During the pandemic, television became more than just television.
Oredom, consolation, escape, whatever the reason, most of us braced ourselves for whatever was going on.
At the height of lockdown, the average Irishman watched almost three hours a day – and that doesn’t factor in streaming services.
Rolling Stone The magazine said TV was what saved us Wired said there had been a renaissance in entertainment, statistics showed millions were glued to screens and critics agreed television had had a very good pandemic. Almost as good as banana bread and sea swimming.
That may explain why so many ghosts of the TV pandemic are still floating around.
Almost all lockdown hits have returned or will return in some form; Tiger King 2 Sell Sunset, the second series of Squid Gamethe continuation of normal people, and Bridgeton. But viewed in the cold light of post-pandemic Ireland, many appear to have lost their appeal.
Let’s start with regency Bridgeton. The first season was widely praised for its innovative and inclusive casting and was viewed by 82 million households in 28 days.
The recent series has been praised for exploring themes like colonialism, which is commendable, but there’s no denying that the show overall is now less obsessive and a lot less fun.
Last year there were orgies, forbidden sex, gambling and bare-knuckle boxing. This year there is practically none of that. However, there are significantly more scenes involving ring toss games, maypoles and croquet.
Instead of couples having sex in secluded stairwells and various mansions, the central couple spends much of their time breathing heavily in each other’s faces before (and this is no joke) being roughly interrupted by the whinnying of a nearby horse.
The show’s producers also played their trump card – the identity of Lady Whistledown – far too soon. In gossip Girl They kept it under wraps for six seasons. We know it’s Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan), so the whodunnite aspect is gone. Now we have to face numerous scenes in which Penelope argues with the manager of the printing press about payment issues – which is about as exciting as it sounds.
As I watched the second series of Bridgerton, I remembered when the lights come on in a nightclub, when they play the national anthem or give final orders.
Was that really comfortable the first time, or did it just seem special because the outside world faltered and society ground to a halt?
And more importantly, will this be the fate of all sequels to our favorite pandemic shows?
Let’s look at the hit rate so far. Sell sunset, a reality show about size-zero LA realtors selling million-dollar mansions, became a hit in its third series in the middle of lockdown. At the time, it was considered a feminist television show, showing strong, independent women doing it for themselves amid numerous shots of Megabucks gaffs.
But the most recent episode was a bit of a non-event. We all know that relationship is already on the rocks at the center, and have any of us cared about Chrishell Stause and Jason Oppenheim as much as they did? Somehow I doubt that.
now Sell sunset fits into a gigantic reality TV subgenre; rich women who are terrible to each other in public.
Carole Baskin and Joe Exotic became sensations King of the Tigers debuted. A second season and spin-off were all churned out, but the end result has been described as “less of a documentary and more of a hopelessly stuffed DVD extra.”
This month will see the sequel to arguably the biggest hit of the pandemic – Sally Rooney’s normal people. It would be difficult for conversations with friends be just as popular.
It seems undeniable that part of the success of normal people was temporal. This idea of leaving a place or phase of life that feels suffocating and stepping into a new liberating reality struck a chord.
Also, the intimacy at the heart of the series came at a time when physical closeness was being stifled and restricted. perhaps normal people tapped into a sort of collective longing.
I do not know if conversation with friends will manage to emulate that or create so many iconic moments (Connell’s necklace, Marianne’s fringe, Rocket ice lolly).
Or whether the sex scenes will manage to draw so much attention live line. But here is hope.
Olivia Wilde keeps her composure – she deserves a medal
I have nothing but respect for Olivia Wilde.
Last week, the actress-director was delivered self-adhesive papers on stage as she discussed her second film as a director. In the middle of a presentation don’t worry darling At Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, someone approached the stage and handed it an envelope marked “Personal and Confidential.”
Wilde took the envelope and asked, “Is this for me? Is that a script?” before you open it, look inside, and say, “Okay, got it. Thanks.”
Wilde famously split from her longtime partner and the father of her children, Jason Sudeikis, in 2020. She is now in a relationship with Harry Styles.
A Sudeikis representative said he had “no prior knowledge” of where or when the papers would be delivered and was appalled that the framework was so public.
It certainly begs the question of why the person handing her the papers thought for a nanosecond that this was appropriate behavior. Was she really that hard to reach?
But what’s even more surprising is that Wilde kept it together. I can’t imagine how confusing it would be to be in a professional setting, surrounded by colleagues and people who work in your industry, when a stranger approaches you with a very personal, controversial and emotional piece of paper about the law gives access you can have on your children.
And she didn’t lose it. Give the woman a medal.
TikTok “Dirty Soda” doesn’t sound that appetizing
Another week, another TikTok food trend. Hot on the heels of cloud bread and whipped coffee comes dirty soda. Cola and other soft drinks mixed with milk.
The trend originated in Utah, USA, where there is a large Mormon population who are not allowed alcohol and “hot drinks,” and this seems to be the sugar-candy solution.
A few food journalists have tested the trend on the street, with one saying it was surprisingly tasty until “my teeth started hurting”.
Not exactly a ringing confirmation.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/from-bridgerton-to-selling-sunset-all-my-favourite-tv-shows-are-losing-their-lustre-41607712.html From Bridgerton to Selling Sunset, all of my favorite TV shows are losing their shine