Slow Horses is like a favorite sweatshirt: you don't love it because it's stylish, flashy, or reinvents the hoodie game. No, you love it for its comfortable familiarity. And plenty about Slow Horses is definitely familiar. It's a very British spy show starring Gary Oldman, who previously played John Le Carre's ultimate British spy George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy more than a decade before, and it's more about the day-to-day of spying than action sequences or derring do. The overall feel of Slow Horses isn't new in the slightest, and that's part of what makes it work.
See, Oldman plays a burned out old misanthrope of an intelligence agent who grumpily leads a group of outcast spies who don't fit in at MI5, so this is a spy story about a bunch of rejects who aren't great at their jobs. The dash of also-familiar workplace comedy gives the show a nicely sardonic and universal tone, and even allows for some light subversion as the first season chugs along.
Because Slow Horses is called Slow Horses, is British, is deliberately low-key, is on Apple TV +, and is not Ted Lasso, it will likely remain under-appreciated in its second season, which is a shame. This is exactly the kind of show that too often goes unnoticed, and that's hard to recommend because it doesn't lend itself to breathless hyperbole; you won't run out shouting that it's the greatest show of 2022, but you'll probably think Slow Horses is pretty dang good. And hey, the cast is stacked with ringers like Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Olivia Cooke.