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Robert and Michelle King's The Bite feels dated with its quarantine premise

  • The Good Fight creators' attempt to blend satire with COVID and zombies is a reminder of the shows filmed during quarantine to mixed results, including special episodes of Mythic Quest and All Rise. "Starting in April 2020, quarantine productions began lurching onto our screens, well-intentioned in their desire to provide crews with gainful employment, but rarely finding constructive creative workarounds for the COVID constraints," says Inkoo Kang. "These were artistic ventures featuring actors interacting through Zoom and Skype screens, occasionally enlivened by actual in-person scenes shared by real-life spouses. By late summer, many productions had resumed, though the resulting shows bore some visual reminders — the nightclub scene with a half-dozen people, etc. — of complicated COVID protocols. COVID quarantine shoots were relics and a new normal reigned. Yet somehow, nearly 12 months to the day after the cast of Mythic Quest joined for an emotionally triumphant Zoom, and nine months after Freeform’s Love in the Time of Corona, the COVID production drama is back with The Bite, a strange exercise in nostalgia for a mode of shooting nobody is nostalgic for. Despite moderate creativity, The Bite‘s dated limitations outweigh its pleasures."


    • The Bite feels like summer-stock TV that grabs your attention with its high-profile Broadway veteran cast: "The cast includes at least six Tony winners, with 14 awards among them, and another nine nominees," says Mike Hale. "Altogether, around 35 performers with Broadway experience made it into the credits. That total is particularly impressive for a couple of reasons. The Bite is only six episodes. And since it is in the small, and possibly temporary, genre of the self-conscious, safely filmed pandemic narrative, the main action is limited to a few rooms (and a lot of video screens) and largely played by a handful of real-life couples. The presence of all those stage actors feels appropriate, though, because The Bite feels like summer-stock TV, or like a play that’s literally being put on in someone’s living room. Modestly clever, consistently lively, funny in some spots and tedious in others, it’s a shaggy-virus story that holds your attention, if it does, because of its surplus of talent."
    • Why The Bite added zombies to the pandemic: “I think it’s the only way to look at the craziness of what we’re going through and to take it to another level because if you just stay within COVID, it’s drama and what we wanted to do was add satire and comedy. And so, if you go a little further, you can comment on what’s going on now,” Robert King explains.

    TOPICS: Spectrum Originals, The Bite, Michelle King, Robert King, Coronavirus