Netflix’s streaming reign has been long gone, but not all the good streaming platforms have reached mainstream media yet.
Since the beginning of the popularly known “streaming wars,” Netflix's dominance as the sole streaming platform has now ended - bringing many other big names into the fray - such as HBO, Disney and Paramount. Every company, it seems, wants a piece of the streaming business. This competition led to overwhelming content production as everyone sought to establish themselves as a power in the industry. The more series and movies they could provide, the more subscribers they were able to attract.
This content boom has brought a golden era for the public, who have got to enjoy many productions from all genres. Each streaming service wanted at least one series they could be associated with. Prime Video had The Boys, Disney + had Wanda and Vision, and Netflix had Stranger Things, for instance.
One of the first stages of the competition was to reclaim series and movies that were available on Netflix. That's what HBOmax did when they took back the rights to the series Friends and took its huge fan base with it. Disney + did the same when it made Modern Family, New Girl and How I Met Your Mother exclusive to their subscribers. Even Prime Video added series like Two And A Half Men and Dr. House to their options. All of which were already very well-established sitcoms that held a loyal fan base. Netflix lost much of its leverage as the streaming rights to these series went to new and expanding platforms.
Another tool that streaming services utilized quite a lot were inducing nostalgic themes and shows to its viewership. Netflix used that with their revival of the famous 80s Karate Kid trilogy with Cobra Kai and the revival of Gilmore Girls: the year in a life, and HBOmax had Friends: the reunion as well as the remake of Gossip Girl. Although the nostalgic sentiment can incite curiosity, it can backfire very fast if the result is not well received by the fan base, which happened with many of these shows.
After the most recent increase in streaming platforms, it seems like all services have established their names, their libraries and what they have to offer. Then what can one new platform possibly add to make it seem worthwhile?
That's where Apple TV+ comes into question. A name with no previous productions to reclaim, no nostalgic shows to rely on and late to the scramble of the streamings, but it has yet to disappoint its subscribers.
This underrated platform has shown a significant improvement since its release in 2019. It still has a smaller volume of series and movies than its competitors, and it does have an inherent barrier for Android users. Still, they stand out for their quality. Maybe they still need to increase the number of subscribers, but their current catalogue is very commendable and attractive to viewers. Original writing, intriguing plots and charismatic characters are all part of the series and movies of all genres available in the Apple TV + list.
One of the platform's first original series was the success of The Morning Show. It shows the behind-the-scenes of a morning television show. But everything changes when Mitch Kessler (Steve Carrel) is accused of sexual harassment and abuse, leaving his partner Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston) alone on the bench, dealing with the pressure of the crime committed by her partner. The show discusses the issues of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements, discussing crucial societal problems in a new light. "The cast, led by the phenomenal Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, is truly to die for. Kerry, Mimi and Michael, and the teams at Media Res, Hello Sunshine and Echo Films, have created an irresistible world that is equally delicious and provocative," said the showrunner, Charlotte Stoudt, in an interview for Variety. This fast pacing of the show is surprising and intriguing, and it will have you glued to the TV until the end. The show should have its third season by the summer or fall of 2023.
Another truly hidden gem in this platform is the unpredictable genius of Ted Lasso. Do not underestimate how much this feel-good story can show heart and emotion in such a simple plot. It tells the story of Ted (Jason Sudeikis), an American football coach hired to manage an England football (soccer) team, but he has little to no experience with the sport. The 7-time Emmy-winning series released in 2022, made it the most nominated comedy series in history with 20 nominations - it will have you hooked from the first episode. The show stars Jason Sudeikis, and it shows a fresh and honest story that does not rely on any overly dramatic scenes and plot twists. Ted is a highly positive and kind person that can be seen as a bit clueless, but little by little, the show explores Ted's many layers that can truly teach the audience about the importance of kindness. "You don't discuss what the show is about but, rather, how it feels to watch it, which is comforting, or, as one headline put it, like a warm hug of nice," as Doreen St. Félix put it in his The New Yorker article about the show. The third season is currently available with one episode per week from March 15th, 2023.
Other original series such as See, Severance, For All Mankind and their newest show Shrinking have all been very well received by critics and have shown excellent reviews from viewers. Apple TV + is gradually becoming a potential competitor to streaming platforms such as Netflix and Disney +, even though it arrived late into the game. It might not be close to the big industry's subscriber numbers, but it is undoubtedly a perfect example of a high-quality content platform.
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