The Apple TV+ space drama For All Mankind (FAM) started slowly out of the gate, but it’s been picking up speed ever since and now, GQ‘s Jeff Wilser calls it “The Best Show No One’s Watching.”
So in 2019, when Apple unveiled its slate of original programming, FAM seemed like a natural flagship property. But critics yawned, viewers opted for Ted Lasso or The Morning Show, and even Apple TV seems to have forgotten about its space epic, now more than halfway through a 10-episode second season. It’s no longer featured at the top of the app, it doesn’t seem to appear in “New Originals,” and sometimes the only way to even locate the show is to scroll to the far end of the dramas category, where it’s grudgingly featured as the 12th out of 12 shows — the last kid picked for the kickball team.
Just as the world moved on from the space race, people seem to have lost interest in For All Mankind. It’s hard to blame them. The early episodes of Season 1 are the weakest of the series… It feels like maybe showrunner Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica, Outlander) is squandering his juicy premise, playing it too safe… By Season 2, everything is stronger. The writing is crisper, the pacing tighter, and the characters are given quiet moments to grapple with loss and shame, regrets and heartache. And then you realize that Moore has quietly created a new genre —let’s call it “Barely Altered Timeline,” or the BAT —which blends the pleasures of period dramas with the thrill of the unknown. Typically, altered history shows like The Man in the High Castle create a world so different from ours that it’s almost cartoonish, with giant swastikas on billboards in Times Square. Here the differences are subtle. And this is what puts For All Mankind in the running (along with Snowfall) for The Best Show No One’s Watching.
MacDailyNews Take: It’s true. This is one of those “You Have to Give it a Chance” series that finally come into its own in Season Two. Seriously, if you like sci-fi or just good drama, give For All Mankind another look!