ENTERTAINMENT
01/11/2019 7:43 AM IST

Apple TV Plus Launches In India Today, Here's Everything You Need To Watch

From getting a subscription to what to watch, a complete guide on how to negotiate the latest entrant in the streaming market.

Apple TV
A still from Apple TV Plus' 'The Morning Show'

Apple TV Plus, the streaming service from tech giant Apple, launches worldwide today.

In a surprise move, the monthly subscription for the service is a relatively cheap Rs. 99, compared with Netflix’s Rs. 500. The first seven days are part of the trial period and are free. 

Those who buy a new Apple device will get a year of free Apple TV Plus subscription but the same offer isn’t valid for existing users of Apple products. 

So do you need to own an Apple device to stream the content on its platform?

Short answer: No.

Can the shows be streamed only via the Apple TV app?

No again. You can stream it on your web browser.

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Great. Now that’s out of the way, do you really need to sign up?

Well, about that.

According to the Financial Times, the cash rich company is spending an eye-popping $6 billion on new shows to compete with established players such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.

One of its biggest offerings is The Morning Show, reportedly one of the most expensive TV shows in history, with a budget of more than $15 million per episode. Starring Hollywood royalty Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell, the show foregrounds the #MeToo movement.

Some of Apple’s other shows include Jason Momoa-starring See, alternate-history drama For All The Mankind and the Hailee Steinfeld-starrer coming-of-age comedy Dickinson.

But here’s the bad news. None of the shows have been universally loved by critics or viewers. Though it’s early days yet, See is currently the worst-reviewed show for Apple with just a 46% rating on Rotten Tomatoes while The Morning Show is currently at 58%. 

Here’s more about the shows on Apple TV: 

The Morning Show - November 1

 

 

Tim Surette of TV Guide wrote, “The lack of experience in making TV is evident all over The Morning Show, and it’s proof that making good TV requires more than spending lots of dough, hiring famous people, and screaming, “Action!” while a Variety review said, “It’s perhaps unsurprising that Apple, a bleeding-edge tech company whose streaming service represents TV’s vanguard, had so little sensibility for what morning TV means to its viewers or its practitioners.”

See - November 1

 

See isn’t close to a good show thus far, but it does just enough to make you believe that under the right circumstances, there might be a good show here somewhere, eventually,” Daniel Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, while Ben Travers of Indiewire said, “A certain suspension of disbelief is required for a post-apocalyptic fantasy titled “See” about an unseeing society — that much is obvious — and there are plenty of cool sword fights where a combatant will pivot and thrust into a precise spot without any explanation for how they knew where to stab, or even how they knew an opponent (not an ally) was standing there.”

Dickinson - November 1

 

Perhaps Apple’s best-reviewed show thus far, the Hailee Steinfeld-starrer drama has been praised for its boldness. “Audacious and aspirational, Dickinson’s bold blend of period-drama and millennial milieu definitely won’t be for all, but those looking to break free from the doldrums of their viewing life may find some kind of hope in its singular vision,” reads the consensus on Rotten Tomatoes.

For All The Mankind - November 1

This sci-fi drama explores the possibility of what would have happened if the Soviet Union had beaten the US by successfully  landing the first man on moon. A positive review on Variety said, “Of the original series launching on Apple’s streaming TV service Monday, “For All Mankind” is by far the strongest, especially because it makes the most of its budget and subsequent capacity to dream a bit bigger than most. Its production and costume design evolve to fit the changing times, and its handsome direction shines brightest in space”

But despite mixed reviews, it doesn’t appear that Apple has found its own version of House of Cards or its Orange is the new Black, two of Netflix’s biggest hits, just yet.

Currently on a relatively thin slate, Apple plans to drop more shows in the coming months, including one with M Night Shyamalan titled Servant, which will premiere on November 28 and the Octavia Spencer-starrer Truth Be Told, which arrives on December 6. A talk-show with Oprah Winfrey is also in the works (slated for 2020) while a show about America’s first African-American bankers, titled The Banker, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Bernard Garrett, will drop early next year.