Apple TV Plus
Articles / TV Rewiews
People might say Appl is losing it a bit when comes to technological innovation and perhaps even its legendary ability to sell stuff. But, oh boy, there’s still ain't no party like an Apple tech party.
I expect a lot of you have stopped watching Apple’s events in recent years, but it’s still de rigeur for tech journalists, and this on Apple TV+ was a doozy.
That’s despite the fact that, for the first time ever, there was no stuff. Nothing tangible. Nothing you could hold in your hand and say, ‘Ooh, I don’t like that notch.’
This launch, you see, was all about services. It even commenced with Apple CEO Tim Cook explaining what a ‘service’ is. ‘It’s not some stuff, it’s when you do stuff for people,’ he said in his husky, ASMR-triggering voice. I’m paraphrasing, but that was the gist of what he said.
Thanks to the usual omnileaking, we all knew Apple was going to launch a Netflix rival, a Readly rival and an American Express rival but still, straight away, you could tell something was different.
I always like to joke that Tim Cook does valuable work disproving the crass stereotype about gay men always being well dressed. Yet what was going on today? Instead of his usual event uniform – a curiously voluminous shirt in a pastel shade of polyester, and ill-fitting dad jeans – Tim was looking pretty sharp in an outfit of well-cut, flattering clothes, layered in a variety of monochrome tones.
As the event went on, it became apparent that word had got out to all Apple’s people: Be More Stylish.
I am sure it’s because this launch was about creativity, movie-making and, you know, human emotion an that. They’d clear had a meeting to a , hoow do creative people dress?’ Not people who create tech; ‘creatives’ who make art. I just feel sorry they didn’t all turn up in berets and big, heavy rimm glasses. Next time.
High on emotion
Apple and Steve Jobs pretty much invented the notion of ‘tech launch as global spectacle’ and they seem to have perfected it now.
The beaming, other-worldy enthusiasm of the people detailing Apple’s new services, coupled with the bursts of emotion coming from both stage and audience, made this TV launch feel like QVC crossed with a televangelist station. When introducing the Apple credit card, it allwent a bit American Psycho.
As ever, it was full of little nuggets of the most exquisite bollocks. When introducing the Apple credit card, it all went a bit American Psycho. In that film, a group of obnoxious high achievers compare business cards in the most fetishistic way, waxing lyrical about the exact font and ‘shade’ of white employed – but to you the viewer, they’re all near identical bits of card. The Apple Card bit of the evening was similar.
The Apple TV stuff was the real Well, the bit abou bundling services in one place was fine. Really, with multiple channels and content providers, it’s more like an online rival for Amazon Prime Video or even Foxtel. I wonder how much of it we’ll see here.
Apple TV Plus, however, took things to another level. Plus Plus Plus! The Apple guys had been giving their all, but now Apple filled its stage with genuine Hollywood megastars (tier 2), from Reese Witherspoon to Steve Carell. And Jason Momoa, who solemnly declared that ‘blindness is not something you can just turn off,’ which was educational for all of us.
By the time OprahWinfrey turned up, the place was in meltdown. ‘Let’s be nice and do nice things,’ she said. Again, I’m paraphrasing. It’s a laudable goal, and Tim Cook was genuinely misty-eyed as he said goodbye.
As the smoke cleared and the glitter was swept away, it was hard to say what I’d just seen, or what I thought about it. It was sure as hell more entertaining than Huawei’s launch the next day, where some earnest guys in suits talked about a phone camera for about nine hours. Clearly what tech launches need above all is to can off the actual tech and just go with the feelings…