Apple released a new trailer for the second season of The Morning Show this week and the big surprise reveal is that Will Arnett has joined the cast; he plays Jennifer Aniston’s (Alex Levy) agent, Doug. The stereotype of agents in show business is usually douchebag – and that’s the sense that we’re getting here in the preview, which Will can totally pull off, and be really, really funny in the meantime. But there’s also so much potential for him here to make it nuanced and dimensional.
Because The Morning Show is a series about the inside baseball of network television. The first season was far from perfect but it was super compelling, especially for those of us who have experience in the industry, as they got so many things right about what it’s like to work in that environment. And where agents are concerned, sure, they can be assholes – but the way Hollywood is set up, you need an asshole to go head-to-head with the assholes on the other side of the table. It’s not like network executives are saints. The job of the agents and managers is to get dirty on behalf of the talent, so to create space between the talent and the network, during negotiations, for example, so that you can separate the business from the talent relationships that have to be in place, and at least functioning, in order to keep delivering on camera.
Sandra Oh just told a really great story about her team in an interview about her career with Vanity Fair. Duana sent this video to me the other day – it’s Sandra on her career timeline, remembering some of her most impactful roles. If you don’t have time to watch the whole thing (which is worth your time), skip to the 8 minute mark and stay until about 9:30. This is Show Your Work porn, and there are so many layers of it.
She’s talking about Grey’s Anatomy and how she got the role of Cristina Yang, one of the all-time best characters on television. Sandra walks the audience through how television contracts work. And she explains the workshop audition process when she spent time with Shonda Rhimes and the creative team building the role. Obviously it’s Sandra Oh, so in that session she nailed, and there was no way they would have wanted anyone else. But then, her team told her to do something else. I’ll let her take it from here – skip to the 8 minute mark:
While she was doing what she does best, her team was doing what they’re supposed to be doing which is trying to get her the best deal. And they did, in the end. But the point is, you have to have people who are willing to be dicks for you on your side of the table.
I’m not saying that that’s for sure what we’re getting in Will’s character on The Morning Show, but the point is, if they’re continuing what they started in season one and giving us the layers behind the scenes of this business, Will Arnett isn’t playing a prick just for the sake of playing a prick. Everyone in the celebrity ecosystem has a role. Because Hollywood, despite appearances, isn't a community and wellness centre, it’s cutthroat as f-ck.
Yours in gossip,