Scott D. Pierce: Is Apple TV+ worth $4.99 a month?

This image released by Apple TV Plus shows Jennifer Aniston, left, and Steve Carell in a scene from "The Morning Show," debuting Nov. 1, as part of the first wave of series that will launch the Apple TV Plus streaming service. (Hilary B. Gayle/Apple TV Plus via AP)

Apple TV+ launches on Friday, and it’s clear that the tech giant has spent a fortune on programming for its new subscription streaming service. And yet it’s priced cheaper than its competitors, at $4.99 a month.

But is it worth it?

While money can buy big stars and high production values, it doesn’t always translate into great shows. And, not surprisingly, the Apple TV+ lineup is a mixed bag.

“The Morning Show” • This sort-of ripped-from-the-headlines drama centers on Alex (Jennifer Aniston), the longtime anchor of “The Morning Show,” a fictionalized “Today Show” or “Good Morning America.” More “Today,” actually, because Alex’s longtime co-anchor, Matt Lauer … er, Mitch (Steve Carell), has just gotten fired because of sexual misconduct.

In comes local TV reporter-turned-viral-video-sensation Bradley (Reese Witherspoon), who’s about as difficult as they come.

Aniston is great. Watching her in “The Morning Show” makes me wish she’d done more TV and fewer forgettable movies since “Friends” went off the air 15 years ago. Her presence alone makes me really want to like this show.

But as for “The Morning Show,” it’s … fine. It looks great; reportedly, it cost Apple $15 million per episode. And it’s not bad, as soap operas go. But if the exact same show was made with lesser-known actors and aired on a broadcast network — without the F-bombs, of course — it would probably last … maybe half a season?

Apple TV+ has already ordered a second season.

Three episodes (of 10) stream Friday, followed by one episode per week.

“For All Mankind” • This show hasn’t gotten the buzz that “The Morning Show” has, but it’s the best thing Apple TV+ is debuting on Friday. Which doesn’t by any means mean it’s perfect.

Executive producer Ron Moore (“Battlestar Galactica” reboot, “Outlander”) returns with a show that’s about science and it’s fiction, but it’s not exactly science fiction. The narrative begins in the summer of 1969, as the first men are landing on the moon — but in this alternate reality, the Russians got there first.

NASA isn’t happy. President Richard Nixon isn’t happy. Americans aren’t happy. And the Soviet Union’s success is going to change history by revving up a space race to the moon and beyond. And more. TV news reports that Sen. Ted Kennedy canceled a party at Chappaquiddick to return to Washington.

“For All Mankind” is a bit of a slow burn. But if you give it two or three episodes, you may find yourself sucked in. And it’s already been renewed for a second season.

Three episodes (of 10) stream Friday, followed by one episode per week.

“See” • I really like Jason Momoa (“Game of Thrones,” “Aquaman”), so it pains me to tell you that his series is, well, sort of a screaming bore. And, according to reports, it also cost Apple nearly $15 million per episode.

Set in an apocalyptic future after a virus killed 99.9% of the population and left the survivors blind, Momoa plays the chief of a primitive tribe trying to save his people. And save his wife’s twin babies, who can — you guessed it! — see.

It’s a slog through “Conan the Barbarian”-esque territory.

Three episodes (of eight) stream Friday, followed by one episode per week.

“Dickinson” • This modern take on poet Emily Dickinson is both weird and weirdly engaging — at times. Young Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) wants to be a writer but her parents are not on board in this coming-of-age series.

Each episode includes lines from a Dickinson poem, but, other than that, the language, music and behavior is thoroughly modern. The first episode is charming; after screening the three provided to critics, the charm was beginning to wear off.

All 10 first-season episodes stream Friday.

Also debuting on Friday are “The Elephant Queen,” a documentary; “Ghostwriter,” “Helpsters” and “Snoopy in Space,” children’s shows; and “Oprah’s Book Club.”

IS IT WORTH THE MONEY? There’s no must-see show in the lineup, and — unlike Netflix, CBS All Access, Amazon and Disney+ (which debuts Nov. 12), there’s no big library of programming.

So, at this point, almost $60 for a year of Apple TV+ seems like a lot.

(Apple TV+ is offering a seven-day free trial, and if you buy an Apple device you’ll get a one-year subscription.)