Welcome to another edition of ‘Up Next’ here at Screen Times. This week, ‘The Essex Serpent' makes its Apple TV+ debut. Tom Hiddleston and Claire Danes star in this new British mystery series and you can read our full review by Jonathan Reed now. ‘The Greatness Code’ also returns for a second season this week and there are plenty of new releases on Apple Arcade, Apple Music and new workouts in Fitness+ too. ‘Shining Girls’ and ‘Tehran’ also continue with new episodes and there’s a double-header of Friday Night MLB action to kick off the weekend with.
With that, here’s our guide to your week ahead on Apple TV.
‘The Essex Serpent’ follows London widow Cora Seaborne (Claire Danes) who moves to Essex to investigate reports of a mythical serpent. She forms a surprising bond of science and scepticism with the local pastor (Tom Hiddleston), but when tragedy strikes, locals accuse her of attracting the creature. You can read Jonathan Reed’s full review here.
Season two of the Emmy Award-winning unscripted short-form sports documentary series arrives this week on TV+. This season, Lindsey Vonn, Marcus Rashford, Russell Wilson, Leticia Bufoni, Scout Bassett and Bubba Wallace pull back the curtain on a pivotal career moment when they touched greatness. The series is told through a stylized hybrid of live-action and visual effects.
This week’s action begins with the San Diego Padres visiting the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park, as Yu Darvish squares off with Atlanta southpaw Max Fried. The second game of the night between the Chicago Cubs and the Arizona Diamondbacks will pit D-backs starter Zach Davies, in the midst of an excellent season, against a Cubs lineup featuring outfielder Seiya Suzuki at Chase Field.
This much-loved, hilarious title arrives on Apple Arcade this week. Rather than us telling you about it, it’s probably better to read the developer description below for a true sense of what this game is all about:
“Goat Simulator is the latest in goat simulation technology, bringing next-gen goat simulation to YOU. You no longer have to fantasize about being a goat, your mobile dreams have finally come true!
Gameplay-wise, Goat Simulator is all about causing as much destruction as you possibly can as a goat. It has been compared to an old-school skating game, except instead of being a skater, you're a goat, and instead of doing tricks, you wreck stuff. more! When it comes to goats, not even the sky is the limit, as you can probably just bug through it and crash the game.
DISCLAIMER Goat Simulator is a completely stupid game and, to be honest, you should probably spend your money on something else, such as a hula hoop, a pile of bricks, or maybe pool your money together with your friends and buy a real goat.
KEY FEATURES * You can be a goat * Get points for wrecking stuff - brag to your friends that you're the alpha goat * MILLIONS OF BUGS! We're only eliminating the crash-bugs, everything else is hilarious and we're keeping it * In-game physics that bug out all the time * Seriously look at that goat's neck * You can be a goat”
How can you not be excited to play after reading that?
Sigmund: "The master of double entendres is back with the best solo work of his career - now available in Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio. The album title itself references both the art world and the refinement process in the manufacturing of narcotics - typical of what we’ve come to expect from the Virginia-born talent often unfairly defined by the references to his early-life hustle. In an age of double albums chasing an algorithm for accumulative minutes-listened Push delivers twelve tracks that beg the listener to hit the loop button following the conclusion to its 37 min runtime. Produced by Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, 88-Keys and NIGO this latest full-length album features guest spots by JAY-Z, Kid Cudi, Lil Uzi Vert, Don Toliver, Labyrinth and Malice. Every collaboration furthers a concoction of aspirational and reflective lyrics referencing street hustle and the silver screen, delivered with a cadence both vicious and precise that can be enjoyed both on a surface level by the majority and by die-hard fans who dare to dig deeper to reap further rewards."
King Kendrick's latest masterwork has arrived and even though we're just diving into it, it only feels right to include it here as one of our picks of the week.
From Apple Music:
When Kendrick Lamar popped up on two tracks from Baby Keem’s The Melodic Blue (“range brothers” and “family ties”), it felt like one of hip-hop’s prophets had descended a mountain to deliver scripture. His verses were stellar, to be sure, but it also just felt like way too much time had passed since we’d heard his voice. He’d helmed 2018’s Black Panther compilation/soundtrack, but his last proper release was 2017’s DAMN. That kind of scarcity in hip-hop can only serve to deify an artist as beloved as Lamar. But if the Compton MC is broadcasting anything across his fifth proper album Mr Morale & The Big Steppers, it’s that he’s only human.
The project is split into two parts, each comprising nine songs, all of which serve to illuminate Lamar’s continually evolving worldview. Central to Lamar’s thesis is accountability. The MC has painstakingly itemised his shortcomings, assessing his relationships with money (“United in Grief”), white women (“Worldwide Steppers”), his father (“Father Time”), the limits of his loyalty (“Rich Spirit”), love in the context of heteronormative relationships (“We Cry Together”, “Purple Hearts”), motivation (“Count Me Out”), responsibility (“Crown”), gender (“Auntie Diaries”) and generational trauma (“Mother I Sober”). It’s a dense and heavy listen. But just as sure as Kendrick Lamar is human like the rest of us, he’s also a Pulitzer Prize winner, one of the most thoughtful MCs alive and someone whose honesty across Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers.
Devon: “Based on true events, this miniseries stars Jessica Biel as Candy, a churchgoing 1980’s housewife turned axe murderer. I am a sucker for true crime, and everything about this series works for me: the period, the performances, the structure. All solid. I also really enjoyed the fact that Hulu released the series as a five-night event with one hour-long episode each night. It made the watching experience more fun and got me excited for the upcoming Apple TV+ five-night event for Prehistoric Planet starting in just over a week. I’ve got my fingers crossed that this release format sticks around because it really works for me.”
James: “I first found out about Zack Hample via YouTube’s suggested videos section. Zack records videos of his MLB stadium visits where he attempts to catch baseballs and show off cool things that each ballpark has to offer. I wasn’t familiar with just how far back his story goes, however, and this documentary is a fun and fascinating watch and insight into someone who is laser-focused on pursuing his passion. For those unfamiliar, Zack is a superman and’ ballhawk’ and has attended thousands of Major League games on his journey to catch 10,000 baseballs from the stands. Along the way, his popularity and notoriety have skyrocketed and he’s racked up over a million social media followers, bringing a lot of hate and controversy along with it. Zack infamously caught Derek Jeter’s 3000th career hit ball and decided to hold on to it, and this documentary explores the incident and all of the chaos that surrounded it, as well as his journey to his 10,000th ball.”
James: “I’d be lying if I said that I enjoyed this documentary as such - after watching it on a total whim, it left me reeling and feeling angry and pretty disgusted. That being said, it was utterly gripping and has stuck with me since the credits rolled. This story of a woman’s at-home DNA test that reveals multiple half-siblings and shocking acts committed by a fertility doctor can be tough to watch at times and always seems up the ante just when you think that the story can’t get any darker. An extremely unsettling story.”
Sigmund: "The Daniels' second feature-length film is a good descriptor for what viewers can expect when sitting down for this highly original and creative sci-fi action-comedy. Starring Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All At Once follows an exhausted Chinese American woman (Yeoh) who can't seem to finish her taxes and soon finds herself in a multi-verse adventure where she alone can save what’s important to her by connecting with the lives she could have led. The goofball concept will disarm you with its funny, absurdist moments before striking an emotional chord over a spectacular 2-hour runtime that marks an exceptional piece of independent filmmaking thanks to its performances, script, costume, score, editing, cinematography, choreography and lighting - I honestly couldn’t fault it. A film about acceptance and personal potential that should have every googly eye in this universe paying attention, including yours."
Jonathan: “When TV critics, websites and others draw up their ‘Best of’ lists for TV, ‘The Wire’ is often at the top of them. And with good reason. No other show has so brilliantly dramatised the many issues facing society today such as education, politics, the ‘war on drugs’ and of course, policing. 'We Own This City’ takes the last issue and dramatises a true story from the last 15+ years about how a group of policeman in the Gun Track Taskforce rose to become some of the most powerful men on the streets on Baltimore before subsequently falling from grace. Created by ‘The Wire’ creator David Simon and frequent collaborator George Pelecanos it’s a show that moves fast, and talks even faster. Keep up and you’ll be rewarded with a stunning, dense, piece of television. Plus, look out for a career-best performance from a ’can’t take your eyes off him’ Jon Bernthal.”
Articles by the ScreenTimes team. Founded by Sigmund Judge in 2016, ScreenTimes provides its readers with honest, in-depth, passionate and informed Apple TV coverage whilst shining the brightest of lights on the very best of tvOS and beyond. We believe in the arts, apps and the future of TV.