First off, I admire your patience with your answers to all the asks, thank you for your thoughtful replies.I have seen lots of frustration and disappointment with the Maya/Carina storyline/airtime in s4 so far on Station 19 and I find it fascinating and strange at how quickly people are forgetting the covid pandemic isn’t just a storyline, it’s real life for everyone right now, including the cast and production team. (That’s a general observation – not one I’ve ever sensed you to have through your responses BTW). That we have had any onscreen, close physical contact nevermind actual physical intimacy that requires the actors to kiss etc is a huge luxury. I don’t know what the exact rules are for the acting industry in the USA at the moment, but in the UK the rules are still strict for actors and were even stricter earlier in the year (at around the time the episodes just broadcast would have been filmed). And just this week Tom Cruise has been widely (and positively) reported about for making sure that the severity of the risks are to the industry and how much effort is being put in by those that can have shows/films in production right now to keep the industry alive for when it hopefully gets a little bit easier.And yes, it’s frustrating to see our favourite story lines within ensemble shows get a ‘lesser’ spotlight than others, especially when the others are the heteronormative, ‘mainstream’ ones.We have no idea what plan A was for s4 – it’s a casualty of covid, twice over. First because the broader narrative was adjusted to accommodate it, almost like the introduction of an additional series member to the ensemble. And second because they have to come up with stories that can be told through scenes filmed in ways that the cast, crew, studio etc are prepared to do because they feel they can do them safely.COVID kills, still by the thousand, every hour and day now, 9+ months after the first lockdowns and shelter in place orders etc. So much of life is unrecognisable for so many because of it, because they have lost people they care about, jobs, homes… And things taken for granted 10 months ago are almost forgotten about, condemned to ancient history because they just can’t happen safely.Yet we have new episodes on TV, made by people who were prepared to hug and kiss and put themselves as elevated risk of catching a seriously scary disease because it was something they could do to help us all, collectively feel like life still goes on.(we could have ended s3 at episode 15 and still be waiting for s4 to start filming….yet we have French Toast that’s better than sex!) Personally, I’m just so glad that we have had Maya and Carina on screen again in 2020 and that the storyline has survived COVID in the real world. Yes, it would be great if it was more and different and all the things as fans we always want. And hopefully it will be nearer that by the end of s4’s whole arc. And if it isn’t? I think I’ll cross that bridge when it comes. Hopefully at a point in 2021 when COVID-19 is no longer a main cast member of our lives… On screen and and in real life.

Thanks, anon! Press publish.

I’m kidding, but can you imagine. :p Um, hmm, okay, well, I do get your point, and have, as I’m sure you noticed, brought it up myself, that we don’t know what might have been without covid or how it changed things, and I didn’t even think about something like, for example, if Carina has a scene with Andrew, she may not be able to easily have one with Maya, just in terms of sharing bubbles and whatnot, as happened this week.

But as you mentioned yourself: “it’s frustrating to see our favourite story lines within ensemble shows get a ‘lesser’ spotlight than others, especially when the others are the heteronormative, ‘mainstream’ ones.” THAT’s what’s bothering people, where actors are sharing more screentime, getting more intimate, when they’re part of m/f couples. Stefania and Danielle have obviously done whatever was necessary to share scenes, so why are they still so short and few? This seems more a writing choice. Having Maya talk to Andy about her anger at Carina’s items in her apartment instead of with or in addition to Carina, that’s a writing choice where not much else would even need to have changed, involving the rest of the plot or actors.

And while I’m grateful for the episodes and bit of screentime, if they come with a reminder of those inequalities, that stings. I do try to approach things in good faith and have other things to occupy me so haven’t let it bother me much but the differences are noticeable and I get why people aren’t happy with it.