December 2, 2023

Apple TV+ actually isn’t the largest streaming service round, nor does it crank out a constant lineup of buzzworthy franchises and flicks that get everybody speaking on the similar charge as, say, Netflix or Disney+. Nonetheless, that’s to not say the iPhone maker’s streamer doesn’t have a number of aces up its sleeve, significantly for somebody like me who’s principally on the lookout for feel-good content material today. In reality, say what you’ll about Apple TV+ in relation to the competitors, however high quality feel-good TV reveals are the place I’d argue the service particularly shines (sci-fi and sports activities being two different examples).

On this submit, we’re going to current a rundown of one of the best feel-good reveals that Apple TV+ has to supply, together with every thing from its anthology collection concerning the immigrant expertise in America to that little present a couple of Premier League coach from Kansas with a penchant for folksy witticisms that you just might need heard about. Let’s dive proper in.

Eugene Levy in “The Reluctant Traveler” on Apple TV Plus. Picture supply: Apple

This primary Apple TV+ present is the one non-fiction title you’ll discover on our listing — and, on an unrelated observe, that is in all probability the one which shocked me probably the most. In The Reluctant Traveler, the gag is that Eugene Levy is a 76-year-old fussbudget who’ll be uprooted from his creature comforts and despatched across the globe to host a travelogue that takes him to unique, swoon-worthy locales … in addition to some locations that really feel out in the midst of nowhere.

We’re so used to seeing Johnny Rose … whoops, I imply Eugene Levy, along with his longtime comedic companion Catherine O’Hara that I used to be a bit of skeptical at first that he may pull off the internet hosting duties adequately on his personal. He has such a droll humorousness, mugging for the digicam at one level throughout the present that “I’m within the Arctic Circle, and the large query for me is, ‘Why?’ I questioned whether or not which may get previous quick on a journey present, however I’m comfortable to report that it doesn’t.

Apple TV+’s The Reluctant Traveler is kind of just like the inverse of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. There’s plenty of dad-joke humor involving Levy grumbling concerning the annoyances of journey, however he’s additionally authentically himself all through. He grumbles, hems, and haws when he’s pushed to traverse a suspended bridge in a Costa Rican jungle, and he laughs with childlike delight when he sees the luxurious lodge room that greets him within the Maldives. The very best half — watching him fall extra in love with the world, little by little.

The Big Door Prize on Apple TV+
Chris O’Dowd in “The Massive Door Prize” on Apple TV+. Picture supply: Apple

Take into account this subsequent Apple TV+ launch the proper whimsical antidote to the unusual occasions we stay in.

Tailored from M.O. Walsh’s 2020 novel of the identical title, The Massive Door Prize is a narrative a couple of new machine that reveals up sooner or later within the grocery retailer of a Louisiana city. The machine seems kind of like a telephone sales space, however the wildest factor about it’s that it could actually inform anybody (who forks over two {dollars} and a cheek swab) what the remainder of their life has in retailer for them.

From the official Apple TV+ description:

“The Massive Door Prize tells the story of a small city that’s without end modified when a mysterious machine seems within the common retailer, promising to disclose every resident’s true life potential. Dusty Hubbard (O’Dowd), a seemingly content material, cheerful household man and highschool trainer, watches everybody round him reevaluate their life decisions and ambitions — based mostly on the machine’s printouts — and is pressured to query whether or not he’s actually as comfortable as he as soon as thought.”

Little America on Apple TV Plus
Isuri Wijesundara and Sathya Sridharan in “Little America” on Apple TV Plus. Picture supply: Apple

In my assessment of Season 2 of Little America, which hit Apple TV+ on the finish of 2022, I wrote that it very a lot looks like a dreary kind of concept for a TV present.

The collection, the primary season of which debuted on Apple TV+ again in 2019 as a part of its launch slate of programming, follows a single protagonist in every episode, dramatizing the tales of real-life immigrants and their households. Little America, I continued, “a present about assimilation, prejudice, nostalgia for a homeland, familial bonds, and the American dream. For lots of the immigrants depicted right here, life is difficult, fraught, and pleasure is hard to return by.”

And but, this one way or the other ended up turning into some of the heartwarming and feel-good reveals on Apple’s streamer. What’s extra, these are tales concerning the immigrant expertise, however the themes are common. Returning to my assessment of the present’s second season: “Should you’ve ever fallen in love or dreamed of a greater life, resisted conformity, or struggled to search out your house on the planet — activate Little America, and there you might be.”

Trying on Apple TV+
Esther Smith in “Making an attempt” on Apple TV+. Picture supply: Apple

The “making an attempt” within the title of this subsequent British Apple TV+ gem refers back to the life objective of Nikki and Jason, the couple on the heart of the story, to have youngsters. After struggling to conceive, they swap techniques and resolve to go the adoption route. From that simple premise, the present spins a heart-warming dramedy about what occurs when two abnormal individuals who love one another resolve to take the largest step of their lives collectively. There are laughs, tears, obstacles, and setbacks, however one factor I’ll say about this present is Nikki and Jason could be one in all my favourite {couples} I’ve ever seen on TV.

Acapulco on Apple TV+
Eugenio Derbez in “Acapulco” on Apple TV+. Picture supply: Apple

These closing three reveals on our listing are actually one of the best of one of the best, in my view, when it comes to feel-good reveals accessible on Apple TV+.

Take, as an example, Acapulco. It has the vibe of a shiny and colourful telenovela blended with the guts of a few of my favourite dramedies like The Good Place — to not point out an limitless provide of beautiful Mexican seashore and metropolis vistas that may in all probability make you need to dig out your passport after you’ve completed watching.

There’s a How I Met Your Mom vibe to the way in which Acapulco’s narrative is advised, with a present-day older model of Maximo Gallardo, the protagonist, telling the story of how he scored the dream job of a lifetime again in his 20s: Working as a cabana boy at Las Colinas, the most well liked resort within the resort getaway of Acapulco. In Season 2, Máximo offers with upheaval at Las Colinas, plus surprising issues at dwelling — in addition to a brand new love curiosity who would possibly rival the lady of his goals. I’ll admit it: Acapulco is without doubt one of the reveals that may hold me a contented Apple TV+ subscriber just about indefinitely.

Shrinking on Apple TV Plus
Jason Segel in “Shrinking” on Apple TV Plus. Picture supply: Apple

We’re grouping these closing two feel-good Apple TV+ reveals collectively, for individuals who won’t bear in mind, as a result of they each share the identical artistic DNA.

Shrinking is the funniest and most heart-warming present about, of all issues, grief. Jason Segel performs a grieving therapist who’s nonetheless mourning the demise of his spouse and who additionally has a daughter that he’s been neglecting because of being mired in his grief (to say nothing of his sufferers who additionally require a big dedication). Segel’s character slowly breaks out his grief, and it’s a pleasure watching him work out the key to it — that nobody is supposed to undergo the lengthy, darkish tunnel of despair alone.

The creators embrace Segel himself, in addition to Ted Lasso star Brett Goldstein and Invoice Lawrence, which leads us proper into yet one more present.

Ted Lasso on Apple TV+
Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso. Picture supply: Apple

Until you’ve been residing underneath a rock, this closing present is the Apple TV+ hit you’re in all probability very effectively conscious even for those who haven’t watched it.

It’s clear that nobody had any clue how a lot of a breakout hit Ted Lasso would change into. It’s not only a present about soccer. At coronary heart, Ted Lasso is the story of abnormal folks making an attempt to be higher variations of themselves. That straightforward emotional throughline helped the present tackle a lifetime of its personal, from podcasts to a endless flood of social media commentary, memes, and posts from followers who’ve rallied round it as an island of positivity amid a streaming panorama dominated by something however.

Jason Sudeikis offers the efficiency of his profession as a goofy small-town American coach who, by way of a fluke, is introduced on because the coach of a Premier League English soccer membership. There’s a lot to reward right here, from Ted’s folksy aphorisms to Roy Kent’s surprisingly endearing cantankerousness, the bond between Keeley and Rebecca, and a common need amongst not solely AFC Richmond however everybody on and off the pitch to determine the best way to stay effectively and be one of the best variations of themselves. Should you haven’t gotten round to watching the present that taught us all concerning the significance of being goldfish, you’ll want to appropriate that mistake immediately.