| Cult of Mac

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

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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]

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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]

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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

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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+.

Two years on: The very best of Apple TV+

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Apple TV+ offers up some real gems.
Apple TV+ offers up some real gems.
Original photo: Paolo Chiabrando/Unsplash CC

When Apple TV+ launched on November 1, 2019, Cupertino had its sights set on creating a serious Netflix rival. Two year on, it may not have conquered the world like fellow streaming newcomer Disney+ did. But Apple TV+ continues to deliver a stream of top-notch shows — and some must-see movies.

With dozens of series and more than 20 feature films, where should you start? Here’s our guide to the best shows and movies on Apple TV+, in no particular order.

Season 2 of Apple TV+’s excellent Tehran series could be on the way

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Tehran is a spy thriller starring Israeli actress Niv Sultan.
The spy thriller stars Israeli actress Niv Sultan (left) and Shervin Alenabi.
Photo: Apple TV+

Season two of Tehran, the excellent spy drama whose first season just wrapped up on Apple TV+, is underway — although Apple has yet to give it the official go-ahead.

“I can say that we are working on the second season,” said Julien Leroux, CEO and founder of production company Paper Entertainment. “It’s not been officially greenlit, but we are working on it, so hopefully we’ll have some good news by the end of the year.”

PSA: Season finale of Tehran debuts on Apple TV+, more

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Tehran season finale
What's on Apple TV+ today?
Photo: Apple

Apple’s celebrated spy drama Tehran reaches the end of the road Friday as the Apple TV+ airs its season finale.

The episode, titled “Five Hours Until the Bombing Run,” is one of three new shows on Apple TV+ this week. It means that, for the uninitiated, the entire series is now available for viewing. (Plus non-subscribers can tune in to watch the Halloween animated classic It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.)

PSA: On the Rocks, Letter to You, more debut on Apple TV+

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Bill Murray and director Sofia Coppola reunite for On the Rocks.
Bill Murray and director Sofia Coppola reunite for On the Rocks.
Photo: Apple TV+

It’s a packed Friday for Apple TV+ with the debut of Sofia Coppola’s movie On The Rocks, plus a new episode of Tehran and Long Way Up. There’s also the new Bruce Springsteen documentary Letter to You, which was due to debut Friday, but wound up debuting Thursday after a tweet sent out by The Boss (and, no, we don’t mean Tim Cook).

Here’s what to expect from this week’s new arrivals.