Unfortunately, There’s Going to Be a Coronavirus Rom-Com Show

More bad news: It's going to be called "Love In the Time of Corona"

watching tv
There's a lot of TV watching in our future, and a lot of stupid TV shows.
Erik Mclean/Unsplash
By Kayla Kibbe / May 11, 2020 12:28 pm

I regret to inform you that a romantic comedy TV show about coronavirus is in the works. It is with even greater regret that I relay its title: Love In the Time of Corona.

According to Variety, the four-part limited series has been ordered by the network Freeform, and will reportedly (and predictably) follow a cast of characters all sheltering in their homes as they navigate love and sex, wait for it, “in the time of corona.”

Such coronavirus-themed revisions of the famed Gabriel García Márquez title started cropping up inevitably and immediately as soon as it became clear that COVID-19 could and eventually would have some effect on our sex lives. These references in headlines and articles were cheesy and predictable, but some at least had the decency to veil themselves in some irony or self-effacement. If nothing else, you could at least imagine that the writer of such a phrase or headline wrote it and thought, “I can’t fucking believe I just wrote that.”

Unfortunately, the creative team behind Love In the Time of Corona has yet to provide any indication of ironic relief, instead sticking to an unnerving sincerity Jezebel writer Justice Namaste called “cheesy and out-of-touch.”

Case in point, Freeform exec Lauren Corrao’s cheery, woefully unironic claim that new project “is the perfect show for a generation who is learning to love and be loved in a time when the entire world is telling them to stay six feet apart.”

Like the recently announced Netflix series Social Distance, Freeform’s new show will reportedly be filmed remotely, with actors using their own social distancing quarters for the setting.

While Namaste rightfully argues that it’s “pretty tone-deaf to be announcing the release of shows monetizing a global pandemic long before the end is in sight,” I understand the seeming demand for these shows. After all, watching TV is a major part of most people’s new, socially distanced lives, and a lot of existing TV shows are now hard to relate to because the characters tend to do things like go to school or restaurants or hang out with each other.

I don’t know that we could have reasonably expected the entertainment industry to not try to monetize a global crisis, but I like to think we’ll be forgiven for assuming they’d at least have the dignity not to name a show Love In the Time of Corona. 

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