In season three, the future of the network is thrown into question and loyalties are pushed to the brink when a tech titan takes an interest in UBA. Unexpected alliances form, private truths are weaponized, and everyone is forced to confront their core values both in and out of the newsroom.
When Apple TV+ launched in 2019 The Morning Show promised to be the platform’s flagship series. Touted as a prestige look behind the scenes at a fictional breakfast TV news show, the success of the platform hinged on the impact of the show. Four years and a long list of awards nominations later, the now Emmy Award-winning series is returning today for a brand new season.
After three seasons I think I have finally pinned down what it is which makes The Morning Show such captivating television. Rather than attempting to predict future events, the series sets itself in the very recent past. Doing this allows the writers to reflect on past events, such as the pandemic heavily featuring in season 2. Rather than telling breaking news stories, The Morning Show instead presents fully-formed, exquisitely measured representations.
Season 3 is, to-date, the most consistent and captivating season. It masterfully tackles a number of different topics from the spectre of big tech firms to the war in Ukraine and the January 6 riots in Washington. It’s easily the most densely layered season but also it’s most driven and focussed.
Picking up around two years after the end of season two, the Covid-19 pandemic is now in the rear-view mirror. Alex (Jennifer Aniston) is back on top of the network thanks to her successful Alex Unfiltered show on new streaming off-shoot UBA+. Bradley (Reese Witherspoon) has left TMS and is now fronting the evening new bulletin but harbours a dark secret which relates to her time in the capitol during the January 6 riots. She’s also dealing with the fallout of her relationship with Laura Peterson (Juliana Marguiles) and what that means for her career moving forwards. Elsewhere, Cory (Billy Crudup) is trying to secure the future of the legacy media company by masterminding a takeover deal with tech giant Paul Marks (John Hamm).
More so than ever before, The Morning Show is firing on all cylinders with its brilliant ensemble cast. Everyone has their part to play in various aspects of the storyline. After the rousing success of season 2 it’s clear to see that cast and crew are both comfortable and confident in their roles and able to hit the ground running this year.
At the forefront of it all is the arrival of Paul Marks. Clearly cut from the Elon Musk cloth, Marks owns Hyperion, a company dedicated to space exploration not unlike SpaceX. Marks is one of two options being weighed by Cory to keep the lights on at UBA. The other option providing a very unwanted connection to the previous UBA regime. Across the season the writers do an incredible job of painting Marks as both the hero and the villain. For his part, Hamm brings a gleeful duality to Marks. The shades of light and dark in his character play well to the series’ continued exploration of the human condition and in many ways Marks reflects Alex’s own battle between self-righteousness and selflessness.
In the second of today’s two-episode premiere, UBA falls foul of a technical glitch that has wide ranging impact for these beloved characters. The episode is by far one of the series finest and is a prime example of the level of quality Apple TV is creating. It’s tightly paced, exhilarating viewing which grasps the viewer and carries us along at the centre of the action. For me The Morning Show is able to a rare feat, it makes me nervous with anticipation for what might happen next.
Part of the ease and accessibility of The Morning Show is the way in which the writers piece together their puzzle. Marks arrives as Alex is struggling with her place at UBA. His promises of a bright future play right in to her insecurities. It helps push forward both their agendas whilst also playing in to Cory’s plans. To say much more would get in to spoiler territory but what consistently surprises me from episode-to-episode is how well the writers pull together all of these various elements to create such a cohesive and satisfying story.
The Paul Marks story is far reaching, even pulling in the usual cool, calm and collected Stella (Greta Lee). Lee is coming off the back of a powerhouse performance in Past Lives and is perhaps the MVP of season 3. Stella really comes in to her own this season, evolving beyond the single-minded, career driven producer persona to become one of the series’ most well-rounded and powerful characters. Make no mistake, Lee’s star is rising fast and will only continue to do so from here.
There are moments when The Morning Show meanders. With Cory and Paul vying for pantomime villain of the year, the former takes Bradley on a road trip to meet a potential thorn in the Hyperion-UBA deal. That thorn turns out to be Cory’s mum, played coldly by a well cast Lindsay Duncan. Whilst it’s interesting to further explore his character, the moment slows the overall pace of the season. Likewise, the powerhouse that is Mia (Karen Pittman) and doting Chip (Mark Duplass) find key moments in their arcs hinging on personal relationships, neither of which adds to the overall arc of the season. Pittman in particular deserves a more focal point as both character and actor are outstanding.
The rawest deal is handed to the ever-consistent Nestor Carbonell as Yanko. Though Yanko has become a true TMS anchor, Carbonell has been relegated to supporting player. He has great chemistry with newcomer Christina (Nicole Beharie) but spends much of the season attempting to sway her moral compass. Beharie however is a breath of fresh air, she perfectly embodies Christina’s unpredictable and sometimes fragile nature. Through Christina the show is able to explore the power and pitfalls of social media through the lens of celebrity.
In spite of these small pitfalls, season 3 is nothing short of captivating. From the first beat to the very last I was hooked. Each episode is able to deliver water cooler moments to keep the audience talking from week-to-week. Whilst at the same time the format and storytelling feel fresh rather than retreading beats from the past. The Morning Show is a series which continually successfully reinvents itself to stay relevant and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.
The Morning Show is at its very best with season 3. The series dares to go dark, taking these characters to new highs and new lows in the struggle for power at UBA. It’s captivating viewing from start to finish.
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 3 Shares Fresh Look At Shadow
CONAN THE BARBARIAN #5 Review
WETA WORKSHOP Release First Look At REBEL MOON Nemesis Replica Swords
BZRKR FALLEN EMPIRE #1 Review
MONARCH: LEGACY OF MONSTERS 1×03 “Secrets & Lies” Review
Here’s Everything Coming To PRIME VIDEO In December 2023
MORTAL KOMBAT LEGENDS: CAGE MATCH (2023) Review
THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE BARN (2023) Review
Here’s Everything Coming to Paramount+ in the UK in December 2023
Tickets For GODZILLA MINUS ONE Are On Sale Now
Marvel Shares First AGATHA: DARKHOLD DIARIES in New WandaVision Featurette
Here’s Everything Coming to ARROW in December 2023
Searchlight Drops New Trailer for Yorgos Lanthimos’ POOR THINGS
Junkie XL Releases First Track From REBEL MOON: PART ONE – A CHILD OF FIRE
The DCAU is in Danger in First Trailer for 2024’s Three-Part CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS Animated Movie
News3 years ago
A New SUPERMAN & LOIS Promo Teases A New Enemy
Film News2 years ago
DUNE (2021) Review
Comics News3 years ago
Dark Horse set to release MIKE MIGNOLA – THE QUARANTINE SKETCHBOOK in March 2021
Comic Book Reviews11 months ago
THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #9 Review
News3 years ago
Want the latest news direct to your inbox? Sign up to our NEWSLETTER
Film News3 years ago
WB releases statement refuting Ray Fisher’s latest JUSTICE LEAGUE allegations
Film News2 years ago
Here’s Everything Coming To AMAZON PRIME VIDEO In November 2021
News10 years ago
‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ announces third episode title!