Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Brinkley on Morning Joe, New Fox TV Series on the Horizon…?

I read a very strange article in Vanity Fair the other day (it’s taken me a while to get around to this). It was about Joe Scarborough, of Morning Joe, and the chances that he might be running for president in 2016. The MSNBC show hosted by Joe and Mika Brzezinski is one of the more popular morning shows, and has enjoyed a pretty impressive roster of guests (recurring and special one-offs).

The article did nothing to improve my mixed opinion of the show, too. I enjoy watching it, from time to time (usually when I’ve caught up with Maddow, UP, MHP and Last Word, and have nothing else to watch), but the dynamic between Scarborough and Brzezinski is really strange.

Douglas Brinkley, who wrote the VF piece, refers to the show as “savvy, caffeinated”, and described the hosts’ dynamic thus:

“even though they are both married, with children, their on-air chemistry can come across as charged, even flirtatious, the cable equivalent of Nick and Nora Charles.”

I couldn’t disagree more. I’ve more often seen Joe shoot down or talk over Mika’s comments and analysis than I have anything else (except for a YouTube video clip of Mika shooting Scarborough down, albeit in a less-than-scathing manner).

I do think their new TV drama project sounds interesting, though:

“they have started a film-and-TV production company and the first proj­ect they’re developing and peddling is a TV drama about the life and times of their volatile competitor [Fox]. Philip Seymour Hoffman has been mentioned for the [Roger] Ailes character; James Gandolfini’s name has come up to portray Ailes’s pal Governor Chris Christie.”

That, I think, could be a very interesting TV show, and I’d certainly be interested in watching at least the first couple episodes to see if they manage to pull it off. (Hopefully it would be more settled and less silly that the high-profile media-focused Newsroom on HBO – I love Aaron Sorkin, but this show is damned uneven, and he has apparently forgotten how to write female characters that are anything but clichés and cartoons.)

Speaking of women and their portrayal in the media… The image below ran with Brinkley’s piece. It does nothing to improve matters or my impression of who’s the boss on Morning Joe and what Brzezinski’s role is actually meant to be. She’s a smart woman – why does she have to pose like that?


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