The worst TV renderings of the COVID-19 pandemic

By | December 19, 2020
The worst TV renderings of the COVID-19 pandemic

The worst TV renderings of the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic threw your complete world into disarray — and it additionally gave TV a novel problem: How ought to leisure deal with “the brand new regular?” 

In 2020, exhibits grappled with the query of whether or not it’s higher to depict our present actuality of social distancing and mask-wearing — or to gloss over it for the sake of escapism. Some dealt with it higher than others. 

Right here, probably the most “meh” pandemic renditions on the small display this 12 months.

“Gray’s Anatomy” (ABC)

The long-running medical drama has dug into coronavirus, giving it to steer Meredith Gray (Ellen Pompeo). By means of her COVID-induced goals, the present has introduced again beloved lifeless characters from previous seasons, together with Derek Shepard a okay a McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey) and George (T.R. Knight). It’s been surprising and emotional to see them again on the present — however dream sequences with lifeless characters are additionally high-cheese cleaning soap opera territory. 

“The Good Physician” (ABC)

Paige Spara and Freddie Highmore are seemingly post-pandemic in "The Good Doctor" this season.
Paige Spara and Freddie Highmore are seemingly post-pandemic in “The Good Physician” this season.
ABC through Getty Pictures

The medical drama starring Freddie Highmore took one of many more unusual approaches to the pandemic, skipping previous it to a time when it’s already over. (Highmore even delivered an onscreen message concerning the episode symbolizing hope for a mask-less future.) It’s a pleasant wish-fulfillment, but additionally jarring, since this isn’t presupposed to be a sci-fi collection. The present would have been higher off not together with the virus in any respect than taking a leap into the unknown future. 

“Superstore” (NBC)

The employees of fictional "Superstore" Cloud 9 incorporated masks and social-distancing — to a point.
The staff of fictional “Superstore” Cloud 9 included masks and social distancing — to some extent.
Greg Gayne/NBC

“Superstore” kicked off its sixth and last season deep within the pandemic, with depictions of Cloud 9 staff sporting masks and social distancing. After a number of episodes, nonetheless, it largely backed off with just some nods to it right here and there. On one hand it is sensible — the present isn’t concerning the pandemic, in any case. However what’s the purpose of an in-between portrayal? It additionally feels irresponsible. Whereas it is sensible to need to present the actors’ faces, inconsistent mask-wearing isn’t good messaging. 

“Connecting…” (NBC)

Jill Knox as Michelle, Keith Powell as Garret in "Connecting..."
Jill Knox as Michelle, Keith Powell as Garret in “Connecting…”
NBC

There was nothing inaccurate or objectionable about how “Connecting” portrayed the pandemic. The complete premise of the collection was born from it: a gaggle of mates staying in contact through video chat. The issue was that “Connecting” was the last word “who requested for this?” When audiences are within the thick of a tense state of affairs themselves — having to depend on video chat to see mates or household — watching it play out onscreen is concurrently uninteresting and miserable. It didn’t assist that the solid was crammed with unknowns, both. NBC axed the present after one season. 

“Love within the Time of Corona,” Freeform

Tommy Dorfman and Rainey Qualley in a scene from the four-part series "Love in the Time of Corona."
Tommy Dorfman and Rainey Qualley in a scene from the four-part collection “Love within the Time of Corona.”
Freeform

This miniseries starring Leslie Odom Jr. and his spouse Nicolette Robinson was a “Love Truly” for 2020; leaping round between totally different {couples} in numerous situations. It was too middling to stay as much as its grandiose title and too rooted in present anxieties to offer any actual sense of consolation or feel-good TV it was clearly aiming for. 

“All Rise” (CBS)

Simone Missick portrays Lola Carmichael in "All Rise."
Simone Missick portrays Choose Lola Carmichael in “All Rise.”
CBS

Within the authorized drama’s episode “Dancing at Los Angeles,” Choose Lola Carmichael (Simone Missick) presided over a trial performed through video chat. It was a powerful technical feat, however the behind-the-scenes side of how the solid and crew cobbled it collectively remotely was extra riveting than the episode. 

“Social Distance” (Netflix)

Grammy-winner Danielle Brooks in "Social Distance."
Grammy winner Danielle Brooks in “Social Distance.”
©Netflix/Everett Assortment

This anthology collection depicted the primary few months of the pandemic — together with episodes with bickering {couples}, a digital funeral and on-line help teams. The solid was stable (Mike Colter, Asante Blackk) and the subject material was related. It’s simply onerous to drum up any profound insights a few scenario that you simply’re in the midst of. This present might need been welcome in a decade or two, however for now add it to the record of “who requested for this proper now?” programming. 

“Shameless,” Showtime 

Christian Isaiah as Liam Gallagher in "Shameless."
Christian Isaiah as Liam Gallagher in “Shameless.”
SHOWTIME

The eleventh and last season of the dramedy is together with the pandemic largely by digging into its financial ramifications on the Gallagher household. On one hand, the scrappy and egocentric Gallaghers make for apt topics (i.e., Debbie not sporting a masks is reflective of her character). However, “Shameless” has by no means been capable of determine whether or not it’s a gritty drama or a zany comedy, and the pandemic isn’t an amazing topic to attempt to steadiness that. To date in its last season, the principle affect is Frank (William H. Macy) entering into dealing medicine. It’s hardly totally different from every other plotline he’s ever had. 

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