The Morning Show: The Truth Behind the News

The Morning Show: The Truth Behind the News

The Morning Show

Smiling faces that entertained introduce famous singers or that, with broken voices, tell great tragedies. A familiar presence for the American public, accustomed for decades to welcoming journalists into their homes who become part of the family, friendly faces whose perpetual perfection is adored. The presenters of the talks in America are real celebrities, authoritative voices capable of pushing the attention of the public by conveying emotions and thoughts, strong with a power that is often subtle and little considered. But behind this bright world, when the spotlights are turned off and the microphones are turned off (or so hopefully), a truth that is anything but idyllic emerges, as told by The Morning Show, an Apple TV + series that turns the camera, moving the from the colorful stage to the shadows behind the scenes.

To better understand this series, we must remember that The Morning Show is based on the American perception of the talk show, an integral part not only of the television schedules, but of the American company. In these programs, every topic is treated, with the presence of specialized journalists and anchormen and anchorwomen, leading figures who are identified as the official face of the show. In the case of the Apple TV + series, we focus on one of the most important bands, the morning one, considered one of the most important segments of network programming. Let's forget puerile quarrels and bickering, sensationalism and macabre spectacle of pain, typical of certain homegrown productions. Although existing also in the States, these programs are considered low and unappetizing entertainment for journalists of a certain caliber, who would instead give their lives to sit behind the counter of a morning show.

The Morning Show: the shadows behind the spotlights

Long preamble to explain how The Morning Show makes its starting point with these assumptions. We mentioned earlier the idyllic appearance of the editorial offices of these programs, but the Apple TV + series decides to unhinge this hypocritical mask to show a more cynical and concrete reality, made up of machinations and selfishness, in which laudable or execrable attitudes take over depending on the situation. The behind-the-scenes look at this show becomes a mirror image of this perfection, to the point where it comes as no surprise to hear an insider define this world as 'just like the mafia'.

That's what Bradley Jackson (Reese Whiterspoon discovers) ), a journalist with a direct attitude and a complicated life, who after taking a stand during a workers' demonstration, is noticed by the production of The Morning Show, one of the leading programs of the morning range. Her grit seems perfect to work alongside Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston), the show's longtime host, who has been orphaned by her co-host, Mitch Kessler (Steve Carrell).

Kessler, in fact, was dismissed after a sex scandal hit him that sees him accused of harassment in the workplace, news that apparently shocked everyone. For the network, this storm comes in the period following the #metoo, which is openly cited and used as the main narrative element of the series. Bradley's less than ideal arrival in the editorial office, fortuitous and spoiled by internal machinations of the production, becomes a trigger for a revolution within The Morning Show, which leads to the emergence of latent conflicts and inner dramas never managed, with particular attention to the management of the culture of silence.

It is this shameful attitude that constantly hovers in the lives of the protagonists. The silence, hiding and covering up reprehensible acts is treated with particular sensitivity and precision by The Morning Show, moving in a commendable way in a game of revelations and perceptions that always keeps the viewer's tension high. If at first Mitch Kessler, a convincing Steve Carrell, seems to be the only target of this issue, a utilitarian connivance on the part of other members of the production soon emerges. Between those who have openly covered up their misdeeds and those who instead accepted vulgar humor and winks with smiles of circumstance, the eye of the camera reveals evident signs of revealing signals, which could not escape their colleagues. T he Morning Show manages to portray this world of sharks with a ruthless lucidity, reconstructs scratchy and horrendous situations with humanity, transmitting to the viewer the feeling of terror felt by the characters involved.

Intertwined with this plot deeply linked to # metoo and the Weinstein scandal, openly mentioned in a flashback episode, portrays a world in which misogynistic attitudes and retrograde views are the order of the day. From the unhappy comments that strike easily identifiable real characters ('that fifty-year-old half-lesbian') portrayed with a disarming naturalness to highlight how they are on the agenda, up to the characterization of the female cast, which must be through this toxic environment, but showing how it is experienced on the other side. The viewer is shown a poisonous and distressing scenario, with a palpable tension that finds its outlet in morally violent passages. Wonderful in its drama is the clash between Hannah Shoefled (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the program's head booker, and the president of the UBA broadcaster Fred Micklen, built on the desperation of women and the denial of men, culminating in a sentence of one devastating power: 'Is that how it works?'.

Apparently yes. But only for the silence of an environment in which economic interests are protected ('Everything for the show') sacrificing the emotions of the people who feed The Morning Show. With an honest and lucid vision of certain dynamics, the Apple + series does not avoid showing more or less evident complicity, it does not spare a criticism of those who tacitly validate certain attitudes simply by not opposing. A deep-rooted and rhetorical moralism is lacking, we want to tell a toxic environment deliberately kept as such to avoid scandals or problems that damage the good name of the program, the only entity to be preserved at any cost.

A current and cynically lucid

Jennifer Aniston's Alex Levy is the perfect embodiment of every nuance of this macho environment, not without blame for what happens. Constantly forced to keep a tough and authoritarian attitude, she is the victim of her role, painstakingly constructed and easily demolished. A sacrificed private life, a perpetual struggle in the editorial office have made Alex hard and impenetrable, a condition that collapses with the arrival of Bradley, different and willing to transform The Morning Show into true journalism, and not a simple entertainment program. br>
Inevitable for the two to create a love-hate relationship, in which Levy fears being replaced by her younger colleague, while Bradley looks for a mentor, a friend to rely on and to offer support. The dynamic between Aniston and Whiterspoon is pure alchemy, they manage to bring two women of profound humanity to the screen, who cannot find an authentic understanding because they are slaves of initially too different positions, prisoners of fears and beliefs that distance them. Power plays and traumatic events are needed to push them to review their roles and feel close, arriving at a striking gesture that, with a hint of rhetoric, captures the essence of the show's first season.

The Morning Show, however, does not want to focus only on the sex scandal, not failing to criticize the approach of a program that does not seem to want to touch topics of interest, afraid of hitting uncomfortable characters. The accusation of wanting to select the news in an unethical way is not new in television series, an element addressed with particular vivacity in The Newsroom, and in The Morning Show it is declined in a more light way, leaving it to be the most direct and honest vision of Bradley to push this button.

The Morning Show not only has a strong narrative charge, but offers a commendable visual system. The eye of the camera masterfully lingers on strong and never banal emotional details, captures the moments of humanity of the characters placing them at the center of the scene, creating visual balances of strong appeal. Magnificent work done in the episodes that see the crew of The Morning Show broadcast live from the fires that devastate California, where the devastation of the environment seems to echo the inner ones of Alex, who helplessly witnesses this tragedy, showing for the first time the its fragility.

All this, accompanied by a soundtrack that knows how to enhance the most intense scenes or leave room for deafening silences that contribute to enhancing the emotional violence of certain events. The direction of the various episodes, in fact, captures the right perspectives to highlight the excellent interpretation of the whole cast, where Aniston and Whiterspoon stand out, flanked by a presence of excellent shoulders like Billy Cudrup and a surprising Steve Carrell, who, while slipping into gigantic moments at times forced, he manages to carve out a thick role, hateful but perfect for bringing out the rottenness hidden behind the respectable facades of The Morning Show.

Every aspect of The Morning Show contributes to offering entertainment valuable and powerful, which reconfirms how Apple's streaming service has small pearls in its schedule, like Ted Lasso, waiting to see Apple TV + try its hand at a high-end production like Foundation.

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