Today I'm mostly avoiding the internet because I haven't watched the finale of For All Mankind season 3, which went online yesterday. I know from experience that the show's finales tend to ramp up the tension and the emotional punch to almost unbearable levels, and I don't want a random Twitter post to give away any of its secrets. Three series in, I'm convinced that For All Mankind is the best show on Apple TV+ and one of the best shows on any streaming service.
If you haven't already been bitten by the For All Mankind bug, it's an epic drama set in an alternative version of history: what if the USSR had beaten the USA to be the first people on the moon? In season one we get to know the astronauts, their families and their colleagues, and what seems to be a pretty straightforward space race show develops into something much richer and more emotional. It's a space show for sure, with suitably big-budget effects and some very breathtaking visuals, but it's also a complex drama about the men and women whose lives are affected by the space race.
And that's just season one. By season two you've got gunfights on the moon.
I love this show, and I think you will too.
Is For All Mankind worth watching on Apple TV+?
Definitely. It's beautiful to look at, and it's particularly good on the best TVs where the inky blacks of space and searing reds of Mars show you just how great your TV is. But don't just take my word for it. Seasons two and three of For All Mankind have 100% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes.
Reviewing the third season, USA Today's Kelly Lawler says "In the endless barrage of mediocre series pushed out weekly, "Mankind" stands out, a shining star (or moon or planet) among the replaceable rest" while Owen Morawitz at Exclaim says "For All Mankind is one of the best and most consistent sci-fi series in living memory." And Nick Schager at the Daily Beast says "In its third season, For All Mankind flies high in its trip into the unknown, discovering along the way the very real qualities that both make us who we are, and drive us to be better."
The closest comparison I can think of is the SF film Gravity, which For All Mankind sometimes resembles: it too is a film ostensibly about space but really about the people who go there. If you're looking for something to binge while you hide from the heat, I can't recommend it highly enough – and I'm delighted that Apple has confirmed it's making a fourth season soon.