In this somewhat blighted Trump-ian age of “fake news”, opinion as fact and fact as opinion, we have become ever more dependent on and in need of people, particularly journalists and decision-makers who will stand up and tell it like it is even in the face of a barrage of often brazen illogically-relenting messaging.
People like CNN’s Jim Acosta and Dan Rather, and of course, Murphy Brown, were she real … what am I saying? She is real, or at least feels that way, a fearless journalist played by the incomparable Candice Bergen for 10 years between 1988 and 1998 who knew the rich and powerful but never hesitated to hold them to account.
If ever a time needed someone like that it is now and thankfully, as part of a wave of often damn good Nostalgia TV which includes the newly-reanimated Will & Grace, Murphy is indeed back, along with Corky Sherwood (Faith Ford), Frank Fontana (Joe Regalbuto) and Miles Silverberg (Grant Shaud), and thankfully creator/writer Diane English and, oh happy days, six of the original writers.
The TV landscape, along with society generally, has changed dramatically and it’s not just all those MAGA devotees muddying the collectively-factual waters as this synopsis reveals rather beautifully:
“Back in the game after a brief retirement, and faced with a world of 24-hour cable, social media, “fake news” and a vastly different political climate, Murphy is determined to draw the line between good television and honest reporting, proving that the world needs Murphy Brown now more than ever.
“Amid a divided nation, chaotic national discourse and rampant attacks on the press, Murphy decides to return to the airwaves with her biting take on current events on the CNC cable network’s morning news program, “Murphy in the Morning,” for which she recruits her “FYI” team: lifestyle reporter Corky Sherwood, investigative journalist Frank Fontana, and her former wunderkind news producer Miles Silverberg.” (Spoiler TV)
But not only is the program different, but so are some of the people, familiar faces nowithstanding:
“Joining them is social media director Pat Patel, who is tasked with bringing Murphy and the team into the 21st century. Murphy’s millennial son, Avery, shares his mother’s competitive spirit and quick wit and is following in her journalistic footsteps with his own new show as the liberal voice on the competing, conservative-leaning Wolf Network. The team still lets off steam at Phil’s Bar, now run by his sister, Phyllis.” (Spoiler TV)
Swimming in a volubly fluid sea of Twitter and Facebook pontificating, a fractured public consciousness and shrunken attention spans, and tackling the current Trump malaise on a range of issues, Murphy has her work cut out for her but you know what? I have a feeling someone of Murphy’s tenacity and strength of opinion is going to do just fine. (Just for the record, I am a huge fan, considering the show one of the best sitcoms ever.)
It’s the other people (including perhaps some unwitting assistants?) you should be worried about when Murphy Brown returns, to my great excitement, for a much-delayed 11th season, on Thursday 27 September at 9.30 pm on the CBS (international distributors TBA).