The Morning Show, which debuted on the new Apple TV+ streaming service in November, is a series that gives us zero frills and a whole ‘lotta woman.
The 10 episode series takes on the ballsy task of addressing the #MeToo movement — in particular, it presents some striking similarities to the Matt Lauer / NBC Today Show scandal. While some audiences may deem the timing of the series to be a little too soon, The Morning Show, overall, garnered excellent reviews. Not surprisingly considering the source material, the show is entirely fueled by women.
I found Jennifer Aniston’s portrayal of the “The Morning Show’s” head female news anchor, Alex Levy, to be remarkably unlikeable but not unwatchable, which only made me respect her as an actress even more.
Reese Witherspoon played Reese Witherspoon, but at her feistiest and at the top of her game. The Hollywood powerhouse duo have an interesting chemistry. It’s not perfect, but most human dynamics off-screen are not. What struck me the most, though, after perhaps the fourth or fifth episode, is that these women are not bothering themselves with men!
SPOILER ALERT: IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE SERIES, TURN AWAY.
You’ve been warned.
Aniston’s character is in the beginnings of a divorce. I suppose that could be considered a “love interest” / romantic scenario, but it’s not a pleasant one, and the poor guy, played by Jack Davenport, only shows up (maybe) twice to try to deflate the situation with their daughter’s disappointment over their decision.
Aniston’s character does not then go off and try to rebound with some hunky stud. She is very weirdly propositioned by Steve Carrell who happens to be the sex predator in question, so that was awkward. But obviously that doesn’t turn out to be a thing either.
Witherspoon’s character seems to be “off” men entirely. Whether or not she gives me a total lesbian vibe — well, I’ll reserve my opinions until the upcoming season 2, which is suspected to emerge some time this year. Aniston asks Witherspoon whether she believes in marriage, which gets such a solid “NO.” It’s just so solid, you guys.
So there’s probably a lot to unpack there, but needless to say, Witherspoon’s character doesn’t have a Norah Ephron-esque object of her affection anywhere in sight. Oh right, she does have some drunk sex. One time. With a bartender. And then takes off like “K thanks bro, bye.”
The only thing that even slightly resembles a “love story” within The Morning Show’s narrative comes from the weatherman (Nestor Carbonell) and a young intern (Bel Powley). Their relationship aims to contrast the #MeToo stuff, in that Carbonell is the puppy dog on the “hook,” while Powley is in the driver’s seat and ultimately gets cold feet about going public. The relationship is messy, tragic and doesn’t come with a happy, sunshine-and-rainbows conclusion.
Since the dawn of time, (alright, since the dawn of film & television…) it has been considered an unspoken obligation to include some version of a fluffy, romantic storyline in absolutely everything even if it adds nothing to the story. As if the main character’s value declines if they don’t have someone dangling the stakes of a relationship.
The Morning Show breaks the mold, here. And it’s about damn time.