These tone deaf creations missed the ball completely
Johns Hopkins recently discovered that the COVID-19 pandemic currently "kills an American every 107 seconds."
But as the virus enters this brutal second wave, some creatives are already moving to profit off the latest American tragedy. It remains to be seen whether Grey's Anatomy and This Is Us will strike the right tone while implementing the pandemic into their scripts, but from blockbuster movies to stand alone TV shows, a lot of people are creating COVID content from scratch.
Songbird<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9336b0736ef357120a23b0c3dedef209"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gXlOSEafzhY?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>The issues with <em>Songbird</em> should come as no surprise to anyone. The backlash came down like a hammer once Michael Bay debuted the trailer for the political thriller over the summer.</p><p>COVID-19 has mutated to COVID-23, and now it attacks your brain, asthe U.S. remains in its fourth year of lockdown. The Department of Sanitation is the film's antagonists, as they're seen in the tone-deaf trailer kicking down doors and kidnapping infected Americans and sending them to government authorized "Quarantine Camps." They're led by some long-haired creepy doctor who for some reason doesn't wear a mask. </p><p>The film has been dismissed as being "<a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/movies/2020/10/29/michael-bay-songbird-movie-trailer-receives-backlash/6073718002/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">completely out of touch</a>" due to its massive scientific inaccuracies and overall timing. Many have gone as far as to accuse Michael Bay of trying to directly make a profit off this brutal pandemic.</p>
Love In The Time of Corona<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d2c2e46c44be7c847044391fb3d11544"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/l_nXLtffF0w?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>The premise of a quarantine love story should also come as a surprise to no one, as the pandemic has all but erased casual dating for the foreseeable future and significantly <a href="https://www.wired.com/story/coronavirus-has-created-a-sex-boom-but-maybe-not-a-baby-boom/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">strengthened the sex life </a>of many couples stuck at home together. </p><p>But the problem with <em>Love in the Time of Corona</em> and COVID-related love stories in general is that we're still very much living through it, and the Freeform miniseries offers insufferably surface-level characters and cliche quarantine anecdotes as a result. </p><p>The series is also only four episodes long, making for a story that lacks the depth that is required when discussing relationships during a pandemic. The concept of a series filmed in quarantine is cool, but I found myself far more invested in the <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/27/entertainment/love-in-the-time-of-corona-episode-2/index.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">behind the scenes camera robots</a> than I am in these weak caricatures.</p>
Connecting...<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2c91415b8b202a091af443cc25ffd673"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1N5xE0YojKE?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Filmed entirely through a zoom group chat, this on-the-nose ensemble comedy is insufferable from the format alone. Who asked for a show like this? </p><p>Zoom calls will forever live in infamy and have led to some of <a href="https://www.vice.com/en/article/epdgm4/new-yorker-suspends-jeffrey-toobin-for-zoom-dick-incident" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the most uncomfortable exchanges in human history</a>. In that respect, it clearly is the least appealing setting for a full-fledged sitcom. The stories exchanged are one dimensional and bland, and the jokes are monotonous. </p>
Untitled Adam McKay Project<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDc5Nzk1My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0OTE3NDQxM30.X1XgX7GWNcyx5c9yq9jhwtOcT_wKK7fzen4pHC8qgPQ/img.jpg?width=980" id="58512" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="765dfe7b3a49fc5e6b90d7251ea91c63" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Adam McKay project" /><p><em>Successions</em>' Adam McKay recently announced that he is already working on<a href="https://www.vulture.com/2020/07/adam-mckay-coronavirus-vaccine-tv-show-hbo.html" target="_blank"> a scripted drama for HBO</a> surrounding the "race to develop a vaccine for COVID-19"– a race that isn't even remotely close to over yet. The series will adapt a not even released nonfiction book, <em>The First Shot</em> by Brendan Borell, which he's said is about "the global coronavirus vaccine race" and "the companies that are risking it all to win it."</p>At a time when <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/science/2020/09/17/u-s-public-now-divided-over-whether-to-get-covid-19-vaccine/" target="_blank">many Americans aren't even comfortable with taking a vaccine</a>, this idea seems half-baked at best and almost destined to miss.
Hold Up<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="00c8ac8ec465ad5b000b347c7f2b142b"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YzCpw5N5j-A?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>The most problematic COVID content to be released so far, this controversial French documentary plays into one of the leading conspiracy theories surrounding the virus: that the French government lied about COVID-19's severity in order to control the public. </p><p>The documentary interviews members of the public, as well as former health minister Philippe Douste-Blazy, who later distanced himself from the project. The film has been reviewed and <a href="http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2020/11/12/covid-19-les-contre-verites-de-hold-up-le-documentaire-a-succes-qui-pretend-devoiler-la-face-cachee-de-l-epidemie_6059526_4355770.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">debunked by fact-checkers</a>: "<em>Hold Up</em> takes the well-known inconsistencies of the global response to the virus–such as when the French government initially provided conflicting information surrounding the use of masks–and uses them to propel volatile narratives and, at times, lies."</p>
Coastal Elites<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="cb61a304897766250d0eadd32aa4b005"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-PPxOYC_kgI?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><em>Coastal Elites</em> is another tone-deaf lighthearted satire. How Jay Roach snagged such an amazing cast is shocking considering how naive the final product is. Starring Bette Midler, Dan Levy, Issa Rae, Kaitlyn Dever, and Sarah Paulson, these five lifeless characters live in either New York or Los Angeles amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. </p><p>Together, they're meant to portray the various problematic shades of liberalism. The film was released a mere two weeks before the election, a stretch of time that will surely be remembered as one of the most stressful times in recent American history. </p><p>The film is satire at a time when satirizing our collective grief<a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2020/09/dangerous-naivete-hbos-coastal-elites/616315/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> borders on emotionally dismissive.</a> There are jokes made about how dumb Ivanka Trump is, about the notoriety of red MAGA hats, and about COVID. </p><p> <br>The intention of<em> Coastal Elites</em> is no doubt to "lighten the mood" and showcase how silly our division is. But released at the tensest moment in American history, telling Americans to calm down is the last thing <em>Coastal Elites</em> should have said.<br></p>
Amy was a visionary, and her lyrics—always honest, always vulnerable and yet strong—were some of her finest contributions.
Amy Winehouse was a musical visionary, and she left behind an everlasting legacy through her artistic contributions.
Before she died at only 27 years old, she gifted the world with her talents, strength, and open-hearted honesty, which always shone through, particularly during her live performances.
She was exceptional in every sense—her performances, visual aesthetic, and musical compositions all wound together to make her the icon she is today. Through it all, her lyrics were always one of her most powerful tools. She had the ability to cut straight to the heart of extreme emotions with a few searing lines, making her songs the sort that can be played over and over. Here are some of her greatest lyrics.
Image via Udiscovermusic
1. "This face in my dreams seizes my guts / He floods me with dread / Soaked in soul / He swims in my eyes by the bed / Pour myself over him / Moon spilling in / And I wake up alone."
These lyrics, from Back to Black's "Wake Up Alone," showcase Amy's ability to paint pictures with her words. Her lyrics told stories of late nights, private desires, and dreamlike sequences, and that's part of what made her songs feel almost mystical, though they're about relatively ordinary human experiences.
2. "I cheated myself / Like I knew I would, I told you I was trouble / You know that I'm no good."
"You Know I'm No Good" is one of Winehouse's most powerful songs. Its honesty and clarity paints the picture of a conflicted woman, tormented by her demons but at least clear-eyed enough to look them straight on. These lyrics are both strong and vulnerable at the same time, something that could also be said of Winehouse herself.
3. "I can't help ya if you won't help yourself."
These lyrics from the song "Help Yourself" show that some of Winehouse's most searing, powerful lines were her most straightforward. Though she was honest about her vulnerability, she was also perpetually strong and intelligent about her capabilities as a lover and healer.
4. "Over futile odds / And laughed at by the gods / And now the final frame / Love is a losing game."
"Love Is a Losing Game" finds Winehouse coming to terms with her unluckiness in love, comparing relationships to a rigged game. Lyrics such as these have long provided solace and strength to anyone who's found themselves lamenting the difficulty and transience of relationships.
5. "I died a hundred times / You go back to her / And I go back to black."
"Back to Black" is amazingly simple, elegant, and concise, and it showcases Amy's songwriting abilities at their absolute peak. Sassy, whip-sharp, and devastating, "Back to Black" is definitely one of the most iconic songs of the 21st century—in large part thanks to its shatteringly astute lyrics.
6. "Will you still love me tomorrow?"
The 1960 song "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" tells the story of someone finding themselves happy in a relationship, feeling like it's all too good to be true and worrying it could all disappear in the morning. Winehouse delivers one of the best covers in the long history of the beautiful song, lifting up one stunning lyric after another, while always remaining simple and straightforward, tapping into the heart of an all-too-common human fear.
7. "Everything is slowing down / River of no return / You recognize my every sound / There's nothing new to learn."
These lyrics from "In My Bed" showcase the innermost thoughts of a woman who's growing tired or unhappy with her lover, and they express the sadness of the realization that a relationship has run its course.
8. "I cannot play myself again / I should just be my own best friend, not f**k myself in the head with stupid men."
These are words to live by for anyone who's spent too much time in unhealthy relationships. Winehouse's blunt delivery spends no time hiding in metaphor; instead, she shouts her revelations from the rooftops, proclaiming the magic of her own independence.
9. "The lights are on, but no one's home / She's so vacant her soul is taken."
These lyrics from "He Can Only Hold Her" depict a woman halfway in the world and half out of it, lost and detached because of too much hurt, trying to start again but still trapped in the past. It's a heart-wrenching admission of pain from a woman who would eventually lose the fight with her demons, but whose music remains a guiding light for everyone else looking to see that they're not alone.
10. "They tried to make me go to rehab but I said no, no, no / Yes, I been black / But when I come back, you'll know, know, know."
"Rehab" finds Winehouse's wit piercing through, changing a dark subject into an upbeat, joyful proclamation of independence. Amy never let anyone control her—if anything, she was too wild and free, but it was always on her terms. This song is the definition of bittersweet, as its lyrics are joyful and devastating at the same time.
BONUS: "Her name is Cherry. We've just met / But already she knows me better than you / She understands me / After eighteen years / And you still don't see me like you ought to do."
Nobody knows exactly who this early track is addressed to—some think it's Amy's mother, an early lover, her father or the general public—but "Cherry" definitely refers to Winehouse's beloved guitar. Any musician or artist can understand the feeling that your guitar or other instrument understands and knows you far better than any human being ever has. Winehouse may have struggled in her relationships with people, but she certainly was a master of her art, and she managed to connect to millions through her solitary relationship with her guitars and her lyrics. Because of that, she'll live on forever as one of music's most beloved sirens, and as an icon of heartbreak and of power.
- Ten best Amy Winehouse songs, 'Rehab' to 'Addicted' - Time Out ›
- Amy Winehouse - Best Friends, Right? Lyrics | AZLyrics.com ›
- Amy Winehouse – Best Friends, Right? Lyrics | Genius Lyrics ›
- Amy Winehouse - Best Friend Lyrics | AZLyrics.com ›
- Amy Winehouse lyrics: 31 song lyrics ›
- Amy Winehouse - Best Friends (lyrics) - YouTube ›
- Amy Winehouse – 10 of the best | Music | The Guardian ›
- Amy Winehouse – 10 of the best | Music | The Guardian ›
- The Very Best Of Amy Winehouse, Lyric Writer | Anglophenia | BBC ... ›
- 21 Hauntingly Poetic Lyrics To Remember Amy Winehouse Quotes ... ›
- Remembering Amy Winehouse: 7 of Her Most Iconic Lyrics | Billboard ›