The Morning Show: The Pendulum Swings
November 22, 2019 7:31 AM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

TMS covers the California wildfire, while Alex and Bradley struggle to keep their relationship from going up in flames.
posted by ellieBOA (7 comments total)
Oh god, that scene with Alex at the end being wildly uncomfortable while being vulnerable was *chef kisses fingers*

Honestly I'm a bit sad that they didn't cut the whole thing just there.

Anyways it was a good episode and I continue to find this show super-entertaining.

Billy Crudup continues to shine although that baseball thing was just... weird.
posted by KTamas at 2:44 PM on November 22, 2019

"Billy Crudup continues to shine although that baseball thing was just... weird."

It was a very pointed, not-very-veiled criticism of the woman he was talking to. As I read the scene, she's the baseball scout in his analogy. He's the major league's team's General Manager who decides which players to call up from the minor league team. Scouts look for new talent and if they believe in them, they champion them, but it's not their decision to sign them. A GM may take a risk on someone whose performance hasn't been stellar in the minor leagues because a scout believes in their potential. When that works out and the player performs well, really well, then it's exciting and validates the whole enterprise to see someone blossom like that (and everyone profits).

When it doesn't work out, everyone involved learns that the player just wasn't good enough to make it in the majors. This doesn't necessarily make the GM look bad; this is a relatively low-risk decision for him and the team. It looks bad for the player, but that goes without saying. Who it really looks bad for is the scout who championed this player who already had a record of underperforming.

What he's saying here is that in some sense this is a win-win gamble for the General Manager because either way he learns more about the judgment of the scout.

He's the president of the entertainment division (and news division as of recently, which is weird) and he's the "GM" in this scenario. She's the "scout", which would make her something like a VP of Development. The show is the minor league player.

He's basically telling her and everyone in the room that although he green-lit that pilot, and it's basically what everyone expected it to be, the fact is that it's mediocre and he pretty much knew it would be mediocre and green-lighting the pilot was a way of proving to her and everyone else that, yeah, this show she championed and other people believed in is really just mediocre and her judgement is suspect. The way the scene was written, staged, and edited, along with the actress's reaction shots, make it pretty clear that she had no clue about any of this, which is actually another strike against her.

Also, he's a smug asshole who thinks he's the smartest guy in the room and, unfortunately, he usually is, so he can't resist making a performance out of humiliating this person in an obtuse fashion.

I feel like Billy Crudup was born to play this role. It's well-written, but I'd say about 90% of even the better, well-known actors out there would have played this character in a way that even if there was charisma, it would have been overwhelmed by his smugness. Crudup manages to balance the charm and the smugness while nailing someone who knows they're very good at what they're doing and enjoying it so much they don't much care if people think they're showing off. There's a million ways such a character would be pretty much unwatchable. Or only hate-watchable. As it is, Crudup takes a very interesting, layered character on the page and then fills it out even more in every dimension. Obviously, I'm very impressed.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:15 AM on November 23, 2019 [13 favorites]

Thanks Ivan Fyodorovich; I completely misread the scene, I didn't even fully realize that the whole thing was about her.
posted by KTamas at 2:08 AM on November 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

Binge watched all 6 in the last 3 days and I’m a fan.

Cory is def my favourite character. I can’t figure him out and I find that really refreshing. I had him pegged as the douchebag, and yeah he kind of is but he’s consistent with his motives and transparent about them. I think that’s fucking people up in their heads but he’s just being him? It’s great! Cruddup is so compelling to watch with his weird dead smiles!

I’m glad Chip is finally finally finally taking some agency in the chaos! He’s been such a wet rag, passively reacting to everything. I’m annoyed he had to get his opportunity given to him on a silver platter, and almost let it slip (not the brightest, this one) but yes, please do something!

I really like the complicated and messy relationship developing between Alex and Bradley (just noticed they have traditionally male names!) but so far I like Alex’s character a bit more for her complexity and depth. Bradley seems just too genuine. She’s an impulsive firecracker, but just a bit too simple in her morals and decisions. I’m hoping the contact from Mitch puts her in a more interesting position to think about her relationships vs ethics.
posted by like_neon at 3:42 AM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

Add me to the group super enjoying this. I’ve been in since episode 1.

Even if the banter isn’t the same level of witty, it scratches the Sorkin itch for me, despite also being way more adversarial and tense (among the main cast)
posted by itesser at 1:59 PM on March 8, 2020

I think what makes Cory so interesting to watch is that he's a gambler. Not so much in the win/lose sense, but he just wants to keep playing the game. And thinks its wild and fun if shit goes haywire. He seems like the type that would go all in on a poker hand – not to win it – but for the sheer delight of chaos and fuckery. See what happens.

People like that are ridiculous to be around and you'll never be bored. If you can do that AND make people feel safe/held (see: Cory and Alex duet, rescuing drunken Bradley, even quietly guiding Chip about newsroom 'mafia' rules), then you've got charm in the near magical sense.
posted by iamkimiam at 5:52 AM on June 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

Have we seen him pissed off yet?
posted by iamkimiam at 5:53 AM on June 23, 2022

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