#Since2020: Shows That Got Montclair State Students Through the Pandemic

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Published March 1, 2022
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The Montclarion
Montclair State students look back on what TV shows helped them through the lockdown.

During the first week in March, The Montclarion will be publishing content related to the two-year commemoration of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the effect it has had on Montclair State University’s campus community #Since2020.

Two years ago, the world felt like the never-ending television series, “The Walking Dead.” But instead of zombies invading our homes and terrorizing our lives with the fear of being bitten, we faced the fear of being infected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) even when we were stuck inside.

As the pandemic went on, it took one click to a new TV show for Montclair State University students to find comfort.

Now, they reminisce about what shows kept them company while stuck in their bedrooms.

For Jaime DiDomenico, a fifth-year family science and human development major, she turned to comedy during the lockdown.

She binge-watched the animated Fox television sitcom “Bob’s Burgers” which follows the lives of restaurant owner Bob Belcher and his dysfunctional family consisting of his wife, Linda, and their three children, Tina, Gene and Louise as they run a hamburger restaurant and run into everyday misadventures.

“I’m a huge fan of comedy, especially ‘Bob’s Burgers,’” DiDomenico said. “It’s not only the situations the characters get into, but it’s the characters themselves that you love so much with great traits [who] just feel like real people. You can watch the same episodes a million times, and you’ll still laugh.”

Jaime Didomenico, a fifth-year senior family science and human development major, turned to comedy. Mya Whyte | The Montclarion

Jaime DiDomenico, a fifth-year family science and human development major, turned to comedy.
Mya Whyte | The Montclarion

DiDomenico said “Bob’s Burgers” put a smile on her face, which was hard to do during such a rough time.

“I was very depressed during the pandemic, and I always found humor to be the best medicine for me, especially this show,” DiDomenico said.

"Bob’s Burgers" follows the lives of restaurant owner Bob Belcher and his dysfunctional family. Photo courtesy of Fox

“Bob’s Burgers” follows the lives of restaurant owner Bob Belcher and his dysfunctional family.
Photo courtesy of Fox

While most people watch television shows to connect with the characters or find comfort in a plot, Ben Strong, a senior musical theatre major, watched for the cast and their acting.

Strong found this in “Better Call Saul,” a Netflix series that serves as the prequel to the hit series “Breaking Bad.” Instead of infamous meth dealer Walter White, we focus on his ace attorney, Saul Goodman (originally Jimmy McGill), who was once a minor league attorney fighting for low-income clients and criminals.

Ben Strong, a senior musical theater major, watched "Better Call Saul," the prequel to "Breaking Bad." Mya Whyte | The Montclarion

Ben Strong, a senior musical theatre major, watched “Better Call Saul” during the pandemic. Mya Whyte | The Montclarion

“We didn’t get to do live classes or in-person classes because of the pandemic,” Strong said. “You know, we’re all actors so it was hard. ‘Better Call Saul’ was a low-stress way to enjoy something but also be reminded of how much I love acting because all the actors on that show are so talented.”

"Better Call Saul" serves as the prequel to "Breaking Bad." Photo courtesy of AMC

“Better Call Saul” serves as the prequel to “Breaking Bad.”
Photo courtesy of AMC

People usually take to TV shows to binge the stress away. Miranda Wolf, a senior musical theatre major, took to both shows and films with her boyfriend.

“So my boyfriend had never seen ‘Star Wars’ or any of the movies,” Wolf said. “I’m a big ‘Star Wars’ nerd so we watched all of the movies and ‘The Mandalorian.’”

Miranda Wolf, a senior musical theatre major, found comfort in the "Star Wars" franchise. Mya Whyte | The Montclarion

Miranda Wolf, a senior musical theatre major, found comfort in the “Star Wars” franchise.
Mya Whyte | The Montclarion

Like Wolf, many people found comfort in the “Star Wars” franchise and warped themselves into another reality during the pandemic to find relief.

“It was [kind of] escapism in a way because it’s such a different world,” Wolf said. “It’s not a realistic TV show so it was [kind of] nice to not think about what’s going on outside.”

Many people found comfort in the 'Star Wars' franchise and warped themselves into another reality during the pandemic to find relief. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Many people found comfort in the ‘Star Wars’ franchise.
Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Some people drifted to different universes to cope, but Mario Díaz, a senior television and digital media major, goes headfirst into action shows like “Cobra Kai.”

He started the show during the beginning of the pandemic since he hadn’t watched it previously and suddenly had more time.

“It was more like something fun to watch,” Díaz said.

Mario Díaz, a senior television and media production major, enjoyed "Cobra Kai." Mya Whyte | The Montclarion

Mario Díaz, a senior television and digital media major, enjoyed “Cobra Kai.”
Mya Whyte | The Montclarion

“Cobra Kai” is an original Netflix series that takes place 34 years after the ending of the original 1984 “Karate Kid” movie, where the rivalry between two former karate competitors, Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso, is reignited when Johnny reopens the infamous Cobra Kai dojo.

Though Díaz watched this show as a distraction from being in lockdown and working his part-time job, reality reared its ugly head and reminded him of what he missed most: playing sports.

“’Cobra Kai’ [is] about karate, which is a sport,” Díaz said. “I do sports. I love going outside to play volleyball, basketball or baseball, so since I couldn’t do that, it took a major hit for me.”

"Cobra Kai" is an original Netflix series that takes place 34 years after the ending of the original "Karate Kid" movie. Photo courtesy of Netflix

“Cobra Kai” is an original Netflix series that takes place 34 years after the ending of the original “Karate Kid” movie.
Photo courtesy of Netflix

No matter what shows students binged, television played not only a big role in the pandemic but an even bigger one in helping people cope with such a difficult time.

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