Welp, this is a weird situation, right? Given the current global climate, I hope everyone is safe and taking care of their mental and physical health right now. After a few anxiety-ridden days, I’m aiming to take a break from news coverage this weekend, sit in the yard and soak up some sun, and dedicate this extra time to TV I wouldn’t be watching otherwise.
Most of my TV consumption this week was dedicated to that hot mess of a Bachelor finale, and now fans don’t even have the guarantee of Clare Crawley’s Bachelorette season to anticipate. Obviously, I appreciate the caution that so many industries, including entertainment, are demonstrating in these circumstances, but the possible aftermath of all of these filming delays is definitely interesting. The month-long suspension of all Broadway shows also happened at the worst possible time for theater, as the majority of new, Tony-eligible productions traditionally open throughout March and April. Just thinking about those performers, crews, house staff, and anyone slated to make their Broadway debut soon is heartbreaking. It’s better to be safe than sorry, but the thought of the financial and logistical impacts on certain fields of the entertainment industry hurts my heart a little.
Speaking of theater, I’ve always meant to watch the series Smash, which followed the creation of a new Broadway musical and the theater community connected to it. I remember that when it aired, the first season received a decent amount of praise, but I seem to recall some backlash over the handling of Season 2. Because of the plot and the theater actors who popped up on it, it’s been on my watch list forever, but it was never accessible on the standard streaming services. Both seasons are now available on NBC.com, so it looks like there’s no better time to start watching and seeing what the buzz was about.
I’ve covered my ongoing watches in a recent post, so in addition to catching up with episodes of This Is Us and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, I might finally start Outlander to balance out this healthy diet of comedy and drama with a historical yet sexy angle. I have plenty of movies queued up on my streaming services too, so we’ll see how I move past my habit of feeling like watching too much means I’m unproductive. I have to remind myself that normal activities like going to the gym or making plans with friends aren’t crucial or even recommended at this point, so it’s okay to take things easy.
On the book front, my library ebook holds for We Met in December and In Five Years came through sooner than I expected, so I plan to switch between those and the handful of books I bought via Kindle deals. I also have a physical, signed copy of Meg Cabot’s No Judgments from an October event (I asked her a question about writing books and she answered! My 12-year-old self is still recovering), so I may crack into that soon, too.
However, I’ve found it very tricky to fully submerge myself into books, movies, and TV when the news cycle is what it is. I’d grown accustomed to the messy political sphere of life, but this unpredictable, unprecedented disease is difficult to push aside in favor of something lighthearted. I’ve been working from home for several days, seeing schools closed, and hearing that friends still have to go to work in New York City because their offices aren’t sure how to transition to remote life. Something like this hasn’t happened in modern times before, so it’s only natural to freak out about the unknown.
But times like this remind me that this is exactly what entertainment is for. It’s to distract and soothe us, to remind us that no matter the obstacles, life will trek on as it always has and mold itself to fit whatever ups and downs may emerge. History is cyclical, so it’s…a lot to realize that we don’t really have a personal connection to the last time something similar to this happened. But entertainment is the constant, trying to single out that life is what typically happens amidst a sea of normality but that it will pull through when extraordinary traumas set in.
I leave you with one of several late-night TV hosts who delivered a monologue to an empty studio this week. It’s no secret that I love Stephen Colbert and the old-school flair he brings to the late-night landscape, but he also just so happens to be the reassuring, dad-like presence we need right now. Then, for a laugh, check out this skit and this segment from the past week of The Late Late Show with James Corden.
“When we come back, more of…whatever this is, right?”