It was among one of the major headlining originals on the new Apple TV+ streaming service launched internationally last year and nominated for several Golden Globes this week. A first for any streaming service in its launch year!
Told through the lens of two complicated women working to navigate the minefield of high-octane jobs while facing crises in both their personal and professional lives, The Morning Show is an unapologetically candid drama that looks at the power dynamics between women and men, and women and women, in the workplace.
It’s been nominated for Best Television Series and Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston both being nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series Drama. This is a major feat for the old ‘Green sisters’ who reunite on the Apple small screen for the first time since Friends, this time as co-anchors for a morning breakfast show that’s in the midst of a scandal and it takes about four episodes for this show to really kick into full gear.
It’s still early days for Apple TV+ as the only shows on offer on their catalogue are the handful of originals they have produced themselves so the streaming offer isn’t quite in sync with others like Netflix, YouTube Red or Disney for example. Also, despite having some pretty big names from Game of Thrones, Harry Potter headlining their debut programming, the spectacular cinematography and CGI aren’t enough to hide weaknesses in the scripts and character development since there’s a certain expectation viewers have been accustomed to thanks to the seasoned production of originals from Netflix.
That Boardroom Scene Though:
“Sometimes women can’t ask for control, so they have to take it“ says Alex Levy (played by Jennifer Anniston) to her daughter.
Anniston ditches the typical rom-com personna we’ve been used to seeing her in playing a strong independent woman navigating the politics of the male boardroom and her monologue in the third episode is what could very well get her the win in tomorrow night’s Golden Globes:
“You are all so convinced that you are the rightful owner of all of the power that it doesn’t even to occur to you that someone else could be in the driver’s seat. So we just have to gingerly step around your male egos in order not to burst your precious male egos. Well surprise. I’m bursting it. We’re doing this my way because I’ve let you bozos handle this long enough. Not the apology you were expecting?”
There’s no question, that Witherspoon and Anniston deserve the nominations because they’ve taken the material injecting their skill to create some powerful moments of dialogue, championing controversial subjects that will resonate with many.
Provocative topics touched on include ageism, gender inequality, sexual harrassment in the workplace. The heaviness of these topics drown out the initial spark of potential we see early on in the season striking a balance between drama and dark humour.
Inconsistencies in the narrative and flow sometimes feel disjointed with the interlacing of story from supporting cast. However layered moments of potential emerge like in the Sweeney Todd scene between corporate rivals Alex and Cory echoed in the script as “weird but fascinating”.
Witherspoon plays the hot headed Bradley Jackson well but it’s clear her character isn’t as fully realised as Anniston’s and it’s this weakness in the script that needs to be ironed out in the second season.
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