Jace takes one for the team this week on Swagger [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★

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Isaiah Hill in ★★★★
Jace (played by Isaiah Hill) owns up to a nasty incident from his past.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewSuperlative Apple TV basketball drama Swagger puts Jace in the hot seat this week, as allegations prove too tough to beat. Jace does something crazy in the name of helping his community but it makes things even more fraught.

Meanwhile, Ike and Emory are at loggerheads about how to handle their star player. And Crystal must decide how she feels about her life once more becoming the subject of public debate. Entitled “Through the Fire,” it’s a typically excellent installment of this fiery show.

Foundation’s season 2 opener will floor you [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★

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Episode 1. Lee Pace in ★★★★
Lee Pace continues his hot streak as Brother Day in Foundation.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewEpic sci-fi series Foundation, based on the work of Isaac Asimov, returns to Apple TV+ for a second season this week and blows expectations clean into the next galaxy.

The expensive, expansive show overcome opening night jitters in season one to become one of the more watchable and exciting things on Apple TV+, thanks in no small part to a game cast, tense set pieces, fleet drama and exquisite effects.

Apple TV+ needed its own Battlestar Galactica or Mandalorian, and Foundation more than met the challenge. Will it be able to repeat the successes of its first season?

Platonic season finale takes path of least persistence [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★

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Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen in ★★★
Sylvia (played by Rose Byrne) and Will (Seth Rogen) comes to grips with their friendship in the Platonic season finale.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+ comedy Platonic closes its hilarious first season this week with a sentimental look at the way two people have to understand the limits of their relationship.

Sylvia and her husband Charlie find a new home that seems to signal the end of their recent troubles. But will there be a place for Will in this new version of their life? The answer probably won’t shock you, but it’s basically moving anyway.

The terrorists start to get nervous this week on Hijack [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★☆☆

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Sam (played by Idris Elba in ★★★☆☆
Sam (played by Idris Elba) cooks up a new plan this week on Hijack. The terrorists probably should be fretting.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewHigh-flying Apple TV+ thriller Hijack deals with a new threat this week even as the last one is still being mopped up in the airplane’s aisles.

As Sam finds himself in bondage, he devises a clever new avenue of contacting the ground and gaining the upper hand without seeming to. There’s panic in Bucharest, Marsha gets a message, and the hijackers are getting jumpy on a perfectly decent installment of the new hit series.

This Afterparty is officially over [Apple TV+ review] ★☆☆☆☆

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Episode 1. Zach Woods, John Cho, Zoë Chao, Paul Walter Hauser, Ken Jeong, Poppy Liu and Vivian Wu in ★☆☆☆☆
Nothing livens up a wedding like discovering a groom's corpse. Unfortunately, season two of The Afterparty is also DOA.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ Review Apple TV+ comedy The Afterparty returns for a second infuriating season Wednesday. Not even the presence of some of our best actors (Paul Walter Hauser, Mary Holland and John Cho among them) can focus the writing and direction of this show to the point where its gimmick makes sense or its performances seem calibrated to the design of the show.

Unfortunately, this genre-hopping misfire was spent before it was reloaded.

The Crowded Room goes from arthouse to madhouse [Apple TV+ recap] ☆☆☆☆

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Tom Holland in ☆☆☆☆
We finally get inside the head of Danny (played by Tom Holland). It's not pretty.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+ limited series The Crowded Room plays its final hand this week, and the show finally broke me the way it reportedly “broke” its lead actor, Tom Holland. Danny finally gets to know all of his personalities at Rya’s behest, though he may have blown his chances at a fair trial already.

The show’s prior attempts at sensitively depicting Danny’s mental illness take a turn for the deeply unserious this week. And for this recapper, there is just no sane way to move forward.

Swagger savors a party before the storm [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★☆

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Isaiah Hill in ★★★★☆
It's party time for Jace (played by Isaiah Hill) ... until he gets some very troubling news.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ Review This week on Swagger, Jace and Ike’s latest victory is a short-lived affair. When Crystal comes to Jace with worrying possibilities for his future, he shuts down — leaving Phil, Drew and Musa to panic.

Meanwhile, Jenna and Tonya start making plans. And Ike and Emery decide to hash out their differences the old-fashioned way. The episode, entitled “Rise + Fall,” is good and tense. And it points the way toward much darker events to come on the Apple TV+ basketball drama.

Platonic spins up jealousy, anger and a slumber party [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★☆

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Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne in ★★★★☆
A Seth Rogen sleepover? What could go wrong?
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewPlatonic heads into the home stretch this week as the Apple TV+ comedy about two friends who interrupt each other’s lives and relationships digs into jealousy.

Charlie takes his anger out on a co-worker in the strangest way imaginable. Sylvia takes out her anger directly on Charlie. And Will takes out his anger on his co-workers, who in turn take out their frustration on him. It’s less of a listening and learning week than a wit’s end week on this very easily consumed show.

Hijack hits cruising altitude by focusing on suspense [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★

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Idris Elba in ★★★
Airplane passenger Sam Nelson (played by Idris Elba) takes action against terrorists this week on Hijack.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+ terrorist thriller Hijack finally takes off this week, introducing real challenges and intense, investigative set pieces as the people on the ground try to figure out if the plane has been taken over, and if so, why — and what can be done about it.

The calm, cool and collected interloper played by Idris Elba takes action as the plane he’s on descends further and further into chaos. The episode, entitled “Draw a Blank,” is the best this show has yet been.

Jace faces troubles old and new in Swagger [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★

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O’Shea Jackson Jr., Shannon Brown, Caleel Harris, James Bingham and Isaiah Hill in ★★★★
Like the players it follows, Swagger just keeps scoring.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+ sports drama Swagger finds Jace preparing for a big birthday this week. He’s dealing with obstacles he sees — and bracing to be blindsided by some he can’t.

An estranged dad, an old adversary, a new teammate and coach Ike (who’s looking to Jace to secure his future) all conspire to keep the young basketball star from his A game. But for Jace, there’s always a way through. And this week’s excellent episode, entitled “18,” is a potent reminder of that.

Rya is ready for her close-up in The Crowded Room [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★☆☆

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Amanda Seyfried in ★★★☆☆
This week's episode of The Crowded Room finally focuses on criminologist Rya (played by Amanda Seyfried).
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewCriminologist Rya Goodwin takes center stage in this week’s episode of Apple TV+ drama The Crowded Room. She discovers that the way around the many dead-ends in her life is to crack the case of Danny Sullivan, the man who opened fire in a crowded Manhattan street, and the many personalities living in his head who drove him to murder and mayhem.

Entitled “Rya,” it’s an above-average outing of this oft-frustrating show.

It’s do or die time for Juliette in the Silo season one finale [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★☆

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Rebecca Ferguson in ★★★★☆
Sheriff Juliette (played by Rebecca Ferguson) heads for a showdown with the powers that be in the Silo season one finale.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewIn the Silo season finale, Juliette has been found out and has only minutes to prove her innocence — and the government’s guilt — before she’s caught and punished. Of course, nothing is ever that easy in the hit Apple TV+ sci-fi series.

Bernard and Sims panic at the idea of losing their grip on the seat of power. And the people Juliette knows and loves worry for her safety. The episode, entitled “Outside,” asks the question: Can you fight city hall miles underground?

Charlie’s getting very suspicious about Sylvia and Will on Platonic [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★☆

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Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen in ★★★★☆
Sylvia (played by Rose Byrne, left) and Will (Seth Rogen) head to San Diego this week on a business trip.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+ comedy Platonic takes a trip to San Diego this week, as Sylvia’s husband Charlie gets paranoid and Will gets a lesson in corporate culture that he didn’t ask for.

In this very good episode of the show — about married Sylvia and divorced Will, who return to the best-friend slot in each other’s lives after an awkward absence — Charlie looks into every little thing, wondering if the pair are more than just friends. Will comes to Sylvia’s rescue at the expense of his friends and business partners, and Sylvia must be honest about the next phase of her life.

Idris Elba plays it unnervingly cool in new thriller Hijack [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★☆☆

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Episode 1. Idris Elba in ★★★☆☆
Seemingly nothing can rattle negotiator Sam Nelson (played by Idris Elba) in Hijack.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewNew Apple TV+ limited series Hijack stars Idris Elba as a man caught in an explosive hostage situation in the sky. Elba plays a corporate negotiator on one of the worst days of his life, as armed terrorists seize the airplane he’s flying on from Dubai to London.

He has six hours to foil their plan — and possibly save his marriage. Can he pull off one or the other, or both? And more importantly, will it be thrilling? Time will tell…

3 Reasons to Watch: Swagger, the stellar Apple TV+ basketball drama

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Isaiah Hill in
A strong cast lead by Isaiah Hill, and plenty of action both on and off the basketball court, Swagger is a slam-dunk drama.
Photo: Apple TV+

In this installment of 3 Reasons to Watch, we’re touting stellar Apple TV+ basketball drama Swagger, produced by Kevin Durant and creatively shepherded by Reggie Rock Bythewood.

The show, about a high school phenom assailed by personal and professional pressures, just returned for its second season. And like its heroes, Swagger shows no signs of slacking now that the game is getting tougher. Here’s why you should give it a shot.

Swagger bounces back for baller second season [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★

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Isaiah Hill in ★★★★
Score! Swagger is back for season two.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+ sports drama Swagger returns for a second season in fine form this week. Reggie Rock Bythewood’s account of a high school basketball star and his supportive coach continues with fresh challenges for Jace and his team to face.

With Jace gearing up for college, he needs Ike back in his corner after a brief separation. But will Ike make a good fit at Jace’s new school? This week’s episode, entitled “The World Ain’t Ready,” is thrillingly alive in its depiction of life in Baltimore and the pressures of being very good at what you do.

Juliette discovers the big lie this week on Silo [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★☆

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Common and Iain Glen in ★★★★☆
Sims (played by Common, left) thinks maybe Juliette's dad Peter (Iain Glen) can help the authorities find her.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ Review Juliette is on the lam this week in the penultimate installment of Silo’s first season. The Apple TV+ sci-fi show, about the woman who discovers a massive conspiracy in the equally massive underground bunker containing the last dregs of humanity, finds Juliette looking for help and hope in all the strangest places.

Sims, Bernard and Billings all sweat her escape and what it might mean for the future of the silo in a white-knuckle episode entitled “The Getaway.”

The Crowded Room flashes back to Danny’s disturbing childhood [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆

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Emmy Rossum in ★★☆☆
Emmy Rossum gets to shine this week on The Crowded Room.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+ psychodrama The Crowded Room takes a look back at Danny’s childhood this week to examine the start of his troubles and trauma.

Danny’s issues began when he was young, in the presence of a mysterious twin brother, an absent father, a new stepdad and a mom tired of being defeated by life. Add to that a sexual abuse case and Danny’s mental illness, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster — and a show that keeps running right up to the line of greatness before retreating.

Platonic milks the modern workplace for big laughs [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★

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Rose Byrne in ★★★★
Rose Byrne gets to strut her comedic stuff this week on Platonic, and that's a very good thing.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+ comedy Platonic, about two once-former-now-current best friends navigating their relationship, finds Sylvia back at work and Will out of step this week.

A lot has changed since Sylvia was last in the workplace, and the new workload is too much for her, without factoring in everything else that can go wrong in an office. Will tries to help but makes things worse as he himself learns a few lessons about the modern workplace. Entitled “Let the River Run,” it’s a very funny episode of the very funny series.

High Desert makes a mad dash for the finish line [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★☆

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Patricia Arquette and Rupert Friend in ★★★★☆
Everyone seems to be running from something in the High Desert season finale.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+’s noir comedy High Desert comes to a close this week with a nicely judged final half-hour where streams and plots cross.

Arman and Heather, the Gatchis, Carol and Denny are all looking for Peggy in the High Desert season finale, entitled “I Need a Hero.” Can Peggy make up for a lifetime of misbehaving and lying and self-interest in one gesture? It’s a perfectly ridiculous ending to this laconic, if fast-talking, crime saga.

3 Reasons to Watch: Stellar Apple TV+ music miniseries Watch the Sound with Mark Ronson

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Episode 6. Mark Ronson in “Watch the Sound With Mark Ronson,” now streaming on Apple TV+.
The mysteries of modern music production unfold in Watch the Sound with Mark Ronson.
Photo: Apple TV+

In this installment of 3 Reasons to Watch, we rewind back to Watch the Sound with Mark Ronson, a 2021 miniseries about the ins and outs of modern music production and recording.

With superproducer Mark Ronson (who’s worked with stars like Amy Winehouse and Lady Gaga) as our host, we see the ways in which sound can be manipulated — and the ways in which it is already miraculous. Here’s why you should give this must-see Apple TV+ music miniseries a spin.

The Crowded Room takes a quick, pointless trip to London [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆☆

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Tom Holland in ★★☆☆☆
Danny (played by Tom Holland) takes a diversionary trip overseas this week on The Crowded Room.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ Review New Apple TV+ drama The Crowded Room, about a man arrested for crimes he doesn’t have a real understanding of having committed, takes a trip overseas this week. Danny, fleeing from his past and his crimes, heads to London to look for his dad. But he finds another shady father figure waiting for him instead.

A few botched crimes and some bonding lead Danny down more dead ends as Rya interrogates him and hopes he finally sees the light. The episode, entitled “London,” offers a maddening glimpse at the show The Crowded Room could have been.

City on Fire finale goes up in a puff of smoke [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★

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Wyatt Oleff in ★★★
Charlie (played by Wyatt Oleff) saves the day in the City on Fire finale.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+’s kaleidoscopic urban blight drama City on Fire comes to a close this week with events both explosive and not so much.

Amory’s on the move, William’s holding on for dear life, Regan and Keith are missing a few kids, Nicky and Sol come to blows, Charlie and Lorraine tell the truth, Parsa gets a second chance, and Samantha’s in the dark — just like New York City itself.

The limited series finale, entitled “In the Dark,” brings a suitably emotional ending to a show that narrowly avoided greatness.

Silo’s creepy conspiracy just keeps getting weirder [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★☆

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Common in ★★★★☆
Sims (played by Common) is up to no good.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+ dystopian sci-fi series Silo, about the last remnants of civilization trapped in a huge underground structure, ratchets up the stakes as Juliette realizes she has only a few hours to set things right or she and Billings will face the music.

A flashback to a tumultuous time serves as her guiding light in the darkness — and even a reconciliation won’t save her. Entitled “Hanna,” it’s a very good episode of this surprise hit sci-fi series as we head into the first season’s home stretch.

Age is more than just a number on this week’s Platonic [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★☆

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Emily Kimball and Seth Rogen in ★★★★☆
Will (played by Seth Rogen, right) runs into trouble with his new girlfriend, Peyton (Emily Kimball) this week on Platonic.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+ comedy Platonic hits a milestone this week as Sylvia and Will find boundaries to test they didn’t even know existed. Will learns some hard lessons about aging and relationships, while Sylvia tries to embark on a new chapter of her life without much support.

Entitled “The Big Two Six,” it’s a solid episode of the show about two people in their 40s who reconnect and re-become besties, heedless of optics and obstacles.