Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Morning Show season 2!
The Morning Show is currently awaiting an official announcement for season 3, but following the season 2 finale it may be better if the show doesn’t continue any further. The Morning Show debuted in 2019 as AppleTV+’s premiere show with an A-list lineup including Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell, and Reese Witherspoon along with a plot that focused on a massive issue. Season 1 put the streamer on the map, winning a Primetime Emmy—and being nominated for 7 additional Emmys—but season 2 unfortunately failed to compare.
The Morning Show season 1 dug into the #MeToo movement, with Steve Carell’s Mitch Kessler as the news show’s male co-anchor turned social pariah after accusations surface about his sexual misconduct. Everyone scrambles to survive, concealing any connection to Mitch or any awareness they had of his behavior as the network, UBA, comes under intense scrutiny. Following the tragic suicide of the woman Mitch assaulted, Alex Levy (played by beloved Friends actress Jennifer Aniston) reveals everything to the world in the middle of their news program.
The Morning Show season 2, however, failed to compare. Whereas season 1 was purposeful and poignant, The Morning Show season 2 floundered in newsroom gossip and catty in-fighting. What’s more, The Morning Show season 2 created major problems for a potential season 3 that would undoubtedly drag the show further from its spectacular origins. Here are the reasons The Morning Show season 3 should never happen.
The Morning Show’s Most Compelling Stories Have Been Appropriately Concluded
One of the most compelling, if not the most compelling storyline in The Morning Show follows Steve Carell’s Mitch Kessler. His character and story address the issue of sexual assault and shows the lives behind the sensational news stories. Over the course of season 1, viewers see how charismatic he is before learning that Mitch Kessler is a dangerous predator. In season 2 Mitch is in exile in Italy, but his “what comes after?” story is still the single most important of the show. Mitch seems a changed man, and the show explores the validity of someone’s redemption and return to society after rehabilitation. His journey is thought-provoking and socially significant, grounding the show in meaning and giving it purpose, so, in season 2 episode 7, when Mitch drives off a cliff and dies, it effectively ends The Morning Show’s most important story.
Season 2 did not just end Mitch’s story, however, but brought to a close several storylines following The Morning Shows’ other characters. Jennifer Aniston’s Alex Levy was mesmerizing to watch through season 1 as she struggled with the loss of her best friend and co-anchor of 15 years, and worked to keep her own career afloat despite the fallout. But Alex’s biggest storyline in season 2 plays like a scratched record, with her spending the entire season working to conceal her sexual history with Mitch, just like in season 1. When Maggie Brener’s book finally debuts and reveals Alex’s past relationship with Carell’s now-infamous character, the result is hardly the climactic moment the season had been building toward. The season ends with Alex’s secret having been told and her giving a long, underwhelming monologue from Covid-quarantine after being canceled.
Season 2 also tidily ties up the secondary storylines like Bradley Jackson finally embracing her sexuality and the chaos of her family, despite the threat of public judgment, as well as Cory Ellison (Billy Crudup) finally confessing his love for Bradley. Chip is brought back to the show as Alex’s producer only to subject himself to Covid in order to quarantine with Alex—a plot twist that shocked no one—and Paola finally brings Mitch’s interview into the light of day. The Morning Show season 2 finale was a beautifully-crafted series finale but, if the goal was to get another season, it was an outright disaster, leaving little to draw viewers back for The Morning Show season 3.
The Morning Show Season 3 Is Set In 2021
When asked when The Morning Show season 3 would begin, showrunner Kerry Ehrin said (via Deadline) “I don’t know at this point. My instinct is there will be a time jump.” Ehrin did not specify at what point during the pandemic the season 3 plot would resume, but as The Morning Show season 2 ended in March of 2020 when W.H.O. declared a pandemic, it matters little when the story picks up in season 3 as Ehrin and the other writers of The Morning Show are now dealing with a time in history most are not likely to want to relive.
A CDC report from June of 2020 (via the National Institute of Mental Health) reports that “31% of respondents reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, 13% reported having started or increased substance use, 26% reported stress-related symptoms, and 11% reported having serious thoughts of suicide in the past 30 days. These numbers are nearly double the rates we would have expected before the pandemic.” Despite mediocre critic ratings for The Morning Show season 1, the audience reviews for the season (via Rotten Tomatoes) were an outstanding 92%. Meanwhile, the second season, set just before the pandemic, saw audience ratings drop to 72%. As the show moves further into the pandemic, they enter a time in history most would rather forget.
The Morning Show Season 3 Sounds Like A Soap Opera
If The Morning Show season 3 were to get the green light, it sounds as though the main storylines will be more of Alex Levy’s self-reflection and who Reese Witherspoon’s Bradley Jackson is kissing. When asked about the future plot, Ehrin said, “Well, I definitely want to see more of Bradley and Laura. I feel like Alex has come to a place for the first time since the pilot of accepting who she is and facing her worst fears, and I want to see how the phoenix rises from the ashes for her, and learning how to have a full life and be present and loving.” Considering Cory just confessed his love for Bradley at the end of season 2 and nearly the entirety of The Morning Show seasons 1 and 2 were dedicated to Alex’s personal growth, the suggestion of a love triangle and Alex’s continued self-discovery hardly seem enough to bring viewers back.
Alex Levy went from complicated but relatable in season 1 to utterly vapid in season 2. After watching Alex’s sentimental goodbye with Mitch before his death, The Morning Show season 2 concluded with an episode that revolved around a muddled mess of her apologizing for herself and simultaneously defending herself while broadcasting her struggle for survival against Covid. While presented as though she was doing something worthy and self-less by the broadcast, her character continues to be someone who would do anything to maintain approval in the public eye. The promise of more of her vain self-involvement in The Morning Show season 3 would only draw the show further from the socially-relevant issues of the first season and closer to a lackluster soap opera.
Furthermore, the idea of more time spent on Bradley’s constant grappling with whether she is going to grow into an adult is equally unattractive. While her declaration that she is “sexually fluid” brings out a socially-relevant issue, the issue of sexual preference has been and is being done better on other shows. The idea of Bradley and Cory is an interesting one, but given Ehrin’s hint that there would be more of Bradley and Laura in The Morning Show season 3, it is unclear what role Cory will play with Bradley moving forward. The result leaves little but a self-involved star and a love triangle to draw viewers back to what was previously an award-winning, ground-breaking show.