Friday, November 15, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Morning Show' - A New Article Reignites the Mitch Controversy in 'No One's Gonna Harm You, Not While I'm Around'

AppleTV+'s The Morning Show - Episode 1.05 "No One's Gonna Harm You, Not While I'm Around"

A looming article threatens to upend the power structure of The Morning Show.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of AppleTV+'s The Morning Show.

"No One's Gonna Harm You, Not While I'm Around" was written by Torrey Speer and directed by David Frankel

People are strange and alienating. It's hard to ever truly figure someone else out and what they are trying to accomplish. They are constantly changing. Every action may create a more satisfying picture of who a person is. Or it may just as easily confuse the world around them. Everyone is seemingly stunned by the credible allegations of sexual misconduct against Mitch. An article is detailed here that notes the numerous locations where he took advantage of numerous female staffers. It's gross and horrifying. It's easy to paint him as the sexual predator who should never work in this business ever again no matter how hard he continues to fight for that comeback. He believes he can still earn the good will of the people around him. He feels a sense of community with the staff at The Morning Show. However, it mostly creates a more intense and sinister work environment where people are forced into compliance. Things have changed. It is palpable in the room. But the show also has the open question of who all knew what Mitch was doing. The people in charge probably had their suspicions and chose to look the other way because of how successful he was for the show. The show lingers in that ambiguity though. It wants the audience to always be questioning the characters' actions. Everyone can come together to finish the show after Bradley's dramatic interview with Ashley. However, the various people go their separate ways for the weekend. Bradley may move into a new hotel room. And yet, she feels like a stranger in this world. But again, it overwhelmingly feels as if she is self-destructive and nothing more than that. She hangs out with these new co-workers and pushes for details about the work atmosphere when Mitch was there. That may be her instincts as a journalist. It doesn't make her a good friend though. And then, she has sex with the bartender and drunkenly depends on Cory once she arrives home. That dependence and erratic nature comes from somewhere. The show suggests that it's from a messed up childhood where both her parents are terrible and largely left her abandoned. She suffers from similar issues. She isn't the polar opposite from them even though she has things put together enough in order to get this kind of opportunity in her career. Meanwhile, Alex is forever searching for a sense of appreciation and admiration. She views herself as the skilled operator who is playing the game more effectively than anyone else. She knows how to work the piece Maggie is writing on Bradley to ensure that it doesn't create any more blowback for the show. And yet, Alex is artificial as well. She doesn't exactly fit in this environment. She is hosting a fundraiser for a performing arts charity. It's a lot of fun to watch as people sing Broadway showtunes. It's especially memorable when Alex and Cory join together for "Not While I'm Around" from Sweeney Todd. However, it's such a weird moment as well because no one knows exactly what's going on. They can't look away from it either. It plays as a power move on Cory's part. It sends Alex running away afterwards and straight back into Mitch's embrace. But again, how much is that suppose to resonate with anyone? It's drama for the sense of relationships changing and dynamics shifting. What power Alex once had may be more tenuous now because of this leadership structure. She wants to relax back into what is comfortable for her. She can't do that though. Mitch is toxic. She certainly embraces him more warmly than anyone else. That's only in private though. That is her greatest internal complication. People fear her ability to still do this job. She doesn't want to prove them right. And yet, it's perennially terrifying to embrace something new that can challenge the norms. These aren't all that original thoughts. Nor are they expressed in a way that draws the viewer in to see what happens next as these characters embark on this journey. It remains just a collection of intriguing ideas given gravitas thanks to the performers. That remains very unfortunate because there are some truly important points the show could be hitting about this particular moment in time. It just continues to be alienating because no one quite knows what to expect from any of these people in whatever they do next.