Jon Stewart’s New Apple TV + Series: The Old Man Yells at the Cloud, but hits the nail on the head

Jon Stewart is back on TV to set some things on fire.
Enlarge / Jon Stewart is back on TV to set some things on fire.

Apple TV + / Busboy

In Jon Stewart’s first conversation with an Apple TV + studio audience, he offers a curious farewell; in fact, he argues against the point of your new multi-million dollar hosting contract. “You will probably only see added clips from” this first episode of The problem with Jon Stewarthe says, instead of subscribing to Apple TV +. It’s a bit meandering, followed by a joke about hacking episodes of Ted lasso.

If anyone can introduce themselves to a new streaming service and make a joke at the expense of subscriptions, it’s probably Stewart. Online video sharing, and we’re talking about the renegade guy, uploaded by fans and shared freely, contributed greatly to The daily showhuge cultural footprint before Stewart left that show behind in 2015. And as you may have noticed, the television landscape has changed dramatically since then. These days, all the major gamers are throwing things on the video streaming wall to see what sticks (or, in the case of Quibi last year, which was not).

So after six years off the “fake news” desk, what path does Stewart and Apple’s new production take? Your aforementioned joke may suggest a series that is meant to be shared and remixed into little clips, but The problem It comes with a different modus operandi: empathy, not sound bites, and patience, not pulverization. You can arguably mine some custom-made zingers for quick swipes on a service like TikTok, but Stewart seems more interested in enjoying the full 44 minutes of each episode. As a result, this fake news innovator spends the runtime of his new series pulling the “fake” out of his reputation, to hell with expectations.

Smooth cornering of charged conversations

Jon Stewart jokes in the first episode about
Enlarge / Jon Stewart jokes in the first episode about “looking like is now.”

Apple TV + / Busboy

At some point today, if not already, the pilot episode of the series will be released and revolves around US veterans. In particular, it directly focuses on the aggravating problem of “combustion wells” and how it appears. the US decision to dispose of war debris via acreage burning sites (reportedly a mix of human flesh, toxic waste, and other garbage). having caused cancer in veterinarians who had traveled through Afghanistan and Iraq. The second episode of the series, which arrives in two weeks but which I have also watched, focuses on the general theme of “freedom” and veers in a few directions, ranging from American anti-vaccines to how free speech it is threatened all over the world.

Neither begins with a current headline monologue, and neither does it include talks with comedians pretending to be “senior correspondents.” Though both episodes begin with a handful of banter, often at Stewart’s expense, it doesn’t take long for him to adjust to his seeming dream role: a newscaster of the caliber of Dan Rather who runs a local bar news show. The F-bombs and the pointy drops of “Are you # $ # $ kidding me?” They bookmark his report-filled breakdowns on any topic at hand, and he’s happy to let the anger boil over when he talks about aggrieved veterans, a topic that has been at the forefront. and focus on the public eye from testify on Capitol Hill about the 9/11 First Responders Bill.

Both episodes include a similar formula: Stewart opens alone at his desk to break down a story, comment on news clips, and toggle between pranks and rants. Then pre-filmed skits pop up during one or two fake commercial breaks. And finally, Stewart hosts a roundtable panel with at least three interviewees, where he is careful to divide the difference between allowing guests to open up about their experience and interrupting to move the conversation forward. The latter is easily the best part in this gestation period of the first series, and it plays out almost exactly as you would expect from someone who previously criticized Crossfire and Fox News an extracurricular hobby. Any American who has ever tuned in to overseas cable news panel discussions and thought, “Oh, this isn’t horrible” will appreciate Stewart’s gentle cornering of these charged conversations.

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