Scout Tafoya, author at Cult of Mac

Surface takes us on a trippy journey into Sophie’s mind [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★☆☆


Can drugs help Sophie (played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw) sort out reality?
Photo: Apple TV+

Surface, the Apple TV+ mystery about a woman with no memory, goes tripping in an episode filled with twists, turns, memories and hallucinations.

Sophie has a secret identity. Her husband, James, has a secret file that Baden the cop needs to steal and investigate. And literally nothing is going to go as planned. Sophie treats herself to a little psychotropic therapy when her therapist lets her down.

She learns a little more than she bargained for in this mostly OK episode.

Loot finally gets to the point in season finale [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★☆☆


Loot recap season finale Apple TV+: Molly (played by Maya Rudolph) finally gets her head straight in the Loot season finale.★★★☆☆
Molly (played by Maya Rudolph) finally gets her head straight in the Loot season finale.
Photo: Apple TV+

Loot, the Apple TV+ sitcom about a rich woman discovering the meaning of life through charity work, finally hits the wall I’ve been waiting for after weeks of politesse and a too-overwhelming fear of the vulgar side of comedy.

In this week’s season finale, Molly and the crew head to Corsica for a billionaire energy summit where she must make an important choice. She must decide between her rich, debonair boyfriend and his million-dollar ideas about conservancy, and her friends who want to do real, on-the-ground work and fight the root causes of the problems facing their neighbors.

Trying fails out of the school of hard knocks [Apple TV+ recap] ★☆☆☆☆


Trying recap Apple TV+: Princess (played by Eden Togwell) gets busted this week on Trying.★☆☆☆☆
Princess (played by Eden Togwell) gets busted this week on Trying.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ series Trying, the James Corden of sitcoms, invents some new fake problems for its characters to solve this week. Tyler bumps his head, Princess steals a solution to an outcast’s problem, Nikki and Karen don’t feel like moms, Jason is disappointed in his son’s taste, and there may be a new wrinkle in the couple’s decision to keep their kids.

The writers also show their Tory hand this week with jabs at all things lower class — except when it’s necessary for our characters to engage in them. Not even a special cameo from a great villainess can lift this week’s offering above pitiful.

For All Mankind goes out with a bang in season 3 finale [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★☆☆


For All Mankind season 3 finale recap Apple TV+: Things are getting dicey at NASA.★★★☆☆
Things are getting dicey at NASA because of course they are.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ space opera/soap opera For All Mankind closes its confounding third season this week by introducing us to a new character and a new geopolitical rival for the beleaguered space crews.

In this week’s season three finale, entitled “Stranger in a Strange Land,” Ed Baldwin learns Danny’s terrible secret. Jimmy Stevens hangs out with the wrong crowd for just a few minutes too long. Margo’s in trouble, Kelly’s giving birth, Karen’s making bold choices, and Dev is up a creek.

None of that’s going to matter by this week’s third act, of course. Just you wait and see.

Five Days at Memorial captures the horror of Hurricane Katrina [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★


Five Days at Memorial recap Apple TV+: Susan Mulderick (played by Cherry Jones) is in charge, but Hurricane Katrina is about to make things spin totally out of control.★★★★
Susan Mulderick (played by Cherry Jones) is in charge at the hospital, but Hurricane Katrina is about to make things spin totally out of control.
Photo: Apple TV+

Hurricane Katrina has come and gone and there are 45 unexplained deaths in a hospital in New Orleans. That’s the hook for new Apple TV+ limited series Five Days at Memorial. The titular hospital is a crowbar used to examine the carelessness of U.S. disaster-relief infrastructure, health care and our attitudes toward one another.

This all actually happened. And show creators John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) and Carlton Cuse (Lost) mean to take us uncomfortably close to the truth of what happens when Americans are faced with unprecedented situations … because we are running out of those.

Loot puts friendships to the test, and shockingly, some will fail [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★☆☆


Loot recap: This week's episode is all about friends and making hard choices.★★★☆☆
This week's episode of Loot is all about friends and making hard choices.
Photo: Apple TV+

Loot, the Apple TV+ comedy about a woman with everything who learns from people who have nothing, has a play, a zoning board meeting and a summit to prepare for this week.

Howard and Nicholas must patch up their friendship. Sofia and Molly need to work out their differences of opinion and ambition. Molly comes face to face with the bad side of charity work. And in general, the characters needs to make some hard choices about the people they want in their lives.

Surface finds solid ground with straight-up storytelling [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★


Surface recap: Will Sophie (played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw) get to the bottom of what's going on with her husband, Jamie (Oliver Jackson-Cohen)?★★★
Will Sophie (played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw) get to the bottom of what's up with her husband, Jamie (Oliver Jackson-Cohen)?
Photo: Apple TV+

Surface, the new Apple TV+ mystery series about a woman who can’t remember her life or lies, keeps up the erotic intrigue this week. The show avoids all of its worst tendencies for a basically good fourth episode.

Amnesiac Sophie and her lover Thomas clandestinely chase leads as they try to solve the mystery of who almost killed her. Sophie’s husband, James, desperately runs around trying to hide his crimes, and Caroline gets pulled back into his orbit once again.

The investigation and the cover-up proceed apace. It’s just a matter of who’s smarter, more thorough and more careful.

Mars is getting monotonous on For All Mankind [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★☆☆


For All Mankind recap: It's always something.★★★☆☆
Whether on Earth or on Mars, it's always something.
Photo: Apple TV+

For All Mankind holds a few cliffhangers up its sleeve in season 3’s penultimate episode, but first it must deal with its soapy dilemmas.

Ellen and Larry are in the hot seat, Kelly Baldwin’s baby is coming along ahead of schedule, Aleida Rosales is all out of heroes, Karen and Dev might switch jobs — and Danny Stevens’ goose might be cooked!

A decent episode of the Apple TV+ alt-history sci-fi hit focuses on plot nitty-gritty and emotional turmoil, until it gives way to a typically frustrating final reveal.

Physical season finale leaves us praying for cancellation [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆☆


Physical season 2 finale recap: Please say it's over.★★☆☆☆
Please say it's over.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+’s second season of Physical draws to a merciful close this week. Though she’s finally gotten John Breem out of her bedroom, Sheila still has to deal with him. He’s still making Danny crazy — and he’s still the only man in town with power enough to satisfy Sheila’s needs.

Wouldn’t it be funny if she had to wind up trapped with him in a business agreement? Well, no, it wouldn’t, and it isn’t, but that’s where we’re headed.

Trying wrings a tiny victory out of pregnancy and a party [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆☆


Trying recap Apple TV+: At least somebody's laughing.★★☆☆☆
At least somebody's laughing.
Photo: Apple TV+

Trying, the Apple TV+ comedy about middle-class ghouls making the once-a-generation decision to start families, plans a birthday party for special little boy Tyler this week.

Tyler’s party is too overwhelming at first, but with a little help from a lot of people it becomes fun. Elsewhere, Karen is pregnant and nervous, Nikki resents her fertility, Scott has to quit a burgeoning career, and Jason is still on the hook for a dream house.