The streaming wars are upon us. With Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max and Peacock all launching soon, the field is going to be very crowded very soon. Do we need all of them? How will they compliment the streaming channels already out in the marketplace? With our “Streaming Wars” series, we want to give you a guide to each of the different streaming platforms coming into the market so you can figure out whether to buy it or not.
Streaming Platform: Apple TV+
When Does Apple TV+ Launch?
The Apple TV+ launch is scheduled for November 1st, 2019. With a focus on new, high quality original programming, the streaming service will launch with nine new shows on its first day. New shows will arrive monthly to the service, so make sure to continue checking back with your Apple TV+ app.
How Much Does Apple TV+ Cost?
The Apple TV+ subscription service costs $4.99 per month. However, there are more than a few ways to get around these costs. Customers that purchase any of the following Apple products are eligible to receive a free year of Apple TV+: any iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch or Mac. Once you get your new iPhone or Mac, make sure to share the love. Through Family Sharing, customers can share their Apple TV+ subscription to a maximum of six family members.
What Shows Does Apple TV+ Have?
Emily Dickinson stands as one of the greatest poetic voices of nineteenth century America. Re-reading her work, one sees how she both reflects her time in prose but feels ahead of her time in terms of her ideas. Apple’s lone 30-minute comedy, “Dickinson” brings this to life with a unique, anachronistic depiction of the poet’s young adult life. Academy Award nominee/pop star Hailee Steinfeld portrays Dickinson as a rebellious girl with dreams of publishing. Modern day music, current slang, and Wiz Khalifa’s “Death” stand out against the period backdrop. Rounding out the cast are Jane Krakowski, Toby Huss, Ella Hunt and Anna Baryshnikov, among others. The show was created by Alena Smith and kicks off with a pilot directed by David Gordon Green. Apple TV+ launches with all ten episodes of the first season.
“For All Mankind”
What would have happened if Russia landed on the moon first? “For All Mankind” takes us to this alternate history where the space race rages on. The moon, now called “Red Moon,” serves as a motivator for NASA, desperate to redeem themselves. The ensemble drama from Ronald D. Moore (“Star Trek,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Outlander”), Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi looks to demonstrate the resilience of the American spirit. Apple makes only the first three episodes of the show available at launch. The remaining seven will be released weekly on Fridays.
“The Morning Show”
Are there any bigger names in TV than Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell? Among the three of them, they have launched two of the most successful shows and an HBO miniseries that was so successful it made a second season. What’s bringing all these successful superstars together for the Apple TV+ launch? “The Morning Show” rips from the headlines to be one of the first series to tackle the #metoo movement. Jennifer Aniston stars as Alex Levy, the co-host of the titular “Morning Show” who watches her on-screen anchor, Mitch Kessler (Carell), get removed from his job amidst sexual assault allegations. At the same time, the network latches onto Bradley Jackson (Witherspoon), an outspoken correspondent who goes viral for a public tirade.
Nothing good ever happens when shows are set in the future. Apple TV+ premieres with its own futuristic drama, “See,” which takes place 600 years from now. At this point in history, a virus has ravaged the human population. The few humans left alive all suffer from blindness. Without sight, the remaining humans must come up with new methods of survival. Jason Momoa headlines the new action series as Baba Voss, a warrior who fathers twins blessed with the ability to see. Alfre Woodard co-stars and Francis Lawrence directs.
Oscar-nominated director M. Night Shyamalan takes his talents to Apple TV+ with “Servant,” his latest psychological thriller. The series stars Toby Kebbell and Lauren Ambrose as a young couple who has hired a nanny (Nell Tier Free) to care for their newborn baby. As in most Shyamalan films, something spooky happens with this new dynamic. The show won’t be available on Apple’s November 1st launch. Instead, it will premiere on the streaming channel on November 28th.
Apple enters into the awards season race this year with “The Banker,” starring Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson, Nicholas Hoult and Nia Long. The film makes its world premiere as the closing night film at the AFI Film Festival on November 21st. Based on a true story, a group of black businessmen challenge the status quo during the 1960s. Bernard Garrett (Mackie) and Joe Morris (Jackson) set up real estate and banking businesses, but use a white frontman, Matt Steiner (Hoult), to pose as the head of the company. Garrett and Morris pretend to be a janitor and chauffeur, while Steiner acts as a figurehead for white businessmen to interact with. The film opens in theaters on December 6th, before heading to the streaming service in January.
New programs will be added to the Apple TV+ service on a monthly basis. See below for some of the ones we are currently aware of:
- “Truth Be Told” stars Octavia Spencer and Aaron Paul and tackles the growing fascination with true crime podcasts, particularly as it relates to race, bias, privacy concerns and unhealthy addictions.
- “Little America,” from Kumail Nanjiani, brings to life true stories about immigrant families finding their place in America. These tales come from profiles in Epic Magazine.
- “Hala” is currently riding buzz from successful festival bows at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. Writer/director Minhal Baig brings to life the story of Hala, a Muslim teenager caught between her religious upbringing and the growing pains of being a suburban teenager.
Few personalities have changed the television landscape quite like Oprah Winfrey. The talk show legend cultivated a massive following with her daytime show, “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which ran from 1986 to 2011. From there, she developed her own television network, ironically named OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network). Now, Oprah takes her talents to a whole new arena — streaming. In her new Apple TV+ show, Oprah conducts interviews with some of the biggest authors in the world. She marries her journalistic background with the global book community she has fostered through Oprah’s Book Club. The show hopes to uplift and educate to bring positive change to the world.
“The Elephant Queen”
A mother’s love knows no bounds. This classic adage comes to life with “The Elephant Queen,” Apple TV+’s inaugural documentary. Chiwetel Ejiofor narrates this tale of Athena, a matriarch who protects her herd on their journey to a watering hole. The documentary pairs this tale of survival with a statement about the endangered nature of these animals. The film is currently playing in select cities as of October 18th. Yet, it will be available to all Apple TV+ subscribers November 1st.
Even ’90s children’s shows are back in vogue. Apple TV+ brings to life a reboot of the classic “Ghostwriter,” which aired from 1992 to 1995 on PBS. Though times have changed, the basic concept stays the same. A group of kids band together when they discover a ghost in their local library. From here, many literary figures come to life throughout the library as the kids get involved in the spooky happenings.
The “Sesame Street” creators are back at it with another new children’s show. “Helpsters” focuses on a group of monsters, led by Cody, whose job is to solve problems. These new characters hope to teach kids the value of having a plan and learning how to problem solve.
“Snoopy In Space”
Everybody loves the Peanuts. Whether it be the classic cartoon or the most recent theatrical movie (“The Peanuts Movie”), Charles Schultz’s characters continue to endure. Apple takes these characters to new heights with “Snoopy in Space,” a new original journey. Snoopy takes the crew to space as he realizes his longtime dream of being an astronaut.
Where Can I Watch Apple TV+?
Apple TV+ originals will be available ad-free on the Apple TV app. This app comes pre-loaded in all Apple TVs, iPhones, iPads and new Mac devices. Additionally, one can get the app on many other providers including Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony and VIZIO. Samsung and other smart TVs will also be able to download the app.
Final Verdict: Should I Get Apple TV+?
Apple TV+ features the cheapest price point of any of the new streaming offerings. This makes it compelling for consumers who may balk at adding another monthly fee. Yet, the lack of a back-catalog library means customers who purchase the service are doing so for the premium original content. At the end of the day, the service works best for those who are Apple aficionados. Buying a new Apple product also buys one a year of free Apple TV+. This makes it the most competitive deal around. If you need a new phone, TV or computer, get your new Apple product in time for the November 1st Apple TV+ launch so you can watch all the hot new shows.
What are you most excited on the Apple TV+ Service? Let us know in the comments below.
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