She Looks Amazing

‘The Morning Show’ is an extended meditation on the miracle that is Jennifer Aniston’s face

“How old IS Jennifer Aniston? She looks amazing! ” says everyone watching The Morning Show at home who grew up watching Friends and worries about the condition of their own faces. If, God forbid, she’s had “work done”, it was excellent work. It’s not that anyone with grade school math skills thinks she’s still in her 20s, but there’s something reassuring about the reprieve that’s been granted to Aniston’s appearance over the years.

Yes, The Morning Show is also about a popular long-running American news and talk morning television show that finds itself struggling to find its purpose amid a #metoo crisis, other emerging forms of wokeness, cancel culture, the growing influence of social media and other relevant news events like COVID and the 2020 elections. But–let’s face it–most of us are tuning in to see a truly profound struggle:  that of a woman who used to be America’s Sweetheart fighting tooth and nail to keep it tight and smooth for the cameras (and succeeding brilliantly)…as Aniston is doing in real life.

Reese Witherspoon plays a younger co-anchor from a flyover state; a firebrand who “shakes things up” and “says what’s on her mind” and thus appeals to “real Americans.” I guess that’s code for “Trump voter” but since it’s Reese Witherspoon and she must be likeable, they do this coy dance around what her politics actually are. She’s also experimenting sexually with Julianna Margulies. So don’t worry: she’s COOL.

There are also a lot of monologues; the kind of monologues that get you nominated for a best supporting acting Oscar in 1974. There are monologues about how it’s hard to be on-camera talent for a morning news show, yet the morning news is so important to America (even though social media is slowly replacing it). There are also monologues about how it’s hard to be the producer of a morning news show, yet the morning news is so important to America (even though social media is slowly replacing it). There are even monologues about how it’s hard to be a c-level executive of a network that produces a morning news show, yet the morning news is so important to America (even though social media is slowly replacing it).

Meanwhile every interesting thing that happens on The Morning Show has already happened a few years ago before everything got so “woke”. We learn about these moments through one of the many aforementioned monologues. Reese Witherspoon’s dad killed a kid…a long time ago. Jennifer Aniston slept with her co-anchor…a long time ago. Juliana Margulies plays a lesbian who lost her career as a television journalist because Jennifer Aniston outed her…a long time ago.

You’d think they didn’t have much of a budget the way that everything happens off-camera but clearly that’s not the case. There are also amazing interiors. Everyone lives in a stunning apartment with brilliant views. Even Reese Witherspoon, who just moved to NYC from that Red State she’s from has a really really nice hotel room. There is also stunning on-location footage of NYC, Iowa, and other parts of the world. Steve Carrell plays a disgraced anchor The Morning Show fires for his predatory sexual behavior and thus must move to Italy and live alone in an opulent villa (that inexplicably looks like it belongs in California). And the characters fly to these locations on luxuriously appointed private jets.

There’s also amazing hair and makeup. The most notable aspect of the show is how often the on-camera talent walk onto the set with the same amazing hair and makeup that they had when they weren’t on camera.

It’s also notable how often the on-camera talent does something on camera that they weren’t supposed to do–like outing the CEO of the network for enabling sexual predatory behavior in the workplace–but no one fires or disciplines them. Both Witherspoon and Aniston just don’t show up for work for long periods of time no one fires or disciplines them. I would love for this show to employ me.

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