I've been musing recently about which streaming services offer the best value for money, with Netflix considered for cancellation alongside Disney Plus and Amazon Prime Video.
I've been tempted with Paramount Plus, too, and also expounded the benefits of YouTube Premium. However, I think if I am to cancel Netflix then I might replace it with Apple TV+, which is finally - in my opinion - arriving in the streaming big league.
The reason why Apple TV+ is so tempting for me right now, though, isn't just because of its roster of hot new shows is large, but also because as a Sky user I've currently got access to a Apple TV+ 3-month free trial. As such, right now my thinking is that I can really get stuck into a lot of the service's top shows without spending a penny and then consider whether it is worth keeping later in the year.
What Apple TV+ original shows and films will I watch on my free trial? These are the top ones I've identified so far.
The Apple TV+ shows I want to watch
Severance – A really interesting concept piece here from director Ben Stiller. This series introduces the concept of "Severance", a fictional procedure whereby people can have their memories surgically divided between their work and personal lives.
Pachinko – I've heard great things about Pachinko, which follows a Korean family's story over multiple generations in the 20th century, spanning Korea, Japan and America. An epic tale by all accounts.
Slow Horses – I'm a big John Le Carre fan, so this adaptation of Mick Herron's espionage novel is really exciting. It follows a department of MI5 rejects who are led by Jackson Lamb, as played by Gary Oldman.
Suspicion – A modern and snappy whodunit, Suspicion stars Uma Thurman and follows the fallout when her son is kidnapped. Suspicion falls on a four seemingly ordinary British citizens – but who, if any of them, did it?
The Morning Show – Fronted by Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, The Morning Show has plenty of star power and explores the cutthroat world of morning news television. Steve Carell, who is always good, co-stars.
Ted Lasso – I'm a football fan so I'd be contractually mandated to watch Ted Lasso on Apple TV+. It stars Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso, a small-time American college football coach who is hired to coach in the British Premier League despite his massive lack of experience.
Long Way Up – I'm a big motorbike fan so the chance to watch Ewan McGregor and his chum Charley Boorman ride electric bikes all the way up through South and Central America sounds great.
The Essex Serpent – Coming in June this year, The Essex Serpent follows London widow Cora Seaborne, as played by Claire Danes, as she moves to Essex to investigate reports of a mythical serpent. Tom Hiddleston co-stars.
CODA – This is looking like a big Oscars rival for The Power of the Dog, telling the tale of 17-year-old Ruby, as played by Emilia Jones, who is the sole hearing member of a deaf family – a CODA, child of deaf adults.
On The Rocks – This sounds great. Playboy father Bill Murray teams up with his daughter, as played by Parks and Recreation's Rashida Jones, to track down and tail her husband.
The Tragedy of Macbeth – I'm a big Shakespeare fan and this Joel Coen adaptation of the classic tale of murder, ambition and madness is getting rave reviews. Denzel Washington stars at Macbeth.
And, right now, I can watch these shows for free
As mentioned above, as a Sky VIP customer I can sign up to Apple TV+ for free for 3 months right now, too, meaning that I can get stuck into each one of these shows before that trial ends.
Apple TV+ would then be an extra £4.99 per month (it's $4.99 per month in the USA) after that date, which works out as markedly cheaper than my current Netflix Premium subscription, which costs me £15.99 per month – that's three times the price of Apple TV+.
So, my feeling is that I'm going to sign up to the Apple TV+ free trial, watch as much of the content listed above as possible in that period, then re-evaluate the service at the end of the trial, as too whether I will stop paying for Netflix and divert that money towards paying for Apple TV+ instead.
I like the idea of paying less each month for a streaming service and having more money in my pocket, which right now is really welcome as the cost of everything, including Netflix, is going up in 2022.