What the Emmys Tell Us About a Year of Watching TV Continuously

Regé-Jean Page in “Bridgerton”; Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen in “WandaVision”; Hannah Waddingham and Juno Temple in “Ted Lasso.” Photo Courtesy: Netflix/Disney+/Apple TV+

There was a bleak extended period throughout most of 2020 and early 2021 when movie theaters were closed, theaters shut down, museums were empty and concert halls were silent. The only options we had for leisure and escapism were pretty much books, board games, video games and, of course, TV shows.

Now, the spike in COVID-19 cases caused by the Delta and other variants is threatening the return to normalcy that we pretty much had assumed was a certainty. But at least we live in the era of golden television. That’s exacerbated by the streaming wars, however, and we’re at a point where there’s just too much to watch and not enough time to do it.

Precisely because we’ve basically spent a whole year and a half of a pandemic in front of the smart TV — or alternatively the laptop, tablet or smartphone — it’s time to see what this year’s batch of Emmy nominations can tell us about how the TV landscape is shifting and what shows have been helping us escape the daily routine of vaccination rates, case counts and variants.