For All Mankind fires off a damp squib of a cliffhanger [Apple TV+ review]

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For All Mankind review: Things are not going well, either on Earth or in space.
Things are not going well, either on Earth or in space.
Photo: Apple TV+

In this week’s episode, Apple TV+’s alternate-history space show For All Mankind finally gets to the big, violent “what if?” it’s been building to all season. Is it too late to make any of the fireworks they’ve seen saving go off in spectacular enough fashion to save a dreary second season?

The answer … will not shock you.

Tensions run hot between Soviets and US in For All Mankind [Apple TV+ review]

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For All Mankind review: Ellen Wilson (played by Jodi Balfour) makes an unbelievable move this week.
Ellen Wilson (played by Jodi Balfour) makes an unbelievable move this week.
Photo: Apple TV+

Space-race soap opera For All Mankind drops a bomb this week that could ruin the chances of everybody here getting what they want — and definitely destroys whatever character work the writers and actors have done up until now.

The writers realized nothing exciting had happened all season and so just dropped a bunch of character arcs in favor of what’s convenient. I wish I was surprised.

For All Mankind rolls out red carpet for the Russkies [Apple TV+ review]

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U.S. astronauts like Danielle Poole (played by Krys Marshall) meet their Soviet counterparts.
U.S. astronauts like Danielle Poole (played by Krys Marshall) prep to meet their Soviet counterparts.
Photo: Apple TV+

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! Don’t bother they’re here … Apple TV+’s For All Mankind gears up for its historic moon handshake in typically laidback fashion in this week’s episode.

The commies are here to collaborate on a space mission meant to bring civilizations together. They’re of course mirthless, shifty cads because that’s just how Russians are written in fiction like this.

Until, of course, they get to eat red meat and drink American whiskey. Then they’re all smiles! Glad to know these jokes haven’t changed at all since the Iron Curtain went up.

For All Mankind wonders how to mend a broken heart [Apple TV+ review]

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Michael Dorman in For All Mankind
Gordo (Michael Dorman) is getting his groove back at last.
Photo: Apple TV+

The characters in For All Mankind, Apple TV+’s space-race melodrama, all try to find their sea legs … or, uhh, space legs … in this week’s tense episode. Astronaut Ed Baldwin is under the sea. And his wife, Karen, is losing her cool. Meanwhile, Tracy Stevens is on the moon, and her ex Gordo is losing his mind!

Creepy Calls is a fascinating but flawed head trip [Apple TV+ review]

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Calls on Apple TV+
Calls on Apple TV+
Photo: Apple TV+

With new show Calls, Apple TV+ brings a French TV sensation to America and it’s three things in one. It’s a fascinating experiment, an old idea repackaged — and something of a missed opportunity.

The series, which premieres this Friday, hides its star-studded voice cast behind pixelated images and on-screen text, making it sort of an anti-event. That alone means Calls faces an uphill climb to find a new audience.

Russo brothers’ victory lap turns sour with excruciating Cherry [Apple TV+ review]

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Tom Holland in Cherry
Even Spider-Man can't save this disaster.
Photo: Apple TV+

After years of shepherding the Marvel Cinematic Universe to its first major climax, directors Joe and Anthony Russo decided to make one of the proverbial “one for us” movies — as in “one for them, one for us.”

It’s a classic Hollywood strategy, where filmmakers follow up a moneymaking blockbuster with a personal project that’s more like an indie flick. The trouble with the Russo brothers “one for us” movie — a drama called Cherry, comes to Apple TV+ today — is that the “us” in this case possess no style, no ideology, no ideas and no ambition. Cherry is a total waste of $10 million and 2-and-a-half hours of screen time.

For All Mankind grapples with the question of space crime [Apple TV+ review]

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For All Mankind review: Astronaut Ed Baldwin (played by Joel Kinnaman) still has his head in the clouds.
Astronaut Ed Baldwin (played by Joel Kinnaman) still has his head in the clouds.
Photo: Apple TV+

There are guns on the moon — repeat there are guns on the moon — in a new For All Mankind with a mildly elevated pulse! Everyone’s making hard choices and living with regrets on this week’s episode of no one’s favorite space soap on Apple TV+.

There’s fire inside and out in Dickinson’s season 2 finale [Apple TV+ review]

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Will Pullen as the ghost of Emily's future on this week's Dickinson
Will Pullen plays the ghost of Emily's future in the season 2 finale.
Photo: Apple TV+

Bad dreams, dead rebels, crumbling marriages, and new babies all collide in Dickinson’s season 2 finale.

The Apple TV+ show about the famous feminist legend of poetry needs to tie up a lot of loose ends. But it’s got to also leave enough left unanswered to entice viewers for next season. Can it accomplish all this on its own terms?