They are slowly trickling in. The shows that have taken a break due to natural season breaks and due to Covid as well. As I watch these, it’s interesting to see how they are handling the Covid culture we are all facing in real life.
Now, I’m not a TV critic, and I don’t watch every scripted show. But of the few I’ve observed, it is interesting.
Some shows are dealing with the election and unrest. Especially police based shows. But that is a different issue, I am more looking at dealing with the virus and how it’s impacting the way we live.
Medical dramas are taking their special point of view. Even the first responder based shows have touched on it. Some like Station 19 are dealing with the initial stages as the onset of the pandemic sent the nation into a frenzy. So far, I’ve seen little political punches thrown. They did deal with shortages, the seriousness, and the stress faced by those in the medical profession.
One show, NCIS, New Orleans has shown it a bit more realistically … masks (and shortage of masks early on) are seen everywhere, people keeping social distance until results of test return, drive-by graduation parades, restaurants shut down, lives lost to the virus, people dealing with unemployment. I think they dealt with the issue better than some news outlets. Interestingly, the other two NCIS series have not yet addressed the impact.
I’ve read that This is Us has taken the issue seriously in its timeline.
Some shows have special ‘stand alone’ stories that hit the issues head on. All Rise was one of the first with the Judge presiding over a trail through FaceTime, Zoom, etc. South Park had a ‘Pandemic Special’ that had the cast (all animated) head back to school in masks, post-lockdown.
One twist was seen in Bull. (Spoiler alert ahead, skip this paragraph if you don’t want to read it.) In Bull, you intertwined the made up reality of every TV show, a dream reality you don’t even know you’re in, and real life reality … all in a one hour show. You had to pay attention to know exactly what was actually being addressed. And it ended with the cast, as themselves, telling the viewing audience they missed us. Aw, a tear rolls down my cheek.
So is it better they address the issue? Should they portray life as normal? I mean, many watch these shows as an escape, a momentary hope that life will return to normal, whatever normal is. And I not sure we will ever return to normal.
People show up at church sometimes wanting the same type of results. For a couple hours a week, they want to escape from their ‘normal’ lives and they desire a time to be encouraged, and maybe even just entertained.
But church isn’t TV. If done right (Biblically), church is the reality. We deal with pain, anxiety, frustrations, fears, loss, struggles … as well as joys, celebrations, purpose, and hope. The reality is God is still on the throne, not the economy, the politicians, nor even the doctors. The reality is He offers peace in the storm, a peace that people won’t understand if they don’t know Jesus. A peace that transcends the present and focuses on the eternal.
I may like to escape to TV at times, but I never want to forget the ultimate reality … there is a God and nothing will ever dethrone Him, confuse Him, catch Him off guard, or shake Him. And His love for me, and you, will always be there.
Of that … I am certain.