The latest season of “The Morning Show” ended its eight-week run on Nov. 8. The drama intensified with each episode, forcing viewers to wait in eager anticipation of the next.
Before show creator Jay Carson got involved in film and entertainment, he worked in politics. Carson’s experience as a press secretary for Hillary Clinton during her 2008 presidential campaign served the show well, resulting in highly dramatic, entertaining and accurate political plotlines.
Amid post-pandemic life, the show focuses on how the United Broadcast Association is struggling to keep subscriptions and profits up. This season introduced Paul Marks (Jon Hamm), a billionaire entrepreneur and prospective buyer of UBA. Marks comes across as an Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos type, specifically due to his roles in the commercial space race and purchasing a media company.
As always, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon — who play Alex Levy and Bradley Jackson, respectively — excelled in their roles navigating through this potential buyout deal. Levy, trying to protect her interests, is split between trusting Marks, UBA executives and her co-anchor Jackson. All of her interactions with other company members feel effortlessly real as she balances the chaos.
The show did a phenomenal job of integrating major news stories covered by the U.S. media into the personal lives of its characters. Witherspoon showed her acting brilliance as she dealt with the ethical conundrum of reporting on the Jan. 6 riots and subsequently find out her brother, Hal (Joe Tippett), was one of the rioters.
Another major force behind the show's engaging drama was Karen Pittman, who was vividly realistic in her portrayal of UBA producer Mia Jordan. Pittman is recovering from the betrayal of a love interest in a professional and dignified manner — undoubtedly earning her the respect of all audience members.
Actors Nicole Beharie, Mark Duplass, Julianna Margulies and Greta Lee also bring color to the show. Their characters were strong and bold but had their faults like every other human being. While the show did a decent job coupling their general arcs and personal motivations, these characters still deserved more screen time, particularly Amanda Robinson (Tig Notaro).
Many members of the cast have powerful character-defining scenes. Lee demonstrated her character’s ability to balance professional duties and personal vulnerability while Beharie showed strength when interviewing a network executive who made racist comments about her character.
The show’s costume designer also deserves special mention. Elizabeth Lancaster styled each character distinctively and with suave. From Lee’s turtleneck power suits to the Celine Besace crossbody purse on Aniston, each piece of costume felt perfectly curated for the moment.
Like with most drama series, certain scenes and episodes dragged at times. The entirety of episode five, for example, was set in a flashback during the peak of the pandemic, an interruption that felt like it was taking away from the very entertaining drama happening in the present-day storylines.
The season finale also felt disappointing compared to previous episodes. The anticipation built over the season was shut down in a rushed manner, resulting in missed opportunities, with too much happening in too little time.
Season 4 of “The Morning Show” is already under production. It will be interesting to see how the plot unfolds with either the potential of a new merger or the start of a new production house and where all the characters — whom the audience has invested heavily into — will end up.