I recently started noticing more and more movies and TV series whose theme revolves around the COVID-19 pandemic. Some examples are Netflix’s Social Distance, among many others, that emerged early in 2021. Every time these come up on my “Recommended For You” tab, I couldn’t shake off the feeling of: Why?! Who really asked for this? And, isn’t it a bit too soon?
The same way people refrain from joking about a traumatic event or matter that happened recently, using the very well-known internet expression: “Too soon, dude,” I feel the same exact way about these series and movies. Aren’t we all trying to escape reality when we’re engaging in binge watching sessions? At least I am. Having lived through the pandemic in its epicenter, and knowing very well that it is not over yet, I don’t really need a constant reminder of the trauma we’ve collectively experienced/are still experiencing.
I want to know who thought this was a good idea. Whether it’s about finding love during the pandemic, or a recent series that is an account of people’s experiences of the pandemic, we are all trying to be in denial and look forward to a future where we don’t have to talk about this anymore. Even though some artists were creating work during the pandemic, such as Meriem Bennani and Orian Barki’s Two Lizards, that felt more like a coping mechanism—one that made us feel like we were all going through this collectively, not all series being produced right now capture the same feeling. If anything, they’re a little painful to watch or think about. We do not have enough distance yet to completely appreciate this collective traumatic experience for all that is took away, and all that it brought.
Twenty or thirty years is the right amount of time to be reflecting on 2020 and 2021. But right now, it’s really too soon. I mean, we’re just now getting approval to vaccinate everyone over the age of 16 in NYC…
Photo via Netflix