The Morning Show


Fans of the HBO series The Newsroom will have a head start with this original apple series that was recently nominated for three Golden Globes. Just watched the pilot for this smart and, of course,timely new series starring Jennifer Aniston as Alex Levy, the co-host of a network morning news show who is rocked, along with the rest of the world when her co-host Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell) is unceremoniously fired from the show for sexual misconduct. Alex is scheduled to interview a reporter named Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) who has recently become an internet sensation due to an explosive video featuring her going ballistic at a protest, but her interview with Alex has caught the eye of a major network executive (Billy Crudup) who works in LA but has come to New York to fan the morning show fires. The subject matter might be a little too easy in the days we're living with but director Mimi Leider's stylish direction helped keep things slick and smooth. Personally, I prefer Witherspoon's character on Big Little Lies and am curious to see if she's going to do both shows, but I have to say Jennifer Aniston did the strongest work of her career in this pilot and it is on the strength of her work alone that I will probably continue to watch.

Just finished episode 2...even though the story is beginning to slip into the path of predictability, it is still completely watchable thanks to Mimi Lieder's skill in the director's chair and some superb acting. Once again, Steve Carell proves himself to be the new millenium Jack Lemmon making the most of his limited screentime thus far. He had one throwaway scene near the beginning of the show involving Mitch's struggles with his coffeemaker that was a one man acting class. I can't wait to see the Mitch character center stage because Carell is more than up to the challenge. Though I was a little slow on the uptake, I finally caught the connection between Alex Levy and Bradley Jackson and I loved the way Alex beat the producers to the punch. Also loving the ultra-slick work of Billy Crudup as the new network head.

Just wrapped episode 3. I'm really starting to dislike Witherspoon's Bradley Jackson. It's a total turnoff watching this woman being handled the career opportunity of a lifetime and fighting it tooth and nail. Loved that scene with Steve Carell and Martin Short...what those two are planning sounds really dangerous and could destroy the shreds of a career they have left. Aniston continues to impress as the no-nonsense Alex, determined to control her own career destiny.

Just wrapped the complexities and ugliness of ep 5 as this show really starts playing dirty. There were about 40 layers of stuff going on in that scene where Billy Crudup and Jennifer Aniston were doing Sweeney Todd and I'm still a little fuzzy as to why that party made Alex want to see Mitch, but I'm glad it did, because the first one on one meeting between these two characters since the show began was easily the highlight of the show, brilliantly performed by Aniston and especially Steve Carell. Can't believe Alex let the guy kiss her...or has she been harboring feelings for Mitch the whole time?

As I wrapped ep 5, I couldn't help but think this show is turning out to be nothing like I thought it was going to be. This show is much more than a fictionalized look at the Me Too movement, This is a really naked and uncompromising look at one of my favorite subjects...the business of show business. I'm loving where the relationship between Alex and Bradley is going...sort of a naked and stripped bare contemporary re-thinking of Margo Channing and Eve Harrington. Jennifer Aniston continues to do the finest work of her career as Alex and still loving Billy Crudup as the perpetually oily Cory. Glad to learn that Alex is getting a divorce as Jack Davenport's ridiculous overacting in the opening scenes was pretty hard to tolerate and he won't be missed...five minutes of Steve Carell struggling with a coffee maker was more entertaining than Davenport was in this episode.

Just wrapped ep 7 which was worth the price of admission for two scenes. Alex's final confrontation with her daughter was freaking brilliant, flawlessly performed by Aniston. I was completely over her daughter acting like she's the only child of divorce on the planet and I was so glad to see Alex not take that crap from her. Needless to say, Karen Pittman's speech at the studio in which she confessed to having sex with Mitch was appointment television. And I'm having a hard time seeing how Morning Show's big brass is ever going to let this interview with Bradley and Mitch ever happen.

Ep 8 provided wonderful backstory that was expected, but what wasn't expected was the delicacy that was employed in establishing exactly who Mitch Kessler was and what he did. Superb direction by Mimi Leder and outstanding work from Steve Carell.

Just wrapped ep 9 and this story is getting really ugly...especially loved the scene where Alex explains to Daniel how they're going to set up Bradley and the final scene between Mitch and Hannah. Steve Carell was just glorious in that scene.

I just finished the season 1 finale and I'm speechless...tragic, funny, squirm-worthy, and undeniably powerful. There a couple of plot twists I couldn't wrap my head around, but this is appointment television. Can't wait for season 2.

Just watched the second season opener and, like a lot of shows these days, apparently a lot of stuff happened between seasons that we weren't privy too. Wow, how swollen has Bradley's head gotten? Last season she was an unknown and she's now trying to be the sole anchor of the evening news? Seriously? Billy Crudup continues his subtle brilliance as Corey Ellison...he nailed that scene talking Bradley down. Really don't understand why Alex seems interested in protecting Mitch if it's putting a hitch in her alleged new career. That scene between Aniston and Crudup was brilliant written and acted. Love the way he promised Alex the world without offering a single detail. Loved the elaborate mounting of the New Year's Eve party, wasn't expecting such authenticity. Kathy Najimy was a lot of fun as the psychic. That final confrontation between Corey and Bradley was fantastic. Billy Crudup deserves some Emmy love for his work on this show. Solid second season opener, caustically directed by Mimi Leder..

Just watched ep 2 and I can't figure out why it is so important to Corey that he get Bradley and Alex back on the air together because it sure seems to be causing a ****storm at UBA. I'm curious how Corey's boss (Holland Taylor)is going to react to his ignoring her order to fire Bradley. Hope we get to see more of Will Arnett as Akex's agent. It was a little sad to see that Mitch (Steve Carell) felt no recourse but to leave the country but I loved the accidental encounter with Valeria Golino (who looked fabulous BTW) which I don't think was so accidental. As for the dinner party from hell at Corey's apartment, Daniel's hostility toward Alex was surprising but understandable and I also realized that this was the first time in season 2 that Covid was mentioned. Mimi Leder is a genius.

Just wrapped ep 3 and loved the introduction of Julianna Margulies as Laura Peterson. Seeming to come aboard as part of team Bradley doesn't seem to mean anything right now. Hoping for more backstory on this character. I think Mitch is mistaking a mistake getting involved making this documentary with Paola (Valeria Golino) and I'm more convinced than ever that, even though she may be in denial and realizes what a mistake it was, Alex was in love with Mitch.

Just watched a riveting episode 4. I still think Billy Crudup's oily Corey is the best character on this show, but a new favorite is coming into view for me...that news director Stella is awesome, easily the show's smartest character....knows when to speak up. when to shut up, and seems to be quietly gathering dirt on everyone she can and, whenever it happens, I think she's going to be the one to bring Corey to his knees. I 'm a little confused about the fact that everyone on staff at UBA wants to monitor the debate, but the person they want to do it, Alex, doesn't seem interested. This "thing" between Laura and Bradley is a mistake...I don't think Laura's appearance in Bradley's life is a coincidence and she's starting to make Bradley look like idiot. Daniel, a character I used to like, made a bold move that 'm not sure was a good or bad thing, but his choice of song was very odd. Loved when Poala kissed Mitch and he snapped telling her not to do that. That "meeting" between Bradley and Corey...what was all that about?

Just finished ep 5 and I knew that after all the drama getting Alex to moderate the debate that she wouldn't end up doing it. That final scene between Jennifer Aniston and Marcia Gay Harden was superb. The relationship between Bradley and Laura definitely has legs, but there's something about this Laura person...I don't believe a word that comes out of her mouth and I believe she has been sent from somewhere to infiltrate Bradley's life, just like I think is Paola person has been sent from somewhere to infiltrate Mitch Kessler's life. Steve Carell nailed that interview scene, but you just don't know that before the season is over, that interview is going to be all over social media. And Corey made a tragic mistake going to Hannah's father one on one...David Paymer was amazing in that scene.

Solid writing and some terrific performances made ep 6 appointment television, with standout work from Reese Witherspoon and Billy Crudup as the expected outing of Bradley and Laura Peterson played out pretty much the way I expected with a surprise element thrown in. I know Cory was behind it but I think he regretted it the second after he did it. Bradley might have handled it better than she did if her scummy drug addict of a brother hadn't shown up on her doorstep (and I'm not sure that wasn't a coincidence either). That final scene with him and Bradley made me want to put fist through the screen. Classic addict behavior...Bradley even offers to send him to rehab again but he thinks the answer is hiding out at Bradley's apartment? I still have to wonder if Laura had something to do with the outing because she handled the whole thing way too calmly. Loved that little meltdown Bradley had as she was approaching the set with the Groucho Marx glasses. Loved Stella thanking Yanko for defending her in one breath and suspending him in the next. And where the hell is Alex?

Well we had to wait a season and a half for it, but we finally got a lot of the answers we've been waiting for in ep 7. Steve Carell and Mimi Leder should use this ep for their Emmy reel. I'm really wondering how their going to keep Alex credible because, realistically, her ducking out on the show should completely destroy her career after everything the network did to get her back. I believe Poala made a flash drive of that interview before she deleted it off her laptop and I also believe she heard everything that went on between Mitch and Alex. I still don't trust her or believe her appearance in Mitch's life was an accident of fate. It's not often that I'm found to be dead on about the turn of a certain storyline, but I nailed this one.

Ep 8 threw us a REALLY shocking twist that I didn't see coming AT ALL. Not sure that I really believe it yet, but I know I don't like it. On one hand, it looked like Mitch had a chance to reinvent his life but on the other hand, I wanted to see him pay further consequences for what he did. If it's true, Mitch got off too easy. Hope we've seen the last of Bradley's brother...he doesn't want rehab, so Bradley needs to walk away from him, but I don't think she can. Mark Duplass and Karen Pittman did some really standout work in this episode and Jennifer Aniston NAILED her reaction to learning about Mitch. That last scene with Aniston and Duplass was like theater. Bravo.

Just watched ep 9 which was a master class in the art of direction. Everything worked here from Alex's initial confrontation with Cory about her future with the show to that tension-filled memorial service for Mitch, highlighted by Martin Short's bizarre speech and Jennifer Aniston's beautifully underplayed eulogy. Loved that memorial service because as the camera panned over the guests, it was impossible to tell exactly how much the individual guests knew regarding the whole story. The interview scene between Reese Witherspoon and Marcia Gay Harden was brilliant. Bouquets all around.