The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way people work, and the media business is no exception. Here's how some of the most popular shows handled the crisis.
The novel coronavirus upended life as we knew it. Schools closed indefinitely, businesses were shut down, and people were forced to stay indoors as the world attempted to fight the unseen enemy together.
Many productions were forced to shut, but after a few months, they began filming again, and it only made sense to set the events in the present day. Or maybe not. Let's take a look at how some of the top TV shows dealt with it.
COVID-19 themed illustration. | Source: Pexels/Edward Jenner
The show did not seem tragic at all despite taking the COVID-19 outbreak pretty seriously. In fact, "This Is Us" did its best to capture what the pandemic has really been like while still getting up to the usual shenanigans.
A snapshot from "Grey's Anatomy" episode that premiered on November 12, 2015. | Source: Getty Images
"Black-ish" did have a pandemic-themed premiere with Bow's hospital experiences, but there were scenes in the show that did not seem right, like the outdoor wedding without masks.
Being one of the first shows to give virtual production a shot, "All Rise" dealt with the effects of the pandemic right from the season one finale. The second season also addressed the Black Lives Matter protests.
"Supernatural" fans were not happy with the finale. The production team had a few extra months for planning, but the finale could have been much better. The pandemic definitely took its toll, although it did not play into the plot.
Not only did "S.W.A.T." have a pandemic plot, but it also addressed the Black Lives Matter movement and George Floyd's death along with the regular drama.
The show did not adjust the pandemic into the plot, but it did tell stories about Black Lives Matter, which was expected since it is all about the relationship between Black and white neighbors.
"Chicago Med" fully embraced the pandemic plot, which "Chicago PD" and "Chicago Fire" superficially acknowledged. The characters frequently took off their masks and seemed to have missed the point.
The premiere of "Law & Order: SVU" took on George Floyd's death as well as the effects of the pandemic, but fans especially loved the exploration of racism in law enforcement. Masks often seemed useless as the characters kept taking them off.
All three NCIS shows approached the pandemic differently. "NCIS: NOLA" was set in the middle of it, while "NCIS: LA" was set after the pandemic was over. Meanwhile, the new season of "NCIS" was set in November 2019.
Fans did not expect "The Good Doctor" to move past the pandemic after merely two episodes that dealt with the horrors of the novel virus outbreak, especially since it is a hospital drama.
The show decided to paint a world where COVID-19 was no longer deadly. Given that one of the cast members, Richard Schiff, got hospitalized due to the virus, many fans thought the plot was weird.