by: Madison Palmieri ’22 A&E Staff
A middle-aged woman with perfectly styled blonde hair sits behind a news desk. The cameraman makes a gesture to indicate that she is on air. The anchorwoman greets her viewers with a stoic expression, masking the emotion behind what she is about to share with the nation:
“Good morning. I’m bringing you some sad and upsetting news. And while I don’t know the details of the allegations, Mitch Kessler, my cohost and partner of 15 years, was fired today.”
This chilling moment opens the trailer for The Morning Show, a highly-anticipated drama released by Apple TV.
The show opens with the firing of a longtime news anchor (Steve Carell) after allegations of sexual misconduct surface. His co-anchor, Alex Levy (Jennifer Anniston), is left to process the accusations against her longtime friend and coworker—and share the news with the nation.
Adding to her woes is the search for new on-air talent, which comes in the form of journalist Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon). Alex’s concerns that the network aims to replace her with the younger Bradley only add to her already mounting despair. The series is set to follow Alex on her emotional journey as she comes to terms with both the allegations against Mitch and tries to prevent Bradley from replacing her.
The Morning Show will evidently address topics that are incredibly relevant. From the trailer, it is clear that the scandal of sexual abuse in Hollywood and the media, which has galvanized the #MeToo movement in recent years, will be a driving force in the narrative.
The opening scene itself calls to mind the chilling moment nearly two years ago when Savannah Guthrie broke the news that her Today Show co-anchor Matt Lauer had been fired amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Whether or not Carell’s Mitch Kressler is guilty of such crimes remains to be discovered, but guilty or not, his presence in the drama promises an unexplored perspective on an issue that has dominated the media for the past several years and continues to do so today.
Equally important to The Morning Show is a discussion of misogyny, specifically in the workplace. Alex’s breakdown is ruthlessly chronicled by the media, and she is forced to view newcomer Bradley as a rival rather than a potential ally. Her character promises a realistic look at the hardships endured by women in the public eye. Indeed, Alex clearly recognizes the lack of agency that she and women like her possess: “I just need to be able to control the narrative so that I’m not written out of it,” she exclaims.
The question of whether or not Alex is able to do so will undoubtedly be answered in the Apple TV drama which aired on Nov. 1. The Morning Show’s timely takes on misogyny and the #MeToo movement, in addition to the sheer star power of the triple threat that is Aniston, Witherspoon, and Carell, will certainly make it a newsworthy addition to an already stellar lineup of fall television.