After a long delay in the pandemic, the “The Conners” was restored to the factory in mid-August, and John Goodman has undoubtedly taken all safety precautions. However, it was finally time to start working, and his heart still trembled.
“At the moment the first mask took off, I held my breath,” said the 68-year-old actor, who played the patriarch Dan Conner in the ABC sitcom.
Sara Gilbert, who plays Dan’s daughter Darlene, is also anxious, although as an executive producer, she is well aware of the measures the show takes to ensure the safety of everyone. The Los Angeles show is patrolled by two Covid compliance directors, the actors are tested five times a week, and the others are tested at least three times a week.
When the coronavirus pandemic intensified in March, it forced Hollywood to suspend production for several months. By September, most of the shows that were interrupted by the pandemic resumed using the coronavirus protocol, although some of them were not spared, including ABC’s “Stumptown”, Netflix’s “GLOW” and Showtime’s “Become God in Central Florida” . Their network cancelled a new season that was originally planned or underway.
Those who resume production can make a choice: Should they continue to learn from where they left off and resume the pandemic-free story? Or should the coronavirus and its destruction be dealt with in the narrative?
For “The Conners” (originally called “Rosanne”), it solves daily difficulties such as depression, divorce and unemployment, which has never even been a problem.
Gilbert said: “We have been trying to represent the blue-collar middle-class family.” “Pretend it didn’t happen, it seems to be out of touch.”
She added: “The story of life and death is familiar to us.” (The original heroine of the show, Roseanne Conner, was killed by an opioid overdose after she was fired for comparing the former Obama consultant with apes on Twitter. The name of the show was subsequently changed from “Rosanne” to “The Conners”.)
When the series returns on Wednesday of its third season, viewers will watch the same family entanglement as in other parts of the United States: Dan Zheng is on the verge of displacement. His sister, Jackie (Laurie Metcalf), tried to keep the family restaurant alive by bicycle delivery (equipped with dazzling neon yellow helmets, gloves and masks). Darlene and her boyfriend Ben (Jay R. Ferguson) are wondering whether to close their start-up magazine. Dan’s eldest daughter Becky (Lecy Goranson) drove back to the return of her undocumented husband, Rene Rosado, who took care of the baby while avoiding immigration authorities.
Of course, when an epidemic penetrates all aspects of life on the spot, it is difficult to avoid spreading it. Like all other comeback series, the “liar” led by screener Bruce Helford and executive producers Dave Caplan and Bruce Rasmussen Every element of its production must be fundamentally reconfigured to ensure pandemic safety.
Before the actors and staff took the stage, they passed temperature checks at least twice in the last two days, filled out the symptom questionnaire and passed the Covid test. Hair and makeup were done with a mask and face mask-Gilbert said she finished the area around the mouth herself. The props must be disinfected between each shooting, and then the performance will be filmed without limited audiences and personnel.
Gilbert said law enforcement is strict. She said: “You can’t eat or drink on the stage.” “There isn’t even water. You must go to your locker room.”
Helford said it is not cheap to conduct approximately 350 tests per week and install upgrades such as disinfection stations and HEPA filters.
He said: “To do this, at least six numbers must be reached.” “We must cut holes in the wall to improve ventilation, reinstall all communication systems, and continue to clean.” The shooting has been more than two months. Now, the show has not seen a positive test.
Gilbert said the hardest field limit to remember is the six-foot rule. She said: “Writers often just walk over and sell each other an idea.” “But now we must be reminded of’six feet!'”
Herford said they tried to set an example for the audience at home. He said: “If you are with people who live with you, the character can pull down the mask.” “But if they go out in the workplace and the people around, they will wear a protective cover.”
Goodman said that not having an audience arranged while frustrated can actually bring benefits. He said: “We have to maintain the natural energy provided by the audience.” “But frankly, when no one laughs, timekeeping is much easier.”
Gilbert said the series will not stop at the darkest part of the pandemic-“people get reported on the news every day,” she said-but the show starting at this moment will reflect events in the real world. The second episode of this season will be broadcast on October 28, six nights before the election day and three nights before Halloween. She said that the Conners will celebrate their favorite holiday through some family tricks, and politics may emerge.
She said: “But it’s not through the perspective of’I am for this guy!’.” “It’s’How does what’s happening affect my family financially?’
Kaplan said the writers have also borrowed from their own personal experience of writing the new season. Kaplan said that he, Herford and Rasmussen all “come from low- and middle-income working-class families.” “So even though stories are not always our stories, they are still emotional and honest.”
Helford said they hope to highlight the struggles of small business owners through Jackie’s fight to save her Lanford Lunch Box restaurant, as well as address the anxiety that the epidemic has exacerbated among children. He was referring to Darlene’s son (Ames McNamara), and he said: “Mark, the youngest boy, is undoubtedly the worst thing.” “He was standing outside the door to check everyone’s temperature. People, this makes everyone crazy.”
Other pandemic-focused shows, such as the free-form series “Love in the Corona Period” starring Leslie Odom Jr. and his wife Nicolette Robinson, Their spouse lived a life during the pandemic, and HBO’s “Coastal Elite”, a series of ironic monologues, received mixed reviews.
“The New York Times” chief TV critic James Poniewozik wrote in a recent evaluation of pandemic TV shows: “The most notable of most of them is that they have been completed.” But none of them needs to maintain this method throughout the season.”
But Gilbert believes that “liars” can be used as an anti-programming of the news cycle, which emphasizes the increase in cases and political posture. She said: “There is too much fear and anxiety.” “But we are studying how the epidemic affects this family, and humor is definitely part of it.”
Some moments that resonate with actors are unexpected. Goranson has been living alone in Los Angeles since March, and he said that the scene in the third episode was surprisingly exciting.
She said: “Becky is being isolated from her family, but I am not able to.” “But at the scene, she said that a person had an experience of being alone, which is almost conf regret, because it is so true to what I experienced .”
Glanson’s mother died in January, and she said her family could not hold a party for her. She said: “The one thing my mother told me before she died was’you want nothing but people’.” “It seems to be cruel irony now, because since she said that, I haven’t talked to me. Love people together.”
It is not clear that the pandemic will infect Connors’ fictional town of Langford, Illinois, just as it is uncertain how long masks and social isolation will remain in the United States. But Goodman said that despite many things, he still strives to remain optimistic.
He said: “This is just another thing we have to deal with.” “I’m glad we can have a show.”