When Sarah Jessica Parker revealed the Intercourse and the Metropolis reboot would “clearly” embrace the pandemic, followers could not assist however surprise how COVID could be written in alongside Cosmopolitans and relationship columns.LoadingIt’s comprehensible to by no means wish to hear in regards to the pandemic once more, least of all within the leisure we flip to once we crave escapism, familiarity, and a distraction.However it was additionally inevitable.When COVID struck, movie units have been shut down, productions delayed, and months of programming have been worn out just about in a single day.Writers’ rooms in every single place discovered themselves in the identical predicament. Their exhibits might both provide an escape, or replicate our new actuality again to us.(And a warning for some minor spoilers forward.)For some, COVID has develop into the primary characterAmerica’s longest-running prime-time medical drama, Gray’s Anatomy, grabbed the pandemic with each fingers for its seventeenth season.They captured the skilled and private toll the disaster had on the lives of their characters by that includes PPE shortages, overflowing hospital wards and having the beloved Meredith Gray contract the virus herself. After 17 seasons, many writers on Gray’s Anatomy felt the present had an obligation to incorporate the pandemic. (Equipped: ABC)”We have been undoubtedly anxious about the truth that folks have been going by means of it in actual life, did they wish to proceed to undergo it on the present?” govt producer Zoanne Clack informed NBC.”You hear about experiences, however folks do not take that in as a lot as when it is coming into their lounge and it is occurring to those that they know and love with our characters.”Then there’s Superstore, a sitcom about frontline workers of a “huge field” retailer much like Kmart or Bunnings, which might afford to take a extra lighthearted method to these early days of the pandemic.”The primary conversations that we and each different TV present that shoots in trendy America had was: By the point this airs, are we able to chortle?” Superstore actor Ben Feldman informed Vulture.As frontline staff, Superstore could not write across the pandemic. (Equipped: NBC)”Are we sick of it? Can we hate them for shoving COVID in our face once we simply got here to TV to flee? Is it comfy to see on TV? Is it one thing we count on as a result of we have to see one thing we recognise?”However “this was a present the place going escapist simply did not make sense,” Superstore author Owen Ellickson mentioned.With the tagline “extra important than ever”, Superstore leaned in closely to its pandemic plot traces and, being the primary Common present again in manufacturing because the COVID hiatus, was seen as a guinea pig.Their last season captures these complicated, fast-moving but absurd moments from 2020 as we watch clients combat over bathroom paper and cringe as one worker, when returning to work after recovering from COVID, cannot wait to speak about Tiger King, solely to understand everybody’s moved on.LoadingFor others, the pandemic performs a supporting roleThe last season of Shameless, which follows a dysfunctional household who stay on the South Aspect of Chicago, was three days away from taking pictures “when the whole lot went to hell in March,” showrunner John Wells informed The Hollywood Reporter.The primary half of the season was rewritten to include the pandemic in a bid to precisely replicate the struggles of the economically challenged neighborhood the present portrays.”The impacts on all of us — notably on working-class and poor communities — have been important and we’re attempting to cope with these points in a satirical method but in addition taking an sincere, dry-eyed take a look at what has really occurred to those communities and particularly to our characters,” he mentioned.”We did not find yourself fully scrapping any storylines, however we did regulate them to what is going on on.”The ultimate season of Shameless exhibits how COVID impacted the working class. (Equipped: Showtime)It was an analogous story on the set of This Is Us, which weaved the pandemic into their fifth season by displaying their characters carrying masks and isolating at residence, however did not let COVID derail their plot totally.And with the pandemic additionally dominating headlines, it is unsurprising the second season of Morning Wars will see co-anchors Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon attempting to “get forward of this coronavirus factor”.LoadingSome have opted for a shock cameoThe Gossip Lady reboot opens on a model of the Higher East Aspect that is a world away from the epicentre New York as soon as was, however references to the pandemic are peppered all through the season, most amusingly when Zoya pokes enjoyable at Julian, an influencer, for showing within the widely-mocked Think about video.Gossip Lady makes a number of references to the pandemic with out really mentioning COVID.(Supply: HBO)However regardless of the a number of references, the phrase COVID isn’t talked about, and masks are by no means the most popular accent. Portraying a post-pandemic world looks like some of the well-liked methods to remain timeless with out affecting storylines or risking viewers turning off. Tina Fey’s comedy collection Mr. Mayor makes it clear the pandemic is a factor of the previous by merely explaining “Dolly Parton purchased everybody a vaccine”, whereas Brooklyn 9-9 gifted us with a bunch of COVID-safe handshakes.LoadingBut others have snubbed COVID entirelyBut when you by no means wish to see your favorite characters don a masks, take themselves out for a each day stroll or wrangle kids by means of residence studying, you will in all probability love the latest season of Succession.The satirical drama, which follows a poisonous household who personal a world media and leisure conglomerate, made the deliberate choice to not point out the pandemic.To drive residence the actual fact the wealthy have been above restrictions, a part of Succession’s upcoming season is ready in Italy. (Equipped: Foxtel/HBO)Jesse Armstrong, the present’s creator, determined early on that season three would not be rewritten to include COVID for its October premiere.”These are actually rich folks,” Australian actor Sarah Snook informed Vulture throughout filming.”And sadly, not one of the world’s actually rich folks have been going to be affected by the pandemic.”Some actuality exhibits received a bit too realThe season 12 finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race, which might often be filmed in a tightly packed theatre with a screaming viewers, was as an alternative a digital affair.Drag queens have been pressured to return residence forward of the crowning, which meant we noticed contestants like Jaida Essence Corridor give an entire new which means to working from residence when she served us the lip-sync efficiency of her life in her lounge.LoadingWhen the whole lot’s falling aside however you continue to must make contentAnd then, in fact, there’s productions like Bo Burnham’s Netflix particular Inside, which may solely be described as the right COVID-era time capsule.Burnham wrote, directed, carried out and filmed your complete 90-minute particular himself in his spare room over the course of a 12 months and created what triple j referred to as “each an inspiring creative achievement, but in addition a uncooked self-portrait made by somebody who was admittedly going mad in isolation”.Bo Burnham’s groundbreaking one-man particular received three Emmy awards on the Inventive Arts ceremony.(Equipped: Netflix)The opening quantity, Content material, faucets into our insatiable should be consuming extra and the stress it locations on creators, which he aptly summarises with the road: “I am sorry I used to be gone, however look, I made you some content material.”And that want for content material is strictly why we’ve got The White Lotus, which is being hailed as among the best exhibits of the 12 months.With out COVID, The White Lotus may by no means have been made.(Equipped: Foxtel/HBO)HBO approached creator Mike White when COVID wreaked havoc throughout scheduling calendars and shuttered manufacturing on exhibits meant to air in 2021.White started writing the script in August, and by October they have been filming in a COVID-safe bubble on Maui, Hawaii’s second-largest island, with a small solid of characters.So, how will different exhibits sort out the pandemic?Will The Crown present how Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip spent their last years of marriage collectively in isolation in Buckingham Palace?Will Emily in Paris single-handedly increase France’s vaccination fee with a very influential #vaxxie?Will interval drama Bridgerton remind us all of what it was like to remain residence and keep aside, solely to lastly have fun our newfound freedom with a glamorous ball?LoadingWhile it’d look like no universe is immune, a minimum of tv can remind us there are nonetheless extra tales to be informed, and extra comfortable endings written within the script.