Apple TV+ Impressions

TLDR; I like it.

The Good

Apple’s television shows have exhibited great potential. They cover a variety of topics, settings, and environments. My personal favorites include:

For All Mankind

For All Mankind — an alternate universe story that starts with the Russians beating NASA to the moon and the subsequent race to get ahead of them with future missions. I’ve always been a sucker for stories about journeying into space and this really satisfies that itch. The accuracy of the recreations is phenomenal, the issues feel authenticate, with interesting characters and plots that I’m looking forward to following. It does, however, shoehorn in some sensitive topics, like racism and women in the space program that sometimes feels heavy. I put this down to growing pains and expect improvements to happen as the show gets rolling. Highly recommended.

See — Set in the future where all of mankind has become blind and the culture has adapted to deal with the differences. But when a pair of children are born that can see again, all hell breaks loose. The scenery is gorgeous, the depiction of blindness strikes the right pitch of authenticity, and the story has potential. It may not be your cup of tea but give it a look anyway, you might be surprised.

Apple was pillared in the press for seemingly forbidding certain topics from being addressed within their shows. That is not what I’ve seen at all, especially with See. When a major character is shown masturbating to experience a religious experience, one has to wonder what else the naysayers missed of importance.

The Morning Show

The Morning Show — I saved this one for last as it wasn’t my first choice and I hesitated because of the bad critiques given to the show. I finally figured out I needed to see it for myself and so far have been entirely satisfied. Of the three shows here this is the one really trying to push several agendas at once, from women’s rights in the modern workplace to men who philandered around and are accused of being a sexual predator. It has a lot to say and it’s a dialogue that I’ve not seen anywhere else nor addressed in a responsible and mature manner. After three episodes I must say I’m hooked into seeing how this one plays out as well.

I tried several other shows but none of them were on topics I was interested in. Having cut the cable years ago, I’ve not really missed the trite, formulaic, vapid shows that many people find popular these days.

The Bad

I’m using my Apple TV 4K to watch these shows on a 42″ LCD Samsung television and listen to them through an external sound bar and sometimes my 1st gen AirPods. I watch in full screen using my couch or reclining chair.

Let me vent for a second about the remote for Apple TV. That slippery little devil delights in jumping from my hand onto my hardwood floor at every opportunity. I’m already on my second remote and that annoys me as well. I’d like to ask the designer what they were thinking to make it out of glass, then kick him/her in the crotch. Yeah, I hate it.

Second, to the UI designer who thinks scrolling lists should flow left and right instead of up and down like normal lists, fuck you! My thumb aches from trying to find the sweet spot on the edges of the remote to scroll in the direction I want it to. And whoops, if I miss then it just does whatever the hell it wants to and I end up farther away from my intended destination than one could imagine. So frustrating!

Not enough shows yet. More are on the way and I’ll give them a try as they interest me. Right now I think they’ve made a great start and look forward to many years of excellent, thought provoking shows.


Apple TV+ itself is young and has some rough edges, but every starting service does. The chosen stories are interesting, the variety growing, with excellent production and writing that reminds me of several beloved HBO series.

If you haven’t given it a try, I recommend you take a look. You might be surprised.

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Crits are Back, Time to Finish

It’s the start of October and time to begin with the final edit of An Empire Forgotten: Alexiandrölarn. All the feedback is here and it’s now just a matter of working through the problems and doing a final clean-up on the manuscript. If everything works out it should be ready for publication before the end of the month.

Another project (almost) completed! Yeah!

Working through the second Ramble’s mystery Festival of Murder as well with chapter nine in the works as I type this. Still need to organize some of the final chapters so events line up as necessary but don’t yet see any problems there.

And finally, started work on AEF: Choy as well. Some of the comments for Alexiandrölarn mention that the appendix chapter, meant to kick off events in the second novella was too busy. I’ll look at it again and if I’m unhappy I simply make it the start of Choy instead.

Time to get back to work.

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AEF: Alexiandrölarn DRAFT Finished

After many months of work the initial DRAFT of AEF: Alexiandrölarn is complete. I’ll spend a couple of days fretting over the wording but it is for all intents and purposes complete, with all the plot threads (for this novella anyway) closed out, with only the critiquing phase to get through. Once comments and suggestions are back, then it’s the final edit and publishing. Crossing my fingers for a mid-October release.

Nice release year so far. A book (Built for Murder), a short story (Storms on an Opal Sea), and now a novella (An Empire Forgotten: Alexiandrölarn) real soon now.

Now it’s onto finishing Festival of Murder and starting the second novella AEF: Choy.

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Getting Closer on AEF: Alexiandrölarn

Only two chapters left to finally finish the AEF: Alexiandrölarn novella and both of those are nearly complete. Just some minor corrections to make sure everything comes together at the end and Bob’s your uncle.

Also, several chapters of Festival of Murder are being critiqued even as I write this and getting nice comments, with the usual list of things that I overlooked, like punctuation! I try so hard and it still acts like a slippery fish when I’m writing. Oh well, we do the best we can.

Meanwhile, the slow pace of sales on Built for Murder is mildly depressing. GoodReads has sent me a note saying they are stopping their ad campaign service and to request my money back. As of today there are over 3000+ views and zero (0) clicks! Argh! The Amazon ad campaign is slightly better. It at least is getting a few clicks which means people are checking it out but not buying. Maybe I need to rewrite the book blurb to make it more appealing?

Barring that, I am considering adding some releases to the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) so people with a subscription can at least read them. If I can get a few nice reviews that help sell the stories then it will be worth trying. No decision yet but am seriously considering it.

Have investigated and learned how to send drafts directly to my reviewers via the Kindle email on their devices or apps. That should make it easier on both ends to rapidly turn around updates and material. Got it to work on my iPad, now just need them to add my name to their Kindle sharing list.

Been a busy summer all around but I’m hoping all the hard work pays off in the end. If not with money then at least good reader comments and reviews I can put into my book of clippings.

Labor Day in the USA is upon us and then I’m scheduled for jury duty next week. That means I may be somewhat time restricted, but hey, my wrists need to take a break anyway.

That’s all for now.

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