I’ve been a harsh critic of endless prequels, sequels, and reboots, however, there’s one saga that never ceases to be “exciting”: The Global Pandemic. From The Black Plague to The Spanish Flu, this saga has consistently remained one of the most captivating across the world, with exception to a few independent projects such as EBOLA. It remains one of the oldest and longest running series in the world, and I gotta say, creator/producer Mother Nature never seems to lose motivation to release a new addition to the saga that really grips the world. Very few people expected this latest installment, CORONAVIRUS, and as of this moment, it’s proven to be one of the most refreshingly original additions to the franchise.

CORONAVIRUS starts with a big ole mystery. While the eponymous COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, China, we do not know exactly where it came from. Did it come from a man infected by a pangolin? Was it manufactured in a lab, and if so, was it meant to be a bio-weapon?? The answer is unclear, but this groundwork for the following plot sets up some high quality drama for global viewers.

Things really take a turn for the worse when the virus spreads throughout the world. People watch over social media as more cases pop up in South Korea, and even Europe, taking a strong root in Italy. This is where CORONAVIRUS differs greatly from it’s predecessors: with the advent of social media, mass global connectivity, and aggressive news broadcasting, this particular edition puts a solid twist on the concept of global disease spread. It cleverly takes advantage of the fact that, while we are now extremely highly developed as a civilization, COVID-19 is able to exploit that mass connection and rapid transmission of disease. In my mind, this is a refreshing twist for The Global Pandemic.

Of course no pandemic is complete without some spicy drama. One of the biggest surprises comes from (spoiler alert) the massive onset of the virus in Italy, where it spread to over 17,000 cases, putting the rest of the world on the edge of their seat. Harsh criticism of Donald Trump over a delayed response, along with blaring calls for universal healthcare by Bernie Sanders, and conspiracy theories perpetuated by bizarre Chinese Generals allow the global audience to pontificate deeply about the disease’s global effect, as well as their own personal impact on the pandemonium. CORONAVIRUS is also bold in that it doesn’t shy away from dark comedy: I was highly amused to watch The Karens beat each other up in Walmarts across the country over rolls of toilet paper. This cumulative drama forces the audience to really wonder if this is an overreaction or highly warranted, which adds a psychological thriller spin to the entire situation.

While this pandemic isn’t over yet, Part I seems to have set the stage for a really fascinating conclusion. The modern elements and all-star cast forces a global audience to pay attention and stay vigilant. While it’s unknown how long CORONAVIRUS will continue for, or if Mother Nature will decide to renew the series, one thing is for certain: this has proven to be a wild ride. PLEASEWASHYOURDAMNHANDS/10