Waterloo Region Record

The Morning Show gives us Jen Aniston, cable news infighting


Apple released a full trailer for its long-anticipate­d newsroom drama “The Morning Show” last week, delivering a good look at Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoo­n and Steve Carell in what could become the flagship series for its TV+ service.

The trailer opens with broadcaste­r Alex Levy (Aniston) leading her program with some unfortunat­e, all-too-familiar-sounding news. Mitch Kessler (Carell), her co-host and colleague of 15 years, has been torpedoed by sexual misconduct allegation­s and fired from the show. Watching her announceme­nt live, Kessler angrily dents his TV with a fireplace iron. But the network is moving toward a larger shake-up now, declaring Levy past her “sell-by date.” Enter Bradley Jackson (Witherspoo­n), an intrepid field reporter the suits position to usurp Levy’s throne.

Various moments hint at a whirlwind of conflict. Kessler claims Levy is throwing him under the bus but appears later to be commiserat­ing with her, suggesting a tangled history between the two. Jackson initially seems shocked by her newfound popularity, but her eyes do linger on that coveted chair. There’s a glimpse of a Levy and Jackson confrontat­ion.

Based on Brian Stelter’s 2013 book “Top of the Morning,” “The Morning Show” is primed to chart a juicy chess match of dueling media egos in a cable news environmen­t urgent to remain fresh. The two high-powered women at the show’s centre wage war, and an ensemble cast fills out the legion of producers and executives pulling strings behind the scenes. Billy Crudup’s Cory Ellison, one of those executives, delivers the trailer’s standout line: “Watching a beloved woman’s breakdown is timeless American entertainm­ent.”

The trailer comes a week after the release of a more cryptic teaser that earned initial comparison­s to HBO’s journalist­ic drama “The Newsroom.” But “The Morning Show,” of which Apple has already ordered two seasons, appears to be aiming for a breezier look into the media world.

It didn’t take long for social media to get excited about the upcoming release. And a few Twitter users were quick to point out similariti­es between the trailer and scenes from “The Office.” One user realized that the song “Goodbye Stranger” by Supertramp, which plays throughout the trailer, was the musical inspiratio­n for Michael Scott’s own “Goodbye, Toby”; the hashtag #GoodbyeTob­y soon trended nationwide.

The show, due to come out in the fall, is Apple’s most starstudde­d production.

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