It had been nearly two years since we last saw Apple TV’s ‘The Morning Show,’ the Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon vehicle telling the behind-the-scenes stories of fictional network UBA parallel with the #MeToo movement of several years ago.
And now parallel with the beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic it seems.
For what it’s worth, I hated the show after its first couple of episodes, but then it grew on me — and when it did, it really grew on me. There were scenes during Season 1 that I find emotionally iconic. The scene where Jennifer Aniston confronts her daughter at the dormitory: so, so good.
All the moments with Billy Crudup. His dialogue. <Chef’s kiss>
But because of the real pandemic, we’ve had to wait almost two years for a second season. I watched the first episode of the second season tonight, and let me tell you. It was stupendous. It foreshadowed chaos and dread with poetry, literal poetry, recited by Crudup’s character Cory Ellison in an attempt to saw Aniston’s Alex Levy back to the network to partner with Witherspoon’s Bradley Jackson.
As somebody who works well more than 40 hours per week as part of a TV newsroom, I find it funny myself just how much I love newsroom content. There’s the show ‘The Newsroom.’ There’s ‘Lou Grant’ and ‘Mary Tyler Moore’ and a bevy of great newsy movies. You’d think I’d want to watch anything but a TV news drama.
Wrong. I. Love. Them. All.
“The Morning Show” is not realistic in terms of the constant chaos and drama. However, when it comes to production and some day-to-day aspects of the business, it does really well. It even rings true in some of the conversations about the business of news and with talent. Like, in my mind, the immediate comparison for ‘The Morning Show’ is ‘The Newsroom,’ and while the latter handled the news part of the business with more gravity, the former treats the business part of the news substantially more realistically.
The second season picks up where the first one ended, with Levy and Jackson announcing the sins of UBA ownership live on TV. It’s not really giving anything away to reveal that UBA wants to bring Alex Levy back, and we know that several new characters are introduced as well. Actors Hasan Minhaj, Julianna Margulies and Greta Lee join the cast, the first and third of which you see in the first episode. You can already sense the tension between Lee’s character and Ellison, like she’s going to be a real thorn in his side.
Amidst the beginnings of the pandemic and all the legal trouble UBA will face to account for its Season 1 sins, there will certainly be some news to cover — and for me, that’s where the series hopefully ups its game the most. It started to embrace the news cycle and covering it midway through Season 1, and if it can do as well as ‘The Newsroom’ did, we’re in for a treat because this ‘The Morning Show’ cast is world-class.
If Season 2, Episode 1 is any indication, the pandemic-related wait for a second season of ‘The Morning Show’ will have been well worth it.
Image courtesy of Stefan from Flickr. You can visit the image and Stefan’s account here.