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The Morning Show - Kill the Fatted Calf - Review

11 Oct 2021

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The Morning Show is trying to bring us back into 2020, and for every happy, light scene, there’s a mention of COVID-19, of Donald Trump, of the general unease that haunted the world throughout the last year.

In understanding what the writers are trying to do, there’s a level of exhaustion that comes with watching it. The Morning Show season one was a fantastic season of television because they didn’t necessarily try to go further than what they could get away with as a brand new show. 

Here, in the second season, they’re almost giving themselves too much credit. I am one of those people who doesn’t like it when shows involve COVID-19 in their plots, but when I heard The Morning Show was doing it, I honestly thought they would do it right. 

This is…not ideal.

Something else we should’ve fully left in 2020? Mitch Kessler. At first, his scenes were annoying, but not terribly unwatchable. Now, we must sit with an aggressor as the writers are framing him as someone for whom we are supposed to have sympathy. 

His scenes are quiet and tentative, however, with Alex and Bradley, there’s rarely a scene without the loudness of the TV set, of people talking over each other, trying to be bigger than the other person. 

To be frank: it sucks. The only joy of seeing Mitch in “Kill The Fatted Calf” came from finding out he could have COVID, which isn’t a very nice thing to say, but he’s not a very nice man. 

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like his storyline is ending anytime soon, and with how things are progressing with Yanko and possibly Fred, I fear he’s headed towards redemption quicker than I would’ve liked. Or at all. 

Stella, in speaking to Yanko about his misuse of the phrase “spirit animal,” says what’s true of any person who makes a mistake in regards to culture. 

“In a perfect world, you understand that what you did is wrong, you learn from it, and you apologize.” 

This whole season so far has been UBA trying to show that they understand, they’re learning, and they’ve apologized. But they really don’t understand and haven’t learned because how could they if they don’t take a second to stop and listen rather than slapping band-aids on the network’s issues. 

As Laura Peterson so bluntly puts it “[UBA] is like a hemophiliac’s used band-aid.” Though she may be referring to UBA’s finances, the network itself is bleeding with wrongdoings, and no quick-fix or superficial solution is going to help in the long run. 

This is very obvious with the decision to let Alex return. Don’t get me wrong, I love Alex Levy, but she herself admitted that she became part of the cycle of abuse at UBA, and she did nothing to stop it until Bradley was ready to. 

If UBA really wanted to learn, they’d open the door to more diverse anchors. By allowing Alex back, UBA has, for the time being, regressed. 

Stella is the result of UBA attempting to understand, learn, and move forward, and Stella knows this, which is why she’s so opposed to bringing Alex back. This is also why she bluntly tells Alex that despite the fact that she’s made a connection with women around the world, it’s yet to be seen if she actually changed anything. 

Cory as CEO is backsliding, but it could also lead to greatness. Cory knows how to manage people. The problem is, he’s so hung up on the star power of anchor Alex Levy that he hasn’t taken a second to stop and think about Alex Levy as a person. 

Mitch, on the phone with Cory, tells him to start being the CEO, to buck up and make decisions, and Cybil basically tells him the same thing, but he’s not that kind of person. He’s open and compassionate – two things Fred Micklen never was. 

Cory didn’t come into this job looking to be Fred Micklen, despite everyone else expecting him to be a Micklen clone. His connection to people and their authenticity is what makes him a great person, even if he’s a bit of a pushover as a CEO. 

Then there’s Daniel. 

I sympathize with Daniel — he deserves to have better stories, better partners, to be seen more often. But he learned in season one that UBA will not be the network to do that for him, so why is he still here? 

He could work for another company, even go freelance, and instead, he’s sitting in a job that at the end of the day is just that: a job, where his employer doesn’t care about him as an individual, despite how much they try to act like it. 

Overall, this was an okay episode of The Morning Show. It was definitely integral to push the Mitch-Redemption-Arc, the Hannah-Smear-Campaign, and Bradley opening up regarding her sexuality. But it was just… okay. 

What did you think of this episode? Where do we think the Bradley-Laura situation will go? Did anyone laugh as loud as Cory did when Mitch started talking about the right thing? Let me know in the comments below!