The Morning Show has been on my radar from the first. I’ve watched every season but I haven’t said much about it here. A few complaints about season 2 is all I’ve written. Let’s take a look at all three seasons today.
The Morning Show came on strong in season 1 with its #MeToo storyline. The main characters Alex (Jennifer Aniston) and Bradley (Reese Witherspoon) were powerful. The rest of the cast was excellent as well. It was high pressure, big drama, snappy dialogue, and good performances all around.
Season 2 lost its way. Alex was sleeping with the enemy (Steve Carell) in Italy in a way that felt like a repudiation of everything season 1 stood for. Bradley was in the most unconvincing lesbian relationship ever with Laura (Julianna Margulies). Incidentally, this relationship did not develop any stronger chemistry in season 3. Two outstanding actresses in every other scene in this complicated series who couldn’t quite bring it for love.
Most of the folks who worked at the big media network called UBA in the series were there as journalists and truth tellers. But there were those who milked their positions for power and money. Infighting and backstabbing were specialties among the top brass. Cory (Billy Crudup) has his hands on the top job in season 3. He managed to oust Cybil (Holland Taylor).
Cory wanted billions from tech bigwig Paul Marks (Jon Hamm). Alex was sent to sweet talk him into investing. Once again she chose the wrong man to climb into bed with. Falling for Paul Marks’ charms was a big mistake on Alex’s part.
Bradley, on the other hand, was making mistakes involving integrity and transparency that could hurt a lot of people. Season 3 put Bradley in the Capitol on January 6 and something happened there that echoed through the rest of the season. Bradley’s brother Hal (Joe Tippett) was back.
Season 3 was topical. COVID, George Floyd, Roe vs. Wade, the war in Ukraine, and more made the news and affected the characters.
During the COVID lockdown months Bradley and Laura were together in Montana doing their lame excuse for acting like they were in love. Alex, on the other hand, was shown in hot, heavy, naked, plentiful sex with her wrong choice of fella. In a series about equality, that was not equality.
Mia (Karen Pittman) had her romance storyline in graphic detail. With a man. Chip had his romance storyline. With a woman. As I said, not equality.
The diverse cast is appreciated. Chris (Nicole Beharie) was a new anchor this year. Her character, along with Mia and several others, had strong story lines around racism and pay equity. When the SCOTUS dumped Roe vs. Wade, Chris carried the torch and took the heat for the angry women around the country.
Amanda (Tig Notaro) was Paul Marks’ advisor. Tig Notaro didn’t get to say anything funny, but her tiny self threw plenty of courageous truth to her very tall boss, which was no doubt fun to play.
Season 1 was strong, season 2 lost its way, but season 3 brought it back into focus with the fight for truth and right at the forefront. The way the women characters in this complex drama had each others’ backs through various situations was inspiring.
A fourth season is already promised. At the end of season 3 we don’t know who will survive the corporate shenanigans, who will be in jail, and who will be sleeping in which bed. Plenty to look forward to.
Many episodes of season 3 were directed by women: Mimi Leder, Stacie Passon, Jennifer Getzinger, and Millicent Shelton. Women directors from seasons 1 and 2 include Roxann Dawson, Michelle MacLaren, Lynn Shelton, Lesli Linka Glatter, Victoria Mahoney, Rachel Morrison, and Jessica Yu.
The Morning Show is an Apple TV+ series.