The 15 Best Shows on Apple TV Plus Right Now (January 2021)

What to watch on Apple TV this month

As a late entrant to the streaming melee, you might not think there's much worth watching on Apple TV+, but think again. Lots of great new shows have been released on the service, and they keep getting better all the time. Here are the ones we think are worth watching right now.

01
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Servant (2019): Best Paranormal Thriller From a Hollywood Director

Nell Tiger Free in Servant

Apple

IMDb Rating: 7.6

Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller

Starring: Lauren Ambrose, Toby Kebbell, Rupert Grint

Created By: Tony Basgallop

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 2

Leanne (Nell Tiger Free) is thrilled when she lands a cushy gig as a live-in nanny, but there's a catch: She's actually taking care of a doll that the mother (Lauren Ambrose) believes is her deceased infant son. It's a concept that's been tried before with movies like The Boy and The Truth About Emanuel, but Servant brings enough to the table to stand on its own.

While M. Night Shyamalan didn't direct or write any of the episodes, many scenes look like they could come from a Shyamalan film. Episodes are short and reveal only enough to keep you watching. A second season is set to begin on January 15th, with a third in the pipeline.

02
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Visible: Out on Television (2020): Best Documentary Celebrating LGBT Actors

Visible: Out on Television on Apple TV

Apple

IMDb Rating: 8.3

Genre: Documentary, History

Starring: Wilson Cruz, Wanda Sykes, Margaret Cho

Created By: Ryan White and Jessica Hargrave

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 1

LGBT actors, filmmakers, and historians share their experiences on and off-screen in this mini-series about representation in the TV industry. Starting with The Dark Ages, each episode chronicles the slow march of progress and examines themes like homophobia, coming out, and the HIV pandemic.

In many ways, TV has shaped the LGBT movement, and vice-versa. Visible: Out on Television recounts historic on-screen moments as well as what was happening behind-the-scenes. You'll see a mix of new and old interviews featuring the likes of Margaret Cho, Wanda Sykes, and Neil Patrick Harris.

03
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Ghostwriter (2019): Best Reboot of a Cult Classic Kids Show

The cast of Ghostwriter

Apple

IMDb Rating: 5.3

Genre: Fantasy

Starring: Isaac Arellanes, Amadi Chapata, Hannah Levinson

Created By: Liz Nealon

TV Rating: TV-G

Number of Seasons: 1

Reboots of 90s kids shows are all the rage right now, but Ghostwriter is an odd candidate for a modern update. Granted, the show was ahead of its time with its diverse cast and inventive story about a group of tween detectives who solve mysteries with the help of a book-obsessed specter.

The acting in Ghostwriter is great, which is owed largely to the excellent writing. Characters are three-dimensional, and the special effects are surprisingly good. After a successful first season that earned eight Daytime Emmy nominations, a second is planned for release in 2021.

04
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For All Mankind (2019): Best Alternate History Show About the Cold War

An astronaut in For All Mankind

Apple

IMDb Rating: 7.6

Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi

Starring: Noah Harpster, Joel Kinnaman, Michael Dorman

Created By: Ronald D. Moore, Ben Nedivi, Matt Wolpert

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 1

The space race culminated in 1969 with the moon landing of Apollo 11, but what if the Soviet Union had landed there first? For All Mankind posits that America wouldn't take the "L" and move on. In an alternate version of history, the space race continues with some unexpected outcomes.

The series uses a mix of fictional and real-life characters, like Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, to create a plausible alternate past, present, and future. The first few episodes start off with a sputter, but the ride gets back as it goes on. Stay strapped in for a new season in 2021.

05
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Amazing Stories (2020): Best Sci-Fi Anthology Reboot

Amazing Stories on Apple TV

Apple

IMDb Rating: 6.2

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama

Starring: Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsis

Created By: Steven Spielberg

TV Rating: TV-PG

Number of Seasons: 1

In the mid-80s, master filmmaker Steven Spielberg had an anthology TV series called Amazing Stories. It's back for a new decade, and each episode tells a self-contained fantasy story set in the modern day. Most of the stories are original, but one episode, "The Rift," is based on a 2017 graphic novel.

The original show was inspired by the 1926 science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, believed to be the first sci-fi magazine published in America. Every episode has a different director, so if the first one doesn't hold your attention, don't be afraid to try another one.

06
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Little America (2020): Best Not-Stereotypical Look at the Realities of Immigration

Little America.

Apple

IMDb Rating: 7.3

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Conphidance, Jearnest Corchado, Kemiyondo Coutinho

Created By: Lee Eisenberg, Sian Heder

TV Rating: TV-14

Number of Seasons: 1

Immigration is hard to understand if you haven't been through it. This heartfelt and, yet somehow, funny series offers an honest view of what it's like to be an immigrant in America, but not at the expense of the people each episode is about.

Each episode is inspired by true stories and offers a glimpse into the struggles of being an immigrant on U.S. soil.

07
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Home Before Dark (2020): Best Portrayal of a Nosey Little Girl

Home Before Dark.

Apple

IMDb Rating: 7.5

Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery

Starring: Brooklynn Prince, Jim Sturgess, Abbey Miller

Created By: Dana Fox, Dara Resnik

TV Rating: TV-14

Number of Seasons: 1

Hilde (Brooklynn Prince) is a young girl trying to follow in her father's footsteps as a writer. When the family has to relocate to the father's hometown, Hilde finds herself in the midst of a new school and a new mystery, of which her father is at the center.

Although the primary star in this show is a middle-schooler, it's definitely a show that's geared more toward adults, with murder as the main driver of the series. It's filled with mystery and suspense, though, so adults should find it easy to slip into this little girl's world.

08
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The Morning Show (2020): Best Morning TV Catfight

The Morning Show.

Apple

IMDb Rating: 8.4

Genre: Drama

Starring: Jennifer Anniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell

Created By: Jay Carson, Kerry Ehrin

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 1 (Season 2 coming)

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes of a morning news show? The Morning Show gives a good, if somewhat dramatized, look. As one of the first shows released on Apple TV+, The Morning Show is a hit with the perfect balance of drama, rage, and self-indulgence while also tackling some heavy issues that are close to home for those of us in the audience.

Mich (Steve Carell) is a former morning anchor trying to get his job back while Alex (Jennifer Anniston) and Bradley (Reese Witherspoon) are sometimes friends and sometimes enemies battling a sexist establishment as they try to save a morning news show.

Fans of The Morning Show will be happy to know there is a second season in the works. Season 2 has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, but is rumored to be returning sometime in early 2021.

09
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Truth Be Told (2019): A Delight for Obsessed Crime Podcast Fans

Truth Be Told.

Apple

IMDb Rating: 7.1

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Starring: Octavia Spencer, Lizzy Caplan, Aaron Paul

Created By: Nichelle D. Tramble

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 1

Poppy (Octavia Spencer) is a podcaster who helped put a man away in a case that brought her notoriety. In reviewing the case, however, she begins to believe that she may have helped put the wrong person in prison. However, when Poppy begins investigating the new scenario, she learns the man she put behind bars is now a member of the Aryan Brotherhood. Layering race relations on top of an American obsession with true crime, Truth Be Told should delight fans of crime dramas.

10
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Tehran (2020): For Those Who Dream of Becoming Mossad

Tehran on Apple TV+.

Apple

IMDb Rating: 7.4

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Starring: Niv Sultan, Shaun Toub, Menashe Noy

Created By: Dana Eden, Maor Kohn, Omri Shenhar

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 1

If espionage thrillers are your comfort media, then Tehran is sure to be a hit. When a female Mossad agent goes undercover in Tehran, she finds herself in more trouble than she anticipated and must come up with a plan to get free. Though a somewhat predictable spy-in-crisis story, the backdrop of the middle east and all the challenges that come with it make for an interesting show to watch.

11
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Dickinson (2019): A Page From Jane Austin's Book

Dickinson.

Apple

IMDb Rating: 7.2

Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama

Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, Adrian Enscoe, Anna Baryshnikov

Created By: Alena Smith

TV Rating: TV-14

Number of Seasons: 1 (Season 2 Coming Soon)

Much like Pride and Prejudice seems to follow Jane Austin through her love life, Dickinson is meant to be an inside look at Emily Dickinson's world as she works to become a great poet.

What sets this series apart and makes it entertaining is how the characters seem to meld the modern world with mid-19th century sensibilities. Be prepared for some moments that make you stare at the screen questioningly. If you can get past that, though, this is an entertaining series, and there are rumors that season 2 will be released in early 2021.

12
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Becoming You (2020): Here's Why You Are the Way You Are

Becoming You on Apple TV+.

Apple

IMDb Rating: 7.9

Genre: Documentary

Starring: Olivia Colman, Zoe Gandolfo, Mila Milosevic

Created By: Leanne Klein

TV Rating: TV-G

Number of Seasons: 1

It's no secret that early childhood development is critical, but this documentary explores how the first 2,000 days of a child's life influence who they become. The story is told through the eyes of 100 children across the globe, so buckle up and prepare to see the world in a way you haven't in a really long time.

13
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Defending Jacob (2020): Best Creepy-and-Glad-That's-Not-My-Kid Drama

Defending Jacob.

Apple

IMDb Rating: 8.0

Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery

Starring: Chris Evans, Michelle Dockery, Jaedan Martell

Created By: Mark Bomback

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 1 (Mini-Series)

When Jacob (Jaedan Martell) is accused of murder, his father (Chris Evans) puts his career on the line to defend his son. In doing so, the emotionally exhausted father must decide which is most important: his oath to uphold the law or his duty to protect his son.

For those who are fans of crime dramas, this one is particularly well done, and as a mini-series, it's perfectly bingable.

14
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The Oprah Conversation (2020): Great for Oprah Fans Everywhere

The Oprah Conversation.

Apple

IMDb Rating: 3.1

Genre: Talk Show

Starring: Oprah Winfrey, Isabel Wilkerson, Emmanuel Acho

Created By: Oprah Winfrey

TV Rating: TV-PG

Number of Seasons: 1

Fans of the Oprah show, unite! Finally, Oprah has returned armed with what she does best—intimate conversation. In this new show, Oprah sits down with some premier guests to talk about everything from what's going on in the U.S. today to what drives her guests to do more. Guests like Dolly Parton, Barack Obama, and Matthew McConaughey join the show to talk with Oprah.

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Earth at Night (2020): For Anyone Into Animal Drama

Earth At Night on Apple TV+.

Apple

IMDb Rating: 8.4

Genre: Documentary

Starring: Tom Hiddleston

Created By: Plimsoll Productions

TV Rating: TV-PG

Number of Seasons: 1

Animals behave differently at night, and this sweeping documentary crosses six continents to see just how differently. Learn about nocturnal animal behavior in this beautifully filmed series that draws on modern technology to push back the darkness and bring the nocturnal world into the light.

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