Should TV shows address the pandemic when they return?

Have this pandemic to you!

The past 18 months have been incredibly tough for people all over the world, but things are getting better. Just last week I saw my family for the first time since 2019 and vaccines are slowly rolling out around the world.

When the TV writers’ rooms come back together, the big question for everyone will be the same: How do we deal with the pandemic?

No, I’m not talking about the drugs The cable, I’m talking about the COVID-19 pandemic that ruined our 2020. Showrunners and networks are all trying to figure out whether the characters should have been locked up in their shows for the whole of 2020 or maybe they should just never mention it.

Still, the lockdown was such a significant moment in our lives. It has changed and shaped many different people, including a generation of young people who have long been cut off from normalcy.

Recently, the Los Angeles Times sat down with a few people who work on television to find out how they are handling this achievement.

Courtney Lilly, showrunner for Black-ish, said: “We knew that we had to comment and address this somehow. We figured we’d be somewhere else in September or October – but then it went viral again in December and we were negatively surprised. We were disappointed that something we did months ago is still relevant – actually too relevant. ”

So how do you approach a world that is so relevant? A lot has to do with the world of the show you are in.

Does it take place in the here and now or is it more of a fantasy? Think of some like the world of Law & Order. They take pride in telling stories that happen in our world. So COVID would likely exist on this show.

Law & Order: Organized Crime Showrunner Ilene Chaiken said: “You have to calibrate how much is too much. Even if we didn’t tell a story about COVID, [the virus] would still exist in the broadcast. We are anchored in the real world, the world of current events. “

Think of a show that ended this year Supermarket, and how they felt obliged to tell COVID stories. After all, the people who inspired their show deal with this stuff every day. E.Executive producers Gabe Miller and Jonathan Green knew they owed so much honesty to the story.

“One benefit is that we’re in a store, not a hospital, so we can study what COVID means for these people’s working lives without seeing the worst side of the virus,” Miller said. “We could also present topics such as how companies present themselves as caring for their employees and celebrate people like our characters as heroes – but not protect them.”

But what about medical shows? Grey’s Anatomy Showrunner Krista Vernoff said, “The news and social media offer a constant barrage of pain that can make us numb and depressed. What we did was the opportunity to focus on a story, character, win or loss, to give you time and permission to feel it. ”

One of the most positive depictions of the struggle comes from Apple TV‘s Mythical Quest. This comedy took the pandemic with sincere and emotional looks at the importance of the breakup. Creator / star Rob McElhenney said: “We wanted to have an optimistic future. We literally don’t say COVID the whole thing [second] Season. We thought if we were projecting into a future where we left everything behind, we would do so [return-to-work] Follow and close the door on this. “

There are of course many different opinions about how and when to deal with it. It’s hard because I think so many viewers want to get away from the tragedy, but with COVID changing so many of us, it’s hard to think about how it wouldn’t have affected the characters on our shows.

As a viewer, I just hope that we don’t deal with the topic forever. When that ends and we’re done with masks, I think we can also see the worlds normalize on our TV shows. There really isn’t a right answer, but it feels good to be almost back to normal and worry about things like that, and not so much about the pandemic.

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