- Apple TV Plus’ “The Morning Show” is receiving mostly negative reviews ahead of the launch of the service on Friday.
- The Hollywood Reporter called the pilot “brutally dull,” and Rolling Stone wrote that the series struggled to justify the streaming service’s existence.
- But Entertainment Weekly and The AV Club wrote that the series showed promise.
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Apple is launching into the streaming war Friday with its own service, Apple TV Plus. But the first reviews for its flagship TV series, “The Morning Show,” are mostly negative.
Critics say that not even the show’s star-studded cast – which includes Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell – can save its “dull” and “underwhelming,” plot, at least based on the first three episodes.
IndieWire’s Ben Travers said there was “very little to just enjoy” about the first three episodes.
The Hollywood Reporter‘s Daniel Fienberg called the show’s pilot “brutally dull” and its second episode “meandering” but wrote that there were “distinct hints in the third hour of a more satisfying and confident” series.
Variety’s Daniel D’Addario criticized the characters, writing that there’s “not a human worth caring about in sight.”
“It’s perhaps unsurprising that Apple, a bleeding-edge tech company whose streaming service represents TV’s vanguard, had so little sensibility for what morning TV means to its viewers or its practitioners,” he wrote.
And Rolling Stone’s Alan Sepinwall praised the acting but questioned whether Apple TV Plus even needed to exist based on the series so far.
“It may think its stories are different than everyone else’s, but they aren’t,” Sepinwall wrote of the show. “Nor are they told well enough to make up for that. The show, and the service, don’t need to exist, and thus far aren’t justifying that existence.”
Not all of the reviews are negative, though. Entertainment Weekly’s Kristen Baldwin called it “an intriguing, if imperfect, entry into the content wars.”
“If we can all forgive the turgid early episodes of ‘Succession’ – a prime-time soap about aggrieved rich white men – surely we can power through some growing pains for this ambitious drama about aggrieved women who are putting their anger to work,” she wrote.
Similarly, The AV Club’s Alex McLevy wrote that the series “takes a little time to find its whip-smart footing” but that once it does, it “has the addictive rush of great old-school TV dramas.”
“The Morning Show” cost $300 million for two seasons (20 episodes), Bloomberg reported in August. Apple TV Plus launches Friday and will cost $4.99 a month.