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Some TV shows are telling stories about the pandemic. Some viewers wish they wouldn't

February 23, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 20.2%. 2 min read.

CHICAGO MED -- "When Did We Begin To Change" Episode 601 -- Pictured: (l-r) Yaya DeCosta as April Sexton -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)

As TV series roll out new episodes and the pandemic drags on, showrunners are confronting a dilemma: Do they weave Covid-19 plotlines into their shows or just pretend the virus never happened?

The educator, who lives in the Bronx borough of New York City, says such scenes are upsetting after the loss of her grandmother to Covid-19.

The two women's sentiments represent a dilemma facing showrunners as the pandemic drags into its second year and scripted series roll out new episodes.

January's season premiere of "The Resident" revolved around the pandemic -- one of the hospital's nurses got the virus -- but subsequent episodes have jumped to a post-pandemic world.

Peter Elkoff, co-showrunner and executive producer of "The Resident," says the show opted not to tell a season's worth of coronavirus stories.

"We believe that audiences would be a little bit fatigued by their own lives, living under the shackles of the pandemic, and that maybe what we needed to offer them was a show set in an imaginary post-vaccine world," he says.

"We tell some stories through the season that speak to the after-effects of the pandemic," Elkoff says.

And while Richardson, the viewer in New York City, is not a fan of medical dramas focused on the pandemic, she concedes they've allowed viewers a peek inside hospital walls.

Creator Ava DuVernay says they changed focus to mirror the challenges of the pandemic.

Executive producers for "NCIS: New Orleans" say that after much debate among the CBS show's showrunners, producers and writers, they decided to devote the first two episodes to addressing the pandemic, which hit Louisiana especially hard last spring.

"We decided to focus a great deal of our first two episodes specifically on the pandemic -- including a pandemic-themed murder, but then after that, relegated Covid and the health crisis to the background.

"The pandemic, much as it exists in real life, lives largely in the background — until it doesn't," says Glenn Gordon Caron, an executive producer.

Executive producer and writer Darlene Hunt says she decided "pretty quickly" not to include the pandemic in the sitcom, which stars "Big Bang Theory" alum Mayim Bialik.

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