The Morning Show - Apple, Anniston, Carrell, Witherspoon

Trailer is here.

This is the show that is reportedly as expensive as late-season Game of Thrones.

There was some discussion about the show in the meta thread about TV services, but let’s bring it back here.

I watched the first three episodes. I found it clunky at first, but by the third episode it’s starting to either find its stride or grow on me.

I am liking the tightrope they’re walking with Carrell. One moment he’s saying something that makes sense about the changing nature of relationships due to MeToo and then he makes it clear that he’s a terrible person without remorse. It’s a nuanced take.

But I can’t shake the feeling that The Morning Show has all the same problems that Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip had. It doesn’t know if it’s serious or funny. Because the funny bits aren’t funny enough, and the serious bits are either too fresh or uninteresting.

Not to mention this whole setup has been done to death. We know all about the inner workings of shows like this. We know everyone’s fake and in it for themselves. We’ve seen it a dozen times, so the show isn’t really treading new ground. And we just saw Witherspoon’s character arc in The Boys’ Starlight, where they play basically the same archetype, so while I do like her and find her charming, the storyline is boring.

So I dunno - I suppose I’ll catch the rest of the series, but I’m not in love with it, yet.

I thought this was a comedy but it’s some sort of serious Newsroom (2012) -ish show?

Yeah, so far it’s really trying very hard to be an Aaron Sorkin show without Aaron Sorkin. And one character’s dismissal of Gilmore Girls as a “Pro-life screed” belies a sloppiness of execution that I can’t help but notice creeping in at the edges of everything else here.

Hard to understand why as Aaron Sorkin hasn’t actually many hits. I should say that i’ve loved everything he’s done though. Of course Westwing but also Sportsnight, Sunset and Newsroom.

Ulimtately though, Aaron writes a set of people that ‘love’ each other and the conflict comes from outside that group. Any conflict is shortlived as people are let into the group - Mandy Hampton or Amy Gardner. I can’t remermber though has Aaron ever started a show with creating that group. It was explored in later seasons in WW but can’t remember it on any others.

I’d argue that the Morning Show is setting a more complex structure and they are trying to establish it from the grond up. The quality of the dialogue walking and talking down corridors isn’t the same.

I enjoyed it and I’ll keep watching but I’m not totally onboard as yet. The performances of Anitston, WItherspoon and Carrell are also so strong that I’m happy to watch them. Hopefully it will continue to improve.

Very strong Sorkin vibes in episode 4. I can’t tell if it’s intentional or just the nature of a single-camera show like this. But we had the celebrity guest, the simmering mystery/drama, and a couple surprises. Overall good episode imo.

I’m caught up, and I have two complaints:

  1. They’re going to have to do something with Bradley Jackson’s character. Right now they’re playing her as a pure white knight and it’s just boring. There’s no mystery there, because you can easily predict what she’s going to do: whatever is the most morally correct thing. I hope they have a card up their sleeves, like maybe she’s been playing this down-home, aww-shucks personality all along or something.

  2. They’re trying awfully hard to deliver the message that this whole #metoo thing is totally morally grey. In this episode there’s a table of young women, many of whom are lamenting the inability have sex with the people they work with. First of all, as if that’s what this is about, and second, yes, we get it that times are changing, but maybe ease up?