The first – and perhaps the only – criterion for cultural acceptance of almost any kind is “Does everyone care?” Hamlet is a prince in Denmark, which by most standards should mean he has to shelter his privilege and stop crying. But because Shakespeare in his metaphor and verse makes Hamlet’s preoccupations coincide with ours, we care passionately about what happens to him. (NB: this does not apply to all princes.)
Which brings us, a little tangentially but bear, to the Apple TV + The morning show: an extremely competent fiction, with a fantastic look, remarkably well done, well played and well written… which I find it very difficult to give a flying fig.
The problem, at least for me, is simple. At stake here is the fate of an American morning newscast. Will the show’s presenters (Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon) keep their jobs, will the show survive, will it, in fact, bring down the entire gahd-dam network? Yet the place of news shows, talk shows, and late-night shows, and even the very idea that every type of television show is a “show” is very different in America.
The relationship between the public and its broadcasters is also important. Would we be gripped by a saga involving Huw Edwards being moved to 6 a.m. because Tim Davie thought he was a deadweight and Mishal Husain did a counter briefing like Malcolm Tucker? (Actually…) Anyway, in the end, the fate of The Morning Show and everyone who sailed with it means less to me than the fate of a lost sock.
Then there’s the Anist spoon riddle. Both are good actors, and sometimes in the first series Aniston, for those who only know her as Rachel from Friends, has taken barns by storm. But both are also global giga-stars whose mere signing is reason enough for a TV show to be commissioned. So if one of the main plot points of this first episode is, will Alex Levy (played by Jennifer Aniston) return to host The Morning Show, in a series called The Morning Show with Jennifer Aniston in the Alex Levy’s role, well, forgive me if I’m not on hot coals.