Last night we watched the the season two finale of “The Morning Show” on Apple TV+. If you’re not familiar with the show, it’s available on Apple TV+, stars Jennifer Anniston and Reese Witherspoon, and chronicles what happens behind the scenes of a television network, and its flagship morning show, when one of the hosts are accused of sexual allegations, a la Matt Lauer.
We both found season one quite engaging and were excited when season two came out a couple of months ago. Apple TV+ has released the episodes on a weekly basis and last night the finale was released to the masses.
I’ll try to avoid spoilers best I can and will most likely speak in generalizations. However, you have been warned.
This is your last warning. (My read more widget isn’t working so this is the best I can do).
Season two takes place in the six or so weeks leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic. We relive the “what is social distancing?” comments and “I don’t even know what contract tracing means!” exclamations all over again. This really bothered me through the entire season, not because I didn’t find it engaging, but because I really didn’t feel the need to relive the entire COVID experience again. I don’t know if I share this feeling with my fellow citizens, but the pandemic has been a terrible time for everyone I know and reliving the experience again for “entertainment purposes” was very hard for me. Maybe it didn’t bother others. I don’t know.
Season two also leans pretty heavily on “cancel culture” and I found the way the show tackles the subject to be spot on. Society, and American society in general, seems over obsessed with a lot of things that lead to “cancel culture” and of course it’s all fueled by social media. All the bad things that happen and are reported by social media have been happening for a very long time. All the fringe lunatics and the social justice warriors, and all of that have always been there. Social media has emboldened these groups and there’s a scene early in the season where one of the “villains” is approached and loudly humiliated in public for their past transgressions even though they were just sitting there drinking a cup of coffee. The aggression depicted as a result of social media anonymity and the desire to become Tik-Tok famous is very accurately portrayed, and it made me sad. I still enjoyed the way the show depicted the fallout of this type of behavior.
The one thing that really stuck out to me didn’t actually happen on the show, but as a result of watching the show. As we relived the pandemic through entertainment, it really struck me how much society did not learn from going through this pandemic together. By the way, I know we like to act like the pandemic is over, but it’s not. It’s under control but it’s far from being over. Too many folks are dying from COVID-19 on a daily basis, whether through circumstance or willful ignorance or a combination of both.
The thing we didn’t learn from the pandemic is that we need to adapt to a changing world to survive. We had the opportunity to come together, calm down on the vapid aggressiveness to one another, and take stock in what’s important and what is frivolous. As a whole, the world, and American society in particular, completely missed this point and continues to do anything they can to be loud, be aggressive, be tribal, and “be normal”. Normal before the pandemic wasn’t great. It wasn’t even that good. We had the opportunity to hit the reset button and we blew it. “The Morning Show” kind of portrays that in the season two finale, but it’ll go over the heads of most.
While this season was uneven and felt scattered (it was filmed during the pandemic so I’m sure that contributed to the effort) I still recommend it. B+