AppleTV+ has two limited series premiering in March and April that are about defining moments in our country’s history. One is very good and the other not so. You’ll be able to read my review of the not-so-good one, Franklin, on on April 10 (it premieres on April 12), or you can keep reading as I attempt to convince you to watch the other, very good one, Manhunt.

Manhunt is a seven episode limited series about the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and the subsequent manhunt to capture the assassin, John Wilkes Booth, as well as the repercussions of Lincoln’s death. It stars Anthony Boyle as Booth, Hamish Linklater as Lincoln, and Tobias Menzies as Edwin Stanton, Lincoln’s Secretary of War–and close friend–who was tasked with tracking down Booth after his escape from Ford’s Theater after shooting Lincoln on April 14, 1865.

As someone with a limited knowledge of American history (a side effect of growing up overseas), I crave experiences like Manhunt, a show that offers as much of an education as it does entertainment, and offers history in a consumable, relatable and understandable way. It doesn’t preach, nor get too bogged down in the minutiae of the details, and there are so many, from the politics to the inner workings of government. There is so much going on during this period in our country…the Civil War had just ended, but was still simmering, President Lincoln had things like Reconstruction and Constitutional Amendments on his plate, the country was literally still divided, and millions of human beings were trying to figure out if they were still going to be considered property, or if they were going to have to figure out how to navigate a whole new world of earning money for work and the actual real possibility of owning land themselves. This was a monumental time in the formation of our young republic, and, at the center of it all was Lincoln, so, when he went down, what was to happen not only to serve justice, but to fill the massive vacuum he left behind? This series tackles all of it, and with a deft touch.

Manhunt focuses not just on the investigation and detective work to track down Booth—another name for this series could have been Law & Order: Assassination—but also focuses its lens on how a country can teeter on the edge of either oblivion or something new and cohesive called the United States of America. This show is about the men who fought to defend Lincoln’s vision and the ones who sought to destroy it, and the country caught in the middle.

At the center of it all is an astoundingly hypnotic performance by Boyle, who plays Booth. Boyle is coming off an equally memorable performance in Masters of the Air, also on AppleTV+, so I can’t wait to see what he does next. Menzies is the emotional, sentimental, and logical center of the series, carrying with him the audience’s hopes and fears. Menzies is spectacular, as he always is, and it’s nice to see him at the center, instead of in a supporting role. Less impressive is Linklater’s Lincoln, although that’s probably because we all still have Daniel Day Lewis in our heads. The entire cast is exceptional, as are all the production elements, Apple really has gone all out.

I can’t encourage you enough to watch Manhunt for yourself. Even if you don’t learn anything, you’ll still find it incredibly compelling.

Manhunt’s first episode premiered on March 15, with new episodes each Friday until April 19, 2024.