Apple TV+ launches in a matter of days and, as you may have heard, the marquee release is The Morning Show, produced by and starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. They’ve been out here promoting the series hard – magazines, talk shows, Instagram, tonight is the premiere in New York City. And the embargo has now been lifted so those of us who’ve previewed it can talk about it. The first three episodes were made available for advance screening and Duana and I mainlined them last week and we’ll be getting into it on Show Your Work but the quick and dirty review on our end is that I was hooked from the beginning and started harassing Duana to start watching and I couldn’t stop until I had finished all three – which is not usually how I jam, I’m one of those people who can breathe between episodes – and neither could she.
That doesn’t mean The Morning Show isn’t flawed. The series definitely has its problems. The pilot isn’t great, but pilots are never perfect. Many, many years ago, Duana told me to always push past the pilot, to at least two episodes, because you can’t judge a show by its pilot, a really good pilot is rare, even if Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon are in it. The question here though is it is watchable? Yes. It’s VERY watchable. Like I said, we couldn’t stop. If all the episodes were available, I would have finished it by now. Maybe it’s more watchable for us because we work in the business and we get off on the inside baseball – but that’s also the point I’m getting to: the story they’re telling and the people they’re playing are legit; these conversations happen, these dynamics exist, this world is tangible. Which early reviews, the ones everyone is trying to rush out today, and they’re mixed, don’t really capture. And one more thing:
This is the performance of Jennifer Aniston’s career. She is the highlight of The Morning Show. Three episodes in and I’m not sold yet on Reese, but Jen has never been better. She’s complicated and dramatic and cunning and compassionate and confident but also full of sh-t and what she’s giving here is so layered and nuanced, you might have to, as Duana did, repeat the viewing just to get the full picture of her work. And I’m not usually the one who shows up to a Jennifer Aniston Fan Club meeting but she’s a force on this show. The show itself might not be strongly received but her performance is unimpeachable. More on Show Your Work later this week.