New television shows should not be about COVID-19


Marco Milani


This fall, NBC and Netflix announced two comedy programs based on the Corona era. NBC has premiered “Connecting”, and “Social Distance” started streaming on Netflix this October. Should networks and streaming services create programs based on the pandemic? With what is going on in the world today everywhere you look, the subject has been the pandemic, the virus itself, and the politics surrounding it.

Although it is great to keep track of what is happening in the world, there comes a time when you’d like to take a breath and head into a different world, and that is when television comes in handy.

Scripted television is meant to drag you into its reality and distract you for 20 to 40 minutes per episode. Right now, the world is nowhere near perfect, and people do not have to be reminded every time you get freetime. People’s leisure time should not be taken for granted — especially now, when some people are working more than ever, and some are more stressed than others. When someone gets that time off, to unwind and forget the world, that person probably wants to watch something completely different.

NBC and Netflix are not the first ones to create these scripted series that are filmed with webcams. Over the summer, Freeform aired the four-episode series “Love in the Time of Corona”. This show had already been greenlit by March — the month during which quarantine began in the United States. We were not even a month in, and already shows were ready to come out and remind us of the harsh realities. After more than half a year of watching and listening to everything via the internet, can we at least have television feel normal, rather than feeling like more Zoom calls?

We go through so many Zoom meetings for so many purposes, and there comes a time when it gets tiring, and you want to watch something normal — not pixelated people with low-quality video and sounds. We want to see that 4k high resolution. That being said, we must acknowledge that the filming of some shows and movies was shut down due to the pandemic, and keeping the people involved as safe as possible comes before all else.

As people wait for the releases of shows that they had been looking forward to but that got postponed, there’s already an endless amount of content out there, and with this free time, new interest in entertainment can be developed.