The second season of Apple TV’s “The Morning Show” began on Sept. 17 with the release of episode one titled, “My Least Favorite Year.” After a cliff-hanging ending of the show’s first season in Dec. 2019, the story picks up in the aftermath of an explosive on-air admission by Jennifer Aniston’s character Alex Levy.
The pandemic forced a delay in production that caused the second season to air nearly two full years after the first. The producers then made the bold choice to reunite the season to incorporate COVID-19. This season therefore picks up where season one left off while also being in the position to uniquely portray the news media’s experience of the pandemic since its initial whispers in Wuhan.
The first season focused heavily on capturing elements of the #MeToo Movement – with narratives that felt eerily similar to the “Today” show’s Matt Lauer scandal. This second season picks up on the dramatic ending of the first, but the decision to scrap the original plan for season two for a newer, more relevant storyline, has so far been well-executed.
As the opening scene of episode three portrayed the desperate rush of a reporter sent to Wuhan trying to escape via a crowded train station before borders are shut down, my stomach clenched with an anxiety that brought me back 20 months. It wasn’t a pleasant experience, but I give the show credit for so precisely capturing the feeling of a moment that is both a somewhat recent memory and something we are still dealing with today.
The thing I find most intriguing about “The Morning Show” is not necessarily the plot but the cast of characters. It’s one of those shows where it feels particularly hard to love any one individual. I constantly battle with myself about whether I should admire Billy Crudup’s Cory Ellison or despise him. The whole cast is charged with characters on the precipice of greatness or their own self-destruction, but it is entirely too early to tell where they will land. The show has a crackling, almost unsettling energy that is impossible to turn away from.
Typically most reviews are done when something is out in full. The first season may have been one of those mid-pandemic hazy binges or one of the many shows that fell through the cracks of your never-ending watch list — but it’s worth going back for, and worth catching up on the second season as it comes out. So, this mid-season review, carefully curated to avoid any spoilers, serves as an opportunity to jump in and get caught up before the conversation carries on without you.