The Morning Show

It’s 3:30 a.m. and it’s time for news anchors to get up, get ready and embrace as much news as possible to put on a running show. Controlled chaos fills the high-stress, fast-paced newsroom of the newest series “The Morning Show.” A woman behind the camera counts down from eight, and eventually hollers the words: “lights, camera, action.” It takes a village to magically make this disorderly production look organized and run smoothly.

“The Morning Show,”directed by Mimi Leder, premiered Nov. 1 as a three-episode series on Apple TV+. The series gives an inside look at the morning news anchors who help America wake up by bringing people breaking and relevant news. It explores the challenges faced by the men and women who carry out this daily televised show. The show’s plot follows the wake of a sexual misconduct scandal, drawing from what has been a popular topic in the news recently. 

The show is originally based on the 2013 book by Brian Stelter, “Top of the Morning,”which focuses on day-to-day politics and the hectic workplace surrounding the early-morning news shows like “Good Morning America” and “Today.” 

The sheer talent of the show’s well-known cast elevates the show past the standard set by the writing material alone. Jennifer Aniston, the lead actor, plays Alex Levy — a go-getter co-host on “The Morning Show” with Mitch Kessler, played by Steve Carell, her partner in crime for 15 years. Reese Witherspoon acts as Bradley Jackson, a hot-head local news reporter from West Virginia.

Each hour-long episode gets better as the series progresses and showcases the up-front topic of sexual misconduct in the workplace, similar to the #MeToo movement. With that being said, the first episode spends the majority of its runtime on one side of this topic. However, throughout the progression of the following episodes, the show does a good job of telling both sides, allowing Mitch to elaborate on his tale while victims are able to come forward and tell their stories. Even though sexual misconduct is important to the show, it is only a sliver of how cutthroat the world of morning news is.

The second episode’s end reveals the show’s main concept — Mitch has been fired from his co-anchor position for sexual misconduct, leaving Alex a lone wolf. The search for a new co-anchor ends with the hiring of Bradley — the complete opposite of Alex. They butt heads constantly, and Alex’s passive-aggressive behavior toward Bradley creates an uncomfortable and cringe-worthy tension within the characters’ relationships.

When these two characters clashed, I realized how different they truly are and understood that they were exploring the ins and outs of the news industry and learning how hectic things can get on the inside. After understanding the head-to-head dynamic between Alex and Bradley, I realized the series was demonstrating women taking power. After that realization, I hopped aboard for the rest of the season, focusing on female empowerment. 

While the story feels authentic, it did have to find balance by telling Mitch’s story and including different aspects of what a popular newscast must go through on a daily basis. 

 “The Morning Show” portrays negative sides within the scenes of morning news shows and can be seen as unfair to the media, but the blazing moments of brilliance do outweigh the negatives. “The Morning Show” is bold, not only in its willingness to tackle sexual misconduct in the workplace, but also its willingness to address that it can be far more complex than a black and white situation.