Chaos Is the New Cocaine (2019)
I would like to take this moment to announce my new Morning Show cohost, Bradley Jackson.
Don't look too surprised.
All right, stand up. Up. Okay.
Miss Jackson! Bradley, how are you feeling?
How do you feel, Miss Jackson?
Is she drunk?
That would make sense.
Get her to the studio. Don't let either of them make statements.
She is the perfect person for the job, and you will see what I'm talking about.
Hope you had fun up there.
Oh, I'm really excited too.
Are you both gonna be lead anchors? Bradley.
Let's go. Let's go.
Bradley, Bradley, Maggie Brener, New York Magazine. Oh, hi.
Congratulations on... Maggie, my love. Tonight is a tease.
But, Cory, how'd you manage to keep such a delightful secret?
Well, you guys are only interested in the obvious choices.
Bradley Jackson isn't obvious.
After Mitch, we felt we needed a big change and quickly.
One that makes a statement about where we intend to go.
Where is that?
If you guys wanna know more... tune in on Monday for Alex and Bradley's first show.
Bradley. Miss Jackson, over here, please.
How long are you gonna be with this network?
What are you fucking doing?
Um, congratulations, Bradley Jackson.
Your life just took off.
Don't say anything to anyone and meet me at the studio.
You're changing the game. How does it feel?
Are you excited to work with Miss Levy?
What is the statement that you would like to make to young women?
I don't... Hey, let's get you outta here.
They're looking at you like you're raw meat.
Okay. Okay. We're going this way.
Bradley! Excuse me.
Oh, my God. What the hell just happened?
They'll have answers for us at the studio. Chip knows we're on our way.
Oh, no, no. I'm going to LaGuardia. LaGuardia, please.
Uh, we're not going to LaGuardia... Yes.
And with all due respect, who the hell are you to tell me what to do?
Do you have a cigarette?
Bravo, buddy. Way to take advantage of a woman in need.
Do you have $20?
Yeah. Cory put it on public record that the show is launching on Monday.
Yeah, well, he's insane too.
Agreed. But let's for one moment assume you are the coanchor.
You can assume that. I don't want to assume that.
I'm going to LaGuardia. I don't wanna be the coanchor.
Why the hell not?
Because they're gonna use me to try and get an Eagle News audience that I won't attract because I'm not that kinda conservative.
But you don't know that, because there's no way in hell that I have been vetted.
And I am being set up here to be some sort of fall guy, and I am not interested in that.
Do you have a light?
No smoking, ma'am.
You've gotta be kidding me.
What the hell were you thinking?
Why would you back that unhinged woman to a room full of reporters?
You were given clear instructions.
Why would you box us in to a Monday launch with that nobody?
I feel it's a bit dismissive to refer to them as "unhinged woman" and "nobody."
Don't fuck with me. I need to understand how you plan to fix this.
Or explain to me why I shouldn't fire you along with Levy?
Well, because that "unhinged woman" did us a serious favor.
Look, this show slipped in the ratings, Fred, because the show is stale.
Alex Levy, her sell-by date, it expired years ago.
She needed to go. Everybody knew we were gonna fire her, but Mitch fucked that up by fucking everything.
So, now, everybody's curious. What are we gonna do?
So what we're gonna do is, we're gonna give her this victory.
A Pyrrhic victory. Make her think that she's won.
But really, we're gonna let this "nobody" in to freshen the show.
Juice the ratings for sweeps and finally push Alex Levy off the shelf for good when it is convenient for us and when we don't have to look like the bad guys.
That doesn't explain why we have to rush them out for Monday.
Well, the streak.
If we don't do something next week, the streak is over.
YDA is not sneaking up on us, they're breathing down our fucking necks, in spite of our "Mitch is a predator" boost. It feels old.
People are getting too used to their favorite cuddly men turning into monsters, but watching a beloved woman's breakdown is timeless American entertainment.
The Morning Show audience values stability.
When has it been the case that a morning audience prefers fighting over family?
I don't know. Families fight, Fred.
Look, all right, hey, give me a month of "The Alex and Bradley Show."
Either they work well together, or it's horrible.
Regardless, putting Bradley in lets us get back to replacing Alex.
And it'll be interesting and fun, fresh, you know, which is imperative right now.
I'm gonna make something clear.
I have an easy fall guy when all this goes to shit.
Oh, we're talking about me, right?
Chaos, it's the new cocaine, Fred.
You screwed yourself.
Committed a fireable offense, overtly in breach of contract.
We'll be lucky if the network even continues negotiations.
You need to go in and find Fred and apologize tonight.
Right, right. Is there an alternative option?
Not unless you wanna pull the rehab card.
We could say you were emotional about Mitch.
But I'm not emotional about Mitch.
I was emotional because no one's fucking listening to me!
Mom! What's going on? Are you? Are you...
Yes, I'm fine. Sorry. Let's just take a beat here, please.
Sarah, listen. I'm going to handle this. It's okay. It's okay.
Then put on your apology face and fucking mean it.
Absolutely. I completely understand. You understand?
Guys. Guys, guys, guys.
Listen, don't... Honey, oh, baby. Honey, listen to me.
Sometimes women can't ask for control.
So, they have to take it, okay?
I want you to remember that. Okay, baby?
Okay. Everybody knows you're here.
They want you to sit tight for 15 minutes.
I will not sit tight.
There are some snacks. Some TV.
There's definitely some booze around here somewhere.
They're deciding my life out there.
Yes, and I know that's insane, but Alex is meeting with the CEO.
Chip is gathering the staff, and if you're even remotely considering doing this...
I don't know what this is.
You need to let them come to you.
You need to let yourself take a breath. Have a fucking drink.
Think about what you want.
Consider this the start of me being a great producer.
You're not my producer. Yet.
Oh, my God.
Hal, where have you been?
You cannot seriously be making this about me right now.
Okay? Can we please talk about you? You're all over the news.
This is so weird.
Yeah, no kidding. Is Mom okay?
She's pissed at me.
She said you embarrassed her with her friends because you didn't tell her.
I didn't know.
Is this even real?
Fuck, Hal. I hope not.
Oh, hey. She's waiting in the green room. You're a god.
Is this for real? Or are... Fucking hope not.
What the hell was she thinking? It's a room full of press, and she just...
I think she was thinking it would be effective.
Yeah, well... So?
Wait till she finds out Bradley Jackson is a fucking raving lunatic. Jesus.
I wanna produce her.
Because I've been in purgatory. I'm too good for that.
If this is real, you should put your best person on it, and you know that's fucking me, and, honestly, I like her, which could go a long way to making this work.
If this works, it's gonna be a fucking disaster, and you're gonna be tied to it.
Yeah, I've been tied to disasters before.
I want this, Chip.
Hold on. Let's just get some quiet.
Can I get quiet for two seconds, please?
I refuse to accept any of this as reality. Fuck. Jesus.
Ideally, not my show.
Come on, Chip. Cheer the fuck up.
We're in the middle of an epic rebirth.
So, this is happening?
Look, I do know that this comes as a bit of a surprise.
Alex jumped the gun a little bit on the announcement, but we've been quietly vetting Bradley for a while now, looking for someone with that kind of unpredictable energy.
And I know Monday feels fast. That's why we hired a veteran.
Not an anchor veteran. Zero anchor experience, in fact.
But she has got raw talent coming out of her pores.
And you know it.
So, let's get moving, people.
We've got 48 hours to define the character of Bradley Jackson.
I want wardrobe tests, screen tests, makeup tests.
I wanna have those tests focus-grouped.
We need a contract. Where's legal?
I'm telling you, it's not a given she'll go on air Monday.
Huh. Are you legal?
I'm Mia Jordan, Bradley's producer.
Well, that happened fast.
Uh... Yeah, I felt I was a few steps behind, so I wanted one of my best people to manage the circus.
Well, just make sure that she can read a teleprompter.
I don't want to rain on the parade, but I snaked a Mitch accuser from YDA.
You got a Mitch accuser? Yeah.
Not great optics to launch a new anchor next to a sexual assault victim's brave return.
Are you kidding me? That's perfect.
What is your name?
Hannah. I'm head booker. Hannah.
Hannah nailed it, 'cause we're creating a safe space here.
It's a feminine space.
This is an era for The Morning Show where women make the rules and give voice to the silenced.
Speaking of which, nobody says a fucking word to the press.
They're gonna be circling us like vultures.
So, anyone who leaks will be murdered... career-wise.
Okay. I'm gonna run upstairs to the public spanking of Alex Levy.
Neal, I have an idea.
I know it's only been a few days, and I know that you're gonna tell me it's too soon, but let's just for a second, look at the larger context of #MeToo.
It's been, what? Two years?
We're two years in.
I feel that people are screaming for an honest conversation.
And what do I do?
What do I do best?
I am a journalist.
I can feel when the world needs me to articulate something for them.
To help them understand.
And believe me, I know this is gonna require a high degree of sensitivity.
But I fucking love a tightrope. I love it. It makes me feel alive.
You know what? Maybe all of this happened for a reason.
Because I think that if I can get in there, and I can show my face, and I can look and address the darkness...
...that exists within...
You're gonna answer...
Who is Bradley Jackson?
Mitch, I love you.
I mean, you know that's true.
You're a fantastic talent.
But the fact of the matter is that a working relationship is based on work, and that's not gonna be happening for a while.
Are you dropping me, Neal?
We have a lot of female clients that are journalists that we represent.
There are certain pressures brought to bear on us.
Believe me, I wish it was different than the way it is, but this is the reality now.
Maybe you should sign Bradley Jackson, whoever the fuck that is.
Would you like me to leave?
I don't feel I need to remind you that this network has been very good to you over the years.
We have always shown you personal and professional respect.
I never anticipated we would be met with such utter disrespect and insubordination in return.
This network has every right to terminate you immediately.
You have placed us in an impossible situation.
You have embarrassed yourself.
You have done something unforgivably selfish.
And for what? To what end?
I find myself wondering if we can even trust you with the privilege of being on air for The Morning Show.
Are you done?
The part you guys never seem to realize is that you don't have the power anymore.
The news division is held up by my show.
And the only thing keeping us afloat is me.
Because guess what?
America loves me.
And therefore, I own America.
It seems pretty fucking simple, but so easy for you guys to forget.
Are you actually trying to justify your action...
You're not listening!
I don't need to justify anything.
You all are so convinced that you are the rightful owner of all of the power that it doesn't even occur to you that someone else could be in the driver's seat.
And so, we have to just gingerly step around your male egos in order to not burst this precious little bubble.
I'm bursting it.
We are doing this my way.
Because, frankly, I've let you bozos handle this long enough.
Not the apology you were expecting?
Wanna take a seat?
Is that an invitation or a command?
You sound a little pissed off.
I don't like surprises.
Oh, come on. That was a pretty good surprise.
No. You don't get to make this about me.
You dropped a bomb, and I don't know why.
Maybe you're trying to blow up your life.
Maybe you were angry, which I get, but you don't have the right to fuck with me.
Fuck with you? How?
By offering you the most coveted anchor job in the world?
I don't want your job.
Oh, honey, bullshit.
You are so cocky. You just think I'm gonna do this?
I know you're going to do this.
I don't have a contract.
Well, great. I just put you in a great spot to negotiate.
This job is yours.
I'm welcoming you with open arms.
I'm giving you the biggest news platform you could ever have.
If you're a true journalist, you don't say no to this.
I'm not sure this is considered true journalism.
And how many current or former presidents have you interviewed?
This job requires a certain kind of positivity.
I'm not a perky person.
I don't care. I don't want us to be the same.
I'm not looking to groom my replacement.
I want a partner.
Or do you want somebody who's beholden to you?
Somebody who's grateful that you plucked them from obscurity?
Because if that's what you're hoping for, I will give you serious buyer's remorse.
You are convinced that you know me.
I can guarantee that you are underestimating me.
And I am really fucking over people doing that.
I want you here at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow.
I suggest that you get up at 5:00. 4:00 on Sunday.
Start getting yourself conditioned.
I don't like being used.
Oh, my God.
Could you just try, like, taking advantage of the situation presented?
That sounds like something you might enjoy.
Come on. See you tomorrow.
We're gonna hit up a lot of the nitty-gritty today, because being a morning show anchor is the hardest job on television bar none.
So, we're gonna meet with makeup, wardrobe, we'll do some screen tests.
Okay. Meet with marketing, publicity, research, uh, we're gonna drill transitions.
Look, the other thing is that, and don't shoot the messenger, the show will be heavily scripted.
What do you mean by "heavily"?
Completely. It's gonna be completely scripted.
Okay, no, I'm not a novice. I don't like things to be overtly scripted.
It sort of eliminates any possibility of something truthful happening.
Plus, I have a habit of going off-script sometimes.
Well, I see the research has finally begun.
I can relate to a good self-sabotage, but it cannot happen on The Morning Show.
Okay, Mia, listen. I get that you're excited and y'all want this to work out.
I just don't know how I feel about being forced onto national television just to make an ass of myself.
I wanna be clear, by showing up today, I'm not agreeing to this, and I'm not signing a contract, okay?
Baby steps, okay?
You know who's the most excited?
She's gonna be shepherding you through this entire weekend, along with me, of course.
Okay? She really wants to take a firm hand in this.
She really cares. She does?
Absolutely. This whole weekend is about you.
Getting to know Bradley Jackson, who you are, what's important to you.
Really? You think I can define myself?
This is gonna be fun. Watch.
You guys, thank you. Thank you, but no.
Fucking no. I'm sorry. I know you're tired, and I know you hate me right now, but I really don't give a shit.
All we have to do is figure out who Bradley Jackson is next to Alex Levy.
Who do you partner with a 24-karat bitch?
That's actually really funny. Don't...
Oh, good to see you're all in such good spirits today.
Milk Bar for the writers.
Yes, I'm shamelessly bribing you with sugar for working overtime.
So, you're joining us?
We were just discussing the enigma that is Bradley Jackson, so...
So, if you'd give us a few minutes...
No, I'd actually like to get in on that.
It's actually why I'm here. To discuss Bradley?
Among other things.
Look, guys, this is a pressure-cooker moment, all right?
This is a massive transition.
We are redefining ourselves, and I need to make sure that we are all on the same page.
So I'm gonna be here all weekend.
All weekend? Yeah, all weekend.
Sean typed up a schedule. Sean.
So, I spoke to wardrobe, and they're going to screen test some looks that will appeal to her demographic.
And then I want us to bang out some copy so that we can talk about what segments that we will be giving to Bradley.
What time does Ashley Brown get here?
Around 10:00. 10:00. Okay, great.
I'll do her pre-interview then.
Sorry, should I know who Ashley Brown is?
No, let's not call her a victim.
Okay, what should we call her then?
I think "accuser" feels more appropriate.
Look, if she wants to call herself a victim, we can take our lead from her.
But I think it's important that she feels in control of it.
In control of the language used.
So, just to be clear, and I appreciate the typed-up schedule, you're doing the Ashley Brown interview?
Yes, I am, Chip.
Okay. All right, team.
I will address the elephant in the room.
Yes, yes. I worked side by side with Mitch for 15 years.
God knows he was not perfect.
I felt it daily.
But I didn't know he was that guy.
And that's a problem.
I fell asleep at the wheel.
But I want you to know that I am here now.
And I'm here for Ashley, and I'm here for you.
I'm available, I'm accessible, and I'm awake.
So, shall we?
Stay on two. As we said, go with Yanko. Go with Yanko.
If you live in New England, not so fast.
All right. Good, good, good. You'll be seeing one last snowfall of the season.
We do have some exciting wind blowing our way down here in New York City too Okay, good, guys. and she goes by the name of Bradley Jackson.
See what I did there? Very smooth.
Welcome to command center.
Now, I may be stating the obvious, but it's a pretty exciting weekend here at TMS.
We have our new Morning Show cohost, Bradley, in the halls, and she and Alex are prepping a really, really amazing show for this Monday.
That's right, Daniel.
And that includes an interview with our very own former colleague Ashley Brown, who has bravely agreed to return and talk about her experience with Mitch Kessler.
That's going to be something.
Yeah. It's very, very brave. Yeah. Big stuff.
We hope you spend your Monday morning with our new family.
I'm Daniel Henderson.
I'm Alison Namazi.
I'm Yanko Flores.
And this was the weekend edition of The Morning Show.
Ready, four? Until next time.
Take four. Insert. Roll credits.
'Cause America loves a good Cinderella story, just as long as she's a white girl.
Please. Disney got you a black princess, like, what, 2008?
He's not wrong.
I don't recall that. You didn't see it.
There was a frog.
Bradley. Hi. Claire. We met the other day.
Yeah, yeah. I remember. I'm with the digital team today.
If it's cool, I'm gonna shadow you while we do your screen tests this morning.
Give people a front-row look on how we make a star.
Sorry, they told me to say that. Stupid. Let's go.
Tell me why I shouldn't hand in my resignation now.
Daniel, I could write you a fucking book.
Yesterday, you said it was my chair to lose.
And I don't recall fucking up the pass.
So why am I out there previewing a conservative beauty queen, huh?
You know, she's not a beauty queen, and she's actually more of a libertarian, so I don't know.
Chip, I'm out. Daniel, come on.
Hold on, hold on, hold on.
Take a breath, take a breath, take a breath.
I have been told to take deep breaths my whole life.
I can't do it anymore.
Daniel, I'm telling you, you walk out that door, you're never gonna get back in when the chair opens up.
And when will that be?
Because women live longer than men, and those two look like they do a lot of Pilates.
Read the tea leaves! Bradley Jackson is a nobody.
Alex is... clearly struggling, you know?
It was a desperate move from someone who had their fucking ego bruised, okay?
This will fail.
And, when it does, maybe two chairs are gonna open up.
Okay? So, please, I'm begging you, ride with me through this shitstorm, and I promise you the show will be yours in the end.
Here we go.
Here's the thing.
Everything can be recontextualized.
They take my movies that I directed, and they pervert them to fit a convenient narrative.
Hugging and Loving, right?
That's a veiled portrait of my grandmother's assimilation story, for God's sake.
That is a terrific film. That's my mom's favorite film.
So, now, it's about what I apparently did to all my leading ladies.
Well, when did hugging become a sin?
Fuck it. I love to hug.
Huggings are nice.
Yeah. Jeez. That is crazy.
No, no, no. Crazy is how they loved the title Jessica Over Easy and then, of course, now they just rip me to shreds over it.
God damn it. You know what? They just twist everything.
I don't even understand what their message is they're sending out.
That women are not allowed to be in possession of their sexual choices?
When they fixate on us, they lose sight of the issues.
I actually feel bad for the kids.
'Cause there's nothing sexy about consent.
That came out wrong, and that was creepy.
I guess what I'm saying is... humanity happens in the unspoken moments, and I just feel badly for a generation that loses that.
Wow. That's really well said.
We're not in prison.
Prison of public opinion. Mm-hmm.
That's exactly what I wanna talk about.
The discussion, this whole Me Too thing, it is so fucking puritanical and myopic.
No one is addressing it.
A woman can say one thing about you.
It doesn't matter what her motivation is.
And everything you've done in your life... gone.
Your career erased.
You deserve better, buddy.
You deserve better.
I have an idea.
We do a documentary. You direct it. I do the interviews.
We make them look at it. We make them look at us.
We ask to be a part of the conversation.
I mean... we did something wrong, okay.
If that's the way you feel, fine, but explain it to me, 'cause I don't fucking get it.
A conversation with the victims.
Yes. And I think we can do it in a really smart way.
I don't think we refer to them as victims.
I think... that's a concess... I don't think it's something we want to concede.
No, no, we do call them victims, and then we prove why they're not.
I'm not sure that we should use gotcha journalism with the women who accused us.
Oh, fuck that! Jesus. They did it with us.
I'll fuck you for the role, and then I'll win an Oscar."
And then, "Oh, now I'm 50 and irrelevant, so I'll scream 'rape' and then I'll force a settlement."
You know, as if that lazy lay deserves a cent.
No, no, you're wrong.
Wow. Is that real?
I said I was 20. Oh, I was only 15."
Bullshit. "Then why do you look like a tired old bag?"
And yeah, I'd love... I'd kill to see her birth certificate.
How come I never heard about that one?
'Cause she's going the legal route.
Big fucking chance.
Statute of limitations, babe.
You know, sometimes you gotta say, "God bless America."
Yeah, well, maybe we should just interview the men, because it might be naive to think that the women would want to participate.
Do you think we could get Cosby?
No, let's... No.
No. I think another smart idea would be to talk about the specificity of the Me Too movements.
There was the first wave of guys who were accused, and then there was a second wave, and we could talk about the nuance between the two.
I don't think I follow.
Well, the first wave was... really bad.
And then the guys accused in the second wave was just different, and I don't think we should be scared to talk about it.
Spell it out for me, won't you, Mitch?
Well, you are actually a predator.
And people are gonna want you to own that.
As opposed to...
What are you exactly, Mitch?
The organization has now raised over $80,000 to help end sexual assault on college campuses.
Pace it down. You have time.
And educate students on consent.
Really inspiring to see these young women working together to effect change, isn't it, Alex?
Fast learner, our Bradley.
Well, it's Saturday night, and she has the stage to herself.
Let's not do the hora just yet.
Coming up after the break, we have one of my personal favorites, The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.
Alex, growing up on the farm, my mama made the best grits in all of West Virginia.
Let's see how Ree compares.
Seriously, you guys? This is garbage.
I don't call my mother "Mama," and she's also a terrible cook.
I hear you, Bradley.
Yeah. We're taking notes. We're making changes.
How about I do it for you?
Please welcome The Pioneer Woman, who somehow manages to idealize an era when women birthed babies in covered wagons and died from cholera before they even had a chance to nurse 'em.
Something like that?
Yo, Jackson. God here. Let's fix that wardrobe.
Whoever's picking these outfits should be fired.
Alex picked 'em.
All right, next up, Lizzy has her mock trial semifinal on May 3.
Yeah, it's an all-day thing. I'll cover it.
No. I wanna go to that.
Yeah, it's at Wolcott's.
I refuse to have boarding school mean that I don't get to see my fucking kid.
I'm gonna get more wine. Would you like some?
Uh, sure. Why don't you switch to white?
Isn't that stuff giving you headaches?
If I don't take an Advil, okay, Jason?
Jesus. Okay. Jesus Christ.
Al, Al, Al. What?
Oh, God. What is going on?
I just think it's weird that we have to make a fake family calendar. That's all.
We've always done it.
No, but now it just is... feels like a game.
Lizzy's stuff is real, but coordinating my events and you having to pretend. Come on. It feels weird.
Yes, obviously. It's fucking bizarre.
But, you know, we'll figure it out.
Lizzy's at boarding school now. She'll be at college in a minute.
Yes, I know. I know. And I'm thrilled for her.
We raised a beautiful, independent kid, but would it kill her to need us a little bit more?
Oh, come on.
Is that really what's bothering you?
Page Six thinks I'm crazy.
Page Six thought you were pregnant ten times last year. Who cares?
Well, I very well might be.
Excuse me? Crazy, not pregnant.
Crazy. I'm... This article came up the other day.
I googled "Alex and Bradley" 'cause... I'm fucking human and curious, and this article popped up that said I was "wandering the halls of TMS in the middle of the night."
But that means that my coworkers are leaking stories about me.
Mitch is going down, and somehow stories about me being crazy are popping up.
How the fuck does that track?
All right, it's a big change. Yes.
You're allowed to feel it.
I know, but I'm the one who made this big, stupid Bradley-Jackson, whoever-the-fuck-that-is move.
I mean, it is crazy. It's absolutely crazy.
But at first it felt like "I'm in control. This is a power move."
But I just... This stupid shitshow, I'm just... I'm exhausted.
I'm just so exhausted. Ohh.
Would it really be so bad if it all went away?
Oh, come on. A part of you is trying to blow it all up. Admit it.
Now, come on. I know you.
I get it.
But you've had this unbelievable run, Alex.
You've earned your freedom.
You've earned your family their freedom.
So, I don't know, maybe this is the moment you get to choose to stop.
We'll be fine.
Wait. Are you saying that if I quit, we would be...
Fuck, no, no, I'm... No, I was not making this about me. Sorry.
Thank you for that.
Thank you. Sure.
Am I supposed to be impressed you can open Barneys?
You're supposed to be impressed that I've got $30,000 for you to spend on whatever you want.
Do you have a favorite silhouette?
Pencil, cigarette, flared, high-waisted, gaucho, drop-crotch...
You know what? Just bring us a variety. We trust you.
And throw in some dresses too, please.
I get you're not a typical woman, but try to see the joy in a wardrobe upgrade.
What is a typical woman?
You know, not everything is a challenge.
Mm, people usually say that when they don't wanna be challenged.
Wow. You're fun.
And I don't feel like pretending Pretty Woman is my favorite movie.
What is your favorite movie?
What do you want my favorite movie to be?
I'm beginning to sense that you're very frustrated.
Look, I don't wanna sound ungrateful.
New clothes are fun. They're...
You know what's even more fun?
Having your image workshopped by a focus group.
I can't wait to hear how I'm gonna alienate Americans.
I've been contending with the misogynistic world of journalism for 15 years.
I've only been told about a thousand different ways I'm too liberal, too conservative, too in-between.
"You've too much chin. You're not smiling enough.
You're too brunette. Do you wanna go blonde?
Where are your boobs?
Quick, put your boobs out. Wait, put your boobs away.
You're attracting men. You're scaring women.
Try not to be so confrontational. Men don't wanna fuck you.
Don't be so angry. Women feel criticized."
But here, no, no, here I'm gonna transform into the aspirational, inoffensive dream girl.
Here I'm gonna become the Mother Teresa of the morning news.
Though I'm pretty sure that Mother Teresa had too many fucking wrinkles for HD.
All right, are we doing this? Let's go.
I'm trying on a lot of clothes for someone without a signed contract.
It'll be ready tomorrow. You need a better agent.
My agent is fine.
He's an idiot if he closes at $700,000.
I thought you were trying to get me on the cheap.
I don't mind paying someone what I think they're worth.
You're single, right?
What's that got to do with my contract?
So, you are? That's great.
Good. Keep it that way.
American women, they're getting married later, often not at all.
Eggs frozen to be used another day, if at all.
Men to be fucked but not needed for fulfillment.
That's exciting, that's reality, and that is not on morning television.
Okay. What do you think of this?
Oh, yeah. Right.
Very Pantsuit Nation.
No, I love it.
I'm serious. It just, it... It reminds me of my mom.
My mom is awesome, and she is gonna love you.
Martha has never seen herself reflected on The Morning Show.
Is this the mom you took care of after Daddy left?
Oh, I see. You think of her as, like, a sad, weak, abandoned woman?
Hey, I didn't say that.
I took care of my mom, in the cooking her dinner and giving her hugs sense.
Telling her to put her work away and go to bed.
And I was, you know, a terrific 12-year-old mom to my mom.
What does she do?
Uh, retired now.
She was a campaign organizer for progressive women who usually lost.
Martha loved an easy sell.
Like mother, like son.
Peddling out to America a 40-year-old, single, childless woman who's a political independent?
I don't think you're a tough sell.
We already have the housewives watching TMS.
If we want to win the ratings war, we need the women who aren't watching, the ones that don't see themselves reflected in Ice Queen Alex.
So... be messy.
Let's do segments on the ways that you haven't "lived up."
Be the narrative real women are living.
There is no way that Ashley is only one fucking segment.
That's plenty of time for a good interview.
It is completely disrespectful to the seriousness of the subject.
I get it. But Ashley is not good.
Oh, my Go... Okay, hold on a second.
Did you seriously just call her "not a good victim"?
Look, I read the transcript.
She's superficial, she's inconsistent in her recounting of the story...
She's completely preoccupied by Mitch, how he might feel about it.
Okay, so did you bring her in for backup?
Is that what Mia's doing here? I am nobody's backup.
I read the transcript from your pre-interview.
I came to my own conclusions. Why are you reading my transcripts?
Hey, hey, hey.
Mia's in charge of our Me Too coverage. She gets what works.
This is not about Me Too, Chip.
This is about us. This is about our show, how we will be judged by the public.
And if you cut that down, it's gonna look like a dodge. It just fucking is.
So get this into your little fucking brains, okay?
I'm doing the interview my way, and if you have a problem with it, and if you have a problem with it, then fucking quit.
Just let her deal with it. Fuck it. Fuck it.
I'll be on stage in a minute!
You shouldn't do the interview with Ashley.
Why wouldn't I?
I don't know.
Seems like you wanna create this narrative about how you're taking control, how you've been powerless, but, um... that's pretty convenient.
What's convenient about it?
You've always had power, and you know exactly what it looks like when a woman doesn't.
Mia, I don't think we've ever known each other that well.
Maybe not, but it hasn't stopped you from making assumptions about me.
Yeah. I've made assumptions about you and Mitch.
I did not approve of that relationship.
Not one bit.
And I think the world is making that pretty clear right now.
But what I don't understand is why is this my fault?
But you're not impartial on this subject.
You knew what Mitch was doing.
And you're impartial?
You're producing the person who'll be doing the interview.
That's pretty fuckin' transparent if you ask me. This isn't about that.
Well, then what is it about, Mia? 'Cause I'm getting really confused.
I don't ever remember you confiding in me about Mitch, asking me for help.
I remember you being pretty capable of taking good care of yourself.
You know what? Do whatever you wanna do with Ashley, but I'm telling you, she's enamored of you.
You'll never get to something honest.
And then you're gonna get crucified for it.
So, one big happy family.
Yeah. With an absent mother.
I, honestly, was shocked that she agreed to a run-through.
Not exactly a team player?
Alex requires a fair amount of personal space.
It's just who she is.
Okay, so, Alex is in a meeting.
We're gonna mark some transitions without her.
Daniel, do you mind playing Alex for a bit?
Don't mind at all. Okay.
Speaking of family, we know how hard it is to make your kid's lunch quick and healthy, but luckily, multitasking mom Margaret M...
Multitasking mom Margaret Mapel...
Okay. Can we run that back? That's a lot of alliteration.
I'm not looking for sympathy. I'm not offering any.
All right. Going again, let's take it from the top.
Here we go. Starting with Bradley's line.
Everyone quiet, please.
Hey, you're doing great. Just take a deep breath.
Mia, thanks for showing up.
Sorry. Dealing with some changes. Um...
You are doing the interview with Ashley.
We've pushed it to the end of the week so we can prepare.
Yeah. Alex just told me on her way out.
On her way out?
What, she's leaving?
Wait, when is she gonna rehearse with me? On air?
Bradley, this run-through is going well. Let's just push through.
Oh, hell no! No, no, no.
I'm not going on tomorrow if we don't rehearse.
Bra... Hey! Don't let her walk out of this...
Hey! Alex. Alex.
Why are you not going through the run-through?
We moved the Ashley interview to the end of the week, so I gotta go home and prep a new story.
Why are you giving me the interview?
Because it's better for the show.
Why are you doing this to me?
Doing what? Handing you an amazing opportunity?
No. You're making no sense.
Y-Y-You're not being present.
What the fuck?
I don't have all the answers.
And why does this have to be about you?
'Cause I'm a woman who has a life. You realize that?
I have people I'm responsible for, and I have career aspirations that don't involve being your sidekick.
You are not my sidekick. You're my cohost.
Well, you have barely acknowledged me all weekend.
I... I didn't know that you needed me to hold your hand.
I need a partner.
Sometimes partners hold hands.
I don't have a fucking clue what I'm doing.
You don't? Nope. Not a clue.
Running on instinct.
But I know that I need a second so I can get my shit together to go on air tomorrow.
And I know I have to not be in that building with those fucking people who are constantly judging my choices.
I honestly don't know why I picked you.
Okay? That's the truth.
Just an impulse, and I went with it.
But I do know that I think I like you.
Just go sign your contract.
Watch your step.
Don't fuck it up.