10 Apple TV+ Originals to Watch Before Your Free Trial Ends


Screenshot from Ted Lasso: Ted speaking at a press conference
Screenshot: Ted Lasso/Apple TV+ (Fair Use)

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.

Aisha is a writer who's passionate about comedy, nerdom, and giving reliable advice. She loves to produce and act, creating web series #HashtagTheShow and podcast 2Nerds and an Actor.

Just in time to soothe our election-stressed, quarantine-addled brains, Ted Lasso has arrived. From the creator of Scrubs, the series stars SNL-alum Jason Sudeikis as an American college football coach who is recruited to coach a British football team, despite the fact that he has no experience coaching that sort of football (the kind we call “soccer”). Loaded with gentle humor and lovable characters, it is a perfect chaser for your Schitt’s Creek binge.

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, Lin Manuel Miranda, and Misty Copeland read letters written by fans whose lives have been changed by their work. Tears inevitably fall when the artists hear how moving their work has been to the individuals who admire them.

Inspired by true events, The Banker follows entrepreneurs Bankers Garrett (Anthony Mackie) and Joseph Morris (Samuel Jackson) as they devise a way to reverse redlining—the racist historical practice of restricting Black families from receiving loans that would help them purchase homes. 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 short-lived ‘80s series, the 2020 iteration of Amazing Stories tells brand-new sci-fi and supernatural tales aimed at teens. The original run, produced by Steven Spielberg at the height of his post-E.T. powers, totaled 45 episodes from a host of accomplished writers and directors, including Danny DeVito, Tobe Hooper, and Joe Dante. If you watched it growing up, you can revisit it on Apple TV+ (both seasons are now available) before checking out the five episodes (s0 far) of the reboot. Both versions of Amazing Stories offer a great opportunity to share your own childhood with your kids. The new series focuses on stories on the brighter side of the unusual, which has led many critics to suggest it isn’t as good as the original, but when is that ever not the case? We all need a brighter side this year anyway.

The Beastie Boys came onto the music scene as rap rose into cultural prominence. The trio of Adam “MCA” Yauch, Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, and the late Michael “Mike D” Diamond experienced an incredible story growing up as three Jewish kids in Brooklyn with an affinity for rhyming, and this two-hour documentary—which currently boasts a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes—follows 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 and struggles to assimilate back into regular life. It’s quite the diversion from Holland’s well-known role as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Holland seems to have taken to more serious roles these days in an effort to branch out—he also stars in Netflix’s 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, which comes from the same filmmakers who produced the acclaimed Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea, is drawn with unique animation and vibrant colors to emulate Irish folklore, and offers an adorable tale of friendship, magic, and learning to walk through the world as your true self. It currently holds a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has racked up 10+ Best Animated Film awards and counting.

In Silicon Valley, there’s a whole world of nefarious video game developers, and you’ll meet some of them 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. Considering it’s from the creators of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, you can expect the same off-color humor, coupled with some great nods to nerd culture to warm your MMORPG-loving heart.

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 first season highlights the tense power dynamics of morning talk show television and the toll ambitious careers take on the hosts’ personal lives. 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.

An earlier version of this post did not include Ted Lasso, which was obviously an error.

Aisha is a writer who's passionate about comedy, nerdom, and giving reliable advice. She loves to produce and act, creating web series #HashtagTheShow and podcast 2Nerds and an Actor.


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Screenshot from Ted Lasso: Ted speaking at a press conference
Screenshot: Ted Lasso/Apple TV+ (Fair Use)

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.

Aisha is a writer who's passionate about comedy, nerdom, and giving reliable advice. She loves to produce and act, creating web series #HashtagTheShow and podcast 2Nerds and an Actor.

Just in time to soothe our election-stressed, quarantine-addled brains, Ted Lasso has arrived. From the creator of Scrubs, the series stars SNL-alum Jason Sudeikis as an American college football coach who is recruited to coach a British football team, despite the fact that he has no experience coaching that sort of football (the kind we call “soccer”). Loaded with gentle humor and lovable characters, it is a perfect chaser for your Schitt’s Creek binge.

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, Lin Manuel Miranda, and Misty Copeland read letters written by fans whose lives have been changed by their work. Tears inevitably fall when the artists hear how moving their work has been to the individuals who admire them.

Inspired by true events, The Banker follows entrepreneurs Bankers Garrett (Anthony Mackie) and Joseph Morris (Samuel Jackson) as they devise a way to reverse redlining—the racist historical practice of restricting Black families from receiving loans that would help them purchase homes. 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 short-lived ‘80s series, the 2020 iteration of Amazing Stories tells brand-new sci-fi and supernatural tales aimed at teens. The original run, produced by Steven Spielberg at the height of his post-E.T. powers, totaled 45 episodes from a host of accomplished writers and directors, including Danny DeVito, Tobe Hooper, and Joe Dante. If you watched it growing up, you can revisit it on Apple TV+ (both seasons are now available) before checking out the five episodes (s0 far) of the reboot. Both versions of Amazing Stories offer a great opportunity to share your own childhood with your kids. The new series focuses on stories on the brighter side of the unusual, which has led many critics to suggest it isn’t as good as the original, but when is that ever not the case? We all need a brighter side this year anyway.

The Beastie Boys came onto the music scene as rap rose into cultural prominence. The trio of Adam “MCA” Yauch, Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, and the late Michael “Mike D” Diamond experienced an incredible story growing up as three Jewish kids in Brooklyn with an affinity for rhyming, and this two-hour documentary—which currently boasts a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes—follows 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 and struggles to assimilate back into regular life. It’s quite the diversion from Holland’s well-known role as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Holland seems to have taken to more serious roles these days in an effort to branch out—he also stars in Netflix’s 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, which comes from the same filmmakers who produced the acclaimed Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea, is drawn with unique animation and vibrant colors to emulate Irish folklore, and offers an adorable tale of friendship, magic, and learning to walk through the world as your true self. It currently holds a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has racked up 10+ Best Animated Film awards and counting.

In Silicon Valley, there’s a whole world of nefarious video game developers, and you’ll meet some of them 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. Considering it’s from the creators of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, you can expect the same off-color humor, coupled with some great nods to nerd culture to warm your MMORPG-loving heart.

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 first season highlights the tense power dynamics of morning talk show television and the toll ambitious careers take on the hosts’ personal lives. 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.

An earlier version of this post did not include Ted Lasso, which was obviously an error.

Aisha is a writer who's passionate about comedy, nerdom, and giving reliable advice. She loves to produce and act, creating web series #HashtagTheShow and podcast 2Nerds and an Actor.