Apple product reviews and recommendations | Cult of Mac

Servant goes out in a blaze of glory [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★☆


Nell Tiger Free and Lauren Ambrose in ★★★★☆
It's showdown time on Servant.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewServant, the stellar Apple TV+ show about a supernatural nanny and the Philadelphia family that plays unwitting and unwilling host to her journey, comes to its fiery finale this week.

Leanne must decide who she’s going to serve, and Dorothy decides what her family and life will be from now on. The episode, entitled “Fallen,” serves up a mostly perfect ending to a mostly perfect show.

Can Ted Lasso’s optimism sustain it for season 3? [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆☆


Episode 1. Jason Sudeikis in ★★☆☆☆
Ted's up to his old tricks again.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewThree years after Ted Lasso became a runaway smash for Apple TV+, the show returns Wednesday with a fresh blast of unrelenting optimism.

The fish-out-of-water story of an upbeat U.S. football coach leading a team of U.K. footballers somehow became one of the most-watched things in the streaming sphere, fueled by pandemic viewers looking for something — anything — with a positive message. Now, as Ted Lasso season three arrives, there’s a lot of hype to live up to (and a lot of dross that needs papering over).

Can the show’s likely last season cement Ted’s place in TV history? Maybe … but star Jason Sudeikis’ aw-shucks act seems in danger of wearing thin. After all, the new Ted is an awful lot like the old Ted.

Who needs HDMI? This gadget connects Mac or iPad to TV wirelessly [Review] ★★★★☆


Who needs HDMI? This gadget connects Mac or iPad to TV wirelessly★★★★☆
Don't use a cable when the plug-and-play EZCast Pocket is so much more convenient.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

EZCast Pocket lets a range of computers connect wirelessly to an external display. No additional software is needed — it’s very nearly as easy to use as a cable, but without the cable clutter.

I tested the affordable and very portable wireless video adapter in my home and on a business trip. Here are its strengths and occasional weaknesses.

7 reasons you should be slashing through Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon


'Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon' is a 16-bit rogue-ke dungeon crawler.
You and three friends can plumb the depths of the Chronos Dungeon on your way to save the world.
Image: Cornfox & Brothers

Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon is one of the best RPGs in Apple Arcade. It’s a relatively simple dungeon crawler in the spirit of great 16-bit games of the past like Gauntlet. And it can be enjoyed by up to four players at once.

I’ve spent more hours than I could possibly count playing this title from Cornfox & Brothers. Here are seven reasons I think you’ll like it too.

Who’s manipulating who on Liaison? [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★☆


Lyna Dubarry in ★★★★☆
You know you're in trouble when ...
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+ thriller Liaison gets down to the dirty business of statecraft this week as Alison and Gabriel head to Brussels for different reasons. A daring refugee camp breakout leads to almosts and what-ifs that drive Alison mad.

Plus, a couple of unfortunate lackeys get put through the ringer — and Britain is still under attack. The episode, entitled “Manipulations,” delivers another solid hour from a team with enough star power to light up London.

Jimmy steps up this week on Shrinking [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆


Jason Segel, Harrison Ford and Michael Urie in ★★☆☆
The hunt for a missing Alice is on!
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewAlice goes missing this week on Apple TV+ hit comedy Shrinking, and Jimmy, Paul and Brian are on the case. After exposing Alice to the awkwardness of a social curveball, Jimmy and Gaby alienate her so much that she decides to act out like her dad has been doing for so long.

Meanwhile, Gaby needs to face down a big challenge as she prepares to maybe move on from her divorce. And Brian must confess something to Jimmy that’s going to be painful — and chooses the worst time to do it. All in all, it’s an above-average episode of a very tiresome sitcom.

Truth Be Told reels with revelations this week [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★


Octavia Spencer and Mekhi Phifer in ★★★★
Poppy (played by Octavia Spencer, left) and Markus (Mekhi Phifer) share an intense moment this week.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewLots and lots of bad judgment and mistakes come to light on this week’s episode of Truth Be Told, Apple TV+’s true crime podcast drama.

It turns out Emily Mills’ kidnapping was something else altogether. Plus, Poppy is pressing hard into other people’s secrets — and into her own for a change, much to Leander’s chagrin. Markus has hit bottom and can’t seem to pull up. Trini gets a much-needed wake-up call, and Eva can’t stop living in the past.

This week’s very fine episode brings some extremely strong performances, and some equally impactful revelations.

Servant drops a major revelation this week [Apple TV+ recap]


Lauren Ambrose in
Dorothy (played by Lauren Ambrose) learns the horrifying truth about her baby Jericho this week.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewM. Night Shyamalan returns to the director’s chair for the penultimate episode of Apple TV+’s Servant, his show about a nanny terrorizing a Philadelphia family in their brownstone.

Leanne has Dorothy all to herself — and Dorothy can’t help but notice. A last-ditch rescue attempt is scuttled after Dorothy insists on hearing some hard truths from Sean and Julian, who may not have the upper hand when they’re done.

Though unnerving and quite upsetting, “Awake” stands tall as one of the greatest episodes yet of this outstanding show.

On Hello Tomorrow!, Jack’s cunning lies crash in on him [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★☆


Billy Crudup in ★★★★☆
Billy Crudup hits all the right notes in his portrayal of oily lunar grifter Jack Billings.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewHello Tomorrow!, the Apple TV+ show about hucksters selling a place in the sun (on the moon), takes a trip back in time this week as Jack relives some foundational traumas.

Also this week: Shirley thinks she has a way out of the hole that Brightside’s in, while the one that Herb is stuck in gets deeper by the minute. And Joey finds that there is no end to a life of lies once it really gets going.

This week’s offering, entitled “The Numbers Behind the Numbers,” stacks up as a superlative episode of a superlative program.

Our little monster shows his true colors this week on Dear Edward [Apple TV+ recap] ★☆☆☆☆


Colin O’Brien in ★☆☆☆☆
It's hard to root for a kid who's this selfish, TBH.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewTrauma-focused Apple TV+ series Dear Edward has even more reckoning to do this week.

First, Adriana gets into hot water with the two men in her life, even as her election looms. Then Lacey and Edward both get rejected, right when they need support the most.

Dee Dee is having housing issues. And Steve and Amanda need some space, as do Shay and Mahira. And frankly, so do I. This frustrating show just keeps on going to uninspired, unearned places.