What would we do without Netflix? That’s been the joyous cry from many households in recent months as millions have battled through the lockdown experience by binging on their favourite movies and TV shows. Old favourites, new gems and those series you’ve always meant to finish but never quite had the time. Time is all many of us have now. We reach for the remote control and immerse ourselves in the box in the corner of the room.
Fionnuala and I have been working our way through a few box sets during our enforced downtime. We are currently watching ‘Ozark’ and next up it’s ‘Orphan Black.’ Fionnuala has been getting caught up on the new ‘Dynasty’ as well, while I’m devouring the new ‘Killing Eve’ and have waded through five seasons of ‘Luther.’ These are a welcome reprieve from the never ending doom and gloom on the news channels where it’s one disaster after another.
Escaping from reality is a relief at times like these. Where we can forget about the horrors currently consuming our world. We can switch off our overwhelmed brains and disappear down a rabbit hole of romance and drama, action and adrenaline. Anything is better than what is going on in our hospitals and care homes. Anything is better than the protests and riots, the endless bad news flooding our living rooms on the hour, every hour.
Nothing is normal anymore. In fact, much of what is going on is more befitting of a Hollywood blockbuster. Contagion anyone? Conspiracy theories abound as the world implodes and we sit in our homes, watching helplessly. When will it end, will it ever end? And if it does, what can we expect when the dust has settled, when we venture out again? The great unknown, so many intangibles, nothing but questions and confusion. Who can we believe anymore? The media, our politicians and religious leaders?
We crave what was, what we took for granted. The banal, the ordinary, the run of the mill. We will never look at them like that again. We will never sigh or roll our eyes at the mundanity of routine. We desire nothing more than our boring, ordinary lives again. We are sick of spectacle and crisis, it’s too much for our battered senses. Oh to be back to the the 9-5, the daily grind. We want our lives back, our world back, but is it too late for all that? Have we lost everything we once held dear?
I hope not. I truly do. I watch the daily figures hoping that we’ve turned a corner, that there’s some light at the end of the tunnel. In the meantime, there is Netflix. The once fantastic is the new normal while the real world contains what once we only saw on the big screen. There may be no dinosaurs or space ships (well, not yet anyway) but this is where we are. Day after day, month after month. A pandemic and the remote control. A not so brave new world.