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Meet You on the Other Side: TV After the Pandemic

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We all know that everyone's health and well-being are the most important thing right now, and we're all doing what we can to act responsibly and get through this crisis. But this is also a TV-and-other-pop-culture forum, and we've been seeing the affect that COVID-19 is having on entertainment as well. All our shows have shut down production, air dates are being postponed, and actors we love have shared their experiences with the virus on social media.

Recently, I've been thinking about what's going to happen with TV when this is all over, whatever "over" even looks like. Not just when it'll be safe for my favorite shows to resume filming again, but also how shows might address the COVID-19 pandemic whenever the next season is able to start. The article from Vulture features ruminations on the subject from 37 different TV writers (of both current and past shows,) pondering what it would look like if they "wrote a coronavirus episode," and that got me thinking about the shows I watch.

  • Even though it's not a favorite show of mine, I find myself most curious about what a Black-ish "coronavirus episode" would look like. Bo is a doctor, Pops and Ruby are both older, and Dre has diabetes. What would the Johnsons be going through at this time? And while their financial stability would likely shield them from some of the racial disparities with the virus, I don't doubt that show would cover how COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting Black communities.
  • On Doctor Who, the Doctor and her companions are currently separated, with the companions being recently dropped off at home. When the Doctor gets back to them, will it be after all this? How will they feel about having been "left" on Earth on the eve of a pandemic? Would their experiences have any affect their approach to traveling in time and space?
  • I know they don't necessarily take place in "our" world, but I wonder about superhero shows too. How does a superhero help in a pandemic? Would the Flash be making supply runs to hospitals? How do you keep your city safe when you're sheltering in place? Supergirl would probably be invulnerable, but would other aliens in National City be susceptible to the virus, and how might it affect them differently?
  • Of all the canceled shows I've watched, the one I'd be most interested in right now is Scrubs. They really knew how to hit hard with the emotional honesty, and I can't even fully picture the kind of episode they could make of the doctors at Sacred Heart straining and stretching to keep patients alive amid the crisis, trying to keep each other going on the front lines.

Is anyone else imagining what characters on any of their favorite shows would be going through right now? Share about it here.

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I've been wondering if and how 9-1-1, Station 19 and Grey's Anatomy will address CV19 this next season. 

I don't think the subject can be avoided. And while Grey's is about surgeons, the others are first responders. It would feel weird for the topic not to come up. Like if Law and Order had ignored 9/11 back in the day.

And I wonder how e.r *would* have covered the virus.

Edited by anna0852
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Is this the thread where we create our own COVID-19 episode? Because I had the idea to make that thread but never got around to it...and I have several ideas for prospective episodes, involving past and present shows.

I'll close by saying I'm sure within the next few years just about every TV show and movie will reference COVID-19 in some way (it will make for some great backstories, I assure you), and we'll have a deluge of episodes that deal with some kind of pandemic, if not COVID-19 itself. New Amsterdam was going to do a flu-based episode this past season before it was pulled for fear it would be in bad taste- no doubt they'll rework it to make it about COVID-19.

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55 minutes ago, anna0852 said:

I've been wondering if and how 9-1-1, Station 19 and Grey's Anatomy will address CV19 this next season. 

I think it'd be cool for all the medical shows and such, if they're going to touch on this, to do an episode that highlights and praises the efforts of all the doctors and nurses who worked so hard to help people during this time. Maybe they're hosting a benefit or doing a "Celebrate the Doctors/Nurses Day" or participating in some kind of ceremony for them or something like that. And they could also pay some kind of tribute to those who died trying to help others as well.

Or, if some real life doctors and nurses gave the okay, they could use their real life stories as the basis for an episode highlighting and discussing all the struggles they dealt with. 

It will be interesting to see how non-medical shows deal with all of this, too, though, yes. Even if they don't make a big storyline out of it or anything, at the very least, they'll likely make a brief mention of it. 

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2 minutes ago, Annber03 said:

Or, if some real life doctors and nurses gave the okay, they could use their real life stories as the basis for an episode highlighting and discussing all the struggles they dealt with. 

IIRC, years ago, China Beach had an episode that consisted of nurses and others stationed in  Viet Nam talk about their experiences during the war. It was very moving. An episode with actual doctors and nurses talking about their experiences would be equally valuable today.

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With so many talk and news shows now becoming essentially one-person YouTube vlogs coming from  the hosts' socially distant homes in these times, I wonder what proportion will decide that  the public is willing to watch these trimmed down deals AND that they're drastically cheaper to produce than their pre-affliction  multi-camera, packed set (and sometimes packed studio audience) productions and wind up KEEPING their shows this way after we've made it to the other side!  Time will definitely tell here!

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13 minutes ago, Blergh said:

With so many talk and news shows now becoming essentially one-person YouTube vlogs coming from  the hosts' socially distant homes in these times, I wonder what proportion will decide that  the public is willing to watch these trimmed down deals AND that they're drastically cheaper to produce than their pre-affliction  multi-camera, packed set (and sometimes packed studio audience) productions and wind up KEEPING their shows this way after we've made it to the other side!  Time will definitely tell here!

Close to none. These vlog styled shows are not nearly as good or engaging and in normal times people wouldn't stand for it.

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It would be nice if they address it, because our world will never be the same after this.   But, how many shows addressed  9-11.   Even the ones set in New York.   Third Watch had one episode of how the precinct handled it.   Law  & Order had one episode with a murder connected to making it look like someone died in the Towers when they were murdered the night before.  But that's all I can remember.   

I hate to say it, but I think if shows refer to it all, it will be a one off.   Most will act like it never happened.   On TV, the war in Afghanistan is not still going on unless one needs a very special episode about someone joining the military.

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I’m curious about Soap Operas.  I know they shoot months in advance so they have tons of material for a while.  How long before they run out if episodes  since production is shut down? I wonder if they are going to start stretching things by editing in lot’s of flashbacks .  Maybe show some classic episodes.   

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26 minutes ago, Luckylyn said:

I’m curious about Soap Operas.  I know they shoot months in advance so they have tons of material for a while.  How long before they run out if episodes  since production is shut down? I wonder if they are going to start stretching things by editing in lot’s of flashbacks .  Maybe show some classic episodes.   

I watch General Hospital. During the first stages of the pandemic, it started airing reruns off Fridays. Now it's stretching out the episodes with a lot of flashbacks.  I also catch the beginning of a different one after my local news. I notice it has been airing classic episodes. 

I think each show has its own production schedule, but I imagine after another month of so, most of them will definitely run out of new material. 

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1 hour ago, Luckylyn said:

I’m curious about Soap Operas.  I know they shoot months in advance so they have tons of material for a while.  How long before they run out if episodes  since production is shut down? I wonder if they are going to start stretching things by editing in lot’s of flashbacks .  Maybe show some classic episodes.   

Days of Our Lives shoots six months in advance.   They should have enough material to show new plot until the end of summer.  They also have enough time to add flashbacks to extend it out to at least October. 

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16 hours ago, merylinkid said:

It would be nice if they address it, because our world will never be the same after this.   But, how many shows addressed  9-11.   Even the ones set in New York.   Third Watch had one episode of how the precinct handled it.   Law  & Order had one episode with a murder connected to making it look like someone died in the Towers when they were murdered the night before.  But that's all I can remember.   

I hate to say it, but I think if shows refer to it all, it will be a one off.   Most will act like it never happened.   On TV, the war in Afghanistan is not still going on unless one needs a very special episode about someone joining the military.

I think the difference between 9/11, the Afghanistan conflict, the Syrian War, etc. is that those are "localized" events that didn't directly affect everyone in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic is literally everywhere and it's dominating the minds of all of us right now- and likely will even after it's finished.

I do agree that we probably won't get a lot of shows and movies that centre a plot around COVID-19 (since I'm sure that will get cliched rather quickly and may still hit too close to home in the immediate aftermath), but I do think, in the years ahead (especially once we see what a post-COVID-19 world actually looks like), the pandemic will at least surface in quite a number of character and show backstories, if not factor into storylines for shows continuing to run (COVID-19 could be an easy way to write out a character, for example). I also think apocalyptic-like themes and pandemics will be popular on TV and movies going forward, kind of like how zombie movies were the "in" thing around 2012.

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When filming somehow gets back to a normal schedule presuming people can gather again, how many episodes can or should shows devote to this lockdown period? Here's what I say:

Medical dramas: 1 whole season

Police procedurals: 3 episodes

Frothy sitcoms: 1 episode

 

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6 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

I also think apocalyptic-like themes and pandemics will be popular on TV and movies going forward, kind of like how zombie movies were the "in" thing around 2012.

It'll be interesting to see if this is the case and, if so, how well they do with the ratings/box office because, personally, after living through it, I don't think I could ever watch another pandemic/contagion movie again.  Maybe a "very special episode" of a tv show, or one, well done, movie based on this crisis itself, but a fictional movie or an entire tv show season?  I'm not sure. 

 

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Until the news came last week that 'God Friended Me" had been cancelled, I was wondering how that world would go on as it had-- it would be awfully hard for Miles and friends to be running all over New York City if the city was still shut down ! Now that the show is cancelled, I guess we will never know.

 

I'm wondering if we will even have a normal start time for the fall season ? I've been catching up on things I never got around to watching before and also some re-watching of old stuff, but I always look forward to Sept. I think it's going to be a long summer.

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19 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

I think the difference between 9/11, the Afghanistan conflict, the Syrian War, etc. is that those are "localized" events that didn't directly affect everyone in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic is literally everywhere and it's dominating the minds of all of us right now- and likely will even after it's finished.

Well said.

I’m 55 and this is the first place time in my life when I’ve known all Americans (and all the people in the world) to be personally impacted not insignificantly by something so scary. Nothing is esoteric to average Americans - it is very real.

Seeing others come together and help strangers to get through this is amazing.

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22 hours ago, Shannon L. said:

It'll be interesting to see if this is the case and, if so, how well they do with the ratings/box office because, personally, after living through it, I don't think I could ever watch another pandemic/contagion movie again.  Maybe a "very special episode" of a tv show, or one, well done, movie based on this crisis itself, but a fictional movie or an entire tv show season?  I'm not sure. 

 

I was thinking along those lines yesterday.    I hve felt that a lot of scifi both books and tv/movies has been so dark and dystopian in recent decades.    Now with something very real happening perhaps it will switch to lighter more hopeful stuff.   Because we lived it.  

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On 4/20/2020 at 9:14 AM, Fukui San said:

When filming somehow gets back to a normal schedule presuming people can gather again, how many episodes can or should shows devote to this lockdown period? Here's what I say:

Medical dramas: 1 whole season

Police procedurals: 3 episodes

Frothy sitcoms: 1 episode

 

I say 1 episode tops for all genres. Many people are ready to return to some sense of “normalcy” and have been beaten over the head with all things COVID19. Once shows return I think audiences will want to escape from what many has seen as a nightmare. Thus they might not want to see shows spend a whole lot of time retreading what many have experienced in reality. 

I do wonder how productions will handle getting back started. The virus is not going away anytime soon. A vaccine is at least 18 months away, if one can be created, and it’s not like you can completely social distance on a movie or TV set. How will productions move forward in filming? Will cast and crew have to be tested before returning to set? Will temperatures be checked on a daily basis? Will everyone have to wash and/or sanitize their hands every 20 minutes? Will hugs, kisses and love scenes be cut out for the foreseeable future?  Will cast members film 6 feet apart? I’m less interested in how the pandemic will be addressed in the context of my favorite shows, but most interested in how this will affect interactions on set and consequently onscreen. 

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12 minutes ago, Enero said:

I do wonder how productions will handle getting back started. The virus is not going away anytime soon. A vaccine is at least 18 months away, if one can be created, and it’s not like you can completely social distance on a movie or TV set. How will productions move forward in filming? Will cast and crew have to be tested before returning to set? Will temperatures be checked on a daily basis? Will everyone have to wash and/or sanitize their hands every 20 minutes? Will hugs, kisses and love scenes be cut out for the foreseeable future?  Will cast members film 6 feet apart? I’m less interested in how the pandemic will be addressed in the context of my favorite shows, but most interested in how this will affect interactions on set and consequently onscreen. 

Deadline has been running articles specifically for those in the industry and the impact coronavirus has now and going forward.   The article below speaks to your questions.  The comments bring up additional concerns.  

https://deadline.com/2020/04/how-hollywood-reopens-coronavirus-shutdown-production-insurance-actors-crews-1202908471/

Edited by MissAlmond
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Even outside of directly addressing the pandemic, I am interested in how shows will incorporate the social changes that have resulted. Mask wearing will become more common, even after mandatory rules about them are lifted. Companies, schools etc. are physically altering spaces to encourage social distancing. Shaking hands won't disappear, but might be less mandatory during greetings. And the air kiss will be dead (hopefully).

TV (and movies) will have to incorporate a lot of widespread behavioral changes in order to be believable in a post-pandemic society.

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On 4/19/2020 at 8:05 AM, Luckylyn said:

I’m curious about Soap Operas.  I know they shoot months in advance so they have tons of material for a while.  How long before they run out if episodes  since production is shut down? I wonder if they are going to start stretching things by editing in lot’s of flashbacks .  Maybe show some classic episodes.   

The question has been answered.  The last original episodes of both The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful end Thursday, April 27. They're pulling past episodes to do theme weeks.  If Y&R reruns the David Kimble at the Plastic Surgeon episode, it will be recorded in this house.  

https://deadline.com/2020/04/the-young-and-the-restless-the-bold-and-the-beautiful-reruns-theme-weeks-covid-19-production-shutdown-1202912746/

https://ew.com/tv/young-and-the-restless-bold-and-the-beautiful-theme-weeks/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/tv/2020/04/20/bold-and-beautiful-young-and-restless-air-classics/5169055002/

Edited by MissAlmond
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16 minutes ago, MissAlmond said:

If Y&R reruns the David Kimble at the Plastic Surgeon episode, it will be recorded.  

Oh they totally should. Killer!

 

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3 hours ago, xaxat said:

Even outside of directly addressing the pandemic, I am interested in how shows will incorporate the social changes that have resulted. Mask wearing will become more common, even after mandatory rules about them are lifted. Companies, schools etc. are physically altering spaces to encourage social distancing. Shaking hands won't disappear, but might be less mandatory during greetings. And the air kiss will be dead (hopefully).

TV (and movies) will have to incorporate a lot of widespread behavioral changes in order to be believable in a post-pandemic society.

Just as smoking used to be prevalent in movies/tv and now you never see it (it even rates a warning label) so you will see the changed you mentioned.   Warning -- this movie contains people hugging upon meeting.   And everyone looks at it and say "Ugh why did people do that then?   So weird."

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I think it's a bit premature to talk about social changes right now (and I'd debate the opposite will occur- we will have been so deprived of hugging and shaking hands that we will be only too eager to be able to do it again, but that's not a debate for this forum).

I do think The Germaphobe as a character will make a resurgence and not seen as some kind of weirdo, a la Sheldon Cooper and Spencer Reid.

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Which leads me to add- The Hugger might even become a character (especially in comedies, though I could see them in dramas), because I'm sure that too will be a real-life thing once COVID-19 passes.

Which leads to..."the hilarious new comedy where germaphobic Gary has to deal with Hugging Harriet! You'll burst into laughter as you watch these two polar opposites try to find a way to live together! Coming this fall!"

You can thank me later when this becomes a reality. 😛

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On 4/19/2020 at 1:28 AM, Danielg342 said:

Is this the thread where we create our own COVID-19 episode? Because I had the idea to make that thread but never got around to it...and I have several ideas for prospective episodes, involving past and present shows.

I'll close by saying I'm sure within the next few years just about every TV show and movie will reference COVID-19 in some way (it will make for some great backstories, I assure you), and we'll have a deluge of episodes that deal with some kind of pandemic, if not COVID-19 itself. New Amsterdam was going to do a flu-based episode this past season before it was pulled for fear it would be in bad taste- no doubt they'll rework it to make it about COVID-19.

Regarding the bolded: Daniel Dae Kim guest starred in that episode. Then, ironically, he came down with Covid-19 as soon as he got back to Hawaii from NYC.

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On 4/20/2020 at 5:58 PM, willco said:

Until the news came last week that 'God Friended Me" had been cancelled, I was wondering how that world would go on as it had-- it would be awfully hard for Miles and friends to be running all over New York City if the city was still shut down ! Now that the show is cancelled, I guess we will never know.

 

I'm wondering if we will even have a normal start time for the fall season ? I've been catching up on things I never got around to watching before and also some re-watching of old stuff, but I always look forward to Sept. I think it's going to be a long summer.

Regarding the bolded: Whenever the pandemic ends (specifically here), it still might be a long summer. The current writers’ contract is due to expire this season—I think next month (May)—& there’s the very real possibility of a writers’ strike which would further delay returning things to production if we got out of our Covid-related lockdown anytime soon.

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On 4/19/2020 at 8:48 AM, merylinkid said:

It would be nice if they address it, because our world will never be the same after this.   But, how many shows addressed  9-11.   Even the ones set in New York.   Third Watch had one episode of how the precinct handled it.   Law  & Order had one episode with a murder connected to making it look like someone died in the Towers when they were murdered the night before.  But that's all I can remember. 

I hate to say it, but I think if shows refer to it all, it will be a one off.   Most will act like it never happened.   On TV, the war in Afghanistan is not still going on unless one needs a very special episode about someone joining the military.

Regarding the bolded: You’ve forgotten the one-off, much-maligned (though I didn’t think it was that bad), set outside the series’ timeline The West Wing episode, “Isaac and Ishmael”, the episode where a group of high school students & their chaperone(s), who are part of a group called Presidential Classroom, are inadvertently trapped in the White House during an unexpected lockdown that might be terrorism-related. The staff, with brief appearances by the President & First Lady, keep the group occupied, in the White House Mess, by engaging the teens in a discussion about terrorism—what it is, etc.

Following the 9/11 attacks on NYC & DC, this episode was written in 3 weeks & was used as The West Wing’s season 3 premiere, bumping the intended season premiere episode, “Manchester Part 1”, to the following week.

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1 hour ago, MissAlmond said:

Here's a link to another Deadline article on the industry going forward after COVID-19. This one deals with the possible fate of older actors.    

https://deadline.com/2020/04/coronavirus-cruel-ageism-older-actors-hollywood-commentary-1202916597/

IOW, it almost sounds like how Hollywood used newfangled talkies to purge as many longtime, established players as possible so they could hire all new casts (and pay them far less monies) and often slandered the earlier Hollywood silent stars as having grating or incoherent speaking voices (which was rarely true since most if not all of them had been stage performers who'd had regularly projected to theaters' rafters). 

I also wouldn't be surprised if suddenly one-camera shows instead of multi-camera operations become more frequent thanks to the audiences' having accepted the YouTube type shows done on news and talk shows in during the affliction. 

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7 hours ago, MissAlmond said:

Here's a link to another Deadline article on the industry going forward after COVID-19. This one deals with the possible fate of older actors.    

https://deadline.com/2020/04/coronavirus-cruel-ageism-older-actors-hollywood-commentary-1202916597/

Since a lot of my favorite actors are in their 60s and 70s, this general thought had crossed my mind, but, wow, that's depressing:
 

Quote

 

Even with safety protocols in place, it may be impossible to make sets 100% corona-proof for people over 65, who have been hit particularly hard by the virus, until a vaccine is widely available.
...

While special accommodations would likely be made for select few big stars of a certain age, the pandemic could cut short the careers of a slew of veteran character actors who have been steadily working in their 70s and 80s in supporting, recurring and guest-starring roles.

Liability and lack of coronavirus insurance coverage would likely force producers to refrain from casting older actors, and the performers themselves will likely be reluctant to risk their lives for a guest spot or two.

As a result, a whole generation could be virtually wiped out onscreen for the next year or two, limiting the stories about older Americans that shows can tell.

 

 

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The other day, we were talking about this -- how many other countries have such a large percentage of their population that is in some form of entertainment industry?

Acting (TV, film, theatre, online), music, sports. And all the supporting careers (writing, directing, makeup, costumes, food service, props, agents, athletic trainers, concessions, marketing, etc.).

People keep comparing this to the flu pandemic of the early 1900s, but back then, weren't most people employed in less-entertaining jobs?

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I've never bought once this line "we're going to be in lockdown for almost two years" because I doubt people, businesses and even the government will have that kind of patience. I give it a few more months, tops, before everyone's patience gets really tested and governments are forced to reopen completely. Whether or not it'll be the right thing to do is a separate debate and I won't engage in it- I just believe it will happen.

I also believe a vaccine or a treatment will become available sooner rather than later because it's the most pressing issue in the world right now and, as I said before, no one can wait the "12-18 months" to get it out. Rightly or wrongly (which, again, is a separate debate), governments are going to fast-track it.

What I will talk about is what will happen once things really do re-open (assuming we can film and a writer's strike doesn't get in the way). If there's a vaccine or a treatment that works (which I think is highly likely), then it's a moot point- everyone will go back to work, even the older workers.

If there isn't a treatment available by then...I think there will still be workers (of any age) who won't go back to work until there is one, and I'm sure a few studios will follow suit. Others will likely not care and just want to get back to work- and they will. There are people who likely want to work now but can't because they're not that worried about the virus (if at all)- those are the ones who will dive right back into production at first. The rest will trickle back, with more going back the longer there's confidence things really are safe.

Lastly, let's keep in mind that before things are really normal, there will likely be a few "false starts" along the way. Governments and health officials have gotten a lot of things wrong about COVID-19 during this pandemic, and we've already seen a few misguided reopenings (like the Japanese island of Hokkaido), so who knows how many people will really trust that things are really safe when they are. Most people will go back to normal as soon as they can, but there will still be some of us who won't. Going forward, that will be the real question of the fallout of COVID-19.

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8 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

so who knows how many people will really trust that things are really safe when they are.

They might be willing to make movies.   You know there will be some studios that pressure people to come back, even those who don't feel safe.   And some who feel they have no choice because they have bills to pay.   But who is going to feel safe for quite awhile going to a movie theater?   We joke about the sticky floors even when there is not a pandemic.   Theaters simply cannot do a good disinfecting cleaning between each showing unless they REALLY space them out.   Which they won't do because they can't afford to.   Studios certainly are not going to lower their distribution fees to make it easier on the theaters to have fewer showings of a movie.

 

10 hours ago, forumfish said:

The other day, we were talking about this -- how many other countries have such a large percentage of their population that is in some form of entertainment industry?

I don't have hard numbers, but the Indian film industry is not called Bollywood for nothing.   Plus soccer (football to the rest of the world) is practically worshipped there.  With clubs at all levels.   Then there is cricket.      I would also posit England has about the same set up with the theaters, movie studios, then soccer and rugby.    US is not alone is having gone to entertainment as a big business.

I also agree there will be a re-opening.   Then they will need to close again.   This could be a cycle until there is an effective vaccine (or it disappears like the Spanish flu did).   I do thinkk mask wearing is going to be quite the fashion statement for awhile.

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9 hours ago, merylinkid said:

Who is going to feel safe for quite awhile going to a movie theater?

There will be a lot of variables to that. One, I think there will be people- no matter what happens- who will not feel safe at all to go out and do things. They existed before COVID-19 and they'll exist afterward.

Two, "COVID fatigue" was a thing before the lockdowns started. Doubt it's abated in any way. The amount of people who have that (I know I do) will also determine how many people will go out when we're finally told we can.

Three, it'll depend on how the news plays out the rest of the year. If, say, by mid-June we're talking about 100 new cases in the U.S. and a vaccine or a treatment is on the horizon (which I believe is a distinct possibility) then I think a large majority of the population will like their chances and feel it's safe to go out again.

However, if by mid-June we're still talking about 20K new cases a day but we have a lot of impatient U.S. states opening up because they're more concerned about Independence Day and their economy than public safety, then I don't think you'll have a lot of people who'd be willing to go out. Some will, but many won't.

Alternatively, if by October we're still in lockdown despite having only one or two new cases a day (or just a handful of cases, period) there will likely be too much public pressure to reopen completely because I'm sure by that point the public will believe the governors aren't acting rationally. The restless will far outnumber the afraid by that point.

Of course, I believe the last example is extreme, and the second isn't likely. I also don't think a second lockdown will happen- if there is a second wave, it won't hit as hard. However, those are not debates for this thread.

To answer the question...it'll all depend on what the situation is like when movie theatres are reopened, a variable none of us know.

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On 4/19/2020 at 7:48 AM, merylinkid said:

I hate to say it, but I think if shows refer to it all, it will be a one off.   Most will act like it never happened.

The difference is that 9/11 was an event that happened. The pandemic is still going on and will be going on when productions resume. There may be only a handful of episodes that deal with the actual disease, but "the new normal" will always be a part of the shows going forward. Just like TSA and Air Marshals are just a part of life now at airports.

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I imagine we'll have multiple rounds of varying levels of restriction, with governments loosening social distancing requirements for a time and then ratcheting them back up as infection rates get out of control again, and I can't imagine Hollywood (along with other entertainment industries) sitting out that whole time. I hope no studio gets too mercenary about forcing people who don't feel safe to come back to work (I mean, it's all about $$$, so I'm sure some will, but I hope at least some get a little more perspective.)

Which puts it down to the studios/production teams to figure out how to make working conditions safer for all involved. I want to say that of course people in creative industries can come up with creative solutions, but again, it comes down to $$$, and as safeguards require greater costs/more time, I don't know how confident to feel there. I do think actors will probably be more comparatively better-off than people behind the scenes, more shielded from unnecessary close contact with anyone but their fellow actors, but I don't know.

But as for protecting actors while they're in front of the camera? I wonder how the circumstances will effect writing choices, if we'll see fewer kissing scenes/hand-to-hand fight scenes/etc. Directors could maybe use more forced perspective to make characters look like they're standing closer together than the actors really are. It might help if shows are written/blocked for the situation we're living in by that time (the ones set in the present anyway). Not in the thick of the crisis like we have been, but an in-between time with society opened up while maintaining certain levels of social distancing. Work stations farther apart, wearing masks in public, catching up on video chat instead of meeting for coffee - it could keep the actors safer with less finagling.

Another thing I wonder about is if we'll see fewer ongoing arcs next season. I know it looks like some shows this season will be ending on unintended cliffhangers, and Supergirl cobbled together a reworked finale out of existing footage. If production resumes with the lingering threat that it might have to shut down again (hopefully for shorter stretches in the future, if governments can implement effective procedures more quickly in subsequent waves until there's a vaccine,) it might feel easier to have the story broken down into more "bite-sized" episodes rather than long arcs strung together, so there's less riding on any episode that gets interrupted by temporary shutdowns in production and the possibility of multiple hiatuses during the season. Shorter seasons might be another possibility.

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I wouldn't be surprised if the networks are mobilizing to try to have options for mid season or to have options that don't need much on camera presence.  I'm thinking there will be a rise in animation out of this.

They are going to need something that they can keep working on remotely. Or if not remotely,  then something they have the option of figuring out how to deal with social distancing without it being transparent on screen. 

I wouldn't be surprised if we see leaps in the technology that lets them take the body of an actor's work and create computer generated performances.  That and motion capture with more assembly of individual performances.

I think there is going to be tension between the appetite for escapism and for realism that is going to make it really hard to do any kind of contemporary drama or sitcom.  Reality shows and competitions might be dead unless they can completely reinvent them.

Because realistically, lets say you use camera work to allow the actors to be 6 ft apart without showing it.  The problem is going to be that there will be outrage in some corners at the message being sent being dangerous.  How realistic is it that the actors wear masks all the time?   But if you put the virus on screen for any period of time, its going to overwhelm every other story line.. And frankly, I can't watch all covid all the time.

If there are actors on screen I could see a rise in genre television where they can incorporate masks into costuming without it being about covid.  Like a Dune tv series.  Or a dystopian future where pollution has influenced fashion.  Or basically any environment where you can have a reason where you;d need a breathing apparatus handy.

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7 hours ago, ParadoxLost said:

I'm thinking there will be a rise in animation out of this.

Can we get the Saturday morning cartoons back?   I could use the Laff A Lympics right now.   

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I can't say I've been a fan of his work but Tyler Perry is an outstanding human being.

Edited by anna0852
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I don’t know, Perry’s plan sounds good, except for one thing - the fact that the lower paid you are, the more you will be pressured to go along with it no matter how uncomfortable it makes you.  Leaving your family for 3 out of 4 weeks?  The actors may not mind it because they won’t be there long, but for crews that work on multiple series it could be a hardship.  What about single parents or people who help care for a disabled or elderly family member?  Will people be allowed to bring their pets?  
 

I would guess, too, that crew members will not only be working  many days in a row without a break, but also long hours a day. I  just don’t have any faith that the concerns of the lowest paid workers will be given much consideration.  Sure, the actors will be catered to, but everybody else... I doubt it.  

Tyler Perry may be selling this as being concerned for his employees, but we all know his biggest concern is for his profit margin.

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16 hours ago, Mittengirl said:

I don’t know, Perry’s plan sounds good, except for one thing - the fact that the lower paid you are, the more you will be pressured to go along with it no matter how uncomfortable it makes you.  Leaving your family for 3 out of 4 weeks?  The actors may not mind it because they won’t be there long, but for crews that work on multiple series it could be a hardship.  What about single parents or people who help care for a disabled or elderly family member?  Will people be allowed to bring their pets?  
 

I would guess, too, that crew members will not only be working  many days in a row without a break, but also long hours a day. I  just don’t have any faith that the concerns of the lowest paid workers will be given much consideration.  Sure, the actors will be catered to, but everybody else... I doubt it.  

Tyler Perry may be selling this as being concerned for his employees, but we all know his biggest concern is for his profit margin.

Hard agree.   There's a lot of speculation of "let's go somewhere and put everyone in quarantine, then we can have our sports/entertainment back" which overlooks one big thing -- there might not be people who want to be away from their families that long at a time like this.   I know I don't like my hubby going to work -- and he comes home every night just because I feel safer with him home where I don't have to worry about one more thing.   Several weeks at a time - no way.    But like you said, the lower paid people will have less choice about it.   

I can live with no sports/new shows if it means lives are saved.   Again, rerun the Laffalympics.   Also would not mind seeing Signmud and the Sea Monsters again.   Or, goodness knows we are drinking heavily enough, H.R. PuffnStuff and Liddsville.  

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On 4/26/2020 at 10:50 PM, ParadoxLost said:

I wouldn't be surprised if we see leaps in the technology that lets them take the body of an actor's work and create computer generated performances.  That and motion capture with more assembly of individual performances

Hard pass if it comes to this for me. CGI and motion capture “performances” creep me out. 

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On 4/27/2020 at 7:20 PM, Mittengirl said:

Tyler Perry may be selling this as being concerned for his employees, but we all know his biggest concern is for his profit margin.

How do “we” know this?

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4 hours ago, Stats Queen said:

How do “we” know this?

Fair enough.  have no doubt that his biggest concern is his profit margin. 

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I don't know if Tyler Perry deserves rahs or nahs for this.  I imagine part of it is wanting people to work and another part is the show must go on mentality.  And this is a way of doing it.  I've actually thought of it myself when there have been discussions about what filming will look like after the pandemic.

He's in a unique position to try it. 

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