BARCELONA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A new Spanish sitcom about life under coronavirus lockdown shows how women are juggling parenting, work and housekeeping in one of the worst-hit countries - with a humorous twist.
“Quarantine Diaries”, billed as the first series of its kind on prime-time television, shows how confinement has pushed coexistence to the limit, its producers said, with the sitcom’s 15 actors all filming themselves at home with their own cameras.
Stressed-out women are seen negotiating childcare with their partners, dealing with elderly relatives on the phone and keeping fit through online classes, along with other everyday pressures that are amplified by life under quarantine.
“We have actors who even turn into their own cameras to give us a bit of entertainment when we need it the most,” wrote one Twitter user, Reme Roman, after watching the first of seven episodes on Tuesday on state-owned RTVE.
Spain’s prime minister warned on Thursday that nationwide confinement, first declared on March 14, would likely last until May.
In one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns, Spaniards are only allowed outside to visit their nearest pharmacy or supermarket and for essential work, while children cannot leave the house.
Multi-tasking has proven hard. About 80% of women in Spain said they struggled to work from home during the lockdown, with 97% blaming interruptions by their children, found a survey by Association Yo No Renuncio, a women’s rights group.
Spanish audiences were divided as to whether humour was the best way to dramatise confinement, with some saying it was inappropriate in a country where coronavirus has killed more than 15,000 people.
“If (only) they had been as fast managing the health crisis as inventing and filming a series that makes fun of it,” wrote one Twitter user, Don Rodrigo.