20 Best Shows on Apple TV+ to Watch Tonight
Looking for a new show to obsess over? Check out our picks for the best Apple TV+ shows you can stream right now.
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Take a bite out of Apple TV+
There are a lot of TV streaming services available, which might seem overwhelming at first. But it’s actually great for the avid viewer. With plenty of competition, newer streamers like Apple TV+ are working overtime to develop incredible original programming to outperform other services and rival even the best TV shows on Netflix. In fact, Apple TV+ was the first all-original worldwide streamer, with the best shows on Apple TV including award winners like Ted Lasso and The Morning Show.
But there are plenty of other Apple originals that will make you want to snag a subscription if you don’t already have one. And with new programs added each month, there’s always something to binge when you find yourself in need of a fresh TV fix.
Apple TV’s slate is diverse, so whether you’re looking for dramas, reality TV shows, doctor shows, sitcoms, family-friendly fare, or even the best TV shows of all time, you’re likely to find them here. Because of all the great content, whittling down the 20 best Apple TV shows was no easy task. We looked at the series and documentaries that are most watched on the service, performing at the top of their game, garnering critical praise, creating breakout stars, and making headlines. There’s something for everyone, so see what you’re in the mood for tonight!
Ted Lasso (2020–present)
If you’ve never watched this heartwarming series, prepare to fall in love with Ted Lasso, one of the best shows on Apple TV (and on TV in general). The titular character (Jason Sudeikis) is a wholly optimistic college football coach who lands a job managing a poorly performing English Premier League soccer team (you know, the other football). Winner of seven Emmys, the series is the dose of positivity we all need after a grueling couple of years. Ted does his best to make everyone around him a better person, and that trickles down to television audiences too. If you love comedy movies with heart, give this dramedy series a try.
The Shrink Next Door (2021)
Following the incredibly uncomfortable relationship between an intrusive and overbearing psychiatrist and his longtime patient, The Shrink Next Door is half dark comedy, half drama. With notorious funny guys Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd as the leads, you may be expecting a laugh-a-minute comedy fest, but instead, this limited series will get in your head and linger there. Based on one of the best podcasts and centered on a true-life tale, many scenes are difficult to watch, but that’s a testament to the acting chops of the incredible cast. This is one of those adults-only Apple TV+ shows created for those with an interest in the complex connections between people.
Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock (2022)
Get reacquainted with everyone’s favorite cave-dwelling creatures, the Fraggles, with this reboot of one of the best kids shows of all time. All of your favorites are back, like Gobo, Red, Wembley, and Mokey. Fun for the whole family, this is a great trip down memory lane for parents who watched Fraggle Rock as kids in the 1980s and a colorful, upbeat experience for today’s kiddos. One of the best shows on Apple TV for kids, the new version lives up to the original as the main characters get themselves into innocent conundrums navigating life in the caves as a community.
Looking for something really and truly different? Calls is one of the best Apple TV shows to fill that void. Based on the French series, the story is conveyed through interconnected phone conversations among complete strangers. Each episode feels more mysterious than the next, with these calls first seeming unrelated until a life-altering event changes everything. Viewers need to be patient and let themselves become intrigued by the artful way in which this very nontraditional series comes together; it’s like turning the pages of one of the best mystery books to see how everything connects. We love the all-star cast, which includes Rosario Dawson, Aubrey Plaza, Nick Jonas, and Lily Collins. The series snagged one Emmy for Outstanding Motion Design.
The Afterparty (2022–present)
If you like crime shows, you’ll love this comedic take on the genre—it’s one of the funniest Apple TV+ shows you’ll watch. A high school reunion’s afterparty turns deadly, and it seems like everyone has a motive. Tiffany Haddish leads the cast as the detective in charge of interviewing each suspect. A whodunnit from beginning to end, the show has an unexpected conclusion that’ll shock you. With a cast of eccentric characters, each story is interesting, leading up to the big reveal. It reminds us of one of our favorite Hulu TV shows, Only Murders in the Building. And great news: The Afterparty has been renewed for a second season.
The Mosquito Coast (2021–present)
Based on the novel by Paul Theroux, The Mosquito Coast follows a genius but radical inventor (Justin Theroux, the writer’s nephew) who moves his family to Mexico, where they learn that he (and consequently, they) are on the run from the United States government. It’s a game of cat and mouse as the family attempts to stay together and maintain their freedom. Best enjoyed by grown-ups after the kids have gone to bed, the show’s suspense will keep you coming back for more. If the plot sounds familiar, it was also a classic ’80s movie with Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren, and River Phoenix.
For three fabulous seasons, Dickinson offered us an exaggerated, anachronistic version of the teen years of poet Emily Dickinson, whose writing collections are some of the best poetry books of all time. Set in the 19th century, the story is told from the young poet’s perspective, full of charm, wit, and drama. Hailee Steinfeld is an absolute treasure as Dickinson. The characters that surround her are all loosely based on real-life friends and acquaintances, but the fresh take on what the prominent literary figure’s life was like is still fascinating. You’ll look at her poetry in a whole new light.
Mythic Quest (2020–present)
If it’s laughs you seek, your quest is over. Mythic Quest is chock-full of them, on par with your favorite funny movies. The series is about a video game design company desperate to keep their top title, Mythic Quest, lucrative and fresh. Smart and funny, this fictitious behind-the-scenes look at tech bros and fanatical gamers also gives viewers the all-too-familiar quirks of a dysfunctional workplace family. Though the series is from some of the creative minds behind It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mythic Quest has a completely different tone, so watch with an open mind.
Dr. Brain (2021)
This is Apple TV+’s first foray into Korean dramas and, boy, does it deliver on mystery and intrigue. Dr. Brain follows a genius scientist who is still haunted by a decades-old family tragedy. To solve the mystery of what really happened, he uncovers a way to access the memories of the deceased for clues. Suspenseful from episode to episode, the production is on par with some of the best thriller movies.
The ’80s were a wild time, with all sorts of quirky trends, including an obsession with aerobics and Jane Fonda workouts. One of the best shows on Apple TV, Physical dives into the decade, using the brightly colored cardio as a way to tell the story of an unhappy housewife (Rose Byrne) with problems far more challenging than perfecting her Jazzercise routine. Secrets, lies, politics, and the human desire to just live are all here, with an awesomely retro backdrop to boot. You’ll love the nostalgia reminiscent of ’80s TV shows but also get sucked into the twisted web the characters weave. Season 2 premiered June 3, 2022.
True crime documentaries have nothing on this fictional nail-biter about five unassuming British citizens thrust into the spotlight when they are accused of kidnapping an American tycoon’s son. They band together to prove their innocence, but time isn’t on their side. In great crime-drama form, Suspicion initially leaves the viewer with more questions than answers, but you’ll be riveted from beginning to end trying to play armchair detective.
In true M. Night Shyamalan fashion, Servant is a thriller with some sci-fi thrown in that will keep you guessing (and gripping your seat). It follows a grieving couple on the brink of splitting up as they turn to a rather unorthodox method to cope with unthinkable loss. From there, things get twisty, weird, and more than a little unsettling. If you like getting out of your comfort zone with scary movies and have a fondness for mysteries, this one is for you. Servant will return for a fourth and final season.
The road to fame and glory in sports is a hard one to walk, as seen in Swagger, loosely based on NBA star Kevin Durant’s life playing youth basketball. Not just about sports, the series is a poignant coming-of-age drama filled with ups, downs, and the weight of greatness, which makes it one of the best shows on Apple TV. More serious than your average teen TV shows, this could easily be watched by high schoolers and their parents alike. There are great performances from newcomer Isaiah R. Hill as well as Quvenzhané Wallis, who you might remember as the youngest Best Actress Oscar nominee ever (for Beasts of the Southern Wild) or as the titular character in the 2014 reboot of Annie.
When you’re in the need of an escape, stream the bilingual comedy series Acapulco. Set against the beautiful backdrop of the Mexican vacation destination, the lighthearted series is told from the perspective of an older gentleman sharing how he became the wealthy businessman he is today. The series reminds us of classic TV shows because it has heart without any heaviness—and couldn’t we all use a trip to Acapulco right now? Viewers will return to the tropical paradise, as the show was recently renewed for season 2.
We’ve seen aliens invade Earth on both the big and small screens, but never quite like this. With an ensemble cast led by Sam Neill, Invasion unfolds in real time (similar to the series 24) from the perspectives of everyday people—folks who are just trying to make sense of what is happening under most unusual circumstances. It’ll make you wonder what you would do if aliens waged a war on humanity and is perfect for anyone who lives for a good sci-fi movie.
Truth Be Told (2019–present)
A true crime podcaster (Octavia Spencer) finds herself in the middle of the action when she’s tasked with investigating a murder case. Nothing is quite as it seems in Truth Be Told, and as the story unravels, our protagonist gains a new perspective on that which she podcasts about. If you’re a fan of true crime podcasts, this series is right up your alley. What was originally meant to be a limited series turned into an anthology, with a second season investigating a new case; a third season is in the works as well.
If you’re familiar with writer Isaac Asimov’s Foundation novels, some of the best science fiction books ever written, then you’ll notice that this TV series of the same name loosely follows the premise of the writer’s stories. While some die-hard fans might be a bit turned off by the idea that the show introduces characters and plots not found in the books, they can’t deny that the sci-fi program is beautifully produced. Viewers new to the premise will learn it takes place on different planets throughout the galaxy, all of which are living under one empirical rule. A group of exiles sets out to save humanity and rebuild the civilization they once knew.
The Morning Show (2019–present)
Offering up the perfect stage for Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon to shine, The Morning Show follows the behind-the-scenes drama that unfolds on the set of (you guessed it) a national morning television show. The country may be waking up to shining, confident faces on TV, but under the glitz and glamour is a workplace that’s a toxic power struggle. One of the best shows on Apple TV, it’s the kind of soapy, “this must be based on real life” series that makes viewers want more. Billy Crudup took home an Emmy in 2020 for his role as conniving station manager Cory Ellison.
We dare you to not smile when you say, “Schmigadoon!” This series pays homage to classic musicals in a campy and hilarious way. Of course, you’d expect that with funny folks Keegan Michael-Key and Cecily Strong playing a couple on a backpacking trip who stumble upon a town where literally everyone acts as though they are in a musical. Naturally, there’s a twist, and our lovebirds are caught in a (sing-worthy) conundrum. It’s the kind of lighthearted fun we all need right now—and if you love movie musicals, well, then it’s your dream stream!
This series really hits home if you’ve ever dealt with fertility struggles or gone through the arduous process to adopt. Jason and Nikki (Rafe Spall and Ester Smith) are the British couple at the center of this story. As they start their adoption journey, they begin to wonder if their eccentric family and friends can convince anyone they’re ready to take on the titles they most desire: Mom and Dad. There’s comedy here, but viewers will really leave with a sense of the show’s wonderful heart. Finding humor in a difficult situation isn’t easy, but Trying is trying. The third season premieres July 22, 2022.