While quarantine documentaries and films feel a bit repetitive, ‘Social Distance’, released on Netflix Oct. 15, seems all too real compared to the apocalypse-type genre many directors are turning to.
Though it’s no shocker that there’s yet another pandemic-related release from the entertainment industry, this show tends to hit on real life issues that many of its contemporaries are missing. With various characters struggling with alcoholism, death, depression and job loss, ‘Social Distance’ feels more like a reality show than an anthology series.
Many episodes and various issues seem extremely relatable, especially the feelings of loneliness or confusion from the characters. After all, no one truly knew what to expect when COVID-19 first began. Now, we have shows that allow us to see that our feelings were valid all along.
It’s a given that its creator, Hilary Weisman Graham, had to go to great lengths in order to create such a show in the middle of a pandemic. This is shown best in the structure of the show itself. All of the actors throughout the series are filming within their homes, sometimes with their families. However, some of the episodes feel extremely drawn out and repetitive as a result.
In “A Celebration of the Human Life Cycle”, Oscar Nuñez stars in what could only be described as a poorly executed Zoom call of an extremely painful memorial service. I don’t say “painful” due to the situation at hand, but due to the acting. Throughout the episode, the memorial seems more drawn out and awkward than it should be. The writers definitely could have added more to the scenes instead of the countless “muting difficulty” jokes that Zoom users are tired of hearing.
Because the episodes only last for twenty minutes, the acting should feel more rushed and energized. However, in episodes such as “Delete All Future Events”, many of the scenes feel stale. Granted, there is little to no room for setting alterations due to the pandemic, but creativity in the entertainment industry is far from scarce. They could have at least brought up the energy a bit.
While most quarantine work that has been released throughout 2020 has proven necessary to keep the entertainment industry alive, this series overall seems to be lacking. Because the pandemic is still happening, it doesn’t truly make sense for the show to explain the effects of quarantine on human life. This is due to the fact that we don’t truly know how this story will end. So any conclusion an audience can hope is dashed away.
While many of the experiences that are portrayed throughout the show feel extremely accurate, the show seems to be making light of the situation at times. While the show succeeded in the comedic aspects of the pandemic through technology issues and familial hilarity, it fell short in relation to the serious side of a global pandemic that has killed millions.
‘Social Distance’ has its flaws, but it truly proves how a show about a pandemic is actually relatable, especially now.