The Morning Show: It Ain’t Newsroom That’s For Sure
All right now. I just binged on the first three episodes of The Morning Show and… well… It’s not what expected to be… Let’s put it that way.
Another way of summarizing the new Apple +’s first TV project is all talk but no show. It looked good on paper. Great cast and crew, ambitious new streaming network. The result is something else…. But let’s start from the very beginning. I for one was much hyped about this TV show. It has Steve Carell in it, and that was all that I needed to hear to be sold on it. I am a massive Steve Carell fan since his stint on the Daily Show but for me he’s much more than a talented comedic actor. He’s what I like to call a Robin Williams-type of an actor. An actor primarily known for his work in the comedy genre but can truly surprise you in the drama department as well.
And there’s Jennifer Aniston. I’m actually fan of Jen too. She’s great in comedy and although her film career in the genre has been lackluster lately, there’s no doubt in my mind that she’s a huge talent. I don’t particularly care about Reese Witherspoon (despite the fact that she’s got an Oscar) but throw Billy Crudup, Mark Duplass, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Néstor Carbonell, Bell Powley, Jack Davenport and Martin Short and you can’t help but show some interest.
Interest and enthusiasm I had, but not much else. My patience for the show to pick up the pace or even to spike my interest was running out quickly. First of all, the entire premise of the Morning Show is a little behind the times since the #MeToo movement was so 2 years ago. Yeah, basically, we find out that Carell’s Mitch Kessler has been fired from the co- anchor job in a high ranking TV channel (because of sexual harassment accusations). And that starts an avalanche of shake-ups in the news-world, but also and intricate chess play of intrigue and backstabbing. His co-host partner and colleague of 15 years Alex Levy (Anniston) is left to deal with the aftermath of the scandal, so she’ll eventually find herself in the middle of the fierce battle of loyalty towards him and the fight to save her job as well.
Is it wrong to say that the only likable, redeemable and bearable-to-watch character is the Mitch character? You know… The one that’s accused of sexual harassment, the one that’s been publicly fired, shamed and accused even in the first 15 minutes? I know it sounds crazy, but every single one of these other characters are just horrible HORIBLE people. And as someone who worked as a journalist (I have a B. A. In journalism and worked for almost a decade in various media outlets) may I just say that this is the least credible TV show about journalism, and especially TV journalism that I’ve seen in a long time. Seriously. In all of 3 episodes I barely saw 3 or 4 scenes in which there was any type of journalistic work done. You know, on-the scene reporting, daily assignments from the editors, interviewing, research and covering major stories. People are walking, setting behind computers and cameras, but not much else. It makes the Mary Tyler Moore Show look like a freaking documentary series.
The Morning Show is basically watered-down Newsroom, and that’s the sad truth. There’s too much focus on unnecessary stuff, that even makes the intro scene so generic and boring that you’ll be put off from watching the rest of the pilot. Seriously. A good opening scene should grab you attention and your interest, It should convince you to watch the show way beyond the first 5 minutes. Newsroom had a fantastic opening scene and so did Mr. Robot for instance, despite being a totally different show than the Morning Show. But noooo. Over here we get to see the entire boring morning routine of Jennifer’s character. From waking up early (and I do mean early) in the morning all the way to the first moments in the fake TV Channel. Her first call from her producer, her first moisturizing, her first walk on the treadmill, her first coffee. Am I boring you yet? Good. Because I was. Come on! With actors like these there should be more creative character introduction. Oh, and don’t even get me started on poor Steve Carell. The underestimating of Steve’s talents should be a criminal offence, and what they did to his character… Yeah, I’m still pissed about his minuscule screen-time that he’s got on this show. He’s barely in any scenes and in the ones that he is, he’s being left with horrible dialogue that robes him of his talents.
And last by not least… Let’s talk about Reese Witherspoon’s character Bradley Jackson. Can I just state that I despise everything about that character? Her stupid name, her stupid hairstyle, her stupid southern accent, and most of all her stupid persona. She’s abrasive, she’s arrogant, she’s disrespectful and she’s annoying. The screenwriters tried to portray her as a tough cookie and the future Christine Amanpour but she’s just plain pathetic.
I’m not hopeful about the rest of the season. Seriously. I wasn’t impressed with the first three episodes, but hey… who knows… things may change. I’ll just keep watching The Morning Show because of Steve Carell and Steve Carell only. Who knows… I might digest it much better with him in the picture. Like a spoonful full of Steve Carell sugar. It will help the medicine go down much easier.