The Morning Show – Apple + (warning some spoilers)

It’s Sunday. It’s steamy and hopefully going to finally rain. The washing is on the line, waiting in earnest. I don’t want to do anything but find something to watch.

Working in documentaries, you tend to watch a lot of serious stuff. I believe documentary is the journalism of film & movies. I do love films and always have. Thrillers, mystery, true stories, films about journalists; topics you don’t find much of these days. I’m finding I have to turn more and more to the 90s and earlier to find engrossing filmmaking. It’s the nuance and silent spaces. The way stories are told that has since been edited out, instead for fast bang-bang, CGI wow-ness. Sure, I love Sci Fi too and especially end of the world movies, but storytelling is an ancient craft, and we need to reclaim our right to receive wisdom in our stories.

I watched the Irishman yesterday, all three hours of it. I had a nap in the middle. It wasn’t until it finished that I started to really appreciate it. I scrolled through Scorsese’s film list and realised – he’s made homage to an era, both in real life and film making that wont happen again. So much of what we have taken for granted is over, both film making wise and culturally. It’s all about the names and the money, as someone is screaming for finite exponential sales, instead of brilliant story telling.

I’m on the couch, Apple TV+ is showing me two series that I think I want to watch. I sign up for the 7 day freebie and kick in.

I’m not a Jennifer Aniston fan, I didn’t crush on Friends, even Reese Witherspoon I struggle to get that Family Guy ‘bit’ out of my mind where they use Reese’s chin to open a safe. There’s something that works here. How good was ‘Big Little Lies’? Awesome.

I think Apple TV+ have found something that Netflix hasn’t. They know people want big names and bingeworthy. They want something that occupies the time, is distracting with high quality production value. I’m 3 episodes in and I can see how clever this script is, and how these two leading ladies are starting to blossom. I only hope I’m not about to be duped, as tends to happen.

The issues being covered in this show are so relevant, the nuances is what has been missing from real time discussions. Carrell’s face when he realises a fellow accuser is actually a predator, and that he personally doesn’t relate – yet faces the same outrage. Is it that he can’t see himself, or is he wrongly tarred? There were two waves during #metoo and the second wave didn’t make that much sense. I don’t remember the media talking about it so eloquently. He carries the voice of all those men who don’t relate to toxic masculinity – there is a line, and men deserve the distinguishment. The irony is when Aniston tells Witherspoon to ‘take advantage of the situation’.

When Aniston puts her glass down while be berated in a three-against-one tear down, I am instantly reminded of the Q&A episode (in Australia) that had an intelligent and vocal Egyptian-American journalist on the panel. She said a lot of colourful words used properly in context. She refused to say ‘sorry’ and I wonder if Aniston will pick up the charge, even with her highly groomed appearance; or if she is a character still struggling between expectation and necessity. The ongoing thematic play between fake and real; scripted reality vs actual reality is intriguing.

I’m three episodes in, and like every other decent TV series about news and journalists (eg: The Newsroom 2001-2014) it’s the details that make the story. It’s a great article that makes you think about it afterwards, and even opens your mind to change. As much as I wouldn’t have imagined it, I relate to Witherspoon. What does a ‘Normal woman’ dress like? How can a focus group genuinely workshop your appearance and have it resonate ‘authenticity’. And yet, her life has been taken over by a woman in power. I am interested to see what her story arc becomes and how she’ll go ‘off script’ for a dose of the reality a whole generation of women want to see.

The Head of Network, played by Billy Crudup, knows that the real unscripted Truth has become the ultimate taboo, and exactly what the people are wanting.

Fingers crossed we’re in for a good ride.

The Morning Show Apple TV+ Original Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carrell

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