Last year, Apple offered a free one-year subscription to their streaming service, Apple TV+, with the purchase of any eligible Apple device, giving millions of Apple customers the chance to see if the streaming service is really worth paying for. The cost of “free” made it worth the try for many of us, whether we were actually interested in the opening slate of Apple TV+ originals or not. Soon, that year will be up, and maybe you haven’t watched as many of those shows and movies as you expected.
If you’re assuming you might abandon ship before the free ride is over — or are still considering whether their offerings might be right for you — here’s a list of what to watch before your free time’s up.
See takes places in a post-apocalyptic world where all humans have lost sight — that is, until one fateful day a child is born with the ability to see, leading opposing factions to fight over possession of the miracle baby. The thriller/suspense series feels reminiscent of Apocalypto or Mad Max, if that’s your thing, and the lead character and protector of the infant is the beautiful Jason Mamoa (who should be everyone’s thing).
For the soft of heart, Dear… is a documentary series that puts a unique spin on highlighting influential leaders in film and television. Icons like Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, Stevie Wonder, and Misty Copeland read letters written by fans whose lives have been changed by their work, and tears fall when the artists hear how moving they have been to the individuals who admire them.
In The Banker, Entrepreneurs Bankers Garrett (Anthony Mackie) and Joseph Morris (Samuel Jackson) devise a way to reverse redlining. Based on a true story, Garrett and Morris set out to acquire their own banks to give home loans to Black people in the 1950s, using real estate and the banking system to better the lives of Black folk. This is a perfect film to watch for Black History Month — one that illustrates the long history of systemic racism, starting with controlling access to better housing.
A remake of the 90s series, Amazing Stories tells brand-new sci-fi and supernatural tales for teens. The series has 45 episodes, with Steven Spielberg attached to over 15 stories, and if you watched it growing up, Amazing Stories is a great opportunity to share your own childhood with your kids. The series focuses on the brighter side of unusual tales, which has many critics saying the reboot isn’t as good as the original, but what’s new there? Searching for a brighter side this year is all the more reason to watch.
Beastie Boys Story
The Beastie Boys came onto the music scene at the rise of the rap, with the trio of Adam “MCA” Yauch, Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, and the late Michael “Mike D” Diamond having an incredible story growing up as three Jewish kids in Brooklyn with an affinity for rhyming. The 2-hour documentary Beastie Boys Story currently boasts a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and shows their journey to becoming hip hop legends.
In Cherry, a non-web-slinging Tom Holland plays an army veteran turned serial bank robber who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder as he struggles to assimilate back into regular life. It’s quite the diversion from Holland’s well-known role as the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man, as Holland has taken to more serious roles these days to branch out — he also stars in the rural crime drama The Devil All the Time.
Wolfwalkers is an animated film about a young girl who discovers she’s become a mystical shapeshifter known as a Wolfwalker, living as a young girl by day and wolf by night. The movie is drawn with pretty unique animation and vibrant colours to emulate Irish folklore, and Wolfwalkers is an adorable tale of friendship, magic, and learning to walk through the world as your true self. Not to mention a current 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 10+ Best Animated Film awards and counting.
Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet
In Silicon Valley, there’s a whole world of nefarious video game developers in Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, which follows the fictional video game tech bros responsible for a medieval fantasy game that has gone viral and become the biggest multiplayer game of all time. From the creators of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, you can expect the same off-colour humour, coupled with some great nods to nerd culture for your MMORPG-loving heart.
The Morning Show
The Morning Show is a dramatic series with an all-star cast, including Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell, Mark Duplass, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Its 10-episode season highlights the tense power dynamics of morning talk show television and the effects it has on the hosts’ personal lives as they navigate their ambitious careers. The Morning Show has been nominated for several Emmy Awards and Golden Globes, and the cast and accolades alone warrant a free watch before your Apple TV+ deal ends.