Apple's 'For All Mankind' tops USA Today's best TV of 2021

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited December 2021
USA Today says Apple TV+ drama "For All Mankind" was the best television show of 2021, in a roundup that also includes "Ted Lasso."


"For All Mankind" on Apple TV+


In what USA Today describes as the year that "TV came back roaring," the publication has picked out 19 shows to honor, ranging across comedy, drama, and reality series. Overall, HBO (with HBO Max) scored the most with four picks, but Apple TV+ took the top spot with "For All Mankind."

"The series is at its best in the second-season finale, involving a U.S.-Soviet standoff in space with the stakes of the Cuban missile crisis," says the USA Today roundup.

"'Mankind' asks big questions and doesn't shy away from the worst tendencies of 20th-century America, all without careening into pedantic and patronizing territory," it continues. "'Mankind' truly flies."

Apple TV+ hit "Ted Lasso" was listed as the seventh best TV of the year, for its second season.

"Plenty of TV shows that hit it big with audiences, critics and Emmy voters in their first season flounder in their second," says the publication, "but thankfully, producer and star Jason Sudeikis' 'Lasso' isn't one of them."

Notably, of all the network broadcast channels, only ABC's "The Wonder Years" made the full list, and then at number 18. The two entries for Apple TV+ tied it with Netflix, Hulu, and Peacock, while Amazon also managed only one with "The Underground Railroad" coming in at number 2.

"For All Mankind" concluded its second season in April 2021, but a third is coming -- and possibly a fourth, too.

The multi-award winning "Ted Lasso" was most recently seen in a new animated short for the holidays. It, too, is returning for a third season.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    "For All Mankind" -- Haven't watched it and don't plan to.

    Landing a man on the moon, despite enormous cost in energy, money and human lives, was an enormous triumph not only for the U.S. but for all of mankind:  "One tiny step for man...."  And, at the same time, the world agreed to keep space open for all without military rivalries or interventions.

    No, rewrite of that history can improve on what was accomplished there.
    The reality is far superior to any fiction.  I prefer to cherish the reality.  The hope and opportunity that it promised has shaped my life and that of others -- such as Steve Jobs who also grew up in that era where even the sky was no longer the limit.

    (and it was all done with paper, pencil and slide rules (even the emergency rescue of Apollo 13) -- computers (even calculators) barely existed back then.  Yet the mighty Saturn V rocket has stood as the most powerful ever created for over 50 years  -- Elon Musk's has just now topped it -- but barely!)
    edited December 2021
  • Reply 2 of 22
    My wife and I love FAM. Interesting storyline of what could have been. Looking forward to season 3. Definitely an under appreciated show IMO.
    narwhalwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 22
    harrykatsarosharrykatsaros Posts: 83unconfirmed, member
    "For All Mankind" -- Haven't watched it and don't plan to.

    Landing a man on the moon, despite enormous cost in energy, money and human lives, was an enormous triumph not only for the U.S. but for all of mankind:  "One tiny step for man...."  And, at the same time, the world agreed to keep space open for all without military rivalries or interventions.

    No, rewrite of that history can improve on what was accomplished there.
    The reality is far superior to any fiction.  I prefer to cherish the reality.  The hope and opportunity that it promised has shaped my life and that of others -- such as Steve Jobs who also grew up in that era where even the sky was no longer the limit.

    (and it was all done with paper, pencil and slide rules (even the emergency rescue of Apollo 13) -- computers (even calculators) barely existed back then.  Yet the mighty Saturn V rocket has stood as the most powerful ever created for over 50 years  -- Elon Musk's has just now topped it -- but barely!)
    I’d hate to hear your take on Star Wars or how much you disagree with the ideas explored in Star Trek. 
    williamlondonthtzigzaglenswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 22
    "For All Mankind" -- Haven't watched it and don't plan to.

    Landing a man on the moon, despite enormous cost in energy, money and human lives, was an enormous triumph not only for the U.S. but for all of mankind:  "One tiny step for man...."  And, at the same time, the world agreed to keep space open for all without military rivalries or interventions.

    No, rewrite of that history can improve on what was accomplished there.
    The reality is far superior to any fiction.  I prefer to cherish the reality.  The hope and opportunity that it promised has shaped my life and that of others -- such as Steve Jobs who also grew up in that era where even the sky was no longer the limit.

    (and it was all done with paper, pencil and slide rules (even the emergency rescue of Apollo 13) -- computers (even calculators) barely existed back then.  Yet the mighty Saturn V rocket has stood as the most powerful ever created for over 50 years  -- Elon Musk's has just now topped it -- but barely!)
    I’d hate to hear your take on Star Wars or how much you disagree with the ideas explored in Star Trek. 
    I'm guessing that he is not so negative on Star Wars or Star Trek because they are total fantasy involving distant galaxies and or solar systems with no connection whatsoever to what we have already done, whereas For All Mankind involves reimagining what we have already accomplished but changing things around. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 5 of 22
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,770member
    My wife and I love FAM. Interesting storyline of what could have been. Looking forward to season 3. Definitely an under appreciated show IMO.

    Under appreciated? 
    It was just named the best show for the entire year. 
    zigzaglens
  • Reply 6 of 22
    I love this show. I don’t think it gets the attention it deserves: great characters, great stories.
    narwhalwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 22
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    "For All Mankind" -- Haven't watched it and don't plan to.

    Landing a man on the moon, despite enormous cost in energy, money and human lives, was an enormous triumph not only for the U.S. but for all of mankind:  "One tiny step for man...."  And, at the same time, the world agreed to keep space open for all without military rivalries or interventions.

    No, rewrite of that history can improve on what was accomplished there.
    The reality is far superior to any fiction.  I prefer to cherish the reality.  The hope and opportunity that it promised has shaped my life and that of others -- such as Steve Jobs who also grew up in that era where even the sky was no longer the limit.

    (and it was all done with paper, pencil and slide rules (even the emergency rescue of Apollo 13) -- computers (even calculators) barely existed back then.  Yet the mighty Saturn V rocket has stood as the most powerful ever created for over 50 years  -- Elon Musk's has just now topped it -- but barely!)
    I’d hate to hear your take on Star Wars or how much you disagree with the ideas explored in Star Trek. 

    Not at all:  TOS StarTrek was modeled from the same sense as confidence and optimism that drove the Apollo program. 

    I hate to see either being sullied by rewrites trying to improve on it.
  • Reply 8 of 22
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    "For All Mankind" -- Haven't watched it and don't plan to.

    Landing a man on the moon, despite enormous cost in energy, money and human lives, was an enormous triumph not only for the U.S. but for all of mankind:  "One tiny step for man...."  And, at the same time, the world agreed to keep space open for all without military rivalries or interventions.

    No, rewrite of that history can improve on what was accomplished there.
    The reality is far superior to any fiction.  I prefer to cherish the reality.  The hope and opportunity that it promised has shaped my life and that of others -- such as Steve Jobs who also grew up in that era where even the sky was no longer the limit.

    (and it was all done with paper, pencil and slide rules (even the emergency rescue of Apollo 13) -- computers (even calculators) barely existed back then.  Yet the mighty Saturn V rocket has stood as the most powerful ever created for over 50 years  -- Elon Musk's has just now topped it -- but barely!)
    I’d hate to hear your take on Star Wars or how much you disagree with the ideas explored in Star Trek. 
    I'm guessing that he is not so negative on Star Wars or Star Trek because they are total fantasy involving distant galaxies and or solar systems with no connection whatsoever to what we have already done, whereas For All Mankind involves reimagining what we have already accomplished but changing things around. 
    As I said above:

    Not at all:  TOS StarTrek was modeled from the same sense as confidence and optimism that drove the Apollo program. 

    I hate to see either being sullied by rewrites trying to improve on it.
  • Reply 9 of 22
    "For All Mankind" -- Haven't watched it and don't plan to.

    Landing a man on the moon, despite enormous cost in energy, money and human lives, was an enormous triumph not only for the U.S. but for all of mankind:  "One tiny step for man...."  And, at the same time, the world agreed to keep space open for all without military rivalries or interventions.

    No, rewrite of that history can improve on what was accomplished there.
    The reality is far superior to any fiction.  I prefer to cherish the reality.  The hope and opportunity that it promised has shaped my life and that of others -- such as Steve Jobs who also grew up in that era where even the sky was no longer the limit.
    The reality was truly better than fiction... until it wasn't. The will to be great died in the early 70s, and it took some unbalanced and maniacally egotistical billionaire entrepreneurs 45 years to bring it back.

    But whatever you think about the past and present, FAM is an interesting and well-told story and I'm enjoying it greatly so far, even though I have terrible distrust for the creator ("Battlestar Galactica" was one of the worst f*ckups and cheats in the history of SF).
    (and it was all done with paper, pencil and slide rules (even the emergency rescue of Apollo 13) -- computers (even calculators) barely existed back then.  [...]
    Are you ignorant, or exaggerating for effect? That's false, though the computers they used certainly were primitive, and they did do a lot by hand. (In fact, computer technology was driven forward tremendously by the moon shot.)
    williamlondonviclauyyc
  • Reply 10 of 22
    "For All Mankind" -- Haven't watched it and don't plan to.

    (and it was all done with paper, pencil and slide rules (even the emergency rescue of Apollo 13) -- computers (even calculators) barely existed back then.  Yet the mighty Saturn V rocket has stood as the most powerful ever created for over 50 years  -- Elon Musk's has just now topped it -- but barely!)
    Or not. You might watch the acclaimed movie, Hidden Figures for a better idea of the state of technology. Computers existed. What we really lacked was an understanding of how to program the silly things to do what we wanted.

    But you're right about calculators. They didn't begin to hit widespread use until the mid '70s. But when they did the use of slide rules crashed even faster than did the use of flip phones in the smart phone era.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 22
    "For All Mankind" -- Haven't watched it and don't plan to.

    No, rewrite of that history can improve on what was accomplished there.
    That's too bad, George. The show is TOTAL fiction, not a rewrite of history. It takes the premise "What if <spoiler> had landed on the moon first?" and runs with it.
    williamlondonthtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 22
    First season was great, very enjoyable, loved the originality. Second season was painful to watch, had to break it into chunks to get through, weirdly, as I didn't expect such a drop. Hope season 3 returns with more of the season 1 magic.
    Hank2.0
  • Reply 13 of 22
    1348513485 Posts: 357member
    hmlongco said:
    "For All Mankind" -- Haven't watched it and don't plan to.

    (and it was all done with paper, pencil and slide rules (even the emergency rescue of Apollo 13) -- computers (even calculators) barely existed back then.  Yet the mighty Saturn V rocket has stood as the most powerful ever created for over 50 years  -- Elon Musk's has just now topped it -- but barely!)
    Or not. You might watch the acclaimed movie, Hidden Figures for a better idea of the state of technology. Computers existed. What we really lacked was an understanding of how to program the silly things to do what we wanted.

    But you're right about calculators. They didn't begin to hit widespread use until the mid '70s. But when they did the use of slide rules crashed even faster than did the use of flip phones in the smart phone era.
    That’s how I remember it as well. Hidden Figures was a really good movie.
  • Reply 14 of 22
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    "For All Mankind" -- Haven't watched it and don't plan to.

    Landing a man on the moon, despite enormous cost in energy, money and human lives, was an enormous triumph not only for the U.S. but for all of mankind:  "One tiny step for man...."  And, at the same time, the world agreed to keep space open for all without military rivalries or interventions.

    No, rewrite of that history can improve on what was accomplished there.
    The reality is far superior to any fiction.  I prefer to cherish the reality.  The hope and opportunity that it promised has shaped my life and that of others -- such as Steve Jobs who also grew up in that era where even the sky was no longer the limit.
    The reality was truly better than fiction... until it wasn't. The will to be great died in the early 70s, and it took some unbalanced and maniacally egotistical billionaire entrepreneurs 45 years to bring it back.

    But whatever you think about the past and present, FAM is an interesting and well-told story and I'm enjoying it greatly so far, even though I have terrible distrust for the creator ("Battlestar Galactica" was one of the worst f*ckups and cheats in the history of SF).
    (and it was all done with paper, pencil and slide rules (even the emergency rescue of Apollo 13) -- computers (even calculators) barely existed back then.  [...]
    Are you ignorant, or exaggerating for effect? That's false, though the computers they used certainly were primitive, and they did do a lot by hand. (In fact, computer technology was driven forward tremendously by the moon shot.)

    I am glad you are enjoying the rewrite and I trust that you are correct that it is an improvement over historical fact.  But for me, it is not a competition.  The Apollo program represents one of man's best hours and I want to cherish it and hand it down to succeeding generations just as it was without "improvement".  It wasn't just about the amazing accomplishment but also about the hope, courage, confidence and optimism for mankind that it illustrated. 

    Was I exaggerating about what they accomplished with so little (by today's standards)?  Nope!  Not a bit.  It was primarily accomplished with paper, pencil and slide rules:  computers were in their infancy back in the 60's.  A room sized computer was fed by punched cards and could not do what an iPhone does today.   But yes, the program very much advanced a number of technologies that they developed in order to do what they did.
    edited December 2021
  • Reply 15 of 22
    Once the US beat the Russians to the moon, interest in the moon virtually collapsed. Both the US and Russia regarded getting to the moon first as a glorified PR exercise. I think there is far more excitement about the potential of the James Webb telescope than any real interest from the general public in the moon or most other developments beyond our planet. It’s basically just an enormous rock circling our planet. No little green men or any other fantastical surprises. 

    Regardless, For All Mankind isn’t trying to rewrite history. The producers are exploring an alternate scenario for the sheer fun that such an exercise can be. To think there is even the slightest attempt to rewrite history is utterly absurd. 
    pumpkin_kingwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 22
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    CarmB said:
    Once the US beat the Russians to the moon, interest in the moon virtually collapsed. Both the US and Russia regarded getting to the moon first as a glorified PR exercise. I think there is far more excitement about the potential of the James Webb telescope than any real interest from the general public in the moon or most other developments beyond our planet. It’s basically just an enormous rock circling our planet. No little green men or any other fantastical surprises. 

    Regardless, For All Mankind isn’t trying to rewrite history. The producers are exploring an alternate scenario for the sheer fun that such an exercise can be. To think there is even the slightest attempt to rewrite history is utterly absurd. 

    I would disagree:  "Here's how history could have been better" is a form of rewriting history.

    But, in the same spirit that took Apollo astronauts to the moon, NASA has coordinated with others who launched NASA's Webb Space Telescope on a European rocket from French Guiana.  Just as with the Apollo program:  myriad things had to be developed, problems resolved and lots of luck needed because one thing out of millions of things could destroy any chance of success.  But still, we are making the attempt: "shooting for the moon" still, to this day, has relevance -- but this time we are shooting far beyond the moon.

    "NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope soared from French Guiana on South America’s northeastern coast, riding a European Ariane rocket into the Christmas morning sky.

    “What an amazing Christmas present,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s science mission chief.

    The $10 billion observatory hurtled toward its destination 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometers) away, or more than four times beyond the moon. It will take a month to get there and another five months before its infrared eyes are ready to start scanning the cosmos.

    First, the telescope’s enormous mirror and sunshield need to unfurl; they were folded origami-style to fit into the rocket’s nose cone. Otherwise, the observatory won’t be able to peer back in time 13.7 billion years as anticipated, within a mere 100 million years of the universe-forming Big Bang.

    NASA Administrator Bill Nelson called Webb a time machine that will provide “a better understanding of our universe and our place in it: who we are, what we are, the search that’s eternal.”

    “We are going to discover incredible things that we never imagined,” Nelson said following liftoff, speaking from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. But he cautioned: “There are still innumerable things that have to work and they have to work perfectly ... we know that in great reward there is great risk.”

    That sounds like the NASA of old who overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to advance science, knowledge and man's horizons.
  • Reply 17 of 22

    History is an accounting of what is believed to have happened. To rewrite history is usually taken to mean someone is claiming that events, as generally presented, are being presented inaccurately. A different accounting is offered up as the more accurate one, though often the rewriting of history is seen to be a whitewashing exercise.

    For All Mankind is not that. Think of it as an alternate universe that syncs with our own up until the first moon landing is pulled off by the Russians instead of the Americans. In our timeline, the Russians react to losing the race to the moon by giving up the fight. In this alternate universe, the Americans react to losing the race by escalating in whatever ways it can. 

    There is no history re-writing going on just an interesting exercise in what-if-ism. And I see no indication that anyone is suggesting that this version of events is better, or worse, for that matter. Just different and certainly more dramatic than what we have lived through. 
  • Reply 18 of 22
    CarmB said:

    History is an accounting of what is believed to have happened. To rewrite history is usually taken to mean someone is claiming that events, as generally presented, are being presented inaccurately. A different accounting is offered up as the more accurate one, though often the rewriting of history is seen to be a whitewashing exercise.

    For All Mankind is not that. Think of it as an alternate universe that syncs with our own up until the first moon landing is pulled off by the Russians instead of the Americans. In our timeline, the Russians react to losing the race to the moon by giving up the fight. In this alternate universe, the Americans react to losing the race by escalating in whatever ways it can. 

    There is no history re-writing going on just an interesting exercise in what-if-ism. And I see no indication that anyone is suggesting that this version of events is better, or worse, for that matter. Just different and certainly more dramatic than what we have lived through. 

    Thanks, but I prefer the real version.
    It was perhaps one our nation's finest hours -- but not just for our nation but for all of mankind.
    When Kennedy first announced it most doubted it could be done -- and for good reason.   But mankind rose to the occasion and showed what they were capable of.  And through their commitment, dedication, hope, confidence, optimism, creativity, engineering prowness, sweat, tears and in some cases, their lives, they made it happen.

    "One small step for man.  One Giant step for mankind"

    That needs to be honored not rewritten.
  • Reply 19 of 22
    Again, where is this rewritten reference coming from. The rewriting exercise in regards to the moon landing is the effort of lunatics, so to speak, running around claiming the actual moon landing never happened and the footage faked. Never mind that in a pre-CGI era it would have taken a lot more time, expense, and intrigue to pull off the fake than to just go to the moon with a three-man crew. But I digress.

    For All Mankind is not a rewriting of history but rather an exercise in imagining how events could spin off in another direction entirely if the Russians had beaten the United States to the moon. The intention of the series makers is to eventually move beyond our own time period and from start to finish the entire project is a fun speculative exercise that in no way intends to alter the telling of actual history. This series is not an exercise in history telling and to view it as such is to misrepresent what is going on. It is what I see as an interesting exercise that mostly - though not entirely - has been well executed so far. Looking forward to where this is going, especially as it veers further away from events as we know them to have occurred in our collective reality. 
  • Reply 20 of 22
    "For All Mankind" -- Haven't watched it and don't plan to.

    Landing a man on the moon, despite enormous cost in energy, money and human lives, was an enormous triumph not only for the U.S. but for all of mankind:  "One tiny step for man...."  And, at the same time, the world agreed to keep space open for all without military rivalries or interventions.

    No, rewrite of that history can improve on what was accomplished there.
    The reality is far superior to any fiction.  I prefer to cherish the reality.  The hope and opportunity that it promised has shaped my life and that of others -- such as Steve Jobs who also grew up in that era where even the sky was no longer the limit.

    (and it was all done with paper, pencil and slide rules (even the emergency rescue of Apollo 13) -- computers (even calculators) barely existed back then.  Yet the mighty Saturn V rocket has stood as the most powerful ever created for over 50 years  -- Elon Musk's has just now topped it -- but barely!)

    Totally agree, the moon landing was an enormous triumph.

    Rewriting history is creating a false narrative about how a historical event happened so as to promote one's own personal agenda or beliefs. The show is billed as being fiction. It may not be the type of fiction that appeals to your tastes but it isn’t rewriting history. 

    Saying the Gemini and Apollo programs were “all done with paper, pencil and slide rules” is rewriting history.  Computers were instrumental in the space program prior to the moon landing. An IBM mainframe ran mission control. Mercury and Saturn rockets were computer controlled, the Saturn even had an onboard computer. The Gemini and Apollo modules had computer guidance systems (literally called Gemini Guidance Computer and Apollo Guidance Computer). The Apollo 11 AGC was what was used to land it on the Moon.

    NASA has even documented the history of computer use in the Apollo program. You can see an example at the following link:

    https://www.history.nasa.gov/afj/compessay.html 


    IBM also has documented the use of their computers in the Apollo program: Example:

    https://www.ibm.com/thought-leadership/the-apollo-missions/breakthroughs/


    For reference on the idiom “rewrite history”.  It has two definitions, neither are the way you are using it and neither apply to works of fiction even if they do contain some historical events. 

    https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/rewrite+history



    edited December 2021 muthuk_vanalingam
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