COVID-19 cast reunions: do we Zoom towards them?

Sophie Hicks discusses the rise of cast reunions during the current global pandemic

Sophie Hicks
26th May 2020
Credit: Youtube
As production is suspended on TV shows and movies, COVID-19 has brought us a lot of cast reunions as everyone is free. It's the perfect time to get the reunions that everyone seems to constantly want, but do people really want them? Are they really necessary? And are they how we wanted, via a Zoom call?

The first big cast reunion I had heard of was the Parks & Recreation special. As a Parks & Recreation fan, I was excited, but also quite cautious. I was worried that my favourite characters wouldn't be how I remembered and that it would ruin a pretty much perfect ending to a show. However, in terms of Zoom cast reunions, the Parks & Recreation one was pretty excellent. They really managed to capture the characters lives during the pandemic, adding nice touches for the reasons why married couples weren't together on the call. For instance, Anne is a nurse, so she has to stay isolated from her husband, and is in a separate part of their house. I was dubious, but the special was really heartwarming. However, I knew that it would bring in a flood of reunions that wouldn't be as well-executed.

Credit: Washington Post, Youtube

For instance, the High School Musical reunion was a joke, especially when Zac Efron didn't even bother to show up. Gee, thanks Zac. Clearly "Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat" doesn't mean much to him now. We also had a mini The Office US reunion where the cast danced during someone's coronavirus-ruined wedding which was quite wholesome, but I wouldn't call it a proper reunion by any stretch. Now there's a Teen Wolf one that's been seems like a bit of an overload of reunions at this point.

Credit: ABC, Youtube

In the name of charity and good vibes during a pandemic, I'm here for it

A lot of the reunions have been discussions, rather than a scripted episode like Parks and Recreation. Honestly, I feel like they're the best way forward if these are still going to happen. Unless if there's a valid reason for the characters to still be friends or a reason to come back, I don't think they should do one that's scripted. I'm not a huge fan of reunions in general because I like a nice, clear-cut ending where only hindsight can destroy it, rather than the canon cast themselves. However, in the name of charity and good vibes during a pandemic, I'm here for it. If I don't want to watch a reunion, I won't. But a lot of fans probably will, and that's okay, that's what it's there for.

Are they necessary? Absolutely not. Do I entirely agree with them? Nope, I hate reunions, it's a cash grab in my opinion. However, in a time where people are rewatching their old comfort shows when they can't see their friends face-to-face, in a time where the cast members have time on their hands, I don't see much harm. Sure, the quality can be pretty poor, but you can always choose to not watch it. In the name of charity, I don't see much harm if it brings a lot of people joy and if it's for a good cause. There's an overload of them for sure, but you don't have to watch them if you don't want to.

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AUTHOR: Sophie Hicks
Former TV Sub-Editor for The Courier and BA Media Communication and Cultural Studies graduate

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