The Morning Show

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Kristin Smith

TV Series Review

What would you do if you were the host of an award winning, morning TV show for 15 years, and one day your beloved co-host, a man you thought you knew, was accused of sexual misconduct and fired?

Well, you’d scream. Cry. Unravel a bit at the seams. Then, because you still have a show to do, you’d pull yourself together and prepare to deliver the morning news as if your life hadn’t just exploded in front of you. And you’d do it with eloquence and ease.

At least, this is what Alex Levy does. Or, at least, is trying to do. But it’s not easy—not when the dynamite chemistry she shared with her co-host Mitch Kessler was the one critical element holding the show together.

But corporate head honchos and producers aren’t ready to let things die at The Morning Show. Instead, they’re looking for a way to capitalize on this moment. And what better way to boost ratings than to hire a female, hot-head, no-name, West Virginian news reporter named Bradley Jackson to sit beside the beloved Alex Levy and, eventually, take her place.

News doesn’t sell. Entertainment sells. The Morning Show’s ratings have been sinking for years under Alex Levy’s leadership, and her age isn’t doing her any favors. But Bradley Jackson? She’s entertaining.

Sure, Bradley prefers hard-hitting journalism to amusement, but she’s real. And that’s what America wants, right? Given the correct amount of training and prodding, she just might be able to be molded into The Morning Show’s new, shiny face.

But before that can truly happen, corporate heads will need to find a way to pull Alex Levy from her throne…

Bring in the Big Names

When you’re rolling out a new streaming service in an already crowded landscape, you gotta make some noise along the way. And Apple TV+ is counting on The Morning Show to be its biggest horn. While it’s still too early to tell if it will be the biggest hitter on Apple’s new streaming service, the show has enough names to catch the ears and eyes of millions of viewers.

Big hitters here include Jennifer Aniston, who plays the neurotic, no-nonsense Alex Levy; Reese Witherspoon, who plays intelligent spitfire Bradley Jackson; and Steve Carell, who plays the disgraced Mitch Kessler, a man battling with the aftermath of his poor sexual choices, especially in light of the #MeToo movement.

It’s a lineup of well-known actors playing compelling characters that Apple has indeed contracted to battle Netflix, HBO and Disney’s streaming services. But the show itself features a collection of both positives in negatives.

First, The Morning Show shines a fresh light on the disparities in the workplace, for both men and women. The characters shine, too: None of them are cookie-cutter caricatures. Steve Carell, playing the heelish Mitch, does some interesting diving into what makes a predator a predator, and what makes a man a good man. We assume that these characters will grow in complexity, and in heart, with each passing episode.

That being said, we also find plenty of problematic content. Since the plot of the entire show begins with a man’s sexual dalliances, it continues by getting into some gritty details of what that includes. Affairs are discussed as if they should be the norm, as is casual sex, and couples make out behind closed doors (but not out of view of the prying camera lens). We also hear tons of harsh language here and people consume alcohol freely.

It’s won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and what goes on behind the scenes is certainly not what should be broadcasted on any morning show.

Episode Reviews

Nov. 1, 2019: “In the Dark Night of the Soul It’s Always 3:30 in the Morning”

When journalist Mitch Kessler is fired from his role as co-host of The Morning Show for allegations of sexual misconduct, his host, Alex, tries to recover from the horrific news and pick up the pieces of her life. No-name reporter Bradley Jackson loses her temper at a protest and a video of her unraveling goes viral.

Mitch makes it clear that he didn’t rape any women, but that his numerous affairs and sexual encounters were all consensual. Soon thereafter, his wife divorces him. There’s a reference to a gay couple and a conservative lesbian. Women wear cleavage-baring tops. Alex gets ready for work in a towel. There are a few conversations about the #MeToo movement and various scandals.

An angry protestor knocks down an elderly man. Mitch creeps through his house with a gun to scare an intruder. Alex throws her phone in anger.

Men and women alike drink hard liquor, wine and champagne. A woman smokes a cigarette. Bradley’s brother, Hal, is referred to as a bi-polar addict.

Jesus’ name is misused nearly 10 times and God’s name is abused twice, once paired with “d–mit.” The f-word is used more than 50 times and the s-word nearly 20. Other profanities include multiple utterances of “h—,” “b–ch,” “a–” and “a–hole.”

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Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).

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