(15) FOR almost 30 years, Katherine Newbury (Dame Emma Thompson, right) has presided over an award-winning talk show.
Unfortunately, ratings have plummeted and network president Caroline Morton (Amy Ryan) decides to replace Katherine with edgy stand-up comedian Daniel Tennant (Ike Barinholtz). Faced with the reality of relinquishing her crown at the end of the current season, Katherine vows to reverse the show’s fortunes.
“There aren’t any women on the staff because you hate women,” observes long-suffering producer Brad (Denis O’Hare), so Katherine orders him to address the imbalance.
Molly Patel (Mindy Kaling), an efficiency expert at a chemical plant in Pennsylvania with no writing experience beyond her own stand-up material, is in the right place at the right time. She joins an all-white male writers’ room led by Tom Campbell (Reid Scott). Fellow writers dismiss Molly as a token hire but colleague Charlie Fain (Hugh Dancy) is more open-minded.
Molly encourages Katherine to mine personal experience to reconfigure the public’s perception.
Late Night is a sparkling showcase for an ensemble cast led by the luminous Thompson and Kaling.
Reviews by Damon Smith.