| Cult of Mac

Apple TV+ nabs 10 Critics Choice Award nominations


Severance nabbed nominations for Best Drama Series and for Adam Scott's acting.
Photo: Apple TV+

The Critics Choice Association showered Apple TV+ Tuesday with 10 nominations for the upcoming 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards. They include Best Drama Series nods for workplace psycho-drama Severance and dark comedy-drama Bad Sisters, plus Best Foreign Language Series noms for Pachinko and Tehran.

Nominations honored six series in total. The other two nominations covered acting in prison suspense thriller Black Bird and family drama The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey. See more specifics below.

Tehran tenses up for explosive season 2 finale [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆☆


Tehran season 2 finale recap: Who will double-cross who in the season finale?★★☆☆☆
Who will double-cross who in the season finale?
Photo: Apple TV+

In the season finale of Apple TV+ spy drama Tehran, Peyman is dead — and everyone is guilty.

Milad and Tamar need to patch up their frayed relationship if they have any hope of escaping the country and certain death. Marjan and Faraz must make sure they don’t look guilty as the investigation into the “accidental” death of the son of the head of the Revolutionary Guard commences.

And there’s still the matter of Peyman’s father, Qassem, whom Tamar swore to kill. Now, she has next to no shot at getting near him. It’s a lot of ground to cover in 43 minutes. And there’s still the more difficult task of making any of these people compelling enough to want to see them in a third season.

Tehran races ahead with more death and betrayals [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆☆


Tehran recap: We're off to the races this week.★★☆☆☆
Nobody can put the brakes on this spy thriller's never-ending deceptions.
Photo: Apple TV+

This week on Tehran, the Apple TV+ spy thriller narrows its options until there’s only one thing remaining: Mossad agent Tamar and Revolutionary Guard leader Faraz, face to face, heading to a party to carry out an assassination.

If she fails, dozens of people will die. If she succeeds, her target will be dead — but so will Faraz (and probably his wife).

The season’s penultimate episode rests on a climactic car race, with Tamar’s boyfriend Milad making life-or-death decisions and her hands tied. This slightly dodgy second season still time to straighten itself out.

Tehran’s poisonous choices just keep coming [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★☆☆


Tehran recap: This is far from an ordinary, friendly meal.★★★☆☆
This is far from an ordinary, friendly meal.
Photo: Apple TV+

Iranian spy chief Faraz loses everything as Mossad agent Tamar plans to do just the same thing in this week’s high-strung episode of Tehran. Having had two attempts to kill Mohammadi thwarted by circumstance, Tamar is ready to risk everything to kill him if she must.

Meanwhile, Milad finds himself at the end of his tether, Marjan must flee the country, and absolutely nobody’s cover is safe.

As the second season of the Apple TV+ spy thriller winds down, the show sticks to its best tricks: simply showing the nuts and bolts of spycraft and broken allegiances.

The tension ratchets up in Tehran [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆☆


Mossad agent Tamar from Apple TV+ show Tehran★★☆☆☆
Mossad agent Tamar must spring her boyfriend from an Iranian jail.
Photo: Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+’s Tehran goes to jail this week as everybody’s best-laid plans come crashing down. As the tension on the show ratchets up approaching the season finale, the obvious imbalance in the two groups of opposing Mossad and Iranian agents shrinks.

That makes watching the show for fun a little easier, but always there’s a lingering uneasiness about who Tehran’s heroes and villains really are.

In Tehran, even a pool party is drenched in deception [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆☆


Tehran recap ★★☆☆☆
A pool party is just another chance to dip your toes in deceit.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ spy thriller Tehran throws a sexy and tense pool party so Mossad agent Tamar can get one over on her targets: the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and his tech bro son. She has to play a game of cat and mouse with a couple of rich, violent people to get close enough to deploy a decoy that will give her the upper hand — and maybe kill the man responsible for the deaths of her family.

Of course, she put them in danger in the first place, something the show isn’t interested in exploring anymore now that there’s a new spy game afoot. But no matter. Once more unto the breach.

Things get a little too convenient this week on Tehran [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆☆


Tehran recap, ★★☆☆☆
Milad (played by Shervin Alenabi) and Tamar (Niv Sultan) wind up in uncomfortable situations this week.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ show Tehran puts its second-season plot in motion this week, but the Israeli espionage drama keeps making bizarre missteps in its pursuit of pulse-pounding thrills, twists and turns.

Manjar steps into Farraz’s home in the perfect disguise, Tamar tries out her new character, Milad almost screws everything up for all of them.

Everybody’s tense and everybody’s guilty, as usual. And Tehran continues to benefit from good performances, tight editing and solid music and sound design, which keep every nail-biting scene running efficiently. But is that enough to save the show from an increasingly blinkered perspective?

Tehran takes the action, and the politics, up a notch [Apple TV+ recap]


Tehran recap: Glenn Close joins the cast for another season of subterfuge.
Glenn Close joins the Tehran cast for a second season of subterfuge.
Photo: Apple TV+

When Apple TV+ spy thriller Tehran returns Friday, the show picks up right where it left off after its taut first season. Mossad agent/hacker Tamar’s crimes catch up with her as she waits for extraction from Iran. And humbled Revolutionary Guards chief Faraz is still seething over his seeming defeat by Mossad, with the eyes of the Iranian government on him.

The spy-on-spy action remains good, but Tehran is playing a dangerous game in dramatizing the Iranian government as the greater of two evils. I’m hoping there’s a little more lip service paid to the idea that, though Iran is the villain on this show, Israel is the aggressor. It’s something the show forgets when convenient.

Glenn Close makes her Tehran debut in new Apple TV+ trailer


Glenn Close makes her ‘Tehran’ season two debut in new Apple TV+ trailer
Espionage thriller Tehran returns to Apple TV+ on May 6 with Glenn Close in a prominent role.
Photo: Apple TV+

Mossad hacker-agent Tamar remains undercover in Iran in Tehran season two. But this time she has Glenn Close to help. But is she really there to help?

Watch the trailer for the upcoming season for more hints of what’s to come. And the wait won’t be long — new episodes of the spy-vs-spy thriller premier May 6 on Apple TV+.