One year later: hope gets a shot in the arm

It’s Thursday and my arm hurts — for the best possible reason. 

As we all well know, today marks one year since the world shut down — one year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, one year since Tom and Rita announced they had COVID, one year since the NBA abruptly canceled all of their games, one year ago tomorrow was the last day my kid would set foot in his school until February of this year. One year ago we all just … stopped.

Since then, we have lost more than 530,000 American lives, and 2.6 million lives worldwide. We have lost loved ones, we have lost jobs, we lost our health, we lost a strong economy, we lost our social lives, vacations, holidays, celebrations, we lost the comfort of human touch, we lost our minds and our sense of security.

And the infuriating thing is it didn’t have to be that way: had we come together under the banner of science and a sense of unity and agreed that a relatively short period of shutting down combined with mask-wearing, hand-washing, social distancing, and a little bit of sacrifice would be worth it, we could have saved many — possibly hundreds of thousands — of those lives. We could have saved jobs and we could have had our kids back in school sooner.

But instead, some people decided to play politics with the virus, and pretending that it only affected states that didn’t vote for them, put out messaging contrary to the scientific advice: who needs masks! go back to your churches and bars and meatpacking plants! everything is fine! the eggheads just want to control you! one day it will just disappear, like a miracle!

Fortunately, the leader of those voices was voted out of office and he himself disappeared like a miracle in January — but only doing as much possible damage on his way out the door. In his place, we finally have a new administration that is taking not just the virus seriously, but is implementing a real, focused, muscular approach to ending it and bringing our country back from the brink. 

Vaccines are being distributed to the American people at nearly three times the rate they were 50 days ago when Joe Biden took office. And yesterday, I was one of those lucky people to receive my first dose. But my story is bittersweet: by most Texas standards, I am not yet eligible for the vaccine. I was only able to get a dose because there are so many people in the East Texas county where I received it who don’t want one thanks to the anti-science position their political leader has taken. Jasper County, Texas along with Hardin and Orange counties are literally encouraging people from neighboring counties and states to come be vaccinated because they can’t convince their own citizens to do so. And while that was great for my privileged ass, it is certainly not great for the people of Jasper County and East Texas and possibly for all of us if enough people take this position. This is why it was so important for Former President Soiled Napkin to show himself receiving the vaccine: to demonstrate to his followers, who worship him like a cult leader, that the vaccine was safe and important to our country as a shole.

Instead, he deliberately hid the fact that he received the vaccine and is now trying to take all of the credit for the benefit of the vaccines without actually doing anything to promote their use, including appearing in an ad campaign with the other former Presidents.

Of course, he’s not the only stupid, self-destructive politician out there. Yesterday was the first day Texas was “fully open” thanks to our ignorant, desperate-to-change-the-topic-of-the-conversation Governor Greg Abbott. Our felonious Attorney General Ken Paxton is threatening to sue Austin to force them to end their mask mandate because of course he is. These assholes are all about local authorities making the best decisions for their people until those local authorities disagree with them.

As for the vaccine itself — I’ll be honest with you, I was terrified. I HATE needles. Hate. And so when my husband announced that he found this location where we could go get our shots, I was genuinely upset and anxious. Despite all my preaching and insistence here that everyone receives their vaccine when it’s their turn, the reality was, I wasn’t ready. I’d seen the video of people being jabbed with long needles, and despite everyone’s insistence that it didn’t hurt at all, I DID NOT BELIEVE THEM.

And so I know full well that this won’t convince any of my fellow trypanophobiacs: but I’m here to tell you that I didn’t feel a thing when they gave me the vaccine. Now, my arm is sore today, and I was exhausted last night, going to bed hours earlier than I usually do, but I can deal with those side effects — they’re well worth it. But if you are even a little tiny bit concerned like I was about the needle itself, I promise you, it’s nothing. Please, please go get the vaccine as soon as you are able; you will not believe the sense of relief once you do, you won’t believe how much worry and fear and stress you’ve been holding inside of you. And you won’t believe how warm the feeling of hope is — it’s been so long since any of us have truly felt it.

As for the other part of it, the recovery, Congress passed President Biden’s relief bill yesterday, and he will sign it today. Tonight, he will address the nation in prime time (see below about setting your DVRs accordingly).

And life is already making plans to return: the Biden administration has relaxed restrictions on nursing home visits; movie theaters are set to reopen in the land of Hollywood this weekend; on-location filming is rebounding in California; live indoor performances can begin in New York again next month; Disneyland will reopen at the end of April; CNN is planning to return to their offices in September, The Washington Post, in July; schools across the biggest districts are beginning to reopen their doors — and once they do, more parents will be able to return to their jobs, too.

We are getting there, and we will get there. And one year from now, God willing, if we all go get those shots and take care of each other, we will be there.

For their one-year anniversary week, the Actors Fund benefit YouTube series Stars in the House will feature reunions of Little House on the Prairie, The West Wing, and thirtysomething.

One more thing COVID ruined: the original ending of Supernatural:

Disney is confident that Black Widow will debut in theaters on May 7. If so, that would be huge, not just for theaters, but for how far we’ve come.

The Oscars might be held in Los Angeles’ Union Station this year with “a crowd and nominees” in attendance, which would not be possible in the Dolby Theater.

Black Lives Matter

The HFPA is promising “transformational change” on their Instagram account.

“Not good enough,” says Time’s Up. They want every member to resign and to expand its membership to 300. HFPA has hired a diversity consultant in response. 

The Television Academy took one look at what is going on over that HFPA and hired a diversity consultant firm to analyze their practices.

What is genuinely amazing about all of this is how Hollywood’s racism is COSTING THEM BILLIONS. Literally: by underfunding and undervaluing Black-led projects, which tend to overperform at the box office, Hollywood loses $10 billion annually. I am always so amazed when Hollywood actually does invest in a project, like Black Panther or Girls Trip or Crazy Rich Asians, and it makes a BUNCH of money and everyone acts so surprised and delighted and then IMMEDIATELY completely forget the lesson that if they invest in a well-written, well-produced project that features underrepresented minorities it will pay out for them. STUPID.

Kelli Amirah, a Black actress on Lovecraft Country revealed on TikTok that she had her skin darkened with makeup for her role. HBO is really sorry, y’all.

Adonis Hoffman withdrew his nomination to join Tenga’s board when the media company’s CEO mistook him for a car valet and handed him his valet ticket.

The Uprise Grant Fund has been founded by the Sundance Institute to grant $200,000 in funds to support up to 35 artists of color who have been impacted by the pandemic.

Katie Leung, the young actress who played Cho Chang in the Harry Potter movies has opened up about the racism she faced at the time. It was genuinely horrific, and apparently, she was instructed to say it wasn’t actually happening if she was asked about it in interviews. What bullshit.

Olivia Munn is disappointed in how little conversation is being had about the anti-Asian racism that is occurring. Speaking of: Teen Vogue‘s new editor-in-chief hire doesn’t seem to be working out.

America’s Poet Laureate:

Meanwhile, Papa John would like you to know that he’s really trying to get rid of the “N-word” from his vocabulary and has been working on doing so for 20 MONTHS. I don’t even understand this story, y’all.

All Other TV News

Spoiler for The Masked Singer:

Uh-oh: the right is SO MAD that Disney+ put disclaimers on a number of their older movies that contain racist depictions … five months ago.

Olivia Cooke, who will star in the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel, says the new show will not feature gratuitous violence towards its female characters. We’ll see! (That said, I do think the show won’t have to rely on the gross sexposition that the original series did, especially in the early seasons — at least, fingers crossed they won’t.)

We finally have our first glimpse at American Horror Story Season Ten where apparently the horror is that Macaulay Culkin has turned into Alan Tudyk.

It is sounding more and more likely that this could be Grey’s Anatomy‘s last season. How they don’t know with only 1/4 of a season left is beyond me, but here we are.

A Cam and Mitchell spinoff of Modern Family is “being talked about” according to Jesse Tyler Ferguson. This literally means absolutely nothing.

J.J. Abrams is being Simpsonfied. Fascinating that it took this long for the big nerd to make it onto the show.

The history of Nash Bridges: Don Johnson and his neighbor Hunter S. Thompson got high and came up with some terrible ideas and one of them was massaged into the CBS show and  they both got royalties. And now you know.

Naya Rivera’s family is pissed at Ryan Murphy for promising a college fund for her son and then not following through. Ryan Murphy is basically saying the check is in the mail.

A Raising Hope virtual reunion is set for March 13 to raise money for the organization A Is For, which tries to destigmatize abortion.

Tom Girardi, husband of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills‘ Erika Jayne, is now saying that he has Alzheimer’s and dementia, and he might! And he might also be using this as an excuse to get out of the legal mess he finds himself in right now. I don’t know, I’m not a doctor.

Tucker Carlson continues to be a disgusting human being.

Disney, ESPN, and the National Hockey League have agreed on a seven-year streaming deal, for all you hockey fans out there.

More than 120 million viewers watched YouTube on their internet-connected TVs last year.

Vudu is coming to the Amazon Fire, finally.

Just a few stories from the continuing fallout of the Meghan-Oprah interview:

Prince William assures us that his family is “very much not a racist family.” OK. And as for Prince Charles, he hasn’t said anything about it, but a “friend” tells the press:

“He will not be drawn into it, but it’s fair to say he is surprised and very disappointed by what has been said. He didn’t watch the interview, but of course he’s heard what has been said. He feels let down by them both,” said a longtime friend of the prince’s, who also added: “There is not a racist bone in his body and to suggest otherwise is very hurtful.”

Yes, weep for the future king of the United Kingdom, he’s the true victim here.

As for who made the skin color comment, bookies are taking odds, and Andrew appears to be the favorite, followed by Kate. I reject both of these: Andrew is just hated by everyone right now, and Kate is, as I’ve said before, not that tacky. Number three on this list remains my guess.

If CBS can’t figure out that this interview is exactly the kind of content they need to include on Paramount+ if they want people to subscribe, then this experiment is going to be a failure.

Piers Morgan wasn’t the only British press figure the interview has taken down.

And speaking of Piers Morgan, Meghan Markle was one of 40,000 people who filed a complaint to ITV regarding his disgusting remarks about her mental health. Don’t cry for Morgan, he’s going to land in the warm embrace of Rupert Murdoch, just you wait and see.

I mean, not even Meghan McCain is defending the royal family, but these assholes are. Not that I’m defending the woman who compared her plight to Meghan Markle, because of course she did.



  • Special will end after two seasons on Netflix.

In Development

Casting News

Mark Your Calendars

  • Adjust your DVR settings accordingly: President Biden is going to make an address this evening at 7/8 p.m., and it is expected to run about 15 minutes or so. ABC will begin airing their Thursday night block as soon as it is over so you might want to extend any recordings by 15 to 30 minutes; Fox is doing the same; CBS is pushing everything back and preempting The Unicorn; and NBC is pushing Superstore back to 7:30/8:30.
  • Tina premieres on HBO on April 27.
  • Fear the Walking Dead returns on AMC on April 4 on AMC+ and April 11 on AMC.
  • Q: Into the Storm will premiere on HBO on March 21.
  • The Wedding Coach will premiere on Netflix on April 7.
  • Hall of Flame: Top 100 Roast Moments will debut on Comedy Central on March 29.
  • Special returns on Netflix on May 20.

  • Central Park returns on Apple TV+ on June 25.
  • Oxygen debuts on Netflix on May 12.
  • Snabba Cash debuts on Netflix on April 7.
  • Into the Dark: Blood Moon will debut on Hulu on March 26.
  • The Power will premiere on Shudder on April 8.
  • Pa’lante! will debut on HBO Max on March 25.
  • Octonauts & the Ring of Fire will debut on Netflix Jr. on March 30.


Roger Mudd, CBS News anchor and correspondent

Joe Tait, Cleveland sports broadcaster

Lou Ottens, Engineer who invented the cassette tape


genera+ion: Lena Dunham’s newest show follows a group of high schoolers in a conservative community, who are struggling with all the big questions about sexuality, friendship, and family. Series premiere. HBO Max

Station 19: Carina and DeLuca continue persuing the woman suspected of sex trafficking in the previous Grey’s Anatomy episode in the spring premiere. 7 p.m., ABC

Grey’s Anatomy: Maggie and Winston reconnected in the spring premiere. 8 p.m., ABC

A Million Little Things: Maggie is forced to return to Boston when the world goes into lockdown. Spring premiere. 9 p.m., ABC

Kid 90: This new documentary is based on the hundreds of hours of video footage Soleil Moon Frye took, revealing what life was like for young actors growing up in Hollywood and New York City in the 90s. Included in the documentary are David Arquette, Stephen Dorff, Balthazar Getty, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Brian Austin Green, Tori Leonard, and Heather McComb. Premiere. Hulu

Cherry: Tom Holland stars in this film about an army medic whose life spirals out of control when he returns home from Iraq. Premiere. Apple TV+

Late Night:

  • Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Jennifer Garner; Don Lemon; Adrianne Lenker
  • Late Night with Seth Meyers: Amy Poehler, Phoebe Bridgers, John Herndon
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Aaron Paul, Lake Street Dive, Billy Crystal
  • The Late Late Show with James Corden: Eddie Murphy, Tiana Major9
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live: Coronaversary Show
  • The Daily Show: The Daily Social Distancing Show
  • Conan: Anthony Anderson
  • Watch What Happens Live: Naomi Judd, Roger Daltrey
  • A Little Late with Lily Singh: Lena Dunham
THUR 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC President Biden’s Address
Station 19
Grey’s Anatomy
A Million Little Things
CBS President Biden’s Address
Young Sheldon
B Positive
CW Walker
FOX President Biden’s Address
Hell’s Kitchen
Call Me Kat
Last Man Standing
NBC President Biden’s Address
Law & Order Special Victims Unit

3 thoughts on “One year later: hope gets a shot in the arm

    1. Nothing to suggest I’m autistic yet, but I am having weirdly intrusive thoughts about how great a guy Bill Gates is which started soon after the shot.


  1. “One more thing COVID ruined: the original ending of Supernatural”

    But did it though? It sounds like they wanted to sacrifice story for fan service, which I (shockingly) don’t care for. That, and Dean still died and Castiel was (apparently) still shuffled off to the Empty and never spoken of again, so.

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