There's a running joke at any apple event, where breathless product announcements are met with unadulterated adulation. "Apple invents [insert product that's long since been a thing here]." It's not a particularly good joke. It's tired. And I'm tired of making it. But neither is it untrue. Apple (and any tech company, really) has a habit of rolling out something you've already used somewhere else as if it's brand new, never having been seen before.
Nothing wrong with that, of course. It's good marketing. And if there's anything Apple's brilliant at, it's marketing.
Somewhere, Aaron Sorkin is thinking he's seen this somewhere before.
But here we go again. With its first teaser for the Apple TV+ original The Morning Show, we get the sense of the drama that takes place at a national morning show. The constant tug of war between news and newsiness, and the sugary nonsense that is what's "trending" on any given day. The push to present what's important versus the pull of what people actually want to see.
It's not exactly a new problem. And in those 68 seconds in Apple's trailer — "An Apple Original" is the first thing you see on screen — you get pretty much every newsroom cliche there is. One can only hope the series is more substantial (and certainly better written) than what we get in a little more than a minute of clips of Carell, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon talking over each other.
"I'm a journalist. I can feel what the world needs." That's an early line from Steve Carell's Mitch Kessler. Speaking as a card-carrying journalist (we don't actually have cards) whose job was once to help decide "what the news is" for a town on a nightly basis — plus this new thing on the interwebs — that line is bullshit. It's cliche at best. If your job is to pick out the news, or to read the news, or to report the news, then it's your job. Sure, you might have been drawn to it. You might well have an innate talent. But what you don't have is some higher calling to bestow your priceless prose on anyone. None of us does.
The trailer is painful enough if only for that line. But you also can't help but be taken back a half-dozen years or so to The Newsroom. It was Aaron Sorkin's second go at a series after The West Wing And while it certainly was flawed in its own ways, The Newsroom opened with that spectacular Q&A (or meltdown, I suppose) of Jeff Daniels' Will McAvoy. (I still say it's some of the best 5 minutes of scripted TV I've seen in a long, long time.
Maybe The Morning Show will be great. It's certainly got enough star power behind it. It might even have the writing chops to stand up against a very similar show that was helmed by one of the best in the business.
But a true "Apple Original"? We'll just have to see, I suppose. But so far in that single trailer, I have but one thing running through my head:
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