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Apple TV+ had a fantastic 2020, and 2021 is already looking strong

Published Dec 31st, 2020 7:07PM EST
Apple TV Plus
Image: Apple

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  • Apple TV+ is only a little over a year old now, but the series enjoyed a productive 2020 — greenlighting and debuting some 42 new shows.
  • Apple TV+ is also home to feature films, including new Bill Murray and Tom Hanks movies that landed on the service in 2020 as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic disrupting the theatrical release business.
  • Here’s a look at what debuted on Apple TV+ in 2020 and some of what’s to come in 2021.

I’ve been badgering a work colleague for a while now to add a new Apple TV+ show to his watch list (he knows who he is). The show is Tehran, a magnificent spy series out of Israel from some of the same creators behind Netflix’s Fauda — another espionage drama series that plows similar ground. Maybe it’s because my favorite writer died earlier this month (John le Carre, the father of the modern spy novel), but I recently decided to start a re-watch of Tehran as I wait for some new shows I’m excited about to debut. This show, focused on a female hacker who goes behind enemy lines in Iran’s capital to pull off a daring mission, is just as fun to watch the second time around, and it got me thinking.

Apple’s streaming TV service is barely one year old now, and it’s actually pretty remarkable what it’s been able to pull off in that short a time. The only major problem, if you ask me, is that there’s not enough content to watch — but what content is there, generally, is pretty solid. There are a few misses, sure, but not only did Apple come out of the gate strong in Year One — even in its first year, the streaming service has also seen a few of its shows actually break into the popular consciousness and get the wider public talking about them. I’ve come across a ton of people on Twitter, for example, who were bowled over by the quality of Tehran, and plenty more people have likewise no doubt heard of or even already enjoyed what feels like the most popular Apple TV+ title so far. That would be the Jason Sudeikis-led Ted Lasso.

In all, here’s what Apple TV+ got in 2020. The streamer got 42 new shows in all, including five new comedies, five documentaries, four feature films, 12 non-fiction series, 11 family shows, and five drama series. New content that debuted on the streamer this year also included Mariah Carey’s Christmas special; the Bruce Springsteen album documentary, Letter to You; the Tom Hanks-led WWII drama Greyhound; and On The Rocks, director Sofia Coppola’s new movie that stars Bill Murray.

Coming right up, in January, are seasons of new and existing shows, like Dickinson as well as Losing Alice. The latter series, according to Apple, is a new show that ” follows Alice (played by Ayelet Zurer), a 48-year-old female film director, who feels irrelevant since raising her family. After a brief encounter on the train, she becomes obsessed with a 24-year-old screenwriter femme fatale, Sophie (played by Lihi Kornowski), and eventually surrenders her moral integrity in order to achieve power, relevance and success.”

Another pretty solid Apple TV+ show I’m looking forward to is the second season of For All Mankind that’s coming in February. This show, from creator Ronald D. Moore, offers an alternative history of the space race, with the US in this universe having been beaten to the moon by the Russians.

At times, the seemingly limitless pile of content available to stream on a service like Netflix overwhelms me, so I definitely appreciate a more curated streamer like Apple TV+. Moreover, I am absolutely certain I’ll be watching even more of its content in 2021. For now, though, check out some of our previous coverage about Apple’s streaming service and its content below:

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.