‘The Morning Show’ 1×01-1×03 Review: This is How it Starts

When Apple TV first announced that it would be launching its own streaming service, I think everyone just sort of shrugged, and said: “it was inevitable.” But then, they started announcing who they had booked. What the shows would be.

Jason Mamoa in See.

Hailee Steinfeld in Dickenson.

And of course, the one that everyone was most excited about. The Morning Show. With Reese Witherspoon and Steven Carrell.

And, for the first time in a TV series since Friends ended in 2004, Jennifer Aniston.

My heart raced.
My pupils dilated.
And honestly, the big gaping hole in my heart that The Newsroom had left, seemed to slowly shrink a little.

The official synopsis of the show is said to be about a Morning Show anchor (Carrell), who gets fired from his network after a “sexual misconduct” incident and leave his co-host (Aniston) to defend her position on the show when a younger journalist (Witherspoon) seems to be gunning for her job.

Now, after watching the first three episodes, and quickly checking what the Internet is saying, I can see a very clear divide between critics, and fans. Fans seem to love the show, while some critics have called the show ‘a mess.’ And honestly, I do think I agree with the critics for the most part. While the show has a stellar cast and some amazing performances, I’m just not sure what the point of the story is yet… even after three episodes.

Witherspoon’s character doesn’t even want the job she’s hired for, so I’m not sure who wrote the synopsis. Did they not understand, or was it a ploy to trick us? Secondly, is her character supposed to be charming? We can see Bradley being a hothead, but just how long are we going to be okay with that? Just because she sheds a few tears afterward, doesn’t really make it acceptable or professional.

While the show is supposed to be centered around the dynamic of Alex and Bradley after the fallout of what Mitch did, I’m just not sure they have the palpable chemistry I was hoping for. Remember when we saw Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon in the first season of Big Little Lies and just could not stop starring at the two of them? There was nothing like that this time. As Alex so beautifully put it:

“You can’t just bottle up chemistry!”

Jennifer Aniston as Alex Levy and Steve Carell as Mitch Kessler on The Morning Show

But you know who Aniston does have chemistry with? Steve Carrell. I found myself getting distracted a lot, by the crazy amount of extras in the show- all who seemed to have a secret agenda… for something. And there’s only really… one scene in which we see Alex and Mitch interact, and it was mesmerizing. Not even in a romantic way (yet?)- but just in a way that seemed like perhaps Mitch is worth the redemption arc he’s obviously being set up for; because while he sticks by the fact that he’s innocent- and he might be- he’s definitely still very, very ignorant. And cocky. And kind of mean.

But I mean… remember the first half of season one Will McAvoy?

Now, I realize that I’m probably not the only one who could see the blatant parallels of The Morning Show to The Newsroom, but I have to say, sadly, this Apple+ original did not hold up at all. The Newsroom is one of my personal favorite shows, so not much can live up to its hype, but I expected so much more from this star-studded drama.

The biggest complaint is the politicking. We’ve all worked in places that have closed-door meetings, and alliances forming- all the time. But what I just didn’t understand while watching the first three episodes is why on earth Alex Levy has no respect to her name after being on-air with Mitch for 15 years. The way the executives talk about her is just rude – and I absolutely hate how she’s treated when she starts to demand she be listened to. It’s ironic, really. A show that based its basic plot on the #MeToo movement forgot to listen to its female lead.

But perhaps that’s the point.

Possible redemption. Women (me included) have gone on for centuries being called “crazy” and “emotional” when all we really wanted, was to be heard and be respected. And perhaps that’s where the show is headed. Because if anyone can make the old guys sitting at the top (not you Charlie Skinner- you’re perfect)- its Alex Levy. Even the weird Cory Ellison (what are his intentions exactly? Is he the cool millennial who will change things for the better, or is he just going to follow the biased precedent of those before him?) seemed impressed with her.

The show rests on Aniston’s shoulders, really. And I won’t write it off just yet, because I do hope we get to see more of her and Mitch- and how his story plays out. Mackenzie McHale and Maggie Jordan were also not necessarily the most likable at the beginning of The Newsroom, but had wonderful character development throughout the series- and that is what I can hope for Bradley Jackson. And while the show finds the best way to integrate the lives of all these characters into the show, I hope it finds its footing quickly, with a plot that keeps us engaged. About a Morning Show that perhaps lost its way, and will now, be the face of news.

Jennifer Aniston as Alex Levy and Reese Witherspoon as Bradley Jackson on The Morning Show

News the matters.

Sounds familiar. But… let’s roll with it 😉

What did you think of The Morning Show? Did you love it? Did you have The Newsroom flashbacks? Do you think Jennifer Aniston should always wear blood red to her executive meetings? Let us know in the comments below!

New episodes of The Morning Show will be available to stream on Apple TV every Friday.

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