Apple TV+’s THE MORNING SHOW Contains an Excessive Amount of Offensive Content
By Stephanie Speck
THE MORNING SHOW is an Apple TV+ original series that explores the ruthless world of television news reporting. The program is inspired by CNN journalist Brian Stelter’s non-fiction book, Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV.
The program stars Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell.
THE MORNING SHOW is about a TV show of the same name which was drastically affected by the #MeToo movement. Anchor Mitch Kessler (Carrell) is fired for sexual misconduct. Chaos ensues as co-anchor Alex Levy (Aniston) struggles to retain her position against her rival new co-host, Bradley Jackson (Witherspoon). The series explores gender power, ambition, and integrity in the news media world. The broken personal lives of individuals are also examined.
THE MORNING SHOW is rated TV-MA. Two of the episodes contain viewer discretion warnings. One episode depicts a young woman being raped. The other episode features the same character dying from a drug overdose. Neither of these episodes are graphic, but they’re emotional and can upset viewers.
THE MORNING SHOW features a lot of other content that’s not family friendly. While there’s no nudity, there are sequences that depict characters having one-night stands and other sensual encounters. Some of these characters are having extramarital affairs. There are also graphic discussions concerning rape, sexual misconduct, and sexual exploitation. Scantily dressed female dancers perform at a man’s 50th birthday party. While on the air, a news anchor sparks controversy by stating that she had an abortion at age 15.
THE MORNING SHOW also features vulgar humor (including references to homosexuality) and excessive foul language. There are dozens of profanities taking the Lord’s name in vain. There are also a variety of countless vulgarities. The “F” word is used multiple times in each episode.
Heavy drinking and substance abuse are seen in many of the episodes. Characters often drink and go out to bars as a means of celebration, relaxation, or dealing with stress. There are scenes of and references to intoxication. A main character has a brother who is addicted to drugs and a father who was an alcoholic. Another main character is dependent on prescription drugs and dies from an overdose.
In addition to the scene depicting a woman being raped, there are a few instances of violence on THE MORNING SHOW. A man becomes angry and smashes furniture in his home. There is occasional screaming, shouting, and shoving between characters. Two men get into a fight. There’s also a heated exchange between a mother and daughter, during which offensive language is exchanged.
THE MORNING SHOW has a few redemptive elements. The series emphasizes the need for honesty and accountability in the news media, as well as in the workforce in general. Characters feel remorse and admit their wrongdoings after hurting one another. Camaraderie as opposed to rivalry between women in the workplace is suggested.
THE MORNING SHOW presents a materialistic and empty worldview. The main characters each work various jobs for a morning news show and feel insecure in their positions. Honesty and integrity are sacrificed for the sake of protecting one’s image and reputation. Individuals who have been friends for years betray one another. A young woman accepts a promotion in lieu of exposing a top news anchor who raped her. It’s hinted that other women had done the same. Other individuals forsake relationships and marriages in favor of power and public opinion. In a heart wrenching moment, a lonely anchor asks his co-worker, “Do you think we’re dead inside?”
There are some minor hopeful moments. In a fit of despair, a broken woman cries out and asks Jesus to help her. In a later episode, a man being interviewed states, “We’re gonna get through this together. God is gonna help us.” A discouraged supporting character partially recites the Serenity Prayer.
THE MORNING SHOW is an interesting, but heavy show that tackles the complicated issues of power, exploitation, and integrity in the news media. None of the main characters in the series are very likeable, but at times it’s easy to feel for them because of their humanity and vulnerability. THE MORNING SHOW contains an excessive amount of offensive content and is not recommended for viewers of any age group.
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