When Apple TV+ launched on November 1, 2019, there were reservations about it because who needed another streaming service?
It seemed like another venture by the tech giant, Apple, to squeeze its customers the last dollars in their pockets as nothing cheap comes from them.
However, the launch surprised many when the service was cheaper than all others in the same industry, and here’s the kicker: the shows were actually good.
The streamer hit the mark with its scripted launch dramas that boasted a stellar cast of respectable actors, and the stories told were some of the best of the past ten years.
The launch slate consisted of three top-tier dramas: For All Mankind, See, and The Morning Show.
These shows were peak television with ingenuity, great production value, and, most importantly, great stories.
The Morning Show was an inside look into the workings of a legacy news media organization and the people who rise before us to prepare and read news that we’ll glance at as we prepare for the day or they will topple our world.
It was not concerned only with the news from the world but the news from the news people.
In 2019, the world was rife with the conversation surrounding sexual assault in the workplace, and it felt like a timely conversation.
The cherry on top was that the arc was handled so well, showing all sides of the story and ensuring the man didn’t overshadow the victims.
From the word go, one could tell it would be a great show because with Steve Carrell, Reese Weatherspoon, and Jennifer Aniston, how could it not be?
They brought their A-game, and despite me being aware of Jennifer Aniston in name only, she delivered a great performance that earned her a new fan.
Season 1 explored power dynamics in the workplace, sexual assault, trauma from sexual assault, sacrifice, journalism integrity, and many issues one would expect from such a workplace.
Season 2 concluded the Mitch Kessler part and moved on to another issue of the day. COVID had just paralyzed the world, and Cory wanted to launch a streaming service. Talk about the writers being self-aware.
The season not only captured the confusion surrounding COVID and the world’s reaction to it but also put the news people in it, and we were able to experience the story in real-time.
Years later, The Morning Show Season 3 bowed in, and the disappointment was real week after week.
There Were Too Many New Faces
The Morning Show is a show about people and their issues.
But here’s a thing about people: the issues one faces are not unique. It is possible to tell different stories through one person because people are multidimensional like that.
The season featured new faces who took center stage, and the characters we were used to had their screen time reduced.
It felt like we saw more of Chris than we did of Bradley Jackson.
It might feel trivial, but it became an entirely new cast when one factored in other new characters.
All the Arcs Were Half-Assed.
The season dealt with a lot, from leaks in the Supreme Court, racism at UBA, women’s rights, the war in Ukraine, hacks at UBA, January 6, and the billionaire (more on later).
Stories that needed to be told to completion were glossed over in passing in just a single episode, and then the show moved on.
It felt like a missed opportunity to fail to dive fully into the leaked Supreme Court decision and how that affected women across the country. Instead, we got a little hype, some sensationalized anger from Chris, and then it ended there.
It was a story worth telling for multiple episodes, if not the entire season.
Again, it was the little things where a storyline was not explored to completion, and several of those made the show feel cheap.
News is interesting when told in real time and since the show relied a lot on reporting about past events in the real world, it was the ultimate undoing of the season.
It felt like everything they tackled was ancient news, from COVID lockdowns and their effects on people, to January 6.
With twenty-four hour news cycle channels covering most of the events to the nitty gritty, it felt like The Morning Show wasn’t offering anything new and it had been overtaken.
The Billionaire Problem Was Mishandled
Many shows have tried to incorporate a billionaire storyline, and usually, they come up short.
When Billions Season 7 tried to show why Mike Prince should not have been elected as the POTUS, it failed spectacularly.
For the same things some billionaires are praised for, others are expected to be condemned since it’s hard to convince people that being a billionaire is inherently evil. Writers come up with little scenarios that appear laughable.
Were we expected to believe that Paul Marks buying UBA and chopping it up for sale was a world-destroying evil? Because that’s capitalism, baby! No one becomes a billionaire without thinking unconventionally.
If they had said he planned to use the network as his machine to air his own “facts,” that would have been easy to get behind.
There was nothing bad about buying a legacy news network, dividing it into different divisions, and turning a profit while at it.
In fact, some media conglomerates deserve this treatment since they have too much power in one industry, and if left unchecked, they can become monopolies in their fields. Monopolies have never been good for business.
Legacy news doesn’t have the same hold it did in the past, and the Roys were smart to sell theirs to the Swede on Succession before it contracted agalactia.
Bradley and Alex Were Almost Inexistent
Individually, Bradley and Alex were a force. Together, they formed a blazing inferno that shook the news world, and it was our understanding that they would be a staple of the show.
Yet, apart from being overshadowed by new characters, they barely shared spaces.
Alex was working on whatever she was, and Bradley was on the evening news!
I’m sorry, but what happened to The Morning Show? You know, the show about morning news anchored by Bradley Jackson and Alex Levy?
Where were the bombshells they were guaranteed to deliver while on air?
Bradley had gotten into a relationship with Laura Peterson, and after sharing great chemistry in Season 2, the show had them sparsely staggered in the season.
One thing I personally loved about the it in the past seasons was the screaming matches between the characters where everyone opened their hearts. In this season, they were almost nonexistent.
Nothing would ever top a screaming match between Alex and her daughter, and suddenly, she had moved to England to be with her father.
It felt like, in two short seasons, the show had changed too much, and the original idea had lost steam.
Given some shows like See that started at the same time as The Morning Show were wise enough to wrap up the story while the going was good, The Morning Show would be wise to do the same.
Without Mitch Kessler (however despicable he was), the show lacked something passionate to tackle and stumbled all over the place.
The season felt unfocused, with the absolute worst characters taking center stage.
Who decided anyone wanted to see more of Cory Ellison? That man irks me to no end. And Yanko?
Everything with a beginning has an ending for a show about early morning news, daybreak means the show must end.
Did the day break in two seasons, and we’re well into midday?
Is it time to wrap it up?
Should it have wrapped up this season?
Chime in in the comments section.
Denis Kimathi is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He has watched more dramas and comedies than he cares to remember. Catch him on social media obsessing over [excellent] past, current, and upcoming shows or going off about the politics of representation on TV. Follow him on X.