We talk AirPods with health features, and Apple TV+’s hits and misses, on The CultCast

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CultCast 442: AirPods with health sensors
It would make perfect sense for AirPods to gain health-tracking capabilities.
Image: The CultCast

This week on The CultCast: AirPods with new sensors could be on the horizon, and that would fit perfectly with Apple’s always-on approach to health. Find out why we can’t wait for in-ear health trackers. Or for Apple to revamp the musty Messages app for Mac.

Plus, we discuss the aftermath of last week’s controversial chat with hotshot Apple leaker, Jon Prosser. And finally, Cult of Mac TV reviewer Scout Tafoya tells us why you probably ought to queue up Defending Jacob (and why you might want to skip Central Park).

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. Easily create a beautiful website all by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.

Final episode of Defending Jacob delivers no easy answers [Apple TV+ review]

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Defending Jacob review: The Apple TV+ crime drama Defending Jacobcomes to a powerful conclusion.
The Apple TV+ crime drama comes to a powerful conclusion.
Photo: Apple TV+

Breakout Apple TV+ series Defending Jacob comes to a gutsy and strong conclusion by leaving its characters, and its audience, in the lurch. This is the smartest decision the show’s creators could have made.

The limited series’ ending, which premieres Friday, shifts everything we’ve seen so far into an entirely new light. It likely will haunt you for some time to come.

Spoiler alert: Details about “After,” the final episode of Defending Jacob, follow.

Defending Jacob turns over its final card in penultimate episode [Apple TV+ review]

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Defending Jacob review: The Apple TV+ crime drama hurtles toward its horrible end.
The Apple TV+ crime drama hurtles toward its horrible end.
Photo: Apple TV+

Defending Jacob closes in on its shocking and horrible conclusion this week. It’s been clear for a while that things will never get straightened out fully for the Barber family after Jacob’s murder trial. Whether the teen lands in jail or not, things will end badly.

The Apple TV+ crime drama’s seventh episode, titled “Job,” proves this in spectacularly agonizing fashion.

PSA: Brand new episode of Defending Jacob and Mythic Quest debuts on Apple TV+

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Defending Jacob
Defending Jacob is starting to wrap up.
Photo: Apple

Friday means new content on Apple TV+ — and this week that takes the form of the penultimate episode of Defending Jacob and a new quarantine episode of comedy Mythic Quest.

The preview for the Defending Jacob episode reads: “As the trial begins, Jacob’s fate hangs in the balance.” Meanwhile, the special quarantine edition episode of Raven’s Quest is described like this: “As the MQ staff works from home, Poppy struggles with solitude, while Brad and David start a charitable competition.”

Defending Jacob nears boiling point in ‘Wishful Thinking’ [Apple TV+ review]

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Betty Gabriel and Chris Evans anchor the uniformly strong crime drama Defending Jacob.
Betty Gabriel and Chris Evans anchor uniformly strong crime drama Defending Jacob.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ crime drama Defending Jacob nears its climax in Episode 6. The writers crank up the tension and the danger in ways that finally take the series out of the ordinary and into the more obviously fictional and generic.

Thankfully, director Morten Tyldum knows how to handle a flagrant crime show incident without it seeming more overblown than the series can handle. (Spoiler alert: Some key plot details will follow.)

Compelling crime drama Defending Jacob gets brand new episode on Apple TV+

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Defending Jacob
The plot thickens in episode six.
Photo: Apple TV+

Episode six of Defending Jacob debuted on Apple TV+ Friday, providing fans with another episode of the compelling crime drama to enjoy as the week comes to a close.

Titled “Wishful Thinking,” Apple’s preview for the episode reads as follows: “Andy and Klein explore two last-ditch efforts to prove Jacob’s innocence.”

Defending Jacob takes an unsettling turn in 5th episode [Apple TV+ review]

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J.K. Simmons takes Defending Jacob to an unsettling new place.
J.K. Simmons takes us to an unsettling new place in this week's episode.
Photo: Apple TV+

Things start to get unbearably tense and inhumane as pressure builds on the Barber family in Defending Jacob’s fifth episode, “Visitors.” The show takes a number of risks that may pay rich dividends in future episodes — as long as the showrunners remember not to flinch.

New guest stars — including veteran actor J.K. Simmons — and old vendettas surface in Friday’s new episode. And the Barbers head toward what might turn out to be a moral dead end if they want to stop their son, Jacob, from going to prison. Can we say climax?

Defending Jacob delves into trust issues in stellar 4th episode [Review]

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Defending Jacob
Apple TV+'s Defending Jacob stays strong in its fourth episode.
Photo: Apple TV+

In its fourth episode, stellar Apple TV+ show Defending Jacob shows every member of the Barber family starting to crack as young Jacob moves closer to his murder trial. As the characters head toward revelations and uncomfortable conclusions, they start to stall for time in irresponsible, sometimes dangerous ways.

As the situation unfolds, their relationships with each other start to fray.

Adoption comedy series Trying, new episode of Defending Jacob debut on Apple TV+

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Trying on Apple TV+
Trying is the first British comedy to debut on Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple TV+

With coronavirus lockdown, new streaming TV content is more appreciated than ever. Fortunately, Apple TV+ has loaded up on new content for another packed week of new shows. Debuting Friday are all eight episodes of the first season of new comedy series Trying.

There’s also episode four of the excellent Chris Evans-starring drama series Defending Jacob. That should be enough to fill at least part of the weekend!