future of America, chaos

René Ortero, <em>Boy's State</em>René Ortero, Boy's State

Boys State is being hailed as one of the best documentaries of 2020, and with good reason. The film follows the annual Boys State, a summer camp (this particular one's in Texas) sponsored by the American Legion in which more than 1,000 high school boys come together to form their own two-party government, complete with elections, voting, and mudslinging. It's a remarkable look at the pitfalls of our current political system, hyper-masculinity among teen boys, and the future of America (it looks like we're in both good and bad hands). Beyond the fascinating subject matter, the filmmaking is superb and gorgeous, feeling more like a scripted movie than a guerilla-shot documentary, which is a compliment in this case. If you like Lord of the Flies or Kid Nation (which, how can you not?), you're going to love this. [Trailer]


For fans of: Period pieces with anachronisms, Wiz Khalifa
Number of seasons: 2 (new episodes of Season 2 premiere each Friday, already renewed for Season 3)


Every early headline about Dickinson, an Apple TV+ show about Emily Dickinson, felt like a fever dream: John Mulaney guest starring as Thoreau! Wiz Khalifa playing Death! The show, which stars Hailee Steinfeld as the great American poet in her younger years, is the sort of beautiful gamble that could either soar or fall on its face, with almost no room for anything in between. Following the premiere of its fantastic second season, it's clearer than ever: Dickinson totally rules. A delirious, anachronistic period piece, it's both a very funny show and a surreal elegy for all the great art lost to misogyny. It's as bold and haunting as the work of its heroine. [Trailer] -Kelly Connolly

For All Mankind

For fans of: The Mercury Seven, space travel, the volatile politics of the '60s and '70s
Number of seasons: 1 (Season 2 coming Feb. 19)

<em>For All Mankind</em>For All Mankind

Few moments in history captured the attention of the world like the moon landing in 1969, but what if that hype never waned? For All Mankind asks how the great space race would have changed had Russia landed a tin can on the moon before the United States and the competition for space superiority stayed heated for years after. The alternative history drama comes from Battlestar Galactica's Ronald D. Moore and follows not just the men and women (yes, in this alternate history, progressiveness refreshingly came earlier) who went into the stratosphere, but the astronauts' significant others and eggheads back at mission control trying to make permanent residence on the moon. It's great for space geeks and anyone into speculative fiction. Joel Kinnaman, Michael Dorman, Wrenn Schmidt, and Sarah Jones star. [Trailer]

Little America

For fans of: The immigrant experience, anthologies, crying your eyes out in a good way
Number of seasons: 1 (renewed for Season 2, date TBD)

If you need a nice pick-me-up from the ills of the world, this anthology series from Kumail NanjianiEmily V. Gordon, and Master of None's Alan Yang is a good bet. Each episode of Little America is based on the true stories of immigrants in America, showing off their successes and experiences in humorous and heartwarming fashion, like the Indian spelling bee whiz who ran his parents' hotel after they were deported and petitioned Laura Bush to help him get them back. The best part of the show is that it focuses on the systemic challenges they face rather than on hate from racist individuals, and the stories vary wildly so they don't feel repetitive. [Trailer]

The Morning Show

For fans of: The Newsroom, #MeToo, A-listers
Number of seasons: 1 (renewed for Season 2, date TBD)

<em>The Morning Show</em>The Morning Show

When Apple TV+ launched, it seemed to do so on the back of The Morning Show, its big-budget, high-profile, star-studded drama that was going to win every award out there. Jennifer Aniston AND Reese Witherspoon starring in the same show as rival anchors for a popular morning show? Well, reviews were mixed, and early episodes were less than impressive, but the show righted many of its wrongs as its season continued. And though its central plot about a male anchor (Steve Carell) getting fired after sexual harassment allegations against him may seem a little dated given how much has happened in the last two years, it's a conversation that needs to continue. Plus, did we mention Aniston and Witherspoon? [Trailer]

Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet

For fans of: Workplace comedies, the video game industry
Number of seasons: 1 (renewed for Season 2, date TBD)

 It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Rob McElhenney is smart enough to know that video games are funny, but they're not to be made fun of. Gamers are legion, after all. The game biz gets a loving send-up in Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet without making games the joke, as McElhenney plays the egotistical creative director of a popular MMORPG about to release its first expansion pack. There's a fantastic cast that includes F. Murray AbrahamDanny Pudi, and Charlotte Nicdao, a midseason standalone episode that's a great story of creativity vs. profits, and a bonus episode made during the pandemic that's probably the best quarantine episode of the year. [Trailer]


For fans of: Psychological horror from M. Night Shyamalan, babies, food
Number of seasons: 1 (Season 2 coming Jan. 15)


Apple TV+'s cockeyed horror show Servant is back and creepier than ever in Season 2. The claustrophobic thriller, created by Tony Basgallop and executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan, began as a wild-eyed but mechanically precise story about a family unraveling in the wake of a tragedy. In Season 1, Dorothy (Lauren Ambrose) and Sean Turner (Toby Kebbell) hired live-in nanny Leanne (Nell Tiger Free) to care for the lifelike "reborn doll" that a grieving Dorothy believed was her son — only for the doll to somehow become a living baby. Now, the show goes full supernatural in its sophomore season as Leanne's true nature is exposed. It's the details that make this show stand out, like the rich wallpaper of the Turners' Philadelphia brownstone, the wet, wet, shoes of Leanne's weird uncle (Boris McGiver), and the most unsettling food design since Hannibal. [Trailer] -Kelly Connolly

Ted Lasso

For fans of: Making fun of Americans, making fun of the British, sports, feeling good
Number of seasons: 1 (renewed for Seasons 2 and 3, date TBD)

Jason Sudeikis, <em>Ted Lasso</em>Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso

If any show can be credited with restoring faith in humanity after the whirlwind of 2020, it is Ted Lasso. The titular Ted (Jason Sudeikis) is an American college football coach who heads to England to coach an actual football (soccer, for the uninitiated) team. While the setup seems like a farce — Ted's hiring is part of an elaborate scheme by an embittered woman looking to ruin the beloved football team of her cheating ex-husband — Ted's seemingly unshakeable good nature and determination to see the best in everyone, even those actively trying to do him harm, is downright inspiring. He doesn't just bring a glow to everyone around him; he leaves viewers with hope that things can get better and that doing your best is enough. He's the hero we didn't know we needed. [Trailer] -Megan Vick

Tiny World

For fans of: Planet Earth, adorable wittle cuddle creatures
Number of seasons: 1

Tiny WorldTiny World

The BBC and Discovery no longer corner the market on nature documentaries, and Apple TV+ is pushing to release some of the best series about wildlife that don't feature Sir David Attenborough's narration. This six-episode series puts the microscope on the smaller creatures in the world, exposing a world and struggle for survival not often seen in other shows of its ilk. Paul Rudd, Ant-Man himself, appropriately narrates the technological marvel featuring minuscule frogs, beetles, birds, and more. Apple TV+ is also home to the wonderful nature documentary film The Elephant Queen, which follows a herd of elephants and other animals in Africa. [Trailer]

Visible: Out on Television

For fans of: The LGBTQ+ community, the progressive movement, television history

Asia Kate Dillon, <em>Visible: Out on Television</em>Asia Kate Dillon, Visible: Out on Television

Apple TV+'s expansive and carefully paced history of LGBTQ+ people on TV deserves kudos for its thoughtful, authoritative, and exhausting summation. Even if it weren't packed with the most well-known queer people on TV, Visible: Out on Television does an excellent job of tracking how gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and non-binary people have been depicted on television from its earliest days — including the frantic, hyper-paranoid news reports of the 1950s declaring queer people a menacing threat. It's practically a college course, methodically chronicling representation throughout the decades through archival footage, news reports, and the like, but its abundant first-person testimonials from practically every living LGBTQ+ TV star you can think of (plus allies like OprahBilly Crystal and more) make Visible: Out on Television an invaluable educational tool for everyone who watches. [Trailer] –Malcolm Venable


For fans of: The wonderful Cartoon Saloon films, wolves, Irish accents


The beautiful animated film Wolfwalkers came out in theaters in November, but there's about a 99% chance you didn't see it because of, well, obvious reasons. It's the third in a series of films based on Irish folklore from the studio Cartoon Saloon, following the critically acclaimed The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea (highly recommended), and tells the story of a young girl who heads to Ireland with her dad to kill off the last wolf pack but ends up befriending a young girl who is part of a tribe of humans who become wolves at night. It's less Disney and Pixar and more Hayao Miyazaki, and it drew rave reviews when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Pop some corn and gather the family for movie night. [Trailer]