Apple + launched today with The Morning Show primed as one of its flagship new series. With a budget of 300 million dollars and a second season already green-lit, they certainly have a lot to prove with this drama series. Boasting an impressive cast, Apple gives us a decent drama here, focusing on some current issues America is facing around the MeToo movement. While the show fails to stand out next to so many other dramas in this genre, it still makes for an interesting watch nonetheless.
The episode begins in New York at 2:58 am. Mitch Kessler receives a call from Charlie “Chip” Black but remains shocked and silent. Alex Levy, his co-host on The Morning Show, also gets ready for work but continuously ignores calls from Chip.
Meanwhile, in West Virginia, conservative journalist Bradley Jackson is on her way to cover a protest at a coal mine when she hears the news that Mitch has been fired. As she arrives, her colleague Alan tells her that she needs to be less aggressive in her job before an unruly protester knocks her cameraman to the floor, causing an uproar as he calls her a fake news reporter.
We then cut to the news where they explain that Mitch was fired due to sexual misconduct. As Alex arrives at the network station, she confronts Chip about the allegations. A conference call soon follows, with Fred and Cory discussing the latest event. They tell her how sorry they are and how they’ll work on this together. She decides that the best thing for the show would be for her to do the news today on her own and address the public about the truth.
Fighting back tears, Alex delivers an emotional speech on-air about the latest event, while her ex co-host watches on from his house, surrounded by his people. Bradley returns to find herself at the centre of multiple social media posts after her outburst during the protest. Her boss berates her for always acting too emotional and tells her that she needs to reign herself in. Her video has definitely caused some waves too, as it catches the attention of The Morning Show.
Mitch is outraged by all the allegations against him, claiming the affairs he had were consensual. Losing his cool, he starts smashing his TV while his wife announces that she’s going to file for a divorce. Back in her apartment, Alex discusses next steps with her staff, just as her daughter and ex-husband arrive offering their support.
Bradley returns to her mum’s house, angry at her for taking her brother in as he’s an addict and should be in rehab. Hannah, who also works on The Morning Show, arrives at the house and reveals they want her on the show for an interview. Cory and Chip discuss Alex at dinner and which co-host they will chose. Cory believes that the world doesn’t need news but entertainment and he doesn’t know if Alex can do that anymore.
Bradley arrives at the studio, ready for her interview. As she sets foot on-set and meets Alex, she tells her how sorry she is. However, Alex quickly brushes this aside as they start the show. Bradley explains the reasons why she reacted the way she did, which prompts Alex to ask some difficult questions about which side she’s really on. She then insinuates that the whole video was set up.
During the night, Alex decides to visit Mitch where she tells him exactly how she feels. She explains that her life is difficult but only he seemed to understand that before leaving, revealing that the network were thinking to replace her. The episode ends with Bradley receiving a call from Cory asking to meet to discuss her future.
Apple has definitely invested a lot in The Morning Show and for now, having only watched one episode, it still feels a little early to tell whether this was worth the investment. The show itself is quite good, especially with a multitude of bubbling dramas for our characters to deal with in the background, but there’s nothing here that hasn’t been done better or more effectively in other shows.
The stellar cast certainly helps though and Jennifer Aniston really stands out here, putting in an impressive performance. Seeing that Reese Wetherspoon is destined to become her co-host is a tantalizing prospect though and it’ll be interesting to see that story develop as they seem to have good chemistry on-screen together.
The show’s main plot point revolving around sexual misconduct in the entertainment business is very topical and hats off to Apple for bringing this to light, especially with the #MeToo movement in full swing. With Mitch acting like the victim in all this, it’ll be interesting to see where the show takes the story from here and whether this happens to be a sleeper hit, growing into its drama later on down the line.