Type keyword(s) to search


Little America highlights Apple TV+'s misguided effort to appeal to as many people as possible

  • "For all that breadth of personal experience, it feels strangely homogeneous," Karen Han says of the immigrant anthology series from Lee Eisenberg, Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon that has been touted for its positive stories. "It’s not that the stories (fictionalized dramatizations of true events) share details," Han adds. "They’re strikingly different, ranging from a story about a young Indian boy who deals with his parents’ deportation to one about a French woman navigating a silent meditation retreat. The connective tissue between episodes is the overwhelming blandness they share." The biggest issue, she says, is Little America's aversion to politics. "As a result, Little America is muddled, with its baked-in politics directly in opposition to its 'positive' message," says Han. "It’s akin to The Morning Show, Apple TV+’s flagship series, which is written to appeal to as many people as possible by lacking a clear stance on the politics therein — the show panders to conservatives and liberals equally, and even the Matt Lauer stand-in is cast as redeemable. It’s frustrating in The Morning Show; it’s disappointing in Little America." Han adds: "Despite having a healthy slate of new shows, Apple TV+ remains a platform without a strong identity. As it attempts to appeal to all viewers, it’s falling behind its competitors, and shows like The Morning Show and Little America are part of the problem. They have promising premises, but in being engineered to upset as few people as possible, they become anodyne. The underlying problem with Little America that the stories it’s telling are inextricable from modern politics, and the intentional pull away from sharper points dulls and ultimately twists its effect."


    • Little America is a refreshing break from the lackluster programming Apple TV+ has offered so far: "For an enterprise so richly resourced, it’s remarkable just how middling Apple’s television offerings have been thus far," says Hannah Giorgis. "Since the premium service’s launch in November, its lineup has been almost impressively haphazard: There’s the discordant horror of M. Night Shyamalan’s (much-contested) Servant; the disappointing tonal incoherence of the network’s flagship series, The Morning Show; the virus-afflicted, post-apocalyptic landscape of See; and the glossy time warp of Dickinson. Thankfully, AppleTV+’s newest show, Little America, is almost nothing like the streaming behemoth’s prior offerings."
    • Little America co-creator Lee Eisenberg was worried about cutting nearly all of Zachary Quinto's dialogue: "We spent a few days and we cut nearly all of the dialogue from it until the end, save for a line here or there," he says. "We were so nervous to show it to Apple because we thought that they would try to say, ‘Well, that was a fun experiment, guys. We’re not losing all of Zachary Quinto’s lines.’ And to their credit, they completely embraced what it felt like in the silence."

    TOPICS: Little America, Apple TV+, The Morning Show, Lee Eisenberg, Zachary Quinto, Immigration and TV