New episodes of The Morning Show premiere Fridays on Apple TV+.
By Ariba Bhuvad
After nearly two years away, Apple TV+’s award-winning series, The Morning Show, is back with its sophomore season–and its ridiculously stacked cast. Along with the return of Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Billy Crudup, and Steve Carell, the second season brings with it the addition of Julianna Margulies, Will Arnett, and Hasan Minhaj. Could this show have any more star power?
Luckily, the star power isn’t all this season of The Morning Show has to offer. Charging in on the back of the first season, the workplace harassment storyline remains very much at the center of the series. Albeit, a different perspective and more as an aftermath situation. In either case, the series is digging deeper into the dark secrets of workplaces, and how its consequences reverberate through the lives of all those involved (and even those that are not). And yes, it tackles the start of the COVID-19 pandemic which factors into each character’s storyline in a variety of ways (and feels a bit jarring because it makes you remember that all of this actually happened).
We see a more confident side of Witherspoon’s character, Bradley, who faces her own challenges after Aniston’s Alex left The Morning Show in light of outing the company’s sexually harassing behavior. The second season continues to explore their dynamic and does it in such a visceral way, with some surprises along the way. As always, both of them shine in their performances and are escalated by their supporting cast’s performances as well. Most notably, Crudup is even better somehow in the second season and brings a witty yet dangerous persona to his role this time around. You simply can’t get enough of him, and I’m just putting this out there now, he’s going to be picking some more awards next year for his performance.
I loved seeing Minhaj, Arnett, and Margulies as part of the second season equation because they’re all such talented folks, and bring another level of excitement to the series. I do hope going forward that the show continues to pull in superstars. Normally I’d say that it’s a bit too much to add so much star power, but for The Morning Show, it just works.
Where I do have a few complaints about this series is the visual effects of it all. Now you would think that this show doesn’t require too much VFX, but it does, particularly for its backgrounds. For a show that is made by Apple, how could they be so careless about how things look? The New York City skyline for example looks like a cardboard cutout and looks so ridiculous that it pulls you out of the moment. It is such a cringe feeling to know that it looks so fake and bad, and I really think that overall Apple needs to work on this. Even Ted Lasso has some horrible VFX, so this is a company-wide issue, at least for television.
Apart from that, I think folks will really enjoy the second season, even more so than the first. There is an improvement on every level, but most importantly, the story itself has matured to the next level, and that is exactly what will have the audience wanting more as they progress through the season. Now if they could just do something about that VFX, though…
I give The Morning Show season 2 a B.