Physical’s endless cliches won’t get your blood pumping [Apple TV+ review]

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Rose Byrne gets Physical
Even the talented Rose Byrne can't save this mishmash of cliches and misfires.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ went fishing for its own Glow but instead landed the transparent, overcooked and overdetermined Physical, which debuts today.

Star Rose Byrne tries as hard as she can to enliven this mishmash of cliches. However, its grotesque, fetishistic anti-nostalgia goes nowhere fast.

Lisey’s Story mixes psycho with silly in a very Stephen King-y episode [Apple TV+ review]

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Lisey's Story review
Julianne Moore and Clive Owen go to a strange place in this week's episode.
Photo: Apple TV+

Our widowed protagonist comes face to face with the bane of her existence in this week’s episode of Lisey’s Story, the Stephen King miniseries currently giving Apple TV+ a welcome shot of weird. Lisey must face some painful memories in order to avoid an even more painful future.

Lisey’s Story goes even deeper in unnerving third chapter [Apple TV+ review]

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Boo'ya Moon, the dream world of Lisey's Story
Boo'ya Moon, the dream world of Lisey's Story.
Photo: Apple TV+

The wild Apple TV+ adaptation of Stephen King’s Lisey’s Story gets even richer and more imaginative in this week’s episode. Having introduced Lisey, the troubled widow of a famous writer, the miniseries starts drawing out the details of the other people who populate its real and imaginary worlds.

Director Pablo Larraín continues to flex his artistic muscles as he creates a compelling fantasy world. And one character in particular proves delightfully unnerving.

Here’s a scoop: Home Before Dark finally finds its stride [Apple TV+ review]

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Deric McCabe, Brooklynn Prince and Jibrail Nantambu need to be Home Before Dark
Deric McCabe, Brooklynn Prince and Jibrail Nantambu investigate a new mystery.
Photo: Apple TV+

Home Before Dark, the Apple TV+ show about a cute and cuddly girl reporter, returns for more incongruous drama and more bad parenting. The show got off to something of a generic start in its first season, sandwiched between popular styles and uncertain of its identity.

But in its second season, which debuts today, the show digs a little deeper into the setting and characters. As a result, the creative team produced something close to an essential season.

The Mosquito Coast season finale will leave you desperate for more [Apple TV+ review]

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The Mosquito Coast review season finale: Where will the Fox family go next season?
Where will the Fox family go next season? We can't wait to find out.
Photo: Apple TV+

The Mosquito Coast, the bold Apple TV+ potboiler about a family on the run from the law, wraps up its impressive first season this week with the end of the road — a few roads actually — in sight.

It’s a gripping finale that will leave you breathlessly waiting for the show’s just-announced second season.

Lisey’s Story looks like a Stephen King adaptation done right [Apple TV+ review]

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Lisey's Story review: Julianne Moore shines in this adaptation of Stephen King's novel.
Julianne Moore shines in this adaptation of Stephen King's novel.
Photo: Apple TV+

With Lisey’s Story, Apple TV+ officially enters the Stephen King business, a step every streaming service must eventually take. The new miniseries, based on King’s novel of the same name, just so happens to boast an astonishing pedigree. So the inevitable move reads less like calculation and more like certainty for once.

This is a miniseries that, at least initially, looks like it’s firing on all cylinders.

Mosquito Coast buzzes with lies, uncertainty and confrontations [Apple TV+ review]

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The Mosquito Coast review: Things get tense between Allie Fox (played by Justin Theroux, right) and Calaca (Paterson Joseph and Justin Theroux in “The Mosquito Coast,” now streaming on Apple TV+.
Things get tense between Allie Fox (played by Justin Theroux, right) and Calaca (Paterson Joseph).
Photo: Apple TV+

The Mosquito Coast, the Apple TV+ show about a family of environmentalist fugitives, soldiers on into the unknown this week. Less and less about father Allie Fox feels like a certainty. And his family continues to be put to the test while they search for freedom.

Some things are about to change permanently, though. And they’ll happen so fast you won’t have time to think about them until next week’s final episode of the season.

The Mosquito Coast ratchets up the tension in Mexico City [Apple TV+ review]

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The Mosquito Coast review on Apple TV+: Things keep getting dicier for the Fox family.
Things keep getting dicier for the Fox family.
Photo: Apple TV+

The Foxes hit Mexico City this week on The Mosquito Coast, the simmering new Apple TV show about a family off the grid and on the run. They’re fugitives, but that doesn’t stop them from becoming tourists, with all that entails.

This week’s episode, titled “Elvis, Jesus, Coca-Cola,” tightens the noose around the criminal family of four, while showing off the wider world they’ve been missing out on.

Trying returns for a second unbearable blast of blandness [Apple TV+ review]

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There is not nearly enough Imelda Staunton on this season of Trying
We don't get nearly enough Imelda Staunton this season.
Photo: Apple TV+

No one’s favorite young parents-to-be return for another go-round in Trying, the maddening Apple TV+ show about the travails of a British couple who really want children.

Unfortunately, the show’s second season, which debuts Friday, proves just as exhausting and depressing as its first.

1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything is a bloated boomer yawn [Apple TV+ review]

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The Staples Singers in 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything
Even the Staples Singers can't save this nostalgia-riddled mess.
Photo: Apple TV+

With 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything, Apple TV+ tried to buy itself a Ken Burns-style documentary about the potent cultural impact of rock and soul. Unfortunately, the eight-episode documentary series, which premieres Friday, proves so low-energy it will put you to sleep.

This deceptively “comprehensive” look at a single year in music history proves as scatterbrained and toothless as a school project. The impression it leaves is not that 1971 really changed everything, but that no one is even remotely willing to admit that their favorite bands really aren’t that interesting.