I just finished the Season finale of ‘The Morning Show,’ and what I ride. I binged the last five episodes, and I am glad I did in one sitting because it was *that* good. This is one of those shows wherein it started quite good, but the episodes kind of ebbed and flowed in the beginning. But as it sprinted towards the end, the story just got juicier, and all sides were presented evenly – and fairly.
And there is a great star in the series, and sorry but it’s neither Jen Aniston or Reese Witherspoon. For me, the MVP of the show is Gugu Mbatha Raw, who plays Hannah. talk about a character arc – she goes from almost-naive to surprised to being caught in the middle of all the crossfires, to being dejected by being used as a pawn. She is fantastic, and is the central heart of the piece.
I also liked that they showed a little bit of Mitch’s side. I don’t mean to exonerate him from his wrong doings, but Carell showed Mitch’s human side of a flawed human being. As for Aniston, I am still conflicted. I do feel another actress could have been better at the role, but don’t ask me who. She is fine, I guess.
I loved how it captured office politics – this happens everywhere not just in the mornign show industry. I look forward to how this all plays out on Season 2.
What I like most about this episode: Sondheim. Even before seeing this installment, I have already been bombarded with the scene wherein Jennifer Aniston and Billy Crudup sings ‘Not While I’m Around.’ Theater fans all over have been salivating over it, as it seems to be Sondheim season lately. I thought Crudup was very good in the song, and Aniston surprised me – who knew she could sing?
I thought the rest of the episode was okay. We get the fallout from Bradley’s interview, and Alex is mad. To be honest, I am starting to not like Bradley’s ‘rogue’ style – it is very destructive to peace, and the show has gone through some turmoil – and I even think she senses it when she goes out to drinks with her co-workers. I think the show wants us to see Bradley as very flawed – we see her having random hook up with the bartender, for example. I don’t know why I am more sympathetic towards Alex – perhaps with my old age I value tradition and loyalty more? I am also getting a little warier with Aniston’s performance – it’s showy but kind of lacking in depth. I wonder how I will feel about it further down the line.
So on S01 E04 of ‘The Morning Show’ we get to know more about Bradley (Reese Witherspoon) but do we, really? It’s her first week as co-host, and she is committing some really big blunders – but are they calculated or is she just a run-of-the-mill screw up? I wish the show was more definitive in that, but it isn’t. She has been described as a ‘truth teller’ but maybe she just has no filter. I mean, in real life, can you imagine if an anchor just almost casually mentions that she got an abortion at age 15. In this episode, Witherspoon has the showier role, but Aniston still gets her choice scenes. And, there is a part of me that is unsure about Aniston’s acting skills here and maybe it’s the fact that I still cannot shake the Jennifer Aniston persona from the character.
The episode ends with some MeToo relevance – there is a question as to whether the management knew about the sexual shenanigans going on at the show, so when Bradley interviews the accuser, she churns the narrative. Everyone else goes berserk, of course, but Bradley just wants to get to the bottom of it (rolls eyes)
Just in time for Mother’s Day on May 9th, we have ‘Mother’s Day,’ which is Gary Marshall’s latest installment in his ‘Holidays’ series. This movie is as bad as it sounds, and it is truly horrific in a lot of senses. It applies every sitcom trope you can find, and that wouldn’t be as bad if it was well acted, but this cast of great actors couldn’t even elevate the bad material. The screenplay – it took five people to come up with this crap – is a series of cliché after cliché, and you can see every actor here – Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson – just biding time waiting for their car service to take them home. And while we are it, why is Julia Roberts wearing her red hooker blunt wig from ‘Pretty Woman,’ coincidentally also directed by Marshall. The film takes an all-time low with Hudson’s character’s hate filled parents, played by Margo Martindale and Robert Pine, who spews every bigoted dialogue in their dialogue. (It’s not funny) I wish I had something nice to say about this movie at all, and as I sat at home later thinking about it, I only realize all the mothers in the world deserve a better gift. Well, maybe that’s the one good thing I can say about this film: it made me think of my mother whom I miss everyday of my life.
Jennifer Aniston is de-glamourized in “Cake,” and that’s seems to be the catch-all for this movie. Look, Jen has no make-up! Look, Jen has no scars on her face! To focus on that is a shame, because in this movie, Aniston gives the performance of her career, and that really should be what people should be talking about. As Claire, a woman addicted to pain medications, she gives a nuanced – physically and soulfully – performance that is exemplary I was bewitched by just her presence in the movie. (Like Julianne Moore in “Still Alice, she is on every scene) One of the major criticisms in general is that every character she plays seems to be a variation of her Friends’ Rachel green character but in here she becomes totally immersed, and at once the viewer forgets it’s Aniston they are seeing. It’s such a bravura performance that it really is a shame that she was not nominated for an Academy Award. She deserves it.