Love in the Time of Corona





Kristin Smith

TV Series Review

No one is ever ready for a global pandemic. But that doesn’t stop one from coming. As I write this in the summer of 2020, quarantining is in full swing, and people from all over the United States are mostly stuck inside. For better or for worse.

Elle and her male, sexually fluid best friend, Oscar, are cozied up in their home. Elle wants more than just friendship with Oscar. Oscar has no clue. And the both of them are now trying to break up their codependent relationship by trying some online dating.

Married couple James and Sade are together with their 3-year-old daughter. Cleaning up diapers, making dinner and attempting to find sanity are full time jobs. But both James and Sade are thinking of adding to their plate by having another baby.

Nanda, James’ mom, is tuning in daily to video chat with her husband who lives in a nursing home. But real connection seems impossible as Nanda recognizes that her beloved is suffering from dementia. And, if that isn’t hard enough, Nanda is thinking of reuniting with her long-lost son who has been known to take financial advantage of his elderly mother.

And, finally, there’s Sophie. A freshman in college, Sophie is bunkering down with her parents during quarantine. Her life is kind of a mess. Her boyfriend recently broke up with her, claiming she’s too dramatic. And her parents? Well, they’re technically separated. But Sophie doesn’t know that.

It’s going to be a long few months for everyone. The only real task here is surviving.

Corona Time

With the title a twist on Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ famous novel Love in the Time of Cholera, Love in the Time of Corona is a romantic dramedy found on Freeform that looks at four different couples and their personal dynamics amidst the 2020 quarantine.

But, as quarantining would have it, filming for this short, four-episode series wasn’t an easy process. Executive producer on the show, Joanna Johnson, didn’t just want faces on a screen over a Zoom call. So, according to the Los Angeles Times, Johnson decided to cast “real life quarantining couples, families and friends—[while] having filming take place at their actual homes with a small crew using protocols suggested by Hollywood’s unions, as well as state and local guidelines.”

A perfect way, as Johnson suggests, to highlight that “we’re social beings and we all are looking for love and connection — and even quarantine isn’t going to stop us.”

Ah. That’s nice. Right? Quarantine has no business stopping genuine connection, not even for virtual viewers of this drama filled, tiny study on human nature.

Each 22-minute episode features all the characters listed above, and each has his or her own set of positives and problems. Through the first episode, it’s clear that, for some, marriage and children are valued, commitment and love matter and healthy communication is important. But for others there aren’t so many praises to be had.

Men and women discuss sex and sexual activity in all its forms quite frequently, sometimes while wearing little clothing. Gay and straight couples talk personal, intimate details. Profane language is occasionally used, and people talk about some complex political and social issues. There’s a lot to wrestle with here and for many, the struggle just won’t be worth it.

Episode Reviews

Aug. 22, 2020: “The Course of Love”

Sophie returns home from college to quarantine with her parents, but she doesn’t know her parents are hiding a secret from her. Married couple James and Sade think about trying for another baby during quarantine. The elderly Nanda tries to connect with her husband, who is in a nursing home suffering from dementia. Elle and her sexually fluid best friend, Oscar, work through their codependent relationship while dating others online.

Men and women make multiple jokes about heterosexual and homosexual sex, libido, casual sex with multiple partners, slut shaming, lubrication, venereal diseases, fluid sexuality and looking up a woman’s skirt.

A gay man and his female best friend wear crop tops and make up dances on TikTok. At one point they take a break to watch a male neighbor shower while naked (we see him from the waist up). Later, this couple is seen together in the bathtub; he shaves her legs, naked from the waist up, and she relaxes in a bikini top.

A man asks to see a woman’s breasts over the computer, and she refuses. A woman talks about her sexually active relationship with a man she recently met online. Later, she moves in with this man. Couples kiss.

A female college student talks passionately with her boyfriend about white privilege and people dying during the COVID-19 pandemic. A mom talks about getting “pooped and peed on” from her toddler and, later, she and her husband decide to try to have another baby (we see the couple making out on the dining room table).

God’s name is misused nearly 10 times. The s-word is heard once, as is the word “a–.” A woman drinks a glass of wine. A formerly married couple hide their separation from their teenage daughter. A boyfriend breaks up with his girlfriend via text.

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Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).

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