Big Sky, from producer David E. Kelley, debuted on ABC this past Tuesday. The episode was a mess, full of random character introductions, unclear motivations, and some of the "tropiest" writing you will find on network television. Every scene seemed like it was written by committee, and for a first episode, really did not give us any characters to root for. It built to a big shock ending, which I won't spoil here (even though everyone else has), but it set up Big Sky as the latest show… "without rules!". Ho-hum. It was a few references sprinkled throughout the show however that really bugged me, and their inclusion is a head-scratcher: they refer to the pandemic multiple times.
You Can't Half-Ass The Pandemic, "Big Sky"
Multiple times, the characters refer to the pandemic or businesses that had to shut down because of the pandemic. The problem with this? This is not a world where a pandemic has happened/is still happening. Bars are full of patrons. people are walking around the town without a care in the world. Masks are nowhere to be seen. Say Big Sky takes place…a year after the pandemic has ended, whenever that is, it is not specified on the show so far. Do you mean to tell me that nobody in this area would still be taking any kind of precautions out there? Say it is taking place now, in the thick of things. That is even worse, now you are just making light of the pandemic and sloppily leaving the details out.
This is going to be an issue with shows and films now isn't it? It would be dishonest to ignore the pandemic and not bring it into storytelling. But you have to go all the way with it, one way or another. Having two characters stand in a diner that closed during the pandemic without masks and no context about if the pandemic is even still happening is lazy and irresponsible. What would be the issue with characters wearing masks? If Big Sky is going to take place now, then it should reflect the world we are all living in now. Hell, it would be more interesting than a trucker with mommy issues kidnapping young women who make every cliche decision you can think of.