What to Watch?

The content being created under quarantine.



John Oliver filmed his show without a studio audience and with a limited set crew.

With all after school activities canceled, classes held online, and restrictions on going outside in response to COVID-19, students have more time than ever to watch sports, TV, movies, YouTube videos, and TikToks. But, many of the people who create this content have been staying home to protect against the spread of COVID-19. So, they are unable to produce the content they would normally, and have to create special modified content, often centralized around COVID-19.

One field that has been particularly affected is late-night shows. Unable to be filmed in front of an audience, on their normal set, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver felt awkward. “It was like I didn’t know when to laugh,” said Neal Mehta (‘21). The show was taped in front of a blank white background and Oliver’s opening line was, “Um. This is weird, isn’t it? This is definitely weird.” The rest of his segment was dedicated to clarifying misconceptions about COVID-19 and explaining information about the disease to viewers. 

Other hosts like Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, and Trevor Noah have released specials filmed from home. Fallon sang a song called St. Patrick’s Day Quarantine; Kimmel is promoting a charity every day to support victims of COVID-19, Colbert is filming monologues on his iPad, and Noah’s title sequence was changed to “From Trevor’s couch in New York City to your couch somewhere in the world, this is The Daily Social Distancing Show with Trevor Noah.” I have to agree with Oliver that it is definitely weird, but it is nice that they are putting out content in the midst of COVID-19.

Alex Cotton
Jimmy Fallon’s show was filmed by his wife and his graphics were made by his daughters.

Many YouTubers and TikTokers have continued putting out their regularly scheduled content because they work from home. However, many of them have been adjusting their content with a focus on COVID-19. It’s R Life, who normally make family vlogs with their seven kids, has posted vlogs titled “Coronavirus Shuts Down Disney while We’re there!,” “Can’t Buy Groceries…EVERYTHING is Gone!,” and “S Florida Curfew Enforced!” All of these videos have upwards of 70 thousand views. Bestdressed, who normally films fashion videos, recently posted a video offering tips for working from home during social distancing. Tips included getting a good night’s sleep and creating a morning ritual. In the intro of her most recent video, Luna Montana, who normally makes teen ballet vlogs, said, “I know that staying at home you can get a little stir-crazy, but I want to show you things today that hopefully you can do at home and will inspire you to stay home.” In the video, among other things, she tried playing guitar, painting her clothes, and decorating a phone case.

Many television shows have not been able to accommodate the growing threat of COVID-19 and have shut down production entirely. These shows include Riverdale, Grey’s Anatomy, Survivor, The Flash, and Grace and Frankie. New episodes of these shows will not be aired until the threat of COVID-19 subsides.