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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    Nov 14, 2001
    Houston, TX
    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" ... ;)
     

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