Pop culture is not dead, even in a pandemic

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By Alina Issakhanian and Grace Mundy

Two months ago, many of us would be shocked at the idea that almost every aspect of life would be held online. However, due to the current global pandemic, we’ve all had to improvise, to say the least. That being said, the entertainment industry admittedly had a bit of a rocky start in adjusting to the online shift. Shows and movies stopped production, release dates were pushed back, and events were cancelled. Now, roughly a month into the Stay-At-Home order, we’ve begun to figure it out.

Things were certainly not perfect at the beginning. CNN went as far as to say that “Hollywood has gone dark,” with large numbers of production staff filing for unemployment for the first time in 20 years and sets planning to shut down until social distancing measures are lifted. 

Still, film producers and crews believe that while distancing is important, the film industry will have to go back to the way it was before all of this at some point.

“I cannot put up a large camera crane without working physically close with my team. How are you going to tell people to keep their distance?” Raymond Brown, who recently worked on season 4 of Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” said in an interview with CNN.

However, things are not all bad. In fact, after some time, many forms of entertainment have adjusted to this new normal, working out any initial issues. Shows like “Saturday Night Live” are filming their weekly episodes at cast members’ homes. What started off as unprecedented territory has grown in production value and content to become a thoroughly enjoyable weekly comedy program, all from the comfort of home. And though it may not be the same as the traditional “SNL,” it is an enjoyable, pandemic-safe version of the show.

Many talk-shows, like “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” are bringing it home too. Hosts are interviewing guests through video-chatting applications and continuing segments popular on their shows, preserving the things we enjoyed before the advent of social distancing. Some people are going as far as creating their own shows, like John Krasinski.  His interview-style show called “Some Good News” is a weekly series meant to spread good news and bring comfort to people in a time of uncertainty.

“We’re all going through an incredibly trying time, but through all the anxiety, through all the confusion, all the isolation, and all the ‘Tiger King,’ somehow the human spirit found a way to break through and blow us all away,” Kransinski said in the show’s first episode. 

The current situation is even leading some shows to come back on air. The NBC comedy “Parks and Recreation,” which ended in 2015, is airing a reunion special filmed from home to fundraise for Feeding America. The special was filmed by the actors at home, and editing teams worked to create the effect that the show was actually shot professionally. 

In addition, the music industry has also taken a hit, with concerts being cancelled and artists delaying releases. There are also large numbers of unemployment with the lapse in new music.

Series like National Public Radio’s (NPR) “Tiny Desk Concert,” where an artist performs in the NPR office during work hours, has become “Tiny Desk Home,” where those artists are now performing virtually at home, instead of the traditional workplace. 

Though entertainment has started to adjust, things are still certainly far from normal. We cannot overlook the negative effects of this pandemic on the entertainment industry, which includes mass unemployment and complete stalls in traditional production. However,we can acknowledge that there has been some success in preserving normalcy, even from home. In the end, it will likely take some time before the world gets back to the way it was. But, the entertainment industry gives us hope that maybe we can and will adjust to life during a pandemic.

Author: Plaid Press

Granada Hills Charter High School newspaper

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