Lifestyle Tips for the COVID-19 Pandemic: Part One
Accessing Arts and Entertainment
The MGO Entertainment, Sports and Media practice is providing this series of “Lifestyle Tips” to help individuals and families in self-isolation pass the time safely, responsibly, and maybe have a little fun as well.
Entertainment was one of the first industries to completely close down in the face of the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world. This meant that all film and television production for new movies and new seasons of your favorite shows stopped. Completely. Everyone in production was sent home, and it meant that a lot of things we as viewers were looking forward to seeing are now delayed until things return to normal.
Shortly thereafter, live theatre and music event also underwent a shutdown; as both would be prime locales for the virus to spread from host to host. Most of the larger movie chains and hometown movie theaters have shuttered their doors due to public safety concerns. So what are we, as art- and entertainment-hungry viewers, to do?
Well, if you’re reading this, you already know how to go online. That’s a big step as a cornucopia of content is already available, and even more is being made available. This will alleviate a lot of stress and anxiety so that we can all be good citizens during this time of crisis and practice appropriate social distancing. This means, no rules or laws will be broken and you still get to see your favorite movies, TV series, and even live theatre from the comfort of your home. So pull up a chair or bed, grab your favorite snacks, and check out the links below.
Streaming Movies Early
There are any number of streaming services and Video-On-Demand (VOD) offerings that you can access, and plenty of movies that you can pay for separate from any plan. Studios are changing policies and release dates due to the current pandemic. For example, Universal Studios announced that their new films, including the anticipated Trolls: World Tour, will have same day release on home streaming as they will for a theatrical run. Universal is also making currently playing in theaters available on demand. You could be watching flicks like The Invisible Man, The Hunt, or Emma in your living room right now.
Similarly Disney released Frozen 2 to their streaming service Disney+ last week, which was well ahead of the planned streaming date. They are also moving up digital release dates and then Disney+ dates for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Onward. Warner Bros. Studios is starting their early film streaming release schedule with Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn) on March 24th.
The Plethora of Streaming Services
Besides VOD there are any number of streaming services to keep you company during your social distancing time including: Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Brit Box, You Tube, Apple TV+, CBS All Access, and so many more. There’s also a Google Chrome extension called Netflix Party, which allows you to host groups of friends virtually to watch their favorite Netflix shows and movies at the same time. You can still have (virtual) gatherings in a time of social distancing!
Live Theater Gets a Streaming Make-over
Of course, if you need a live theatre fix, you are also in luck. Even though Broadway closed its doors last week, as did 99% of live theatre venues around the country, you can still watch recordings of live shows at Broadway HD which is offering a free 7 day trial subscription to get you started. There’s also the British Live theatre site Marquee, where you can see recording of live theatre from the West End and more; and they are offering a 30 day free trial. So you can still see all the shows you want to see, but obviously can’t go to.
Ultimately, arts and entertainment play an essential role in keeping morale up, especially in times when there’s a lot of uncertainty about what our future, immediate or otherwise, holds. We can all escape into a fantasy world, and take a breather from the real world for a bit. Arts and entertainment are a salve for the soul and for your troubled mind. Take advantage of all of the ways that film, TV, and theatre are available in your home and breathe just a wee bit easier for a while.