“The Bite” is the first series to deal, under the guise of a zombie comedy, with the gritty realities of the management of the Covid pandemic.
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The Bite: Covid variants and taboos
The fact that it took us until May 2021 in the U.S. and the end of October in Europe to see “The Bite,” a series critical of the management of the Covid crisis, is a good demonstration of the extent to which the dictatorship of capital has been implacable during the pandemic. And that is because from the beginning of lockdowns, wave after wave and slaughter after slaughter, saving investments has taken priority over saving lives all around the world.
And truth be told, if we can now enjoy a breath of fresh air with “The Bite” it’s because in the U.S. the fracturing of the ruling class around and against trumpism has been so severe that it has bypassed all the taboos that have remained basically intact in the rest of the world. Not coincidentally, the team of producers and screenwriters of “The Bite” is the same as that of “The Good Fight,” the most unabashedly Democrat propaganda series.
Read our communiqués on the pandemic as well: Coronavirus: saving lives, not investments, 3/14/2020. The November Covid massacre is not the product of "personal irresponsibility" but of political priorities, 1/12/2020 The pandemic and the working class: what we've learned to date, 6/2/2021 New wave of Covid: the pandemic isn't over, 11/16/2021
The bite as a series
The series itself is funny and very well crafted. It is the first that manages in a believable and funny way to turn the failures of videoconferencing into a tool for campy comedy. The script’s references know how to be restrained in their harvesting of the zombie genre and constantly fly between Almodovar and the Adams family without complexes or pretentiousness.
The actors raise the bar even higher, from a great Audra McDonald to the always terrific Jefferson White (Jimmy from “Yellowstone“) in a delivery rider role that, like almost all of his, would have deserved much more minutes and even a sequel.
With just the right pace, the series progresses relentlessly and amusingly at a screwball comedy pace until the last episode… in which an endless song to “sorority” is shoehorned in, threatening to collapse the story through incoherence and boredom. Nothing that a few seconds of the fast-forward button won’t fix.
The Bite as catharsis
Only the particular American political crisis situation between the summer of 2020 and the spring of 2021 made possible a series that made clear, from the very first scene in which the CDC appears, the cynicism underlying the supposed conflict between “the health of the country and the health of our economy.” Not that the Democrats had any other priorities where they ruled, but at least their propagandists knew where to nibble when they wrote “The Bite.”
The series gracefully ironizes about the obsession with “avoiding panic,” “balancing science and economics” and “reopening schools and the economy.” It sticks its finger in the wound when crisis managers at the White House and CDC try to deflect attention by blaming some shrimp imported from Mexico and call the new variant SUN-9 because the sun is so widely accepted and 9 is far less worrisome than 19. They even allow themselves to joke about the blanket of silence the media has cast over the impact of the disease among state and economic leaders.
But above all, they point at the naked emperor when on the brink of the apocalypse they try to avoid closures by proposing instead “mitigation” measures such as putting a collar on zombies and take as a hypothesis to calculate the spread of the variant that those affected, by developing symptoms early, will be immediately isolated and community contagion will be automatically curbed.
All as amusing as it is tragically familiar. Rather than criticism, a bit of catharsis. But, after months of disasters and a propaganda bludgeoning of over a year and a half, it’s welcome as fresh air.