Becoming You will make you marvel at human development [Apple TV+ review]

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Becoming You is sensational, no matter your age
Becoming You is sensational, no matter your age
Photo: Apple TV+

New Apple TV+ documentary series Becoming You is the kind of admirably human show that seems designed to rack up grateful viewers.

Tackling the earliest development of the human brain in more than a hundred children the world over, the docuseries makes a calculated plea for empathy and togetherness — and a convincing one at that.

Despite some quizzical positions, Doug Unplugs is a charming kids’ show [Apple TV+ review]

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The heartwarming 'Doug Unplugs' looks like a sure-fire hit for kids.
The heartwarming Doug Unplugs looks like a sure-fire hit for kids.
Image: Apple TV+

Powered by the formidable DreamWorks Animation, Apple TV+’s newest children’s show is frequently disarming and deeply cute. Doug Unplugs, which arrives on the streaming service this Friday, is likely to be perfect for young kids, and not too much for tired parents who’ll watch it over their shoulders.

Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds will fill you with wonder [Apple TV+ review]

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Clive Oppenheimer and Werner Herzog guide us through
Clive Oppenheimer and Werner Herzog guide us through Fireball.
Photo: Apple TV+

Werner Herzog’s latest documentary is truly an all-timer for the Bavarian buddha. Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds, a doc about meteors that debuts on Apple TV+ on November 13, looks at no less than the way the heavens speak to us insignificant earthlings.

In traditional Herzog style it’s discursive, loopy and unspeakably beautiful. However much Apple TV+ spent on this film, it was a bargain. Because this is the kind of documentary you’ll want to watch over and over again.

On the Rocks is a warmhearted comedy about all kinds of infidelity [Apple TV+ review]

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Rashida Jones and Bill Murray in On The Rocks
Rashida Jones and Bill Murray On The Rocks.
Photo: Apple TV+

On the Rocks, the first Apple TV+ arthouse film, is an extremely winning combination of midlife crisis, comedy of remarriage, and road-trip movie.

Writer/director Sofia Coppola’s charmingly cynical, shaggy-dog anti-romance — which stars Bill Murray and Rashida Jones, and debuts today on Apple TV+ after a brief theatrical release — is a smart step toward filling out the streaming service’s growing library of original movies.

You’ll want to open Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You again and again [Apple TV+ review]

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Bruce Springsteen's Letter To You review: Upcoming Apple TV+ documentary offers a moving look at the songwriter's life and music.
The upcoming Apple TV+ documentary offers a moving look at Bruce Springsteen's life and music.
Photo: Apple TV+

Just in time for election day, America’s real president makes a stump speech that’s part biography and part self-mythologizing letter to an equally mythic version of the state he calls home. Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You, like a lot of the Boss’ later albums, isn’t exactly groundbreaking or inventive. However, there’s a good reason his homespun coastal Americana never goes out of fashion. Nobody gets America like Springsteen.

Upcoming Apple TV+ documentary Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You showcases the songs on his 20th album. While it won’t tell you anything you didn’t already suspect, you will find an incalculable kind of value in the songwriter’s company.

Helpsters returns for more of the adorable same [Apple TV+ review]

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John Lutz and the Helpsters
Shut up, Lutz! The Helpsters are back for a second season.
Photo: Apple TV+

“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” has long been the Sesame Workshop’s modus operandi, and the second season of Apple TV+ kids show Helpsters is living proof that the strategy works.

The educational show, created by Odd Squad and Adventure Time writer Timothy McKeon, with music by longtime collaborator Paul Buckley, is long on charm and star power and short on filler.

Season two of Helpsters, which arrived on Apple TV+ Friday, is likely exactly what your kids need while you finally get around to doing the laundry. And you’ll laugh, too, at the litany of guest stars and the occasional elegant joke.

Ghostwriter stays totally chill in sleepy second season [Apple TV+ review]

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The gang gets back together for Ghostwriter's sleepy second season.
The Ghostwriter gang gets back together.
Photo: Apple TV+

One of the first Apple TV+ shows for a younger audience, Ghostwriter was both a reboot of a ’90s cult hit and a shoo-in to get renewed. With precious little to choose from, the streaming service’s execs had little choice but to put their muscle behind a show with cheap production costs and limitless potential for story ideas.

Like Apple TV+’s initial batch of Ghostwriter episodes, the second season is in no hurry to go anywhere or say much. However, it’s agreeable company — and its heart is in the right place.

Tiny World amazes with an Ant-Man view of nature [Apple TV+ review]

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Apple TV+ enters the world of nature docs with the charming 'Tiny World.'
Apple TV+ enters the world of nature docs with the charming Tiny World.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ invites you to take a look at the things beneath your feet in its new documentary series Tiny World. Narrated by Paul Rudd, this show is charming, if maybe too cute for its own good.

Tiny World, which premieres on October 2, is the first of three new docuseries coming to the streaming service this fall. It’s a shrewd and promising start, as Apple TV+ positions itself as a provider of episodic nonfiction content to match its high-profile dramas and films.

Exciting spy series Tehran takes Apple TV+ in dramatic new direction [Review]

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Arash Marandi in Tehran
Tehran is the most gripping Apple TV+ series to date.
Photo: Apple TV+

In order for any streaming service to keep up with the competition, it must serve up serialized shows that people can’t wait to finish. Until now, Apple TV+ did not offer one of those. Not even the star-studded and fairly engrossing Defending Jacob proved so compelling you couldn’t turn it off.

That all changes this Friday, when Israeli spy thriller Tehran premieres on Apple TV+. The streaming service’s best dramatic show by a mile, it delivers stunning displays of intrigue and backstabbing.

Long Way Up proves Ewan McGregor is still handsome and rich [Apple TV+ review]

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Charley Boorman and Ewan Mcgregor in Long Way Up
Charley Boorman and Ewan Mcgregor take the Long Way Up
Photo: Apple TV+

Way back in 2004, Ewan McGregor and his friend Charley Boorman decided to ride their motorcycles around the world from London to New York — the long way. That 19,000-mile trek produced British TV series Long Way Round.

A few years later, they and their team rode from Scotland to Cape Town, South Africa, and produced a sequel series, Long Way Down. Neither of these shows have much in the way of social value or a point beyond “this is certainly possible.”

Well, they’re back, with a new Apple TV+ documentary series called Long Way Up, which premieres on Sept. 18. This one recounts yet another epic motorcycle trip, starting at the southern tip of Argentina and covering “13,000 miles over 100 days through 16 border crossings and 13 countries.”

If you’re one of the several people who’s been waiting for the third installment of McGregor and Boorman’s Long Way series, boy are you in luck.