Calling All Apple TV+ Fans

This weekend’s global premiere of Calls on Apple TV+ spear-heads a slew of new series soon to launch on the streaming service.

Calls, which launched today, is billed as “a groundbreaking, immersive television experience” based on the buzzy French series of the same name.

The blurb promises it masterfully uses audio and minimal abstract visuals to tell nine “bone-chilling” short stories under the direction of Don’t Breathe’s Fede Álvarez.

Each episode follows a darkly dramatic mystery that unfolds through a series of seemingly average, unconnected phone conversations that quickly become surreal as the characters lives are thrown into growing disarray. Featuring Lily Collins, Rosario Dawson, Pedro Pascal, Aubrey Plaza and more, Calls proves that the real terror lies in one’s interpretation of what they cannot see on the screen and the unsettling places one’s imagination can take them.

It coincides with the season finale of Apple TV+’s superior spinetingler, Servant, which was renewed for a third season even before the second debuted.

Landing on April 30 will be The Mosquito Coast, Kiwi Neil (Luther) Cross’ adaptation of the Paul Theroux novel that was first filmed as a 1986 Harrison Ford-River Phoenix movie.

The series marks the 40th anniversary of the novel’s publication and is described as “a gripping adventure and layered character drama following the dangerous journey of a radical idealist and brilliant inventor, Allie Fox (played by Justin Theroux), who uproots his family for Mexico when they suddenly find themselves on the run from the US government”.

Justin Theroux (On the Basis of Sex) is the author’s nephew; Melissa George co-stars.

Scheduled for mid-year is the ’80s dramedy Physical, which stars Rose Byrne as a tortured but dutiful San Diego housewife who becomes hooked on aerobics while her husband runs for office.

Sheila’s real road to empowerment comes when she discovers a way to merge this newfound passion with the burgeoning technology of videotape to start a revolutionary business. The series tracks her epic journey from a stifled, overlooked enabler to a powerful, confident economic force, as Sheila transforms into someone we take for granted today (but was entirely radical at the time) – the female lifestyle guru.

Also watch for seasons two of Mythic Quest (May 7) and Central Park (June 25) as well as the premieres of:

  • the Stephen King adaptation, Lisey’s Story, “a deeply personal thriller” about a series of unsettling events that causes the widow (Julianne Moore) of a famous novelist (Clive Owen) to face memories of her marriage she has deliberately blocked out; and,
  • musical comedy Schmigadoon!, which stars Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key as a couple on a backpacking trip designed to reinvigorate their relationship when they discover a magical town in which everyone is living in a studio musical from the 1940s.
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