With The Tragedy of Macbeth, something wickedly inventive this way comes [Apple TV+ review]

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The Tragedy of Macbeth review: Kathryn Hunter casts a spell over The Tragedy of Macbeth.
Kathryn Hunter casts a spell over The Tragedy of Macbeth.
Photo: Apple TV+

The Tragedy of Macbeth is probably the most experimental thing to stream on Apple TV+ so far.

On its face, the film doesn’t seem all that odd. It’s an adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most well-regarded and most frequently performed plays, starring the biggest male lead on earth. It’s directed by a multiple-Oscar-winner and features his similarly lauded (and extremely popular and talented) wife in a lead role.

So, while Apple TV+’s most exciting feature film since Wolfwalkers might not sound like much of an experiment, the devil’s in the details. This adaptation is both expected and unexpected — in frequently thrilling ways.

The Tragedy of Macbeth hits Apple TV+ today after a theatrical run. Here’s why you should add it to your Up Next queue.

Put terabytes of high-speed storage on your desk with OWC’s NVMe U.2 SSD array [Review]

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OWC Mercury Pro U.2 Dual review
You can start the OWC Mercury Pro U.2 Dual with a fairly modest amount of storage than grow it to 64TB.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The OWC Mercury Pro U.2 Dual can handle up to eight U.2 SSDs. And it can be pre-configured with up to 64TB. That’s a lot of storage capacity. Or put in your own SSDs. And the external drive enclosure uses Thunderbolt for high-speed connections to your Mac. Plus there’s RAID support.

I put the drive holder through testing. Here’s what I found.

This beefy leather AirTag keychain will sucker you in [Review]

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WaterField Designs Leather AirTag Keychain review: This keychain can handle a clutch of keys.
This AirTag keychain from WaterField Designs can handle a clutch of keys.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

WaterField Designs’ AirTag Leather Keychain looks a little like a squid’s head. The oval-ish leather keychain comes with a heavy-duty matte black key ring at one end. (Your keys would be the squid’s tentacles in this tortured simile.) And a metal grommet at the other end lets you attach an included steel carabiner or cable loop to expand your options.

The San Francisco company constructed this crucial AirTag accessory out of beefy full-grain leather and high-end components. It definitely looks and feels premium. And it seems built to last a lifetime.

The only real downside is size-related: This is one giant squid!

Stream El Deafo and take a sensory journey to empathyville [Apple TV+ review]

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Enter the magically ordinary world of El Deafo
Enter the magically ordinary world of El Deafo.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+’s newest animated kids show is all about accessibility. El Deafo, based on the book by Cece Bell, focuses on a little girl who loses her hearing just before the start of school. She goes on misadventures as she learns to navigate the world with the help of her imaginary superhero alter ego. And she learns to love herself in the process.

The show is, if anything, a little too effective at making you feel for this young girl’s struggles. El Deafo is at times too affecting and sad for words — much to the credit of the writer, performers and animators. But it’s an open question whether kids are ready to feel so much on top of everything they’re already dealing with.

Snoopy Presents: For Auld Lang Syne appeals to Peanuts fans old and new [Review]

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Snoopy Presents: For Auld Lang Syne appeals to Peanuts fans old and new [Review]
Start a new tradition: watch Snoopy Presents: For Auld Lang Syne with your family tonight.
Photo: WildBrain/Apple TV+

You should ring in the New Year with the first new Peanuts special since 2011. In Snoopy Presents: For Auld Lang Syne, Lucy is having a party but everything is going wrong. It’s her fault but she blames everyone else. So the gang has to come together to save the day.

As a Peanuts fan going back decades, I watched the new holiday special with a skeptical eye. I found a lot to like, whether this is your introduction to Charlie Brown and his friends, or you’re a long-time watcher like me.

Portable hub adds plethora of USB-C and USB-A ports [Review]

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EZQuest USB-C Gen 2 Hub Adapter review
The EZQuest USB-C Gen 2 Hub Adapter takes just one port but adds four USB-C ports. And three USB-A ones.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

You can never be too thin, too rich or have too many USB ports. The EZQuest USB-C Gen 2 Hub Adapter adds four USB-C ports and three USB-A ones, making room for an array of peripherals for your Mac or iPad.

I put the USB-C hub through real-world testing. Here are its strengths and weaknesses.

Dickinson finale is pure poetry [Apple TV+ recap]

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Dickinson finale: After an extremely strong third season, the show makes a graceful exit.
After an extremely strong third season, the show makes a graceful exit.
Photo: Apple TV+

Dickinson bids us farewell this week — too soon, but beautifully. What lies in store for Emily and her family in their final outing? Can she overcome history to find a happy ending denied her by fact and legacy?

The Apple TV+ alt-history show says goodbye on a sweet, lightly ambiguous note — and finds its strength in invention. Emily Dickinson we hardly knew ye.

Swagger’s stirring season finale goes down to the wire [Apple TV+ recap]

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Swagger season finale recap: What a way to end a season!
What a way to end a season!
Photo: Apple TV+

Team Swagger goes to the nationals in the stunning finale of Apple TV+’s incredible show about a basketball team and its players and satellites. Reggie Rock Bythewood and the incredible team of Swagger writers are prepared to send Ike, Jace, Jenna, Crystal and the rest of the team out with a bang.

A season’s worth of innuendo and tension is about to be unearthed and made real.

The verdict is in at last on The Shrink Next Door [Apple TV+ recap]

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The Shrink Next Door recap: Dr. Ike finally gets what he's got coming.
Dr. Ike (played by Paul Rudd) never really gets what he deserves.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+’s The Shrink Next Door, starring Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd, mercifully comes to a close this week after eight very long episodes. Marty goes looking for the missing pieces of his life after 30 years under Ike’s care, and finds a lot of dead ends.

Can he repair his life after so long messing everything up? It’s an open question whether he, or anyone around him, will be willing to forgive him. This series finally parts ways with its central pair and lets them both off with a warning, in the grand scheme of things.