“The Morning Show” Season 2 Review: Episode 1 – Start Spreading

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Where were you on New Years Eve 2019? I was in my apartment, having a party for friends. There were plans and positivity. I ended up spending most of the rest of the next year in this same apartment. Of course, neither of us knew what was to come, and it’s that sense of optimism combined with the sense of looming horror that the first episode of The morning show season two unfolds brilliantly. The public knows what’s going to happen. The characters don’t.

The second season of “The Morning Show” shows what we have lost

In this opening episode, we see the immediate aftermath of the onscreen revelations of Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston) and Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon). Shortly after, the camera travels through a sorry and locked New York City.

Then we cut back to three months earlier, and the preparation for New Years Eve 2019. Bradley and his new co-host Eric Normani (Hasan Minhaj) are preparing to host the cover of UBA live from Time Square. It is clear that they are doing well as a double act, although ratings for their program are dropping and Bradley is not really popular with his colleagues. He’s also hiding something from her – Eric is going to replace another disgraced UBA presenter as the Evening News host, a job Bradley wants.

Elsewhere, Mia Jordan (Karen Pittman) took over from the late “Chip” Black (Mark Duplass), who works in a much more low-key environment. Corey Ellison (Billy Crudup) runs the station. Alex, meanwhile, fled to Maine. She’s working on a book, but Corey realizes he needs her. Can he tempt her?

The internal machinations and the drama at The morning show, and UBA more broadly, needed some clarification, and they still have a lot to unpack. We still don’t know what will happen to Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell). As captivating as ever is Mr. Crudup’s deranged performance, often alongside new training partner Stella (Greta Lee).

Following…

But what’s so powerful about episode 1 of The morning show season two are clues to what’s to come. There are the more obvious things, like a producer telling Mia a story about a strange virus found in China and getting minimal response. (A chyron on a quarantined cruise liner has been seen onscreen since the season one finale.) What struck me most were the little things – running around a bustling city, sharing food in the canteen, presenters sharing bottles of booze as they host New Years Eve, spontaneous acts of physical contact as the clock strikes midnight.

It is a powerful reminder of how much we have lost.

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