The epic tag team of SNIPdaily featured writer Duane Beckett and I return to present to you the best Apple TV+ shows coming in 2020.
While Disney+ is garnering a lot of attention for its end-of-year launch November 12, Apple TV+ will have a little something to say of its own among new streaming providers.
Check out some of the best original TV content Apple is cooking up and readying to debut soon.
(Beckett) Based on the 2003 novel by Gregory David Roberts. This is a story about a convicted Australian bank robber, who is also a heroin addict escaping to India.
This heroin-addicted criminal opens a health clinic in Mumbai. And at this point, I’m visualizing House! You know the TV show with Hugh Laurie. The drug-addicted bad boy of medicine. As you’ve guessed, I’m a fan of House.
Throw in Charlie Hunnam, the lead from Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and on paper I’m all in.
(Fitzgerald) I was sitting in the Chicago DMV about five years ago and met a friend who told me about this novel. It’s a poignant family drama, and it’s not surprising to see it go to miniseries adaptation so quickly after being published in 2012.
This can only mean the 421-page source material has a better chance at being done justice. Pun intended. Heading up the cast is Chris Evans, whose son, played by another strong actor in Jaeden Martell, is accused of being a murderer.
That should suffice as a fine enough teaser to get you interested. Martell can be downright unsettling and difficult to pin in portraying his characters. For evidence of this, check out some of his scenes in It: Chapter Two. Well, that’s tailing off its theatrical run. More accessible at the minute is 2016’s Midnight Special — another prime showcase for Martell’s skills.
(Beckett) The Foundation books are some of my favorites. It’s a fantastic read. Fans of the Dune series or 2001: A Space Odyssey would love them. Its maths meets social politics in space.
Considering the subject matter. Apple should have a responsibility to stick to Isaac Asimov’s story. It’s already full of rhetoric and opinion. If Apple TV+ add their own, which they like to do, it could ruin this classic.
Here’s Wikipedia’s description of the Foundation book.
In the waning days of a future Galactic Empire, the mathematician Hari Seldon spends his life developing a theory of psychohistory, a new and effective mathematical sociology. Using statistical laws of mass action, it can predict the future of large populations. Seldon foresees the imminent fall of the Empire, which encompasses the entire Milky Way, and a dark age lasting 30,000 years before a second Empire arises. Although the inertia of the Empire’s fall is too great to stop, Seldon devises a plan by which “the onrushing mass of events must be deflected just a little” to eventually limit this interregnum to just one thousand years. To implement his plan, Seldon creates the Foundations – two groups of scientists and engineers settled at opposite ends of the galaxy – to preserve the spirit of science and civilization, and thus become the cornerstones of the new galactic empire.Wikipedia
A true adaptation of this book would make Apple TV+ worth its subscription fee!
Simon Kinberg & David Weil sci-fi series
(Fitzgerald) Don’t judge Kinberg too harshly on his directorial debut, the X-Men Dark Phoenix movie. The rights to the characters were transitioning to Disney/Marvel, and that film was hastily cranked out to poor results.
Kinberg has a strong track record as a writer and producer. His roots are primarily in comic book movies, but he’s also dabbled in suspense and action films.
Lesser known is Weil, but he’s the creator of an upcoming Amazon show titled The Hunt. That follows a group of Nazi hunters in 1977 New York City. Al Pacino agreed to play a primary role, so it can’t be bad.
The combination of Kinberg and Weil as creative minds on some sort of sci-fi project seems bonkers to me. And I love it.
(Beckett) You can run but you can’t hide. This is why the Marvel movies had a place, Mr. Scorsese. They were pure escapism from the news — keyword, “had.”
Here’s the background to Losing Earth: In the ’80s, scientists, activists, and politicians almost stopped climate change. Everyone knew but hid the information. The show’s based on Nathaniel Rich’s New York Times Magazine story and 2019 book of the same title.
It could be intriguing if they keep it away from blatant fearmongering. Take tips from HBO’s disaster series Chernobyl. I’ve got my fingers crossed.
(Fitzgerald) Kevin Durant is an executive producer. You read that right. Deadline initially reported on this TV series in December and summarized it as follows:
It explores the world of AAU basketball in the nation’s capital, and the players, their families and coaches who walk the fine line between dreams and ambition, and opportunism and corruption.Deadline
Reggie Rock Bythewood is the writer and director of the show. His credits include the Fox miniseries Shots Fired and the 2009 biopic Notorious.
AAU basketball is a fascinating subject to explore. While it can provide a springboard for young, talented basketball players to get on the radars of top prep schools and colleges, it can also breed toxic competitiveness and exploitation of up-and-coming athletes.
In the hands of a steady, experienced leader like Bythewood, with Durant’s personal experience mixed in, Swagger! should be a hit.
(Beckett) I love Time Bandits. I watched it when I was a kid. And no, I’m not a time-traveler. Time Bandits is also a 1981 movie wrote by Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin. It’s Monty Python with time-traveling dwarves looting treasure from moments through history. Just saying that is fun!
The fact anyone has the rights to update this is scary — I don’t want my childhood messed with! Luckily, Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi is at the helm, so it keeps my hopes alive.
If it goes well and they stay true to the material this will be fantastic. Yet my prediction is that Taika Waititi will leave due to “creative differences.” Then Apple will hire Rian Johnson (of The Last Jedi fame). My worst nightmare!
(Fitzgerald) This is a Steven Spielberg reboot — and he’s an executive producer. Anything with the name “Spielberg” on it commands immediate attention and intrigue.
With the GOAT film director onboard, Amazing Stories likely to attract all kinds of the top creatives in Hollywood and TV. It’d be a big surprise if this isn’t a multi-season tour de force.
When Variety reported on the slate of Apple original series, it mentioned one episode where a World War II pilot would travel through time. That sounds kind of Twilight Zone-esque, and that’s never a bad thing.
The original Amazing Stories aired in the mid-’80s and won five Emmy Awards. An updated take on it with fresh yarns to weave makes it an Apple TV+ original worth hyping.
Masters of the Air
(Beckett) Looking for the best Apple TV+ shows of 2020 hasn’t been easy. They do have some great material to work with, though, and Masters of the Air might be the best.
The show is about the American bomber boys in WWII. And Band of Brothers John Orloff is writing. What a combination! Anyone who has seen that show will know why I’m excited.
Masters of the Air is being made in-house by Apple’s production company, (called Masters). So with this one, we’ll know how serious Apple is about their platform. I’ll get my popcorn ready!
Damien Chazelle series
(Fitzgerald) Anything this man does is exceptional. One of the best films of the past decade is Whiplash. Chazelle followed that up with awards season darling La La Land.
His last movie was First Man, based on legendary astronaut Neil Armstrong. After cranking out some excellent works on the silver screen, Chazelle has been hard at work in the TV realm.
In addition to creating a show titled The Eddy at Netflix, he has this secretive Apple TV+ series. He’ll executive produce and write and direct every episode of it, per Variety.
That’s a lot on one man’s plate, but provided Chazelle has the relentless work ethic to match his lead characters from Whiplash and La La Land, smart money says he’ll pull it all off brilliantly.