Two of the newest streaming shows that I’m dedicated to at the moment don’t really have anything in common with each other. One is set in the rarefied world of expensive restaurants, vineyards, and fine wine. The other presents humanity in a dystopian existence underground, where thousands of people live in a silo after Earth has been decimated. The two shows are Drops of God and Silo, respectively — both of which debuted on Apple TV+ in recent days and are absolutely two of the best shows I’ve watched in a long, long time.
Silo, I want to single out for particular praise. Because this Apple TV+ show (which, as I write these words, has released three out of 10 episodes) has probably come the closest to replicating the affection and appreciation I had for Lost back when it was still on the air. But I’ll get into all of that below.
Silo on Apple TV+
First, here are the basics about Silo — a sci-fi drama based on a book series by author Hugh Howey. Per Apple’s streamer: “Silo is the story of the last 10,000 people on earth, their mile-deep home protecting them from the toxic and deadly world outside. However, no one knows when or why the silo was built, and any who try to find out face fatal consequences.
“Rebecca Ferguson stars as Juliette, an engineer, who seeks answers about a loved one’s murder and tumbles onto a mystery that goes far deeper than she could have ever imagined, leading her to discover that if the lies don’t kill you, the truth will.”
The cast includes a mix of recognizable faces — like Ferguson, but also Rashida Jones, Tim Robbins, Common, and David Oyelowo — but also plenty of actors you won’t recognize, and therein we come to the Lost comparisons I alluded to above (which included a mix of familiar stars as well as new faces).
I don’t want to make too much of this, of course, because it’s definitely not the same show, it’s not trying to do the same thing as Lost, and we’re still super-early in Silo’s run. One thing I really love already, though, is how quickly Silo invests you in its characters — and then does that Lost thing of making you think of all sorts of new questions, as each new piece of the Silo world is revealed. Remember how everyone crashed on the island, then we keep learning new things about it, there’s a hatch at one point, and that leads you to say, okay, wait — how did it get here? And, wait, someone is living down there?? How did Desmond get there? What’s his story? And things keep unspooling and getting bigger from there.
Silo is the same. Without revealing too much, the people who live in the silo are discouraged from ever saying they want to go outside. If you say it, you’re essentially banished to the outside world, never to return. The powers that be aren’t too forthcoming, though, about what’s outside — or why and how the devastation happened. This makes you think, well, wait … if things are really that bad, wouldn’t you want to scare the inhabitants to death with the truth to keep them in line? And for the people who go outside and never return — let’s say you believe the powers that be aren’t being completely honest about what’s outside. So where have the banished people gone??
I’m two episodes in, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Drops of God
This next Apple TV+ show, meanwhile, is a more straightforward drama. It’s got nothing to do with what I love about Silo, but I’m nevertheless already addicted to it.
Drops of God, an 8-episode adaptation of the bestselling Japanese manga series of the same name, debuted to a perfect 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes. This show is also basically how I’m getting my fix of more Pachinko-quality Apple TV+ while I wait for Season 2 of Pachinko to arrive.
Drops of God is like the small screen equivalent of an expensive bottle of champagne. The story, in brief: Alexandre Léger, creator of the famous Léger Wine Guide and world-renowned figure in oenology, has just died. He leaves behind two potential heirs to his wine collection, valued at $148 million: A daughter in Paris, Camille, who hasn’t seen her father since her parents separated when she was nine. And Alexandre’s protege, the brilliant young oenologist Issei Tomine.
In other words, it’s the biological daughter versus the “adopted” son. The inheritance, including ownership of Léger’s empire, will go to the winner of three wine-related challenges. A set of tests, by the way, that put Camille at a disadvantage right from the start — since she gets a nosebleed if she has even a drop of alcohol. To prepare, she decamps to a vineyard in France owned by one of her father’s friends, and she spends a month learning everything she can about the different smells and tastes of wine.
Why should you watch Drops of God? For starters, it’s easy to get caught up in the complex beauty surrounding the world of high-end wines, which makes for a much more captivating show than I might otherwise have assumed. Drops of God offers viewers a rich, full-bodied narrative with notes of passion, beguiling old-world beauty, and the all-encompassing search for one’s identity.