Idris Elba in the Series Hijack. Image by Apple TV+

Here are 10 Series and Films You Should Watch on Apple TV+

The summer may be over, but that does not mean the fun has to stop. Movie nights are an essential part of a weekend ritual. It is a perfect way to escape the long work week, school, and rush hour and enjoy much-needed quality time with the ones you love. A few may be off your radar as you compile a list of films and shows to watch. If you’re tired of “Stranger Things” and “Suits” but want to watch a captivating series or film, you are in the right place. This list is curated with a mixture of my favorites and highest-rating shows and films, according to Here are 10 Series and Films you should watch on Apple TV+.

Hijack – Series (2023)

Creators: Jim Field Smith and George Kay

Cast: Idris Elba, Neil Maskell, Max Beesly, Justin Salinger, Ben Miles, and more.

Run Time: 7 Episodes – 50 minutes per episode. 

Idris Elba plays Sam Nelson, the protagonist of the mini-series, who gets hijacked by miscreants mid-flight. A master negotiator, Nelson, has seven hours to persuade the hijackers to do as he says while authorities face a life-and-death decision to save London. The seven-part series takes you through an exhilarating ride with Sam Nelson as he uncovers their true intentions while they discover who Nelson truly is. This series will definitely take you through twists and turns. In the middle of the season, when you think you’ve figured things out, the show takes a complete turn. Throughout the story, the plot thickens as the characters’ lives unravel, assisting the narrative flow. If you are into thrillers, this will be a good watch. 

The After Party – Series (2022-)

Creator: Christopher Miller

Cast: Sam Richardson, Tiffany Haddish, Zoe Chao, John Cho, Paul Walter Houser, Ken Jeong, Anna Konkle, and more. 

Run Time: 2 Seasons – 18 Episodes – 35 min per episode.

The After Party is not your typical murder mystery. There are a lot of comical moments in this series. The first season follows a high school reunion, where a bunch of former students gather for an after-party ending in demise after one partygoer dies. Throughout the first season, each episode details the backstory of a potential killer and their relationship to the crime. A classmate and Detective Danner, played by Tiffany Haddish, antagonize each other until the truth emerges. Season two continues a murder mystery, but this time, Aniq, Played by Sam Richardson, and Zoe, played by Zoe Choe, are at Aniq’s sister Grace’s wedding. Grace finds her husband deceased. Officer Danny returns to find who’d done it… again. 

Swagger – Series (2021-)

Creator: Reggie Rock Bythewood

Cast: O’Shea Jackson Jr., Isaiah R. Hill, Shinelle Azoroh, Tessa Ferrer, Quvenzhané Wallis, Caleel Harris and more. 

Run Time: 2 Seasons – 18 Episodes – 60 min per episode

Swagger follows the stories of inner-city kids who turn to basketball to escape their circumstances and provide for their families. The plot of this story is loosely based on the experiences of basketball player Kevin Durant as a young athlete in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). The show’s first season was primarily based on the pandemic as it follows Jace, played by Iasaih R. Hill, a young prodigy who joins a basketball program. There, he is introduced to Coach Ike, played by O’Shea Jackson. Coach Ike then merges two separate basketball programs to make one big powerhouse. The second season, however, takes a surprising leap forward four years to keep up with the age gap of its cast and to keep up with the current climate of the world (Season one was shot during the pandemic).

Ted Lasso – Series (2020-2023)

Creators: Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly, and Bill Lawrence

Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Brett Goldstein, Brendan Hunt, Nick Mohammed, Toheeb Jimoh, Kola Bokinni, Billy Harris, and Stephen Manas.

Run Time: 3 Seasons – 34 episodes – 30 min per episode

This story follows the story of Ted Lasso, played by Jason Sudeikis, an American Football coach hired to coach an English Soccer team in London called AFC Richmond. As their new Manager, Ted’s sole purpose is to bring this struggling premier league to the next level. However, English soccer is nothing like American Football. Lasso’s job is to help pull out the team’s full potential. He faces harsh obstacles within the league and his family during his journey as a recent divorcee. 

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey – Series (2022)

Creator: Walter Mosley

Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Dominique Fishback, Cynthia Kaye McWilliams, Damon Gupton, Marsha Stephanie Blake, and more. 

Run Time: 1 Season – 6 Episodes – Avg. 51 Min per Episode

At 91, Ptlomey Grey, played by Samuel L. Jackson, has severe dementia. Grey has no family or friends and delves into a depressive state after the death of her nephew, who was originally his caregiver. Grey’s niece decides to assign him a caregiver named Robyn, played by Dominique Fishback. Robyn’s background is far from sweet. Kicked out of her home, Robyn moves in with Grey to help assist him with his daily routine. During their time together, Grey learns of an experimental treatment that could help restore his memory. During the process, Grey is forced to come face to face with his past as well as the death of his nephew. As the series progresses, Robyn and Plotmey form a close bond as Ptlomey fights to protect his memories and her. This short drama series has a phenomenal cast with great performances. Be prepared to have your tissues ready. 

Spirited – Film (2022)

Creator: Sean Anders

Cast: Will Farrell, Ryan Reynolds, Octavia Spencer, Patrick Page, Tracy Morgan, and more. 

Run Time: 2 hours and 7 Minutes 

It is only fitting to add a little comedy to your life. Anything with Ryan Reynolds and Will Farrell guarantees a night full of laughter. Spirited is a comedic musical adaptation of the 1984 novel A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. The ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come selects a soul for redemption on Christmas. Clint Briggs, played by Ryan Reynolds, a media consultant, is their next target. However, after many attempts, Clint is may be “unredeemable.” That is until Will Farrell’s character, Present, wants to try it. The Present is near retirement but has detoured his journey back to earth due to unresolved issues. Present’s consistency to help causes a shift in Clint’s mentality from a ruthless individual to a good human being. Clint and Present develop a strong bond that not even the afterlife can draw apart. 

Swan Song – Film (2021)

Director: Benjamin Cleary

Cast: Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Awkwafina, Gleen Close and Nyasha Hatendi

Run Time: 1 Hour 56 minutes.

Mahershala Ali plays Cameron, a father, husband, and dying man. Cameron does not want to tell his wife and child and duplicates himself to save his family from the agony of losing him. During this process, Cameron must come face to face with vivid memories of his past while distancing himself from the ones he loves. This act of sacrificial expression of love takes on an emotional journey through Cameron’s eyes as he grasps the reality of never being able to see his family again. The overall question is whether or not he can allow another version of himself to live his life without his family knowing and be completely okay with it. If you’re looking for a subtle, dramatic piece of art, this is the film for you.  

CODA -Film (2021)

Director: Sian Heder

Cast: Emilia Jones, Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur, Daniel Durant, John Fiore, and more. 

Run Time: 1 hour 51 minutes.

CODA, which stands for Child of Deaf Adults, is a beautiful story of a girl named Ruby who struggles between living out her true passion and supporting her family. Ruby, played by Emilia Jones, is the only hearing person in her home. As a high school senior, her next stop was attending Berklee College of Music. However, her dreams are partially hindered when her family’s obstacles with their fishing business become the weight of Ruby’s. Ruby must decide whether to continue pursuing her singing career or help her family’s business. CODA took home 65 awards during its run, including a Critic’s Choice and a Golden Globe. 

The Tragedy of Macbeth – Film (2021)

Director: Joel Coen

Cast: Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, Alex Hassel, Bertie Carvel, Corey Hawkins, Brendon Gleeson, and more. 

Run Time: 1 hour 45 minutes.

This one is for all of my fellow Shakespeareans. The Tragedy of Macbeth is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s original work, “Macbeth.” This is the story of Macbeth, a Scottish General driven by power who is confronted by three witches who prophesize that he will be King of Scotland. As a result, Macbeth is encouraged by his wife and proceeds to kill the King. He takes his place as King, but at a cost. Macbeth becomes radical and paranoid and continues killing anyone between him and his Kingdom. Macbeth is eventually killed at war in hopes of dethroning him. In this adaptation, Joel Coen chooses a classic black-and-white film and exceptional acting to capture Shakespeare’s tragic tales. This film was nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Actor, and Best Achievement in Production Design, all deserving. 

For All Mankind – Series (2019-)

Creators: Ben Nedivi, Matt Wolpert, and Ronald D. Moore

Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Michael Dorman, Wrenn Schmidt, Shantel VanSanten, Jodi Balfour, and Krys Marshall 

Run Time: 3 Seasons -30 Epsiodes – 1 hour 

In an alternate course of history, the Soviet Union became the first to place a man on the moon. This devastates NASA’s ego, which enhances their quest for a race to space. To succeed, the US must overcome many obstacles and increase its diversity. Diversity has never been a part of NASA’s astronaut program historically. However, in this alternate version, the Soviets have a range of minorities, including women, on their crew. From Lunar explosions to mission control errors, the US and the Soviets continued throughout the season, jeopardizing their mission. In addition, each season jumps approximately ten years, with season two in the 80’s and season three in the 90’s. As of today, the show has been renewed for a fourth season. 

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