Season 2 Episode 1 – The Morning Show

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Julia Washington: Hey friends. Welcome to Pop Culture Makes Me Jealous. I’m your host, Julia, and on today’s show Sarah Gage is here, and we are talking The Morning Show .

The morning show is an Apple Plus original, which first aired on November 1st, 2019. The show stars, Jennifer Anniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell, Billy Crudup and Mark Duplass, just to name a few. Apple calls this show, “an unapologetically candid drama that looks at the modern workplace through the lens of the people who help wake America up. Pull back the curtain on early morning TV.”

At this point, I want to take a moment to say the topics discussed today will deal with sexual misconduct, sexual abuse, and rape. We understand these topics can be difficult to discuss or to hear discussions about. So if you’re not ready, now’s the time to duck out.

Additionally, there is mention of the Mandalay Bay shooting in LA. Again, we want to be mindful and respectful of where you are as listeners. So now’s the time to jump ship if you’re not ready for these.

Season one opens with the announcement of longtime anchor Mitch Kessler played by Steve Carell being terminated from his position after numerous allegations of sexual misconduct have surfaced. The news breaks before the new morning show airs with the cast and crew shocked by the announcement.

In the wake co-host Alex Levy played by Jennifer Aniston, tells the story to their loyal TMS audience. In a review from NPR, October of 2019, Eric Degen states, “The morning show is stylish and fast paced. The biggest project among nine original programs kicking off the new Apple TV plus service.”

An article from December of 2019, posted on The Slate claims, “The Morning Show is glossy and expensive. This series is a giant faultlessly tasteful gift box filled mostly with packing peanuts.”

While the critics were mixed in the reviews of the show, audience acceptance, at least according to Rotten Tomato, has been positive. Before we dive into the discussion. Let me introduce you to my guest. Sarah Gage is an entertainment journalist who reviews original streaming movies and series.

She is the founder and editor of Coco’s Buzz Blog and has written for Screen Rant and Gather. She also co-hosts the long running pop culture podcast, Coco and Dalts, and previously co-hosted the entertainment podcast Straight to Hell. Sarah received her bachelor’s degree in English, from Truman state university, and also studied at the London School of Economics.

When she’s not binging the latest Netflix series, you can find her hiking or hanging out at a coffee shop or a wine bar. Same Sarah. Absolutely. Same. Welcome to the show.

Sarah Gage: Awesome. Thank you. I think that’s why we get along. We seem to

JW: Wine and coffee. Yes, please.

SG:Yeah, totally. I got my coffee over here. Five o’clock somewhere. So yeah,

JW: That’s what I always do. I’m always like is what time does the clock say? It’s 3:45 on a Saturday. I think I can open the bottle. I know. It’s totally fine. So also tell me a little bit about the Spencer Quinn book series. You discovered Bernie and Chet.

SG:Yeah. So, uh, Spencer Quinn is apparently a pseudonym for the author, I believe his name is Peter Abrams. He’s I guess he’s a writer of some renown. I don’t read as much as I should, so I never heard of him, but I discovered, a book series he’s written, I believe the first one was published in 2009. So Bernie is a sort of down on his luck, private detective and Chet is his dog.

And the whole series is written from the dog’s point of view. So I accidentally discovered them in a used bookstore. We were just talking about Amazon versus not Amazon. I was in a used bookstore in Vermont, and I saw the spine of one of the books that said “Paw and Order.” And I was like, cause all the, all the titles are like, you know, punny like that, what the heck is “Paw Order”?

And I picked it up and I read the back and I was like, I gotta get this book. So I got like the first eight. I think they’re up to 16 now, 15 or 16. So I’m only halfway through the second. Um, but cause it’s been a summer, but I can, if you liked dogs and you like mystery. What I can recommend is, um, because the human’s name is Bernie.

I picture him as Bernie Sanders. So it was like Bernie Sanders, get in a bar fight with some bikers and like doing like the neck chop. And, and then you can hear his like gruff voice speaking, all the dialogue. So that’s made it has made it even more entertaining.

JW: Oh my gosh. That sounds awesome. We’ll have to check that out. I’ll add that to my queue.

SG: Definitely. There are, and they’re easy to get through, so, yeah.

JW:That’s awesome. Okay. Let’s dive in. So just again, listeners, there’s going to be spoilers. So this is your one and only warning.

SG:I love spoilers. So I’m glad somebody else is with me on spoiler.

JW:Oh, good. Good, good, good.

This is one of Apple’s first attempts at original content for their streaming platform. I want to start by talking about our general thoughts on the show, concept, plot, storytelling mechanisms, themes, et cetera. What are your initial thoughts on the story that unfolds during season one of The Morning Show?

SG:I liked it. I didn’t love it. I thought it worked best the last few episodes when they really kind of focused…. I mean, the whole season was like the me too stuff with Steve Carell’s character, but at like the last three episodes, when they did a flashback to when he still actually worked there and just like showing that dynamic of him and everybody who worked there and how everybody was so complicit.

And then the last couple episodes after that, where even though Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon were coming at it from like with different motivations, they were both trying to work together. Not together. They were both trying to work to like. The truth out in some ways. And so I thought at the end, when the show kind of hit that stride and focused on that, like, it was really good.

Like before that, like things kind of felt a little muddled, especially with the Steve Carell character, like the first few episodes, it seemed like they’re trying to make a sympathize with him or something. And I’m like, what are you doing? And then the Reese Witherspoon character was just so unlikable, the first few episodes,

JW: When we first meet Reese, Reese Witherspoon, she’s, you know, covering a coal protest or rally it’s like, is it both? Probably, I don’t know. And she’s just like going off on people, but I agree with you in the sense that I think the reason why I kept going, so it was like, it’s going to pick up at some point, like we’re going to get answers at some point, but to wait seven episodes before you get to something feels kind of mean.

SG:And they’re long episodes to like an hour. Yeah. And a couple of the episodes are over an hour and it’s not like Ted Lasso where it’s a 30 minutes and you can just like bang it out like that. Like there’s a lot packed into each hour. So I was, I didn’t know that. So

JW:It’s heavy content too, like you say, cause we’re dealing with me too. The me too, the sexual misconduct, you know, all these different things and it’s all that stuff is so nuanced and heavy.

So if you have like that experience personally, getting through the show might be really hard.

SG: And even if you don’t like, I’m very fortunate, I don’t have that experience. But the eighth episode, when the incident happens between Steve Carell’s character and, oh, what’s the name of the actress who plays Hannah

JW: GuGu Mbatha Raw I think is how you say that

SG:That’s I think most, if not all of us have been in a situation that could have been. Could have gone the way it went for her character. And me just, I was just like, so tense, like watching that scene, I was just like, oh God. Oh God, that was, I felt a very, a very good depiction of things that aren’t just straightforward. A guy snatches, a woman behind a bar and drags her into an alleyyou know.

JW:I think that’s a lot of the, or at least in the nineties, that was a lot of how that kind of concept, not that kind of concept, but that was a lot of how “you’re going to get assaulted” was portrayed to us as young women. It’s like this whole go in groups, walk it, you know, strength numbers, don’t go to the bathroom by yourself.

BOTH:Carry your keys between your fingers

SG:Totally.

JW: And then this kind of shows it’s aggressive, but it’s not that kind of aggressive. It’s a little bit more nuanced. It’s a little bit… there’s grooming involved.

SG:Right. And the whole show is about power and who has it and who doesn’t like, there’s a scene with, Yanko played by Nester Carbonell and Claire. I think her name is Bel Powely. And, uh, so he’s a person of color and she’s a white, British girl and he’s twice her age and he’s the weatherman and she’s a PA and she’s like, well, my family could buy you and your whole family, like 10 times over. And I’m like, did the white girl have to say that though?

Like, you know, no.

JW:When it comes to the place of business, that kind of power almost doesn’t work in this scenario, I felt like she was missing the point of like, no, he’s the one who’s going to be perceived, especially in the wake of Mitch Kessler. He’s the one who’s going to be perceived as being this predator because she’s young and beautiful and you know, he’s old enough. I mean, he’s handsome, but like, if in comparison, in the sense of like, all these guys are doing all these terrible things are not attractive men, right?

SG: Yeah. Why did he have to have so much eyeliner on though? Like the guy liner just killed me?

JWYeah. I was like, I I’m glad you brought that up because the whole time I’m like, is that, does he really have, like, I couldn’t, I was struggling. So I’m like, do you really have that thick of eyelashes or did they enhance it with something? I can’t tell.

SG: Right. Totally her that was, I’ll say that like that killed me every time. They wake up at 3:30 and the camera pans to Jennifer Aniston, and she turns off her alarm and everybody’s still has old school alarms. Like, you know, almost nobody’s using their phone as their alarm. And I’m like, what century are we in? But like, they’ve all got perfect makeup. And you know, then they go, when they get on like the StairMaster and I’m like, okay, like you can, you can not wear the lipstick and the eyeliner to bed.

You can still look like you don’t have makeup on with wearing makeup and not showing the full base.

JW:I did struggle with the timeline because I’m like, okay, if you’re waking up at 3:30, the show goes on at seven. So how are you fitting all of this stuff in in the morning?

SG: Totally. Unless you’re doing 10 minutes on the treadmill, which my father, you know, I mean, I guess it’s better than nothing, but all you’re doing is working off like your coffee, like the half cup of skim you put in your coffee or whatever.

JW:Right? Right.

It’s hard to talk about the show without talking about the relationships presented. You mentioned Yanko and Claire, Alex and Mitch are the 15 year veteran anchors of the show. Chip Black played by mark Duplas, who I love, is there a long time producer. Billy Crudup who is another one that I love, plays Corey Ellison, the VP of news and entertainment.

Reese Witherspoon plays Bradley Jackson, an in-field reporter, who’s plucked out of obscurity when Hannah Schoenfeld played by Gugu Mbatha Raw. And I apologize if I said that incorrectly, I’ve only ever read it in print or on titles. I’ve never actually heard anybody say before

SG: Me too

JW: Discovers her viral video at a coal mining rally. Also for you British entertainment fans are Pirate of the Caribbean fans, Jack Devonport plays Jason Craig; Coupling is an amazing show, if you’ve never seen it, Alex, Levy’s estrange husband. So Jason Craig is Alex Levy’s estrange husband. Mindy Kaling plays Audra. She’s the co-host of the rival early morning show news show. This show is stacked with talent. As we have mentioned.

In an interview with the indie wire, when asked about her personal relationship and how the Alex and Bradley dynamic on the show didn’t resemble Thelma and Louise or the All about Eve relationship, Witherspoon said, “You know, there’s 7,000 different relationships that women have with each other. And this is just one of those 7,000 that’s never been explored.” I want to start there. Is this relationship between Alex Levy and Bradley Jackson. One we have never really seen before on television?

SG:I don’t think so. I, I, I mean, I understand what she’s saying from like these two people haven’t played these two characters specifically, but I’m like in the whole history of entertainment we’ve had workplace comedies. We’ve had workplace drama is we’ve had a female buddy comedies. We’ve had female. You know, at each other’s throat,

JW:Reese Witherspoon totally did a buddy cop movie with Sofia Vergara.

SG: Yeah. So like, I read that when you sent it over and I kind of rolled my eyes a little bit. I was like, okay. Drumming up interest for her Apple TV plus thing. I mean, even they seen a morning show show. No, but not seem like

JW: There’s a movie, the, the, um, Morning Glory with

SG: Rachel McAdams.

JW: Thank you. Yeah. And I love that movie. It’s so cute, but that’s, I think that’s kind of the only, and that’s more light, more romantic comedy kind of situation. They don’t really, I mean, they don’t really deal with the depths or go into the deeper inner workings of like, yes, there’s a little office politics in the Morning and Morning Glory, but not to the extent of The Morning Show .

Because it’s intense. Like Alex Levy is in this position where, so we find out that she’s potentially on getting, be like forced out. They don’t want her on like the producer, not the producers, but the president of the network doesn’t want her anymore. Her numbers are dropping, blah, blah, blah. She literally is saved from being fired because Mitch Kessler is exposed.

SG:It took a sexual, like misconduct scandal for a guy to lose his job. They’d been there the same amount of time, their the same age. It’s not, you know yeah.

JW: Which is wild to me because instead of working with her to say, and she’s got this big ego and at first I was like, okay, so you’re a big star. And you know, so you’re, you know, falling into that.

But then as we see her relationship with her husband and her daughter and how she kind of, I thought. Manipulates them to stay, to support her, but she’s not supporting them in any way in return. Like she’s the most important in the relationship and she time and time again, displays behaviors that suggest that.

And then her husband’s fi fi and he’s, I just, first of all, I love that doctor. Cause coupling is amazing was so good. But then he finally just kind of is just like, I can’t this isn’t it’s you feel the imbalance and you feel for him, like he should be loved and she’s just like, no, you have to love me and support me.

I mean, she doesn’t act like that in that sense, but you know.

SG: She bailed on her own fundraiser. Like she was hosting a party and she bailed on it because she had to go talk to Mitch. For something. I don’t even remember why she wanted to talk to them. And they were like riding around in his car.

JW: Aren’t you worried about getting caught? Like in this day and age, I feel like I have a cell phone in my hand. You do too. Everybody does. We saw, we saw Adam Sandler in person one time at the Grove in LA and everybody on the trolley had their cameras out, trying to sneak a pic. Right. And that’s more open, but, still, it’s like, I it’s been awhile since I’ve been in New York City, but I’m assuming people are going to be like, at least tourists aren’t desensitized to celebrities walking around everywhere.

SG: Right. And okay. Let me just say a quick pet peeve. Every time anybody was riding in their car on that show, nobody ever stopped at stoplights. They were just going straight down fifth avenue from uptown to downtown. Like nobody ever hit a light. Like I was just like, when are they going to stop? Like, this is so unrealistic. Like what’s going, yeah. Yeah, totally. I mean, it’s New York. Come on, you pull off onto a side street and you’re just sitting there and the car is idling. And I mean, unless you have tinted windows, which might be illegal, I’m not sure, but like, yeah, somebody who’s going to be walking down the street at like nine, 10 o’clock at night. Cause it’s New York and they’re going to be like, Hey, wait a minute. That’s…

JW: And if Gossip Girl taught us anything, people are going to snap photos and not tell you.

So I don’t know if it was intentional to give Mitch as much attention in the show as they did. And we’ll kind of touch on that in a little bit, but I thought the relationship was interesting because you know, she’s so devastated by his actions, but you get the sense that she… understands what’s going on, but she’s ignoring it, which I feel like in a work environment where you don’t feel supported is pretty typical. So there’s a lot there in that situation where she’s like, you know, she knows, but then also she’s not addressing it because she is on thin ice too. So if she brings it up, what’s that going to do to her?

So I thought that kind of dynamic was, to me, it felt true to how sometimes do things and not just necessarily when it comes to misconduct, but in general, when there’s something not right going on in an office environment, there’s that fear with staff to be like, well, I don’t want to be the whistleblower. I’ve got bills to pay.

SG:Right. Exactly. And I thought even though in the season finale, um, she did admit on air, like, yeah, I knew it was going on and I didn’t want to say anything because I wanted to keep my job in the first few episodes when she was denying that, you know, oh, what happened? I didn’t know. I, I thought that it was, it seemed realistic to me.

So a little story here. So a few years ago I worked with a guy who got caught on tape doing very inappropriate things

JW: Because not getting caught is unfortunate, but him doing them, it’s unfortunate.

SG: Yeah. And I mean, there’s no denying, you know, there’s, it’s on tape. And even though he, and I didn’t have the 15 year relationship that Alex and Mitch did and, you know, I still liked working with him. I thought he was a good guy. We had a very good co-working relationship. And so when that news came out, you don’t want to believe that somebody that you like and trust in a work sense could be capable of doing something like that. And you’re just shocked and it’s just, and horrified that this stuff, you know, could have happened. And so I thought like the first few episodes where she kind of had all of these emotions, like from my experience in a similar situation, that seemed really like, kind of authentic to me because yeah. I mean, it’s terrible that it happened. He shouldn’t have done it. He should be prosecuted, but you’re just like, oh my God, I didn’t think that somebody I knew and liked was capable of that.

JW: He said it falls kind of into that hole. Well, you say weird shit. I mean, I’m not saying that the person you notice, but like Mitch says weird shit. That’s like, you’re just like, oh, okay. You’re kind of like, and we see that more in episode eight with the flashback where you’re just like that’s icky, but you see people sort of the women, especially you see them tolerating it because it’s not an environment where they feel, I took in the sense they didn’t feel supported.

So they’re going to tolerate it and put up with it. I can’t speak for, oh, I guess kind of shared that, but like, I feel like I’ve been in that situation too, where you’re just like, fuck, but you don’t say anything because you’re just like, if I say something, then I’m the raging bitch in the room who can’t be… is difficult to work with. Nobody wants that label.

SG: No. Yeah. Jesus is so much worse for women than for men. Like we’re labeled difficult at the drop of a hat, but in that episode they did the flashback. It was Mitch’s 50th birthday. And Martin short is this big director. And he brings like the rock Hudson and they’re singing a song.

And at one point they sang a lyric. That was something like, you know, we don’t like you, if you’re a bitch and they flashed on Claire’s face. And she was like a brand new PA at that point. And she was just. Kind of did that. And everybody else was like, oh, you know, and you said before we started taping, like hopefully gen Z will save us.

I was like, yes, like gen Z coming in. She’s like, what is, what is this? Did they really just say like, bitch and everybody is just laughing it off? Like, so yeah.

JW: It’s like the coping mechanisms to survive. I really did like Bradley and Cory’s relationship too. I thought that was really interesting. So I really liked Corey Ellison played by Billy Crudup.

I love Billy Crudup, Almost Famous was my first exposure to him. And of course I’ve just loved him ever since, but I love how he sort of played this quirky a little he’s fascinated by things that are not typical, I guess.

SG:Nero watching Rome burn, like you just didn’t even care. He was just like, blow it up, whatever, you know, and I mean, obviously he had motivations for, Hey, maybe I could get the network president job, you know, but yeah, he was, yeah, he was fascinating to watch.

JW:He really was. And then when they threw in that bit about how he was raised by a single mom, I was like, all right, you guys, now you just seal the deal that I love this guy. And he became super successful in life because there’s always these narratives that single moms can’t raise successful kids, but fun fact, we single moms raised a lot of really successful kids, um, Barack Obama, uh, um, and so the fact that he’s drawn to Bradley and it’s just like really appreciates because they’re kind of similar in the sense of like, she’s so determined to seek the truth and expose the truth that she also doesn’t really care about blowing shit up.

And so they kind of get along in that way, but I thought it was interesting how they. There’s that potential for their relationship to be perceived as being more because they’re in these, like, they kind of get into these scenarios that if you’re on the outside, you would think, oh, something’s going on between them.

And I thought that was an interesting technique that this, that the writers sort of tied in. And I thought they did that really well.

SG: Did anybody even bring that up because at the beginning, when he kept, she was supposed to get on a plane and go back to West Virginia or wherever, but he was like, oh no, you know, come and meet chip.

And then, Hey, be my date tonight to this, you know, this Alex thing. And we’ll send some dresses over to you. Nobody thought about that. Like, you know, of course Alex is thinking she’s going to get screwed. You know? So Alex is just like in the professional mindset, but I’m like, nobody else seemed to be like, oh, what are you doing here?

You know, they, they were all just thinking of the professionals so that, but then in the season two trailer, there were some. There were some scenes between those two. I’m glad they got rid of her rid of her brown wig. That really annoyed me because it was bad. I’m glad she’s back to blonde. So there was some scenes between those two.

So maybe that is a thing that could come up and season two.

JW: I hope so. Um, did you, do you think so, like, okay. I do want to touch a little bit on Daniel and Audra. So Daniel, so Audra is played by Mindy Kayling. Daniel is played by Deshaun. I forget his last name, but he’s, I was like, can we get more to DeShaun?

And then as I was reading, you know, more criticisms of the show, a lot of people felt like the characters of color didn’t really get as much attention as some of the other characters. And part of me was like, well, the show’s about Alex and Bradley, so I can understand that. But I thought the storyline with Daniel and Audra could have been more because Audra is the cohost or the host over at another network. And she, I love that. I love that Reese Witherspoon was allowed to use her Southern accent. Like that’s my favorite when she gets to speak in her natural dialect two, I love that Mindy Kayling was like, had no problem coming in and being like the brown girl ballbuster when it comes to like yeah, race issues.

SG: Yeah, totally.

JW:So she starts courting Daniel, like how long are you going to sit behind and wait for these white people to like, see that you’ve done a good job. Like I see that you’re doing a good job now come work for me. Now. I thought that could have been more developed because… in the end when this big thing happens, that we’ll talk about later, he decides to no longer like, pursue whatever that is happening, but I didn’t feel like they showed us enough of Daniel and Audra to make that big reveal in the end, more impactful.

And I thought that was a disservice to their storyline.

SG: Yeah, definitely. It would have been nice to see, and maybe it has something to do with the Mindy Kayling conflict or something since she was pretty busy there for awhile, because she really was putting the hard, sell on him in that restaurant scene where she was trying to get him to jump ship.

And so that would’ve been great if they could have had like some drinks or something later, or she could have even.

JW:Or if we see him talking with his manager or his engine or whatever it is, you know, something more on his storyline of the conflict. Right. We see Chip telling him, just hang in there, buddy.

Like we’re going to make this happen. And then Alex is like, Hey, you know, we’re going to get rid of Bradley, so now we’re going to pick you, but that’s an episode nine. So, you know, from one through seven, we don’t really, we see him being brushed off. But then the show also the show itself is brushing him off.

And that just felt don’t give us the storyline that we could potentially relate to. Cause, you know, as there’s the layer of being a woman. So you’re just kind of always overlooked for stuff. And then, you know, coming from the perspective of being a person of color, then there’s that other layer because he has this speech about how, like he’s done everything, right.

He did all the things and then they still tell him don’t be intense and don’t do this and don’t do that. And all these things, cause Chip is telling him, you know, you gotta play the game to get it. And he’s like, man, I’m in fucking playing the game from the jump. Like stop trying to play the game. I’ve earned it when it’s my time.

But that’s like the most emotion we get to see from him. We don’t see battling. Should I leave? Should I not leave? TMS is my family, but then this, and you know, it just didn’t feel like enough to me.

SG: Right after Bradley was announced to be starting Monday. They did show her in the control room at the end of like the Saturday show that was hosted by Daniel. And uh Yanko and then what was the name of the lady?

JW:I forget her name. She’s not really a lot in it either. And I felt like that was kind of a disservice too.

SG:I know. I’m like, I’m seriously trying to think. Did she actually have any lines? Like, I can’t even remember if she spoke.

JW:Very few because they’re in the flashback episode Mitch makes a comment about at her and my old enough for you yet. And she’s like, not yet a couple more years. And I was like, I understand why she’s saying that because she’s trying to bat him away. Yeah. Like it, she didn’t, she wasn’t allowed to be anything more than like this beautiful, sexy woman.

SG:Right. Right. And at the end of the Saturday episode, Yanco says something like, oh, in your Monday forecast, like hurricane Bradley coming at ya. And then like, as soon as they cut, they still have mics that the control room can hear. And Daniel says, people only like hurricanes when they’re white women or something like that. And Bradley goes, oh yeah, he’s right. And I was like, that character would never have that kind of self-awareness to agree with the that statement. Like at least not the way she was presented in the first like three or four episodes. Like she thawed out, like toward the end. And they tried to soft pedal her a little bit and be like, oh, she’s not really, like a hardcore conservative, she’s more libertarian. And I’m like, but the first three episodes, like I was hate watching it by episode three, because my character was so horrible. And I’m sorry to derail. I don’t mean to derail Daniel to get back to like the white lady, but like, it would have been nice to see more of like, I understand why he can’t because he’s like a gay black man and you don’t want to… have that perception of, you know, he’s going to be out of control and be angry or whatever. Like it would’ve been nice to, like you said, see more of that kind of snarkiness and bitterness and like just develop him more and like, would that guy really still stay at The Morning Show after everything he put up with?

JW: Like, I don’t know. I don’t even know this, how cut throat is morning TV. You know, you’ve got your big three, but then there’s also all of the local networks too. And I don’t know about where you are, but where we are, our Sacramento network has cycled through a lot of people in the last five years.

SG:Oh, really?

JW:Yeah. And I got really attached to one of the gals and then she was like, one day she was like, I’m going to DC. Yeah. But I love you. Oh no, she doesn’t know. I love her, but I loved her, especially on like the networks.

SG:Like people get those jobs and they stay there forever. Like Matt Lauer was there for 20 years and Katie Couric was there for 20 years. And like even, I think Michael Strehan hand now has been there on GMA for a while. It’s been like five or eight years since Kelly mess. So they get those chairs and they do not give them up.

SG:They have to literally do a scandalous thing to be removed.

SG:Great.

JW:Marcia Gay Harden is on the show and she plays Maggie Brenner. And I love how she kind of would come in and sort of stir the pot, but she was kind of that thread that we needed to understand just how inter like, just how all of the, all of the dynamics work. Cause they’ve all worked together. They all came up together. They all did these things. Like the president of the network is the one who gave her her first big story of that broker.

But then like, she also has this loyalty to like, Chip in a away because they worked together for so long. And so I thought her placement in the show was really interesting and how she gets this story that she wants to investigate. She gets a tip. And so she’s kind of like to Corey, she says, I need you to understand this is a big thing.

This is a big accusation because this guy, whatever his name is, I have it written down. We’re not there yet, but I can’t remember the president of the thing.

SG:Oh, Fred Micklen

JW:Fred Micklen seeing, I hate him so much. I can’t remember his name. You know, he’s kind of a BFD in the business. And so it, I just thought she was a really interesting, the way that like she and Alex clearly had respect for each other, but then also they don’t because they hate each other.

And I thought it was interesting how Alex tried to use Maggie to try and like spin. Cause they’re going to do that. She’s going to do this big profile for those of you listening if you haven’t seen the show Maggie Brenner gets brought in to do this big profile on, on proudly Jackson Reese for the sprints character, because she literally came from nowhere.

Right? She’s had this spotty career, she’s been in the business for 15 years and doesn’t have anything solid, which I don’t know if that’s like true or not, because who, you know, I don’t, I’m not in the news industry that way, but then they’re like, we’re going to do all this publicity on her. And so Alex invites her to the part-, to the fundraiser and then tries to like work Maggie in a way.

And they might be called her out on it, which I love because she said, no, you’re not going to turn this into some feminist pop piece for me. Like this is going to be a really good profile.

SG:So one of the things that did bother me about this also is that they kept seeming to think that morning shows are hard news and morning shows are not hard news, like hard news.

I mean, you can, you know, do this segment on the private firefighters, keeping the homes of the rich people in Malibu, like from being a bird down. But most of what people want is like cooking segments and, you know, fall fashion and stuff like that. So that was kind of an annoyance to me, but like Maggie, I thought was good.

Like, you know, she’s been there, she’s seen it all. Like she’s not going to get cowed by these guys. And then there was the scene with the New York Times. On –

JW:I forgot about that scene

SG:On the, it was call with, uh, I guess the lawyers for the network, but then Fred Micklen and Corey Ellison are listening in.

And, uh, they’re saying, look, we’re going to run this story. You know, we have these sources and, you know, Corey and Fred are texting the lawyers like, Hey, tell them, we’ll give them a quote. You know, if they’ll leave out this quote. And so then, you know, you go back and forth on that. And then the times is like, not screw you, we’re running, we’re running the quote.

You know, we’re not going to bury anything. And I was like, this is what, this is what journalism like, you know, really should be. So I, I did enjoy that. Like, you know, the Maggie character. And then even though the times people only showed up. A couple of other seven spots. So go on to touch on the fire thing.

JW:I thought that was interesting because they sent both of them out to cover the fire and this concept of hard news. Right? So to bring back Morning Glory, Harrison Ford’s character was like a hard hitting news journalist who was like the, he was like the Walter Cronkite of his era for news. And he refused, he made a comment about how morning shows just puff trash, garbage.

It’s beneath him. He’s not going to do it. And then, and then he tried, he rejected anything that wasn’t a hard hitting news story to be on that story. So flash forward to The Morning Show and the fires in California, which let’s just be honest. It’s the whole season is like from like April, till like November at this point in California, especially in Southern California.

And I thought it was interesting how The Morning Show presented that because they sent both of the anchors out and in morning show TV, from what I can recall covering our fires, they always send somebody else. Like the big guys never get flown out to in my, from what I can remember, somebody could write in and tell me I’m wrong.

It’s usually the nighttime TV. Like David Muir’s come out a couple times. Cause clearly I’m, I’m indoctrinated by Disney because I watch ABC news. Um, but I love David Muir. He’s awesome. And he’s beautiful. So thank you. So the, I thought that was an interesting call because then there’s this scene where Alex and Bradley, they’re trying to figure out, like, we need to end on something light because these devastating, these fires are devastating.

And then so they find this guy who rescues dogs. So they’re talking to him and Alex loses her shit because in the backstory we find out that like her husband wants to divorce and like all these things are happening to her and it’s terrible.

JW:I feel like that’s a thing like you might send your weatherman to do because that’s a weather event. So they’d probably send Yanko, but then you lose the, the framing device of like, well, now this is going to bring them closer. Yeah.

JW:Get these girls, get these girls out of here. That’s what a friend would get these girls on the fire so that they can leave this, leave this situation alone, whatever it was that he was pissed about.

I think it was so article that the times was trying to write that. And then he gets busted because he hired private security to protect us out or private firefighter.

SG:That was so funny too. He goes to dinner with Maggie and she’s just like, wow, that took courage for you to kill that story about the private firefighters and did not kill her to not kill it. And he was like, oh, well, yeah. I mean, just the news. What are you going to do? And then like later in that episode of the following one, he’s just, he rips into Chip and yeah,

JW:I hate this guy so much.

SG:I mean, that’s the news business right there. Like. You know, stabs you in the back while they smile to your face. Right? So, yeah.

JW:As we mentioned before, in episode eight, it’s a flashback episode. Mitch’s 50th birthday is a few days away and plans are being made. Everyone seems happy. We really get insight in this episode and how Mitch fits into the show. After Mitch’s birthday celebration reports of a shooting in Las Vegas start to come in.

Chip makes the decision to send both Alex and Mitch to cover Hannah, who is a junior Booker at this time is sent as well. Mia gets left behind which we didn’t really touch on Mia yet, so we can talk more about her. In this part, episode eight is a real shift in the show. It gives the audience insight into how Mitch fits into the TMS family.

Until this point we had only heard accounts from others. Now with this firsthand view of Mitch, we are seeing everything from, oh, I think it’s an objective point of. And a piece posted on the digital spite titled, “The Morning Show, mishandles its most important theme on me too.” Writer David Opie states, while it makes sense for Mitch to play a role in the pilot, thereby setting up what’s to come.

The curious decision to keep following his story after the firing is perhaps questionable for a show where the me too movement is key. He goes on to say, while it’s cathartic to see you Levy confront him at the end of the pilot scenes, where we watch Mitch break down in tears or smashes home up in a blind rage, see muddled at best. Are we supposed to feel sorry for him? Are we supposed to find it funny when he loses control?” So was the decision to include Mitch in the storyline as much as he was relevant to the overall story or does it do what the Digital Spy suggests and mishandles the theme on me too.

SG:Like I said, I disliked Reese Witherspoon’s character so much. And then so much attention was paid to Steve Carell’s character. And. He was just like a cartoon villain because he was spouting like all the, no, it was consensual. They wanted it, you know? And he was just like, so –

JW:Whiny baby.

SG:Yeah. And I was just like, this show was going to be a satire because like there’s no other reason to explain why we’re getting so much of him and he’s such a cartoon villain, but then they did, like, they did kind of try to make it go and like a, well, maybe it was consensual direction, even though in like the first or second episode he had like the right button on his desk –

JW:Locks the door.

SG:Yeah. And I was like, there’s no, there’s no coming back from the rape butto-

JW:First of all, cool green lights that to be installed. Like, I don’t know how big of a star you are. Somebody needs to be like, why do you need that on your door? That’s suspect.

SG:Yeah.

JW:But again, an environment where maybe you don’t feel safe enough to speak up.

SG:Right. Like some, some kid who changes locks. Yeah. Who makes like 12 bucks an hour? Like, again, I felt like at the end, like, you know, the late episodes, like eight, nine, and ten when they were like working to bring him down, like, I was definitely like, okay, If it had been more like this, the rest of the season, and we could have seen like actively trying to root out misconduct and abuses in the workplace and not made him such like a whiny baby. Like you said, like. Maybe that would have been okay. But, and then he’s going to be a season two, like he’s in the season two trailer and I’m like, no, his storyline should have ended at episode 10 when like it’s all over. And he admitted, they knew everything and now there’s no redemption for him and he should be done.

JW:He needs to be done.

SG: Yeah. And now it, season two should be the show coming back from the ashes and rebuilding and the wake of this horrible scandal. But I’m like, but he’s in it. So I’m like, why, why do we need him in it? Like, and I didn’t even think he was… I’m not a huge Steve Caroll fan I feel like he’s the same in everything. And I didn’t even mind him in this. I thought he was really good at being. Insidious. And, you know, I was actually like the eighth episode. I was like, really impressed with him then, but I’m like, no, we don’t need him. He’s done.

Well, you can’t really call it a relationship with Hannah. I interpreted it as he was grooming Hannah to do whatever he wanted, but he had a relationship with Mia, um, who was one of the producers for the show. And so we find out, I forget, at which point we find out that he, that she wanted him to leave his family. And because he’s married with two kids, um, he’s married to the woman who plays the teacher in Matilda, Mrs. Um, miss, um, oh my god, I can’t remember her name but like the happy teacher anyway. And then the actress has done a ton of other things too. Like she was on Mad Men for a couple episodes. She’s got –

SG:She looks, they gussied her up just like Matt Lauer’s wife too. Like when the short brown hair, like tall and willowy. And I was like, oh, okay.

JW:She knows he’s a cheater. This isn’t the first time. So when Mia shows up and then Mitch decides that this is, I can’t leave my family, this is not what we agreed. So they break up and then he starts retaliating against her in the sense of like, he wants her off team, put them on Alex’s team. And then we have this blow up fight where Alex is like, no I’m not cleaning up this fucking messes again. Like, this is bullshit. Like she’s not on my team. Let Mitch deal with his shit. Then we have this flashback episode. So we know that Hannah’s like a newish, she’s a junior booker, and so she’s kind of new. I took it as she was kind of new in the industry. I don’t know if that was the intention. And so the person who is the Booker before her, that’s the senior Booker or whatever he was on Gilmore Girls, ladies and gentlemen.

And if you’ve been listening to the show long enough, you know, that I can draw everything back to Amy Sherman Palladino and the Gilmore Girls. So there’s our morning show connection to Gilmore Girls. Um, he, he plays like this cranky character when Rory gets to Yale and they’re on the newspaper together.

So I thought it was funny that he’s playing news TV. Anyway, he, you know, they Mitch’s like, fuck that guy. Don’t call that guy. Bring Hannah. Hannah has been doing great. So I didn’t see. Not that I’m saying, we need to see it because I don’t want this shit normalized, but we don’t. He acts like he gave her, hit her big break.

That’s like the tone for Mitch a lot, which is really like, I just want to fucking smack him every time he acts like he gave somebody their big break, but it’s like, no, you took advantage of them. So he says, when the whole Mandalay bay thing happens, you know, fuck whatever the Booker’s name is, bring Hannah along.

And then that sort of his premise for all of the rest of his relationship with her into the show. And then, and not just like in episode eight, but for the rest of the show. And he kind of preludes that too. Like he kind of alludes to that too in the beginning where he’s just like, well, yeah, when Bradley thinking about interviewing, he was like, I have somebody I can, who can corroborate my story.

She owes me and blah, blah, blah. I knew it. Wasn’t going to be Mia that he was talking about. So I thought, I wonder if. Hannah or someone else that we haven’t met yet. There’s a scene between he and Martin short before episode eight. And you get the sense that Martin short really is a dirt bag character.

And Mitch’s like, believes that he’s not this guy. So to me, it kind of felt, so the first time I watched it, I was like enough with Steve Carrell I don’t give a fuck about this guy. Like he’s harmful the second time I watched it, I’m thinking, are they trying to give us insight in the inner workings of the way these people think?

Is that the point? Because all I’m seeing is a diluted dude, man. Right? He’s done all these wonderful things and doesn’t understand why everyone’s attacking him.

SG: Right. It’s not just the one time like he and Hannah. You know, there was the one night in Vegas. And I mean, when you work with somebody, obviously it’s not over, but then yeah, he just like warded it over her, you know, the rest of it.

JW:And she’s so upset the next time, the, within the days, and then goes to the head of the network and is like, this is what this issue. Isn’t say, this is what happened, but she’s so emotional. She can’t get it out. So then what’s his face is like, how would you like to be head booker? We’ve heard great things about, you know, what you didn’t like, you know, you did not like, oh, you know that this has Mitch has a pattern of behavior and this is the way that you handle it. Icky. And now I hate you more Fred Micklen that’s his name?

SG:Yeah. And Gugu, I hope that’s how you say her name, but she was great in that scene. Like she was just like on the edge of exploding and just the eyes filled with tears, like in that scene with, uh, Tom Irwin who I will always love for My So-Called Life. Um, yeah. Like she was great in that scene and Tom Irwin is a very good sleazeball too. Like, he was great in his role as well, but yeah, but yeah, Gugu was that scene was amazing from her.

JW:And I, I, I don’t think that she got recognized by any award show for her performance because she was, um, a minor character on the show. But I honestly think that somebody needs to give this woman a standing O because doing scenes that emotionally intense with. Really heavy topics. Like girl, I hope she had some self-care stuff going on in the wake of those, of shooting those. Cause that’s a lot that’s really, yeah.

SG:Me sitting on my couch, watching it, tense her actually doing it, even though it’s eight, you know, you’re still having to physically go through that and you’re having to portray those emotions and yeah, I hope she went to like a spa for like a week after that scene. Cause she doesn’t hurt

JW:And you just feel it with her. Like you feel like it just was. So I actually thought they did that scene really well in the sense of being able to portray just how like frozen somebody gets too and then like how they don’t know how to navigate out. So they just kind of shut down to cope.

SG:Yeah. Which is another thing back in the day. Nobody could understand that. Well, if you know, she was really being assaulted, why didn’t she scream? Why didn’t she scratch them with her nails? You know, like, you know,

JW:Some people have emotional responses that are shutting down, right? And, and I like that. It’s now creating this conversation for people to kind of see the nuances that go into this type of working environment that does foster predatory behavior, because it is really hard. It is really scary and not everybody’s response is going to be the same. Like if Claire had been in a similar situation, the outcome would’ve been different, but they’re so different. Hannah and Claire are so different in every single way. I also really loved their relationship as friends. I thought they were really sweet and Hannah’s actions, you know, because of the situation that happened in Las Vegas, when Hannah finds out that Yanko and Claire are dating, she, I don’t want to say overreacts because for her it’s not overreacting because she’s coming from a place of where she was abused.

So, you know, where she. So th so where am I going with this? I felt like, again, another opportunity where it was like, you don’t really see as much of the grooming of Hannah that is there. That would suggest that he, but then also not that I want to see her groomed, but you know, it, it’s hard to sort of defend, it’s hard for Claire to defend herself because we see so much of Claire and Yanko and their relationship develop, and you can see that it is a true relationship.

And yet it goes like paranoid. Yeah. All we get are these glimpse of Mitch doing sort of subtly things. So there’s not a lot of buildup for the execution. And I, and, and on the one hand, I’m like, thank you for not showing a ton of buildup because that one scene is really hard to watch. But then at the same time, there’s no.

One through seven, there just wasn’t a lot of development to get through, to get to eight. And through 10 it felt like a really long, slow story telling storytelling to get to these really big, good episodes. And so there’s pieces for me that are missing.

SG:Right? Because they had so many other storylines, you’ve got Alex’s negotiations with the network, you’ve got Alex’s marriage falling apart. You’ve got Bradley and all of her drama, you’ve got Corey Ellis and coming in and just, you know, doing whatever he’s doing. But yeah, totally. You’ve got Chip. You’ve got, uh, Fred Micklen when you’ve got like all this other stuff, you know, like you’ve got to cram in to these 60 minutes. I wish we could redo one through seven. Kind of like, like you said, like streamline it because the last three episodes were like, so

JW: With the Bradley stuff, they kind of went through a lot of stuff. Cause to not just as their brother has an addiction problem, he all like their dad also like murders a kid in Bradley’s the one who turns them in.And then there’s stuff with the mom who is Grace Under Fire, which anybody who watched that show,

SG:That was, that was Brett Butler? Oh my God. I didn’t even recognize her.

JW:Yeah.

SG: Wow.

JW: I was like, “Why does this woman’s voice sounds so familiar” and kind of like, you know, I’m back into like 1997 and it’s Grace Under Fire

SG:I probably should have looked this up, but the guy who played Bradley’s brother, is he the guy from Mare of Easttown who maybe was the baby daddy who got revealed right at the end of the series.

JW: That’s a really good question

SG:Because he looked so familiar and I meant to look it up in the library, familiar too.

JW: Even the second time, I was like, why do I know this person? So I guess I would say episodes eight through 10, weren’t a miss handling, but getting to that point, was miss handling. So I kind of feel 50 50 about that statement. And it’s such a delicate topic because it’s, so again, relationships are nuanced. Relationships are complicated. There’s action. It’s just such a complicated narrative to tell. And I think it’s opening the door for more complex stories like this to be told, because I was reading an article Carey Mulligan is going to be in a film about the Harvey Weinstein situation.

SG:Oh.

JW: And it’s set to release in 2022. So would that movie had been made if The Morning Show didn’t try to tackle the topic.

SG: Right? Maybe it would have been better if it had been a movie instead of a series, like, because then you’ve only got. Say two and a half to three hours where you have to, but then, then are you going to be able to get the flash backs to Vegas? Like then are you going to, you know, I don’t know, like if they had had like a time limit, maybe could have –

JW:If they had started the show with episode or open to the show with episode eight and then flashed forward and did the whole, you know, Alex for everyone finds out and then maybe that would have changed the structure enough to be able to have more development to get to that point. I understand revealing everything in episode eight is kind of important because they will, because you don’t fully understand why Mitch’s like you get it. Like he’s a bad guy, but the way they talk about it, Yeah. And sort of idolize him in a sense, not everyone, but like when they have these private conversations, you know? Yeah. I get it. It’s just a great guy too. Like, I don’t understand, blah, blah, blah. But we all knew that he was doing bad stuff was kind of the narrative.

SG:Yeah. I wish the first few episodes had an a and I understand too, why you show this guy who’s for 15 years had his ass kissed and been allowed to do whatever he wants with no consequences at all. Now there are consequences. And so I understand you showing him like beating his giant flat screen TV with a golf club. You know, I, you know, I imagine that’s probably a very similar reaction that a lot of people who are suddenly having to pay as consequences are going to have, you know, so I, I get that, but then the next few episodes, he was such a cartoon villain and they leaned so hard into like, what, what did he, or didn’t he the rape button? So it’s like,

JW:And I didn’t like how much Alex reached out to him for comfort.

SG: Yeah.

JW: That really bothered me because you’re trying to save face Alex and that’s not again, not helpful because one, everybody has cell phones. So how do you not get caught? Um, and so I will never be convinced that celebrities can’t get caught.

SG:She, she breaks into his house and she’s like, oh, I just had my, when like right after he gets fired. So like all the, you know, news people are in the front, but she’s like, oh, I had my driver like dropped me off around back. I’m like, really? Like nobody’s out back thinking. Maybe he might try to sneak out, like,

JW:Right! Paparazzi will do anything.

SG:And then she leaves, you just walked out the front door and it looks like it’s a huge estate. So he must’ve been in like Westchester or Jersey. Cause like when they first showed his house, I thought they were in the Hamptons and then his wife comes downstairs and she’s like, I’m taking the kids and going to the Hamptons. Where are you then? Because you’re not in Queens, you’re not in Manhattan. Like where are you? So, but yeah, so she just walks out the front door and I’m like, but there’s new people right there.

JW:Right. So why did you, so there’s a, there’s a, there’s a little flaw. Somebody didn’t catch while we were filming, she shouldn’t have walked out the front door. Cause all the news people were there. Same with Chip. When Chip, shows up to have a conversation with them too, he just pulls right up to the front of the house and I’m thinking he’s still not in headlines. Like, I feel like, I feel like these types of stories sort of are big, longer than a lot of other stories, like big enough that, you know, news outlets are sort of posted in front of your places of dwelling.

SG:Right? Totally. Can I just say, I thought, I don’t know if you want to get in to it but I thought Mark Duplass was awesome. I loved him. I, I shouldn’t. He made me feel sympathy for a character. I should not feel sympathy for at all because he fostered that environment. You know, he’s just going along to get along. And maybe it’s because I worked in the news business for a long time. So I know a lot of people who are just, you know, like do whatever. I don’t care, you know, just get it done, you know, like, but he was so great at that. And it turns out at the end that he’s the one who originally leaked the Mitch investigation to the Times because he knew they were going to try to get rid of Alex and thought if they get rid of Mitch, because they have to, there’ll be forced to keep Alex. And I’m like, like Chip and Alex get together and season two because, oh my God, that would be me.

JW:He clearly loves her. Like, I love that you bring that up Chip I feel… Sorry we didn’t talk about him sooner because Mark – first of all, Mark Duplass we love you. But that scene like I, the second time too, I watched it, I was like, oh my God, like you have caring feelings for Alex and you have this sort of protective mode, um, when it comes to her and you didn’t, you didn’t want to see her go down. And I kind of love that because so often, I mean, it was kind of, the whole thing is just shitty for everybody not, I mean, get her like her whole contract negotiation situations really shitty because she’s been there for 15 years. Like, where’s the loyalty, but I guess there is no love lost when it comes to the networks. And so when he – so often we don’t have advocates in the room for us, right. Even though this is a shitty situation, I do appreciate that he was like, this is how I can advocate for Alex.

SG:Right. Totally. That was, that was, it was kind of funny at the end when he like kind of confronted Mitch and he was like, I’m the one who linked it to the times. And they’re like fighting in the lobby of Mitch’s building and they’re like rolling around and punching each other. And it almost reminded me of like Aiden, a Big fighting on the farm and sex and the city and Carrie is like, you’re middle aged all has.

JW:That’s so funny. And I thought,

SG:Not as funny, obviously, but yeah. Yeah.

JW:He assumed like Mitch’s assumptions in a lot of ways. Right. Chip shows up Chip’s been fired. He, but they’re still moving forward with the Bradley interview and that he is aware of. So Chip shows up and which is all your so nice for you to show up. I don’t need an escort. I know what I’m doing. The arrogance. Yeah.

SG:Like all those guys who are like, oh yeah. So, you know, whatever, like I can just come back like, you know, and consequences are not a thing they’ve ever had to deal with.

JW:Consequences be damned. This is just a phase it’s going to end. No Guys. Women are angry because we’re tired of oppression.

SG: Right? Totally. Like you need to go sit in the corner and think about what you did. And yes, even his accountant, even Mitch’s accountant was like, okay, so you got fired for the morals clause. So they’re like, they’re not going to pay out your contract. And you know, you’ve got the house in the Hamptons and you’ve got the apartment in the city and you’ve got the giant house in Jersey or whatever. And you’re going to have child support and spousal support and blah, blah, blah. And she’s like with no money coming in, you can sustain your current level of spending for two years. And I was like, so you’re still facing no consequences. Like, you know, the Hamptons house, you’re going to do a lot of downsizing, you know? Oh my God, you’re still facing no consequences oh, like I can’t sustain my spending for two months, you know, I gotta to come in, you know? Right.

JW:So season two will be available beginning September 17th on Apple Plus, which at this time is requires a subscription. Season one ended with a little bit of a bang and left loads of questions for me, particularly when it ends, I was like the fuck. Like I literally was like, and my dog perked up because she’s like, what’s wrong mom, to sum it up quickly at the start of, and we’ve touched on a lot of this stuff already, but I’m going to, I’m going to sum it up real quick. At the start of episode 10, we know there’s an internal investigation that will be damning for Chip.

This internal investigation is going on the entire series. Claire. And Hannah had a fight about Claire’s relationship with Yanko. Audra has been courting Daniel to jump to jump ship to her Show. Bradley agreed to interview Mitch on TMS and plotted with Corey and Chip to make that happen because Alex was against it.

Alex had made a deal with Fred Micklen, the president of the network, to fire Bradley. Fred tells Alex he’s firing Chip. And then when it’s announced to the crew, so to add to that Bradley interviews, Hannah, because Mitch says, Hannah’s the one that can corroborate his story. So that’s part of episode nine. We have to relive this with Hannah because she’s telling Bradley. So when it’s announced to the crew, that Chip has been fired and a new EP is starting that very same day. Claire has been promoted from PA to Bradley’s assistant. So she calls Bradley to inform her that Hannah is dead. Bradley is devastated.

She feels responsible for Hannah’s death and she leaves the studio. Alex is in shock. The two come together to an agreement after much fighting on the streets of Manhattan that Bradley will stay for one more day again, like how are people not recording them fighting? I don’t understand. They compose themselves and head back to the stage to begin the show, but Alex can’t keep her composure.

So then they quickly agree to expose the network and Fred for creating an environment that protects predators. Then, the feed gets cut and the show is over. So my first thought to discussion is, do we believe that any of Alex and Bradley’s reporting on what happened actually made it to air because there’s this big scene where they’re start talking and then Fred’s like, what are they doing?

And starts running. And then of course the new EP’s like cut to this and Corey’s like, keep running. And then they lock the doors to the control room and it’s this whole thing. And I’m like, so then when they do that cut to like the color bars and the noise, I was like did any of it get in there?

SG: I think it did because I want it to also, because, you know, even though I know he’s in the same building and he’s probably getting the raw feed without the commercials and stuff, so it could have cut to the color bars on what we see and he could have still been seeing it. He wouldn’t have freaked out and like gone running downstairs. If it was. Really on the air, you know? I mean, cause even then just getting it on tape, like, you know, that tape.

JW:Yeah. Yeah.

SG: So even if it, it cut to the color of bars for what we see, they’re still taping that tape’s going to get leaked. So I want it to be true that it aired, but also for the season too. Yeah. To the season two trailer, there’s a voiceover that says last week, uh, Alex Levy and Bradley Jackson revealed on it. They’re the years of coverup by the UVA brass or whatever. So I’m like, okay, I think it’s something to that effect. Not those exact words, but Alex, leave, you left the show and you know, Bradley’s still there I guess, but she’s gone now. So I think, I think it did. What about what about you?

JW:I think so. I think that it did, but I’m, I would love to, I would love to, I’m choosing to believe that the point where we see the color bars is the point that we see everything to that point. So what we saw is what the audience saw. That’s watching TMS because it gets pretty intense. I mean, Jennifer, Aniston’s just kind of, whew. I mean, very Rachel Green mannerisms, if we’re going to be on it, having this, like she’s having crisis because Hannah’s overdosed and there’s this, we don’t know, it’s not confirmed whether her overdose was intentional because throughout this series we see her taking prescription medication and drinking and then once we kind of find out and at first I thought, oh, this is because the industry is crazy. Like I work in a 24 hour industry, so I understand the need. We got a lot of people drink energy drinks, and I wish they wouldn’t at first I’m thinking that. So then when we find out what happens in episode eight, I realized, oh, she’s coping. She needs. She needs actual therapeutic interventions to help with these demons that are inside of her.

So she’s coping with prescription medication and alcohol, and that’s very unhealthy. And I just wanted to grab her from the screen and hug her and be like, girl, let’s talk, let’s get you some help. Back to my point, Alex is just sort of pacing and walking around and panicking and Bradley. Jackson’s just sitting there and today in the news and all these things, and we have this news happening. She’s like, Alex is like, Hey, get on me. We’re going to talk to the people in Alex in Bradley. It’s like, are we doing this because I’m ready? Yeah. I’m here for it. It was, it was just so it’s just so wild and poor Chip’s walked into.

SG: I almost hope that the season two premiere is like the immediate aftermath. Like, you know, it cuts to the color bars from what we see, but then like the audience shows Fred Micklen running into the control room and freaking out like Corey and chip and you know, and the people on the set, you know, like, I, I really hope that that’s the premiere.

JWYes.

SG:I don’t think that’s going to be the premiere. They’re probably going to flash forward like a year. And now Alex is in exile cause she quit and stuff. Like I would love to see the fallout of that.

JW: So that leads us into one of our final questions. One of our final discussions, we saw the season two trailer. What do we want to see in season two, compared to what we will think will actually happen in season two? I’m with you. I want them to pick up where they left off. I think that would be a good move.

SG: I just really. Steve Carell has maybe in the first episode, like maybe

JW: And that’s it we don’t need any more of him. He needs to be done.

SG: So maybe show up in the first episode to like, sign the paperwork with the network or whatever you gotta do. And then, because that whole season was only like two weeks, if, if it was taking place in real time, because. I guess when, when did Bradley start on the morning show? Like may, maybe sea- episode three, might’ve been her first day and that was a Monday. And then like the episode 10 was like the following Friday. So like so much happened in that two weeks. Yeah. So like, yeah, he could still have to go deal with the lawyers or whatever, and then be like, you know, all right. You know, see around and then he’s out. And then the rest of the season is picking up the pieces and because

JW: Cuz Julianna, Margulies is coming in and I love her, not just because of ER but The Good Wife is an amazing show.

SG: See, I was kind of nervous about that because of the whole thing with her and Archie Panjabi on The Good Wife like not getting along. And I was just like, Ooh, is this going to be some behind the scenes… strife, maybe that might happen and throw things off, but I’m like, everybody on that set is such a pro, like, I don’t know if that would like, she’s one of many, she’s not the, so I don’t know,

JW: Do you think we’ll get more in depth on Bradley’s back life too, because there was so much in that, that I was like, I need… what? Like what? You know, cause she revealed on air that she has this abortion on her first day she reveals that she had an abortion at 15, which was like, holy shit for the morning show audience.

SG: That’s like the most amazing act of self, self sabotage I’ve ever seen. Like. Totally inexplicably ended up with this golden opportunity that so many people would kill for. And now you’re sitting there, you’re like, well, I had an abortion and all, you know, I did drugs.

JW: Yeah. So not that we need an explanation, but for, I was like, D is, did this happen around the same time that your dad had the car accident, where he killed this kid? What is going on? I want more of that story.

SG: That one, the only reason that I felt any like sympathy for that character. Cause she was like, so horrible. Otherwise like just the horrible family dynamics and like the kind of narcissistic mom, like I can relate to that quite a bit. So I was just like, oh, that sucks when you’ve got, regardless of what your personality is, like, you know, everybody deals with their upbringing differently and yeah, so I felt. But then you don’t really want to see that at the same time. Like you don’t want to see somebody just being like a huge asshole to their kids. Right. So I don’t know, but yeah. I mean, maybe that might be something to delve into because you know, Jennifer Aniston’s character got so much family backstory in season one, they might self-correct and go, go that route for season two.

JW: So the other thing that I think will be interesting is how Maggie Brenner plays into it.

SG:Right.

JW: Obviously the big question that with every they want us to be left with is how is The Morning Show going to come back from this?

SG: Yeah.

JW:And with Daniel but then Daniel. Yeah, we see this. So that’s part of my issue about historian line and there not being enough because we see him step outside and call his agent after the announcement of Hannah. And he’s like the deal’s off. And I’m like, you made a deal. When did that happen? That’s all, I, I would’ve loved to have seen that because Mindy Kaling’s pitch in the restaurant was so good that like, I, I don’t, I’m not going to assume because he keeps hanging on to that carrot of Daniel you’re next. Right. So to, to, if we had seen how that unfolded for him to make that decision to leave and the new that he was leaving, I think I would have been more shocked about him saying I’m not leaving. Then not. Last I checked you weren’t there yet. Right?

SG: Maybe they will start, like as soon as like we cut to the color bars and then you see like that, I would love that. I wish the first three episodes would be just the immediate fallout and we get the Daniel and we get Alex resigning. And it’s not just a flash forward a year into the future where. It’s all done

JW: Because that seems too neat and tidy to me.

SG: Reese Witherspoon, call us. We’ll tell you how to run your show. I mean, you’re in California. You’re right there.

JW: I have screenwriting experience. Do you think the producers of the show did a good job with the story overall?

SG: You go first.

JW: I think I’m hit I’m I’m 50, 50, because eight through ten were so good. So powerful. I think they finally hit their stride. It just one through seven could totally be redone. I think I really do believe that, uh,

SG:I can’t remember exactly what it said, but there was something about the show got the green light and then right. As they were starting to like write it or go into production, the Matt Lauer thing happened. And then it was like, oh, maybe we could focus on like a, me too storyline as opposed to like. A Morning Glory type thing, you know? Yeah. Like behind the scenes, office politics, stuff like that. So I wonder how much of one to seven being muddled as a result of them, like Frankensteining existing scripts with new stuff that dealt with me too.

JW: Right.

SG: And, you know, instead of just having like a clear from the beginning, this is the story for the season. These are all the character arcs. You know, these are all the plot points and stuff. Like

JW: I did read somewhere too that the original show runner left when they were in the process of development. And then they brought in Carrie, Erin, is that how you say it? I’m not sure if she did. She did like Friday Night Lights and the Bates Motel and things of that nature. So she came in later.

SG:I know there was a guy who was involved with the show. He… Bradley Jackson was so horrible the first few episodes, I actually looked him up because I was like, they gotta be setting her up for a fall because she’s so awful. Like, I know Reese Witherspoon is like one of the executive producers and stuff, but they gotta be setting this character up for a fall. And I looked him up and he, before he went Hollywood, he had worked for like the Clintons.

JW: Oh, wow.

SG: Maybe Chuck Schumer and Tom Daschel. And like some like big democratic names. I was like, all right, like this guy he’s worked for Democrats, he’s never going to let like a, a really aggressive, like, he’s totally gonna set an aggressive, like conservative person, like, right winger up for a fall. And then that didn’t happen. So I wonder if maybe that had something to do with it too, like, cause he might have left the production. Um, so maybe that wasn’t a way he was going to take that character and then it didn’t end up. Cause she, she became much more sympathetic.

JW: With the situation when she’s really cause you know, she is so she’s so dedicated to the truth that I’m exhausted by it. Like, listen sister, sometimes I don’t need to know everything. And it got to the point where it was just like, this is stressful. And her breakdown in the beginning when she’s like yelling at that guy, I thought I don’t, I don’t know a ton of news people, but the news people I do know would never break like that.

SG:It was just like, oh, I didn’t know I was being taped. And I’m like, everybody in the world has a smartphone. You’re at a protest where not only are there TV cameras, there’s this in everybody’s pocket. And you’re going to go viral. If you have a meltdown like that.

JW:Oh, when she’s interviewing Hannah and you know, she realizes we can’t do this. We cannot tell this story. Hannah still is in the thick of her. She hasn’t dealt with it for me that was redeeming because she realized cause the whole time I’m like, when are you going to realize you? Can’t always, you can’t force the truth to come out. If people aren’t. Cause that was, you know, cause Alex clearly wasn’t ready, which I’m not sympathetic to her character. But so when she realizes she can’t tell the story because Hannah’s not ready to deal with the fallout, you know, that’s when that’s for me, when she sort of made that shift and being more likable because it was like, okay, God, thank God you like, get it because you’re going to do more harm than good by forcing this out.

SG: Right. Right. And then that was like the Alex Bradley dynamic. Like we hate each other. We love each other. Now we have each other. Now we love each other.

JW: That was stressful I was like, are you guys tapping into your sisters from Friends? I am excited for season two though. And I think it’ll be really interesting to see where they go. There was a lot of criticism about how they handled. A lot of critics commented about how episode eight is where they really were able to pick up and get going properly. And what the new characters that we know will be introduced. I do hope that Corey gets promoted. I just love him.

SG: Oh my God. He was the first few episodes. I was just like, what are you doing? I know, I know you’re like entertainment and news.

JW: So that was an interesting combination because aren’t they typically separate divisions.

SG: Yeah, it wasn’t there some line in there about the news person. Left for whatever reason. So they kind of gave it to Corey because he was a rising star and just to have like a warm body in there. And so he, the first few episodes, I was just like, I don’t know what you’re doing. I know news is not your baby, but it clearly became his baby by the end of it. Yeah. I’m like, and this is like paying your, he had some line in there about like, it’s easier to get dates if you actually have a job and I’m like, you’ve got a really good job right now, so you’re probably able to, yeah.

JW: Oh, you mean you could open Bloomingdale’s for me to do shopping. Okay. I can screen pilots with you before they go before you green light them. Yeah, I want to date you

Sarah it was so great to have you on the show today. I really appreciate you taking the time. I know this was a heavy topic, um, but I really appreciate you taking the time.

SG: Thank you so much for having me. This is so awesome

JW: Any time. So let’s tell everyone where they can find you if they want to keep up with you online.

SG: Okay. Awesome. So, uh, the website is Coco’s buzz blog.com. Coco does not have an a at COC is after my dog. I do, uh, like she said, reviews of like streaming movies and series on there. So for the written word, that’s where you go.

Um, the podcast is Coco and Dalts we do reviews of streaming movies and series that’s on all your podcasts platforms. And then on social, on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, I am the Sarah Gage Sarah with an H. So I had –

JW: The right way.

SG: Yeah. I tried to do like Sarah dot Gage Sarah dot E dot Gage and like everything was taken. So I’m like the Sarah Gage.

JW: I love it. Like I mentioned before, The Morning Show can be found on Apple Plus which requires a paid for subscription. Season two of The Morning Show is streaming beginning, September 17th, as always, you can find us on Instagram at pop culture makes me jealous. If you don’t want to follow the show, you can follow me the Julia Washington until next time.

JW: Bye friends.

SG: Bye.

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