The Morning Show: Season 3 Review

The Morning Show
As fictional US TV network UBA prepares to send one of their star news anchors into space, tech billionaire Paul Marks (Jon Hamm) positions himself buy the entire network.

by Boyd Hilton |

Streaming on: Apple TV+

Episodes viewed: 10 of 10

Apparently, you have to go into space to get back on firm ground. That’s the lesson of the early episodes of season 3 of Apple’s super-glossy drama The Morning Show, which kicks off by strapping one of its main characters into a penis-shaped rocket owned by new character Paul Marks (Jon Hamm), a tech billionaire cross between Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. As potentially silly as this development is, by the end of the season premiere it’s clear the show is back on track after a major sophomore slump.

The Morning Show

Season 1 focused on the rivalry between newbie presenter Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) and old-school anchor Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston) filtered through the lens of an incisive #MeToo storyline involving Levy’s long-standing co-anchor Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell). And it was thrilling. Then Season 2 came along with its plodding account of the pandemic and a total drag of a storyline involving Jackson’s drug-addicted brother. And it was dull.

This season’s creative decision-making is mostly on the button.

This time around, the arrival of Hamm’s slick entrepreneur sends most of the regular characters into an entertaining tailspin, but it’s a storyline involving an email hack at the network which really kick-starts the action, as secrets and lies come tumbling out. Newsreaders becoming the news? Who’d have thought it. There’s also an increasingly exciting game of bluff and counter-bluff as the potential takeover of the network gets ever more fraught. It’s like Succession, but with the satirical grit replaced by glossy confection. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

In fact, apart from a weird mid-season flashback ep, and a tad too much yelling, this season’s creative decision-making is mostly on the button. Aniston and Witherspoon both have juicy developments in their characters’ private lives to sink their teeth into, while there’s a smartly increased emphasis on the role of Stella, CEO of the News Division, superbly played by Greta Lee, now a bona fide star after the release of Past Lives. Stella proves a great antidote to her boss, played by Billy Crudup with a goofy, smug smirk. To be fair, it’s hard to wipe the smile off your face after this dramatic return to giddily entertaining form.

No wonder a fourth season of this slick TV newsroom drama has already been confirmed. It makes for hugely pleasurable viewing.
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