Rating (2.5 out of 5)
Summary: While I am glad I watched this show, and the subject matter is important, the delivery was slow. Additionally, I didn’t empathize with a couple of the characters, which made their segments unenjoyable. There is also numerous slow points where people stare out windows of fancy high rise apartments contemplating life. The contemplation makes for a slow pace; offer 8 well-paced episodes rather than 11 snore fests and we would have been set.
Plot: Mitch (Steve Carell) is a prominent anchor on a morning show who is accused of sexual harassment and fired. His co-anchor Alex (Jennifer Aniston) maneuvers Bradley (Reese Witherspoon) to be her new co-anchor. However, the impacts of harassment have more impacts on everyone.
Detail: The parallels to the Matt Lauer situations force the viewer to wonder who knew and how should have known at The Today show. One of the most powerful scenes is the final episode Hannah (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) confronts Mitch about their interaction. The fact that Mitch can’t understand his power as the anchor and his misdeeds is a powerful lesson. Unfortunately, this powerful scene is followed by everyone looking out windows again. Reducing the energy the scene created. A common occurrence.
Alex’s character is selfish and whiny. She complains about everything even though she has everything and they are her choices. She constantly complains about waking at 3:30 am and all she sacrificed to earn all the money she has. The poor woman has to be driven into work. This whole segment is insulting to masses of people throughout the world who get up very early for their lowing paying jobs, not to mention to the people on the show who make a tenth of what she does.
Her character is volatile and unstable, making bad decisions. The story focuses so much on her but she was unlikable. No attempt at providing Alex with a redemption arc. She wasn’t the villain; she wasn’t the hero. So why did she occupy so much screen time?
Billy Crudup and Mark Duplass deliver great performances as the showrunner and executive producer. When we make Alex a secondary character and concentrate on these characters plus Bradley, the show hums. Seeing the behind the scenes workings of a morning show is fascinating, and that is what I wanted to see with a bit of interpersonal drama.