The pros and cons of TV shows that tackle life in — or after — a pandemic

Whilst Prince Amponsah nabbed a aiding position in HBO’s Station 11, the Toronto-born actor knew that the publish-apocalyptic series set within the aftermath of an endemic can be a difficult promote for a few. 

The show used to be adapted from a wildly successful 2014 novel through B.C.-born novelist Emily St. John Mandel, a few future society that used to be ravaged through an endemic-like disease two decades previous. While technology has been rendered all however obsolete, a traveling theatre group plays Shakespeare for survivors, demonstrating the price and that means that artwork can convey in periods of depression. 

“i do know a lot of individuals that had been lovely hesitant in announcing, ‘I’m undecided if i really need to watch this, you already know, in line with the things that we are … still coping with lately in real life,'” Amponsah instructed CBC News. 

10 Canadians who helped make Yellowjackets and Station 11 the zeitgeist shows of this extraordinary second

An increasing number of TELEVISION displays are trying to handle the elephant within the room: Does the COVID-19 pandemic exist of their universe or no longer? Some programming executives are shunning COVID-related content, even as others to find creative techniques to address the pandemic, both right away and indirectly.

‘A post-apocalyptic display about pleasure’

within the case of Station 11, despite a gritty first episode, it’s in the long run a hopeful tale, said Amponsah.

“I’m happy that people are taking the time to invest in the story and the result of the wish that it form of tries to painting,” he stated.

And the show’s time soar saves it from lingering too long on how things fell aside.

“i believe the reason a few individuals are in a position to observe Station Eleven at this time is that it abstracts the apocalypse; it most commonly occurs off display,” mentioned Emily VanDerWerff, a TV critic for U.S. information website online Vox. “that gives us space to imagine our personal version of it.”

Ahead Of it began airing in December 2021, a TELEVISION variation of the novel had been in building at WarnerMedia — HBO’s determine corporate — for 2-and-a-part years. The collection began filming in January 2020 and was once placed on hang whilst the pandemic began months later. A year passed, and the display started capturing once more in February 2021. 

WATCH | The trailer for HBO Max series Station Eleven:

While requested if the studio had considered nixxing the display in gentle of the pandemic, writer Patrick Sommerville advised Rolling Stone magazine it was by no means a attention. 

the first episodes “were following via on the premise we had pitched, which used to be a post-apocalyptic show approximately joy,” Somerville mentioned. 

“We had just enough evidence of idea that there has been a sense that Station 11 wasn’t leaning into depression, precisely. It used to be filtering terror out of the equation, to make our executives and the studio feel secure that each time lets rise up and working once more, this would be a worthy mission to maintain pursuing.”

WATCH | The trailer for Netflix series Candy Enamel:

Like Station Eleven, Netflix’s submit-apocalyptic show Candy Tooth started construction years pre-pandemic and was once launched in 2021. Adapted from a Surprise comic e book series, Candy Enamel is about in a future global the place an endemic has resulted in the life of a hybrid human-animal species, widely hunted by means of those who believe they led to the catastrophic event. 

Its creators have said that they sought to make the display a happy hit — and they did. Light and comic, Candy Teeth was a fixture on Netflix’s Most Sensible 10 list all through its first weeks on the streamer, with target audience analysis company Nielsen reporting that the series clocked 1.434 billion streamed mins between June 6 and THIRTEEN.

Some TELEVISION displays take on COVID straight away, others demur

CBC TELEVISION’s drama The Coroner had a COVID-similar episode a few private support employee in a long-term care home in the course of the pandemic. (Lindsay Sarazin)

Some shows have addressed COVID-19 right away. Genre shows, specifically, might be more vulnerable than others.

ABC hospital drama Grey’s Anatomy had a COVID-19-themed seventeenth season in which its lead personality, Meredith Grey, used to be in crucial condition after catching the virus. NBC’s Superstore, about a team of staff who work at a large field retailer, excited about COVID-19 in its 6th season during the lens of very important workers. And CBC’s The Coroner, a few woman who investigates suspicious deaths in Toronto, aired an episode a few private reinforce employee in a long-term care house all over COVID-19. 

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However a few content material producers say they have avoided plugging COVID-19 into their tv slate in an effort to keep the programming timeless.

“Somewhat in truth, we try to tell our stories through a lens so they can have a bit bit of an evergreen feel to it,” mentioned Craig Junner, vice chairman of programming at Blue Ant Media in Toronto.

The pros and cons of TV shows that tackle life in — or after — a pandemic

Craig Junner, the vice president of programming at Blue Ant Media, says the broadcasting corporate has tried to maintain its content material evergreen in the course of the pandemic and has seen audiences gravitate to escapism. (Marc Duchemin)

For essentially the most section, amongst Blue Ant Media’s channels like Cottage Existence, BBC Earth and Love Nature, target market personal tastes have trended towards escapism during the remaining years. Channels airing content material about commute, nature and lifestyle “have in point of fact performed relatively neatly throughout the pandemic,” Junner said.

Montreal screenwriter Patrick Lowe says that he would possibly not be developing any collection that instantly address COVID-19 for production corporate Encore Spectacle, where he is the director of building and a tv content material manufacturer.

The pros and cons of TV shows that tackle life in — or after — a pandemic

Patrick Lowe is the director of construction and a content producer at French Canadian production company Encore Spectacle. Lowe says that he may not commission presentations that in an instant reference the COVID-19 pandemic because it will date them for future audiences. (CBC)

the principle reason he chooses not to accomplish that, he mentioned, is for the reason that time between the advance and airing of a show can take years. Long Run audiences would possibly song in and instantly really feel that the work is dated, he mentioned. 

If we’re nonetheless in a deadly disease in three years, “I Am pretty certain it would possibly not be exactly the same thing,” Lowe explained. “People shouldn’t have the same relationship with masks, the similar relationship with restrictions … so how do I put it in my script? i do not recognise.”

‘Needless To Say when we needed to legally stand 6 ft. apart?’

The pros and cons of TV shows that tackle life in — or after — a pandemic

Sarah Jessica Parker stars as Carrie Bradshaw in And Just Like That, the reboot of Sex and town. within the first episode, the new series references COVID-19 in earlier demanding, permitting brunches and cocktails in a post-pandemic world. (Bell Media/HBO)

Lowe issues to Sex and the town reboot And Just Like That as a display that swept the pandemic out of the way in which with a single line: “Take Into Account That after we needed to legally stand six ft apart?” brought by means of Carrie Bradshaw right through an early scene. In View That then, the show has made a few references to COVID-19 in past nerve-racking. 

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Different displays mentioned it early and not once more, like HBO’s Sex Lives Of Faculty Girls and NBC’s Mr. Mayor, which jokes that the pandemic ended when “Dolly Parton purchased everyone the vaccine.” Audience recognize, now, that issues are not that easy — the road is bittersweet to an target audience with the ease of hindsight. 

But that show of desire may also be a comfort to audience. Amponsah says that working on Station Eleven throughout COVID-19 has made him think forward to what a publish-pandemic long term might seem like.

“We were looking to clutch what it means not to just survive, but to thrive … and to seek out happiness and lifestyles again in what you find essential as a human to assist you to maintain present, to keep residing.”

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