Pros: there are no clearly positive characters; behind-the-scenes television portrayal; the script raises relevant topics without moralizing; confrontation between the heroines Aniston and Witherspoon Cons: the plot has a tendency to transform into a typical serial drama, which can change the logic of the characters in The Morning Show on the fly
Creators Jay Carson, Kerry Erin
Cast: Jennifer Aniston (Alex), Reese Witherspoon (Bradley), Steve Carell (Mitch), Billy Crudup (Cory), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Hannah), Mark Duplass (Charlie), Karen Pittman (Mia), Nestor Carbonell (Yanko) ), Bel Powley (Claire), Mindy Kaling (Adra), etc.
Apple TV+ channel
Year of release 2019
“The Morning Show” was a project on which Apple was betting big, hoping that the series would lure users into the new online cinema. Moreover, the stakes were very large: the corporation allocated about $15 million for the production of one series.
Typically, such expenses go towards creating special effects or large-scale scenes, but in the case of The Morning Show, things are different. A considerable part of the budget was spent on the fees of two actresses, who also acted as producers of the series. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon received $2 million per episode. This is quite funny considering that one of the main themes of the series exposes greed in the infotainment industry.
From the first episode, the series introduces us to the hot-tempered characters of the main characters. The work of a top-rated television show was stopped by the news that star live broadcaster Mitch (Steve Carell) was involved in a sex scandal. His co-host Alex (Jennifer Aniston) quickly takes control of the situation. She disowns her former colleague, takes center stage on the morning show and issues ultimatums to her bosses, fearing that the channel’s management might get rid of her too. At this time, a video of a speech by provincial journalist Bradley (Reese Witherspoon), who loses her temper at a protest, goes viral on the Internet. People like her straightforwardness, so the producers of the morning show invite Bradley as a guest on one of the broadcasts. There is a possibility that this is not the last appearance of the journalist. From this moment on, channel employees begin to fight for their positions and reputation, which can be shaken by any careless action.
The series shows all the ins and outs of creating a television show, which presents the main news to viewers in an easy and friendly manner. It is worth noting that in the United States there is a certain cult of morning shows, and their regular hosts become celebrities who carry with them certain images that cater to the interests of the public. This is part of the job of Jennifer Aniston’s character – Alex changes behind the scenes, but when the camera appears, he continues to play his role.
The hosts of such programs have been creating a friendly atmosphere in the studio for years. However, real stories suggest that the situation within the film crews is completely different. Thus, the writers of the series based the plot on the dismissal of NBC anchor Matt Lauer, who was accused of sexual assault in 2017. Steve Carell’s character becomes a collective image; he does not reproduce Lauer’s story, but in many ways repeats his career fall.
Showrunners Jay Carson (House of Cards) and Kerry Ehrin (Bates Motel producer) create characters that aren’t entirely negative. They do unpleasant things, admit their mistakes and stumble again. At the same time, the situations of the series encourage one by one to sympathize with the main characters, hinting that nothing is clear-cut in life.
This also applies to the MeToo movement, which is mentioned on The Morning Show. The showrunners do not suffer from moralizing, considering the situation from different angles. Some characters speak unflatteringly about him, others immediately set limits for themselves. Actually, the script simply broadcasts the opinions of many people, and the conclusions are left to the viewer.
What’s troubling about The Morning Show is the show’s penchant for the typical long-running drama format. One of those soap operas, but of high quality, where, for the sake of intrigue, the characters eventually lose logic and radically change their characters. The first season is interesting to watch, it reveals television insights, but doubts are already creeping in about the second – do the creators have enough worthy ideas? (By the way, filming of new episodes is planned for 2020; Jay Carson, who left the project due to creative differences, will no longer take part in their creation).
Of course, bets will still be placed on famous actors. But to be honest, they are not always justified. Seeing Jennifer Aniston outside of the comedy genre is nice, especially for those who have been watching her for a long time. But Aniston won’t be able to please her with anything new; the actress showed her maximum artistic abilities in “Friends.” In The Morning Show she uses the same gestures, the same facial expressions and even the same intonations.
Reese Witherspoon won’t surprise anyone either, but she will become Aniston’s on-screen rival, which in its own way can be called an interesting spectacle. But Steve Carell, who can increasingly be seen in dramatic cinema, adds some interesting tones to the series (take, for example, the episode in which his character breaks the screen in a rage).
“The Morning Show” is primarily intriguing because of what Apple has invested such large budgets into. Then he still draws you in with the development of the plot and the actions of the characters. And the end of the season is already close.
“The Morning Show” will appeal to those who are interested in the other side of entertainment and information programs.