In the second episode of the 2018 reboot of CBS’s Murphy Brown, “I (Don’t) Heart Huckabee,” Murphy reveals that she is banned from the White House press room after her recent Twitter battle with Donald Trump. In a morning show meetup with Murphy, Corky, Frank, and Miles after work at Phil’s, Avery taunts Murphy with a press pass of his own, recently acquired, and an in with White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders.
One of the highlights of the episode is the flirtation between Avery Brown and Huckabee-Sanders. A series of cut-scenes show the press secretary’s favor for Avery and we see her less as the evil monster mouthpiece of the Trump administration and more as a woman who isn’t afraid to shoot her shot from the podium. In the same conversation with Avery, about the press secretary, Miles confesses to fantasies about Huckabee-Sanders that focus on her femininity in a mildly weird but tasteful way. It feels friendly, like the two sides of our nation don’t want to tear each other apart for a few minutes. (Don’t get comfortable. Murphy is coming for her by the end of the episode.)
Before the press briefing takes place, we meet another one of Murphy’s assistant’s – I call this one Tequilla Sunrise – and jokes are made about Watergate that millennials will not understand. Murphy in the Morning techie Pat shows off his sassy side and there is even a Tinder joke for the baby boomer crowd.
At the end of the episode there is an undercover attempt to get Murphy into the press briefing and in the end she has her own moment with Huckabee-Sanders where she takes a stand against the anti-media rhetoric of the current administration.
The episode is funny and socially relevant, but I find myself wondering when Murphy Brown will get its edge back. Whatever the missing element, I hope the show finds it in stride as the season progresses. In case you’re wondering, my mom didn’t like the ending. No apologies.
Until then, it’s still fun and current and seems ready to engage the powers that be in dialogue about the absence of truth and the morality of anti-media propaganda. Come back next week for a review of season eleven, episode three – “Hashtag MurphyToo.”