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TV Critic’s Corner

‘Loudest Voice’ is worth a shout-out for news about Fox

Russell Crowe as Roger Ailes in the Showtime miniseries “The Loudest Voice.”
Russell Crowe as Roger Ailes in the Showtime miniseries “The Loudest Voice.”(JoJo Whilden/Showtime)

Showtime’s miniseries “The Loudest Voice” finished up on Sunday, and I’m really glad I watched it. The parts about the inception of Fox News are valuable, as we get to see Roger Ailes, powerfully played by Russell Crowe, essentially build a media outlet to milk fears and exploit prejudices. When we analyze the current state of politics, a time when the president of the United States accuses the Clintons of involvement in the death of Jeffrey Epstein in order to fan his base, the story of Fox News is endlessly relevant.

Once Ailes is pushed out of the fold in the finale, for his abuse of women, you realize that it doesn’t really matter whether Ailes is still employed. The monster is already on the loose, with or without him. In an interesting coincidence, “The Loudest Voice” finished on the night “Succession” returned for season 2, with its portrayal of a screwed-up media family that looks a lot like the Murdochs.

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The material about Ailes’s abuse in the seven episodes is less successful that the creation of Fox; the scenes of Ailes taking advantage of those who worked for him are overbaked and, at times, oddly surrealistic. I’m not sure those moments when he is hurting someone are the best ones to hyperstylize. Also, some of the prosthetics are poorly done, so that you never really feel as though you’re watching Ailes’s wife, Beth, so much as a plastic facsimile. But still, it’s a fascinating miniseries.

After the finale, Alex Metcalf, the showrunner of the miniseries, told the Hollywood Reporter that there would not be a second season. “In a few years, you could do the Fox News sequel, but that story is still being told — the Fox News relationship with Trump and what happens with that,” he said. “But we won’t know how that ends for a little while.”

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Matthew Gilbert can be reached at gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.