Invasion gets gory as the alien mystery deepens [Apple TV+ recap]

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Invasion recap: We learn some interesting things about Trevante (Shamier Anderson) this week.
We learn some interesting things about Trevante (played by Shamier Anderson) this week.
Photo: Apple TV+

This week on Invasion, the humans and the aliens seem just moments away from some kind of break in their standoff, but fate is about to throw an 18-car pileup between them.

The Apple TV+ sci-fi series is about to bring back the fireworks in a big way. The Maliks are being shuffled to the Defense Department, Trevante is off to the hospital with Caspar and Jamila, and Mitsuki has to think hard about what’s floating in space.

Start the holiday season right with Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continues [Apple TV+ review]

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She's back for Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continues
Mariah Carey, aka the "Queen of Christmas," returns with a breezy holiday special.
Photo: Apple TV+

Last Christmas, Apple TV+ made an important play for the hearts and minds of viewers: It gave Mariah Carey a Christmas special. This year, amidst a host of new original Christmas programs, Apple TV+ brings her back to sprinkle more of her magic on the holiday season.

Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continues is a short but definitely stream-worthy follow-up to last year’s charmingly chintzy special. Honestly, can anyone get enough Mariah?

Dr. Brain plunges deeper into conspiracy and sci-fi [Apple TV+ recap]

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Dr. Brain recap: The truth is getting closer, and weirder, in this South Korean sci-fi show.
The truth is getting closer, and weirder, in this brain-melting South Korean sci-fi show.
Photo: Apple TV+

Dr. Brain, Apple TV+’s new series from visionary genre specialist Kim Jee-Woon, drives headlong toward answers, both disappointing and cathartic, in the second-to-last episode of the exciting first season.

Can brain-syncing scientist Sewon stop the far-reaching forces at work to destroy him before they succeed? Can Hong redeem himself after causing so much chaos and hurt? Apple TV+’s first South Korean series is poised for a strong close.

Time travel and weed take Dickinson to interesting new places [Apple TV+ recap]

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Dickinson recap: High times lead to laughs this week.
High times lead to laughs this week.
Photo: Apple TV+

Emily and Lavinia visit the future in this very special episode of Dickinson, Apple TV+s alt-history romp about the great poet. They head to 1955 while Austin gets desperate, Betty gets lonely, Henry gets creative, and Mr. and Mrs. Dickinson get high.

It’s a wild episode this week, rootless and maybe a little too cute, but that’s not unusual for Dickinson.

Swagger builds up to the big game [Apple TV+ recap]

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Swagger recap: Jace (played by Isaiah Hill) flies high as his team faces challenges.
Jace (played by Isaiah Hill) flies high as his team faces challenges.
Photo: Apple TV+

This week’s Swagger finds Jace, Ike, Jenna and Crystal at crossroads. The Apple TV+ basketball drama is all business this episode, showing us what the raised profile of their activism has done for the kids on Swagger, good and ill.

Jenna feels like coach Ike is letting her son down — and takes some drastic measures to try and take him off the pedestal on which Jace has placed him. But at what cost?

The Shrink Next Door craps out a real party pooper [Apple TV+ recap]

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The Shrink Next Door recap: Sometimes parties are no fun at all.
Sometimes parties are no fun at all.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+’s true comedy The Shrink Next Door heads into its endgame this week. Manipulative psychiatrist Ike has all but moved into his patient Marty’s house in the Hamptons. And the bad doctor has started professionally throwing parties.

However, the longer the party goes on, the less fun it feels. The same is true of this show, which increasingly feels like it should have been a two-hour movie — if it needed to exist at all.

Cate Blanchett and Kevin Kline will headline psychological thriller Disclaimer on Apple TV+

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Cate Blanchett and Kevin Kline will headline psychological thriller ‘Disclaimer’ on Apple TV+
Disclaimer will star acclaimed actors Cate Blanchett and Kevin Kline.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ made a series order for an adaptation of Disclaimer, a psychological thriller that will star internationally acclaimed actors Cate Blanchett and Kevin Kline.

It’s being helmed by Alfonso Cuarón, who wrote and will direct all the episodes in the series.

Apple TV+ indie film CODA bags two Gotham Awards

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Emilia Jones won a Gotham Award for her role as Ruby in the Apple TV+ film CODA.
Emilia Jones won a Gotham Award for her role as Ruby in the Apple TV+ film CODA.
Photo: Apple TV+

The Gotham Independent Film Awards handed Apple TV+ film CODA two wins on Monday. Stars Emilia Jones and Troy Kotsur each took home a trophy for their roles in the movie, the story of a child of deaf adults (CODA) who must choose between family obligations and her dream of being a singer.

The stars received their awards in person November 29 at the 31st annual Gotham Independent Film Awards in Manhattan. In its film category, the Gotham Awards feature several categories recognizing feature-length American movies made for less than $35 million. Apple spent $25 million to get the streaming rights for CODA, a Sundance film.

Lucy’s New Year’s Eve party bombs in trailer for new Peanuts special

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Lucy’s New Year’s Eve party bombs in trailer for new Peanuts special
Lucy takes center stage in Snoopy Presents: For Auld Lang Syne on Apple TV+.
Photo: WildBrain/Apple TV+

For Auld Lang Syne will be the first new Peanuts holiday special since 2002, and a trailer released Monday gives a preview. Lucy puts on a New Year’s Eve party but must deal with nothing going right.

The special, set to start streaming in December, looks like a turnaround for Lucy, whose arrogance, bossiness and cruelty generally gets her cast as the villain.