Thursday, October 25, 2018

REVIEW: 'Murphy Brown' - Technology Changes the Way Murphy Breaks a Huge Story in 'The Girl Who Cried About Wolf'

CBS' Murphy Brown - Episode 11.05 "The Girl Who Cried About Wolf"

Fearful of being scooped while legal vets her weighty investigative story, Murphy is exasperated when she learns Frank is dating an anchor, Christy Shepherd, from the competing Wolf Network. Also, Murphy leads Avery on a wild goose chase when he attempts to figure out her story.

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.

"The Girl Who Cried About Wolf" was written by Norm Gunzenhauser and directed by Don Scardino

This episode really explores how much technology has changed the world. So much is different for Murphy and company in their big return to news in 2018. It's not like the way that things were done twenty years ago. The world is moving much more quickly then it did then. Stories have such short shelf lives with even the most damaging ones that should break through the clutter being forgotten about quickly thereafter. As such, the impulse is always present in journalism to break big news as soon as possible in order to stay relevant and avoid being scooped. Murphy doesn't want to sit on her big story of a whistleblower coming forward with information about a drug company price gauging and encouraging addiction. That is such a topical story and one that has the potential to take down this company if done right. So, Murphy has been very careful handling the situation. The story is now kicked up to legal to see that everyone has been vetted and that there is very little risk to the network for running the story. In that time, the story gets out and Murphy isn't the one who can break the news. She's been scooped by a rival at the Wolf network. The staff at Murphy in the Morning don't know how this happened either. They explore the many ways in which this story could have been leaked to their competitors. Murphy believes she has been careful at home and not tipped off Avery to what she's been working on. She has sent him on a wild goose chase searching for a video that she doesn't have. But he didn't steal from her because he would never give the story to another reporter at his network. Meanwhile, Frank is looked at with suspicion because he happens to be dating the woman who broke the story. That too could become very complicated because they are polar opposites when it comes to their beliefs. However, the attraction is there and he is very smitten with her. Of course, that doesn't turn out to be the answer to the leak either. It's actually much more important to spend time with Murphy's reaction to this new romance. She wants to know how it happened in the first place. She doesn't understand how Frank could be attracted to someone who works at Wolf. He can share a tale that makes it seem like a powerful missed connection that now has the opportunity to be explored fully though. Sure, he may ruin things in the end by not being able to completely trust that she didn't steal this story from him. But only time will tell if this remains something of interest for the show this season. Moreover, it always seemed a little obvious that Murphy new AI assistant, Val, was the reason behind the leak. Pat believes he has found a way to give Murphy the assistant who can live up to her impossible standards. If that were the case though, then the show would have to abandon the recurring joke of her rotating desk of secretaries. That just doesn't seem like something the show would do though. As such, it's clear that this is a piece of technology that compromises the newsroom. It's not as effective as Pat suggests because it still doesn't always recognize every order that Murphy and Corky ask. Despite it being next generation technology, it still isn't the best to inspire a lot of confidence of things taking a turn for the more automated. But that too can present as a victory for Murphy because it means that she can continue to trust everyone she works with at her new show.