Thursday, October 4, 2018

REVIEW: 'Murphy Brown' - Murphy and Avery Vie to Ask a Question During a Press Briefing in 'I (Don't) Heart Huckabee'

CBS' Murphy Brown - Episode 11.02 "I (Don't) Heart Huckabee"

After decades of being banned, Murphy and the team devise an elaborate ruse to sneak her into a White House press briefing. Phyllis hires an enthusiastic college "Dreamer," Miguel, to help out at the bar.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of CBS' Murphy Brown.

"I (Don't) Heart Huckabee" was written by Tom Palmer and directed by Pamela Fryman

Through two episodes, it's actually surprising how empathetic a character Avery Brown is in comparison to his mother. The show is still all about Murphy Brown. She's the lead character who is getting into situations every week. However, the story is also highlighting how she is impulsive and opinionated. That has made her such a powerful voice in the media throughout her career. However, it has also made her a complicated journalist and mother as well. Avery may actually seem like the better voice for this generation and its connection to politics. His show is gaining in momentum. The ratings race is getting tighter. Audiences are tuning in for Avery's show while the interest in Murphy's is waning a little bit. In fact, the show that Murphy produces at the top of the episode is mostly notable for the meme that is created because Frank is caught yawning on camera. Sure, Pat suggests being able to monetize that and expand his brand on social media. But that's just a minor inclusion here. It's not a big story. Instead, the hijinks come from Murphy deciding to sneak into a White House press briefing to prove that she has the journalistic integrity to ask a question that will completely shut down Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her constant lying. She is appalled by the way that these briefings are carried out each day. However, Murphy only gets this idea to go undercover because Avery has also gotten a pass to attend the briefing. He goes there with a clear and level head. He wants to ask the question that he got from the American people. He wants to know what the government is planning on doing to lower the cost of health care. It's a very smart and insightful question. Avery also believes in his ability to actually get a real answer as well. But he isn't afforded that opportunity. Instead, his mother needs to steal the spotlight. Instead, she makes it a big show attacking Sarah for lying to the American people and the journalists for not doing enough to hold this administration accountable for their actions. She puts on a big display in the hopes of staging a complete walkout. That's the direction that this rousing speech takes for her. She believes it's a better story to withhold any of the normal operating procedure of the presidency until some sense of order has been restored. But that is just not realistic. Sure, this clip is bound to go viral and will probably create even more interest in Murphy's show. It's a stunt that a lot of people will agree with and support. However, the show is also being very smart with explaining why Murphy is the only person to actually walk out of the room. Avery is the one with the sensible opinion because he understands that if everyone left it would only further broaden and accept the president's message because the only outlets left standing are those who believe in everything he is preaching. As such, these other outlets are necessary there in order to keep asking the questions that will force the administration to give an answer - even though it is so rarely something that can be justified. Murphy accepts that. But again, it shows that Avery Brown may actually be the rising star at the moment. He has a very strong head on his shoulders. Plus, he's willing to both support and call out his mother for her actions when they get back home. Of course, he also delights in turning her apology into his new ringtone.