The latest Hulu and Freeform miniseries, “Love In Time of Corona”, follows the lives of four different couples and how they operate their households during the COVID-19 pandemic in California.
With the show billing itself as the first “pandemic romance show,” it wasn’t as eye-catching as the billing wanted it to be. After briefly watching the show, many noticed that it wasn’t much different from any other Hulu, Netflix or Freeform original series.
In the first episode, “The Course of Love”, the show introduces the main four couples, setting up their lives so far and how they are personally connected.
The first couple we meet is one of two of the black couples featured on the show, film producer James, portrayed by Leslie Odom Jr., and his wife Sade, portrayed by Nicolette Robinson. Although James is usually away from home, the pandemic reconnects him and Sade, and they explore their relationship once more now that they’re spending a lot more time together.
We’re next introduced to musician Elle and stylist Oscar, portrayed by Rainey Qualley and Tommy Dorfman respectively. They’re roommates who navigate single life during the pandemic by crushing on neighbors and going on Zoom dates.
After that, we meet college students Sophie, portrayed by Ava Bellows, and Jordan, portrayed by Tyler Alvarez. Sophie and Jordan just went through a breakup a little before the stay-at-home order, meaning Sophie has to move back home. This further complicates things between Sophie’s parents Sarah (Rya Kihlstedt) and Paul (Gil Bellows), as they have to pretend to be happy together when, in reality, they have recently decided to separate.
Finally, we meet Nanda, James’s mother and Sophie’s former teacher, portrayed by L. Scott Caldwell. She’s looking forward to celebrating her 50th anniversary with her husband Charles, portrayed by Charlie Robinson. However, Charles is struggling to recover from pneumonia, and is unable to come home from a facility because of COVID-19 mandates.
Throughout the duration of the first episode, it’s easy to notice that all of these plots have been recycled. Sade and James are a typical mainstream Hollywood black couple. You have the light-skinned black woman with the dark-skinned black man. It’s very rare to find a younger dark-complected woman in the starring roles in these kinds of shows, nevertheless in a black-on-black relationship. In addition, Elle and Oscar portray a typical friendship between a stereotypical white queer male and his stereotypical straight white best friend. It’s no surprise that Sophie, being the woke white girl, is paired with Jordan, being the selfish white privileged male. There are no new things being done with these relationships, so they get extremely boring extremely quickly.
The actual enjoyable parts of the show revolved around James, Sade, Nanda and Charles. There was a much more unique emotional aspect with these couples than many others. One of the most inspiring parts of the show was a Facetime dinner date between Nanda and Charles. Nanda, in particular, is really well done, as she reflects often on her past parenting, reevaluating her relationship with her estranged son during quarantine. James and Sade also have a more interesting dynamic than the other couples, as, at one point, they argue over whether or not to bring a child into a world where police brutality and systemic racism are ever-present concerns.
However, out of those bright spots, the overall show is pretty bland and not eye-catching. A lot of the storylines used were just recycled storylines that many have already seen before from better shows. The show is also very unrealistic, considering there were no concerns about financial instability among any of the characters.
“Love In The Time of Corona’s” casting and storylines are too uninspired and too boring for it to proudly bill itself as the first “pandemic romance show”.
“ Majority of the characters seem well-off and or living above the poverty line in nice homes, with some of them even living in mansions. This pandemic shows contrast’s from other shows strictly by being set in a time during a pandemic to other shows. It’s a light hearted romantic comedy with drama beneath the surface that is wrapped up within the 4 episodes. This show even shed minimal light on what’s happening in regards to COVID-19 and focuses mainly on the storylines and dynamics of the characters.”