The Morning Show On Apple TV + SPOILERS

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by Gunnyman, Nov 2, 2019.

  1. cmontyburns

    cmontyburns Excellent.

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    Yeah, I'm sure it's weird watching me puzzle this out when you know the answers. Part of the reason this has been a bit frustrating for me is that I haven't been able to figure out whether this was intentional on the show's part -- like, did they know that this plays like I think it plays? Or did they think they were showing something that just didn't come across? I was listening to a podcast recently where Quentin Tarantino was talking about being confused when watching a movie. He said he's totally cool with it as long as he thinks he's in good hands. I haven't been sure yet if I'm in good hands. :)
     
  2. cmontyburns

    cmontyburns Excellent.

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    Episode four:

    Now we're talking.

    Despite what I said back in episode two about relaxing into the melodrama of it all, I've found that hard to do because the series just hasn't let anything breathe so far. Heading into this episode, I knew the first new week of TMS was going to be bumpy, because of course, but I thought it would be more of the "two F's Jackson" variety. Nope, five minutes in and we've thrown an abortion controversy on top of the fire. Good heavens.

    Fortunately they didn't (or haven't so far) linger on that. It even set up a brief moment of the sort I've been waiting for, which was Kelly Clarkson's appearance. Not that I'm a big Kelly fan or anything, but it was a brief moment of fun -- and of the characters having fun -- that just let the balloon relax for a couple of minutes. (I generally find the morning shows pretty insipid, but in that moment I reflected that I sort of got why people like them.)

    Then on to the accuser interview. This was one that was obviously going to go sideways vs. plan -- it was plenty telegraphed and even if it hadn't been, we would have expected it -- but the drama here was the sort I really enjoy. For starters, Bradley was right in doing what she did. I expect that over time, the show will present her and Alex coming to a happy medium about being uncontroversial and being reporters -- but for where Bradley is right now, of course she was going to go for the story despite being told not to. (And again, she was right to do it.) And second, though we were back at issue full boil here, this didn't scan as just people rending garments theatrically about the seriousness of it all. This was plot. This was Alex's Frankenstein terrorizing this village. This was Billy Crudup's conniving sneer. This was the women on staff becoming more inspired as we looked at them and some of the men becoming more scared. And this was Alex siding with the men!

    That last part fascinates me. The series hasn't made a secret so far that Alex isn't an innocent, isn't a victim in all ways (she is in some), isn't necessarily the person you root for even though she's played by Jennifer Aniston. She's shallow and egotistical and entitled and defensive and blind to a lot of that. When Bradley confronted her at the end and demanded, "Did you know?", were any of us on Alex's side? So well played by both of them but especially Witherspoon there. I really like her in this role.

    Cheeky reprise of Kelly Clarkson over the end credits. This episode really found its footing for me as it went on.
     
  3. inaka

    inaka Well-Known Member

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    This series is pure Allstate.
    In other words, you're in good hands. :)
     
  4. DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give 'em Hell, Devils

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    Can't wait to read the rest of cmonty's recaps. This is fun.
     
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  5. cmontyburns

    cmontyburns Excellent.

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    Episode five.

    Sorry to disappoint you, @DevdogAZ, but only a couple of minor observations here. I want to watch another episode before getting back to the corpus of the show. Suffice to say I am still wrestling with it five episodes in.

    I was amused that even Apple can't help but show its phones making sounds they don't really make in actual use. For example, when Bradley called her dad back, her iPhone made a little "boop" noise when she tapped the button to open the call.

    So first I thought Alex was divorced, then I decided she must be married, and now it turns out she's separated? Whaaa? Next I'm going to find out she's separated from someone other than her father's daughter, who has been hanging out in her apartment the entire series.

    Really enjoyed the duet between Cory and Alex at the party. Very clever of him, and a fun scene. At first I didn't buy that Alex would go running off to Mitch after, but I think it scans. The high-wire act she's had to walk during the party is entirely due to the reason behind Mitch's absence. None of that stress existed before, when Mitch was around. She certainly wasn't singing passive-aggressive duets with the news chief in front of high-society guests and her colleagues before all this. So why not retreat to a moment when Mitch could be there, like old times, even if it's artifice. (I do wish the car kiss hadn't happened though. Too obvious.)

    I knew we'd be seeing Marcia Gay Harden again. I think Alex approached her conversation at the party all wrong. Her tactics were way too obvious and fortunately the episode didn't play the reporter for an idiot.

    Everybody dressed to the nines at the party and of course sad-sack Chip shows up in his sweater. Ha!

    Hollywood must be a weird place to work. The guy who plays the bartender gets what is probably the biggest role of his life, and his 60 seconds of screen time involve smiling behind a bar a couple of times and humping Reese Witherspoon against a wall.

    At least Mitch found some new people to scream at this episode.
     
  6. cmontyburns

    cmontyburns Excellent.

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    It has been a while since I've had concentrated time for TV watching so I didn't get around to episode 6 until last night.

    I mentioned last post that I wanted another episode before zooming out on the show as a whole. Now that it has entered the back half, it seemed like the show really had to pick a lane for what it was about. Polemic? Soap opera? Palace intrigue melodrama? Drama about morning television? I mean, it can be all those things, but thus far it hasn't picked one as a through-line on top of which the other stuff can ride. It lurches from one to another episode-by-episode, scene-by-scene.

    I'm not sure this episode (the one with the wildfires, for anyone who finished watching a while ago) really settled that, but at least it had a center in the wildfire story. As such, it was probably the most successful episode of the run so far, and I enjoyed it a fair bit. The conflict between Alex and Bradley about the stories they should air was melodrama about their interpersonal dynamic, but also felt like a real debate that would be had in this circumstance. Alex breaking down on camera, and the ensuing reason it gave for a tentative rapprochement between her and Bradley, felt like a pretty organic response to what they were witnessing, and not just plot mechanics. It all felt a lot less superficial. I hope to see more of that.

    I wonder if her breakdown will presage a more likable Alex. Not that she or Aniston have to be likable just because, but I can't get over how sour this character is and yet how she's said to be regarded as America's mom. (Same problem I've had with Angry Mitch.) I'm also puzzled at why a divorce is assumed to be bad for the show's ratings or public opinion. She's already separated; people wouldn't assume the writing is on the wall? Although maybe the public of this show, like me, still don't really understand the relationship between those two. I get why he was mad at her leaving him holding the bag at her party, of course, but why was he there to be in that position in the first place? In just a few episodes we've gone from them snuggling on the couch over drinks and saying they love each other to him demanding a divorce. This relationship has not been well-portrayed.

    I wonder what Chip has on Fred.

    Brutal evisceration by Cory of his colleague in that pilot screening.
     
  7. getreal

    getreal postcrastinator

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    Yeah, about that, I think you meant to say "her daughter's father" ... ;)
     
  8. brianp6621

    brianp6621 Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    We just finished the first season last night. Is everyone caught up so we can talk about it openly now?
     
  9. inaka

    inaka Well-Known Member

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    **paging @cmontyburns, cmontyburns to the white courtesy phone... ** :D

    It should be fine being that this is a spoilers thread. Have at it!
     
  10. brianp6621

    brianp6621 Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Well I don't know that I actually have much to contribute but I will just say wow. I honestly hadn't even heard of the show and my wife was told by a friend she should watch it (my wife is pretty far up the ladder so we have many discussions revolving around male/female issues and discrepancies in the workplace/workforce).

    We started watching it together and I love it. A really excellent first season, capped off by an amazing finale. Best new TV I've seen in a long time. It is really well written with great characters
    • Mitch is a fascinating combination of brilliant, charismatic, creepy, and clueless all at the same time
    • Cory is an engima to watch. Is he a jerk, does he just want to watch the world burn, is he actually a caring individual somewhat hiding behind a brusk mask?
    • Alex is a person who has lost her way in success and has sacrificed some of her beliefs and is just overwhelmed
    • Bradley to me is probably the least complex being mostly a person really driven by good solid beliefs or pure lack of social grace to just do what is right
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2020
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  11. photoshopgrl

    photoshopgrl Nerd Fashionista TCF Club

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    I agree with your assessment. I think Mitch isn't a completely bad person. I think he's done some really gross things but not out of malice for these women, like the creeper he was talking to played by Martin Short. He's just oblivious to the fact that he wasn't getting tail due to his grand looks and charm. Cory is my favorite just for the reasons you mention. I just can't figure him out but I like watching him work. Also like the friendship with him and Bradley.
     
  12. cmontyburns

    cmontyburns Excellent.

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    I saw that @inaka tagged me a few posts back. I skipped everything in between that and this (and I've not read anything else in the thread, either, except direct responses to my posts). Spoiler away.

    I'm not caught up. The show is interesting and I'm rooting for it, but it's not pulling me along enough to have powered through the remaining episodes. I did watch episode 7 which I haven't written up, but my short summary is that I thought it was more bad than good. (I think this was the one where Bradley agreed to interview Mitch.). I've caught sight of the title of the final episode and so it's obvious now (sort of was anyway) what that refers to.

    I really should finish up so I'll try to do that by the end of the weekend.
     
  13. gossamer88

    gossamer88 UHDTV Snob

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    This and Servant were the two shows that I was excited to see on the day it dropped.
     
  14. UTV2TiVo

    UTV2TiVo Well-Known Member

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    I just watched the final episode and WOW, they really pulled it together.
    I was one of many who thought the first few episodes were lackluster. I watched the first episode not long after launch, gave the next couple episodes a chance once they came out but just didn't find the show compelling enough.
    If it weren't for the quarantine I probably wouldn't have continued, but I'm glad I did! It really picked up steam about half way through the season.
    As Inaka mentioned, Gugu Mbutha-Raw is phenomenal. I have seen her in a few things before (Black Mirror, Beyond the Lights, Concussion) and liked her but I thought my opinion of her acting was biased just because she is so attractive. Her role in this show proves she has acting chops too!
     
  15. photoshopgrl

    photoshopgrl Nerd Fashionista TCF Club

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    I just this very second realized she was the girl from San Junipero! :eek:
     
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  16. cmontyburns

    cmontyburns Excellent.

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    I'm baa-ack. :)

    I decided to pause watching the show because I found that fighting with it so much was making even the parts I liked feel like a chore. I didn't mean to put it down for months, but I guess that's a sign of how much I mostly wasn't enjoying it, despite some strong entries on the other side of the ledger. Anyway, I decided to buck up and finish it this weekend. I've got the last episode yet to watch tonight, but I wanted to post briefly before that.

    Unfortunately, the first episode I came back to was episode eight, the flashback to Mitch's fiftieth birthday. I really disliked it. It was boring and obvious and seemed to exist only to make stuff that wasn't even subtext in the show, but actual text, into EVEN BIGGER TEXT. And it showed just about everyone in their absolutely worst light. I had to grit my teeth to get through it.

    The penultimate episode was much better. This one returned to the palace intrigue nature of the series and started to bring everyone's machinations into a tighter knot. This has always been the strongest element of the show, and an episode that focuses primarily on plot was bound to be pretty good. It still couldn't help but digress into too much sneering Mitch, and Alex appears to be irredeemable as a character (but I'll wait and see what episode ten brings). And the show's exploration of sexual dynamics in the workplace as regards the principals is less a study than excavation with a jackhammer -- loud, obvious, and unpleasant. That's a shame because it's also doing some much more subtle and effective work in that area with the relationship between Yanko and Claire. That is real, and affecting, and sad, and it's a strange contrast with how bombastic the show is with the theme overall. I'm rooting for them.

    Anyway, for all that, I liked the momentum of the episode and how it sets up episode ten, which I am looking forward to. At least I get to see what the hubbub is about. Here we go...
     
  17. PJO1966

    PJO1966 Hi. What is this?

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    Loved this show! Emmy awards all around, please!
     
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