Monday, October 1, 2018

Murphy Brown - Fake News

Given the political divide and a growing trend in television to reboot every series possible, it makes sense that CBS would look to bring back Murphy Brown. Rather than a reboot, CBS decided to bring back the entire cast of the original show (with the exception of Charles Kimbrough who doesn't appear in this episode but will make appearances this season). After years of being off the air Murphy Brown (Candice Bergen) returns to a cable network with her pals Frank (Joe Regalbuto), Corky (Faith Ford), and Miles (Grant Shaud). New faces include Murphy's son (Jake McDorman) hosting a competing show during the same timeslot and Tyne Daly stepping in for the departed Pat Corley to run Phil's.

Murphy Brown's return to television is a bit of a hit-and-miss. While Trump, the Republican Congress, and Fox News all seem like the perfect punching bags for Murphy, the show hedges its bets a bit in the first episode by having Murphy choose to host a news program without a political agenda (while lobbing extremely soft punches at right wing television). The writing (like some of the actors) feels a bit tired and unsure of itself. The choice to refer to Wolf News (rather than Fox News) is a good example of the show going at half-speed. While things pick up in the final segment with Murphy getting into a Twitter fight with President Trump, finally pumping a little life into the nostaglic journey otherwise notable only for Murphy's distrust and misunderstanding of modern technology, other elements seem awkward at best (such as Hillary Clinton showing up as a potential secretary in one of the most blatant uses of stunt casting I can remember).

No comments: