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Apple TV Plus’ Godzilla show actually looks like one of the best shows of the year

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters proves there’s still hope for blockbustery TV

Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

Apple TV Plus has a surprisingly strong hit rate, from the one good season of Ted Lasso, to the promising last episode of Silo, to the extremely underrated Slow Horses, the fantastic Hijack, and the excellent Severance. But with the debut of the first trailer for Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, it’s clear that Apple is finally ready to take things to the next level by doing the one thing no one has ever done: make a really good Godzilla television show.

Monarch is set in Lionsgate’s MonsterVerse, which first started with Gareth Edwards’ incredible 2014 Godzilla reboot, and continued for a mixed track record that includes the pretty good Kong: Skull Island, the absolutely awful Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and the very fun Godzilla vs. Kong. The franchise will return to theaters next year with Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, but before that it’s making a brief stop on TV to fill in some gaps on Godzilla’s backstory.

The story of the show follows a couple of different threads. One of them is Army officer Lee Shaw who we see both in his younger days (played by Wyatt Russell) with monster organization Monarch and as an older man (played by Kurt Russell, Wyatt’s father) trying to warn the world about what he’s seen. On the receiving end of Lee’s dire warning are a brother and sister who have a few secrets of their own about Monarch to uncover.

Beyond that, the show’s plot mostly remains a mystery, but that’s not really what’s important here. What’s important is that this trailer looks outstanding — and really fucking expensive. Rather than a slimmed down version of the epic scale that the MonsterVerse has worked on so far (both for better and worse), it seems that the series is aiming to match its grandeur and do right by Godzilla.

And so far it looks like Apple has spared no expense in making that happen. All of the monsters we see in the trailer look incredibly impressive and the set pieces look exciting and convincingly dangerous. Most importantly, the trailers one big closeup on Godzilla looks great, and that’s what really matters here.

With all that being said, I’m fully prepared to be disappointed with this show. But based on everything we’ve seen so far this thing looks like it’s going to fucking rip and go straight to our Best TV of 2023 list.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters premieres on Nov. 17 on Apple TV Plus.

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