By Debadrita Dey (Kolkata)
Premiered- 2019 on Apple TV+
Cast- Jennifer Aniston (Alex Levy), Reese Witherspoon (Bradley Jackson), Billy Crudup (Cory Ellison), Mark Duplass (Charlie “Chip” Black), Steve Carell (Mitch Kessler)
The Morning Show Season 1, though closely based on the Harvey Weinstein scandal, and the #MeToo, and Time’s Up Now movements, gives us a clear picture if not necessarily as pleasant as we expected of the sexual misconduct at workplaces.
This show can be perhaps marked as a bold attempt to showcase the politics that has been going in every workplace especially the reputed ones that duly promise employees of a safe and better work environment.
The Morning Show has opened the eyes of many and to many, it appeared as a chaos amidst hushed voices. While we wait with keen minds for what awaits us in season 2, season 1 already has provided us with enough reasons to properly ‘think’ about where do we actually stand?
One by one as the story unfolds we see the beautiful and the charming facade of the corporate field, or for that matter any other field, being torn down into bits and pieces. In a nutshell the show is a behind the scenes drama not making its way out into the world.
While the show remains an eye opener it also sets back with an important and demanding question, does enough Bradleys and Alexs exist, or are their voices purposely numbed by the so called ‘superiors’? It makes us think where we actually stand.
We are never presented with the actual truth, and the ones who are eager to present it to us are cut and clamped down before they even have a chance to grow and show. Cut the problem from its roots before it grows too well, as they say, easily enough.
While it gives us a wider view on the inside of the workplaces filled with innumerable misconducts and harassments, sexual prevailing to be the topmost, it also gives us a look inside the personal lives of the reporters. Clearing the cloud off of the news of the ones who gives us the news everyday. Shattered. Yes, shattered and dilapidated lives.
Victim is a strong word and eventually holds different meanings for people living under different circumstances and situations. The one who harasses someone and gets harassed by the media controversies is a victim and the one that gets harassed either way is also a victim. The victim chooses itself on different frontiers and presents itself as an epitome of sympathy; the decision is placed in our hands, the decision to give the final verdict of who the victim really is. Mistakes are easily made during these hefty decisions and surely a part of the fault is placed on the shoulders of media for not portraying the real victim with much sympathy and care.
The story opens itself with a huge hustle- bustle of the reputed The Morning Show host Mitch Kessler being accused of sexual violence by a junior co-worker. As the scenes proceed, The New York Times and the other reputed media houses are eventually curious to find out whether Mitch Kessler’s beloved co-host Alex Levy had had any idea of what was going on behind the fake smiles or was she too a desired part of it? Allegations continue and eventually Mitch is suspended from the show. A heartbroken Alex concludes her media award speech with the surprise announcement of truth digger Bradley Jackson as her co-host much to the dismay of her superiors and of course the UBA head. With Bradley entering the spider net, Cory Ellison finds out his own way to run the game feigning the game to be run by Alex. Cory remains the one to stir the entire TMS team. Will the others who were equally treated wrong find their voices? And is Mitch the only one to be blamed?
The Morning Show is a game in a game, a conspiracy truth and a web of methods gone wrong.
The cast and their acting remains flawless. Jennifer Aniston clearly shook me by portraying an entirely different character, and I must confess that what I saw the entire time was a woman named Alex Levy, Jennifer clearly didn’t exist. Reese Witherspoon was extraordinary, I have no words for her, and as for Billy Crudup, Mark Duplass and Steve Carell, they clearly know how to mark their on screen presence.
The series being directed my men and women directors and scriptwriters alternatively has quite intellectually balanced the proportion of the truths displayed. All goes hand in hand with a perfect and monotonous camera placement.