Johns Hopkins recently discovered that the COVID-19 pandemic currently “kills an American every 107 seconds.”
But as the virus enters this brutal second wave, some creatives are already moving to profit off the latest American tragedy. It remains to be seen whether Grey’s Anatomy and This Is Us will strike the right tone while implementing the pandemic into their scripts, but from blockbuster movies to stand alone TV shows, a lot of people are creating COVID content from scratch.
So far, all of it has been…bad. Here is the worst COVID content to come out so far.
The issues with Songbird should come as no surprise to anyone. The backlash came down like a hammer once Michael Bay debuted the trailer for the political thriller over the summer.
COVID-19 has mutated to COVID-23, and now it attacks your brain, asthe U.S. remains in its fourth year of lockdown. The Department of Sanitation is the film’s antagonists, as they’re seen in the tone-deaf trailer kicking down doors and kidnapping infected Americans and sending them to government authorized “Quarantine Camps.” They’re led by some long-haired creepy doctor who for some reason doesn’t wear a mask.
The film has been dismissed as being “completely out of touch” due to its massive scientific inaccuracies and overall timing. Many have gone as far as to accuse Michael Bay of trying to directly make a profit off this brutal pandemic.
Love In The Time of Corona
The premise of a quarantine love story should also come as a surprise to no one, as the pandemic has all but erased casual dating for the foreseeable future and significantly strengthened the sex life of many couples stuck at home together.
But the problem with Love in the Time of Corona and COVID-related love stories in general is that we’re still very much living through it, and the Freeform miniseries offers insufferably surface-level characters and cliche quarantine anecdotes as a result.
The series is also only four episodes long, making for a story that lacks the depth that is required when discussing relationships during a pandemic. The concept of a series filmed in quarantine is cool, but I found myself far more invested in the behind the scenes camera robots than I am in these weak caricatures.
Filmed entirely through a zoom group chat, this on-the-nose ensemble comedy is insufferable from the format alone. Who asked for a show like this?
Zoom calls will forever live in infamy and have led to some of the most uncomfortable exchanges in human history. In that respect, it clearly is the least appealing setting for a full-fledged sitcom. The stories exchanged are one dimensional and bland, and the jokes are monotonous.
Untitled Adam McKay Project
Successions‘ Adam McKay recently announced that he is already working on a scripted drama for HBO surrounding the “race to develop a vaccine for COVID-19″– a race that isn’t even remotely close to over yet. The series will adapt a not even released nonfiction book, The First Shot by Brendan Borell, which he’s said is about “the global coronavirus vaccine race” and “the companies that are risking it all to win it.”
At a time when many Americans aren’t even comfortable with taking a vaccine, this idea seems half-baked at best and almost destined to miss.
The most problematic COVID content to be released so far, this controversial French documentary plays into one of the leading conspiracy theories surrounding the virus: that the French government lied about COVID-19’s severity in order to control the public.
The documentary interviews members of the public, as well as former health minister Philippe Douste-Blazy, who later distanced himself from the project. The film has been reviewed and debunked by fact-checkers: “Hold Up takes the well-known inconsistencies of the global response to the virus–such as when the French government initially provided conflicting information surrounding the use of masks–and uses them to propel volatile narratives and, at times, lies.”
Coastal Elites is another tone-deaf lighthearted satire. How Jay Roach snagged such an amazing cast is shocking considering how naive the final product is. Starring Bette Midler, Dan Levy, Issa Rae, Kaitlyn Dever, and Sarah Paulson, these five lifeless characters live in either New York or Los Angeles amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Together, they’re meant to portray the various problematic shades of liberalism. The film was released a mere two weeks before the election, a stretch of time that will surely be remembered as one of the most stressful times in recent American history.
The film is satire at a time when satirizing our collective grief borders on emotionally dismissive. There are jokes made about how dumb Ivanka Trump is, about the notoriety of red MAGA hats, and about COVID.
The intention of Coastal Elites is no doubt to “lighten the mood” and showcase how silly our division is. But released at the tensest moment in American history, telling Americans to calm down is the last thing Coastal Elites should have said.