Good Day Atlanta viewer information: Jan. 12, 2021

Art imitates life in fourth season of "The Resident"

Writers for the FOX hit "The Resident" have spent the past several months hard at work on the show’s fourth season, crafting storylines for the medical series that reflect the real-life drama of the pandemic.

"We wanted to capture this moment," says Eric I. Lu, a writer for the show and graduate of Harvard Medical School. "We wanted to really showcase what was actually happening through the eyes and through the lens of our characters who were going through this. Because we understood that fundamentally, this was a pivotal moment in time."

Lu penned the fourth season’s premiere episode with fellow writer Dr. Daniela Lamas, who also happens to be a pulmonary and critical care doctor in Boston. The show’s writing team decided to set the season in a post-pandemic world with staffers at the fictional Chastain Park Memorial Hospital grappling with the aftermath and devastating effects of COVID-19. Because work on the season began several months ago, Lu says writers were forced to try to imagine where the world would be in 2021.

"We wanted to focus our premiere on COVID — use flashbacks back to March and April when it really peaked, especially in Atlanta where our show takes place — and then, moving forward in the season, while COVID is still in the background, we made the assumption that the vaccine would be present in our medical world," he said.

In writing the season premiere, Lamas was able to draw from her own experience working on the front line of the pandemic, lending authenticity to the struggles of the show’s doctors and nurses.

"I took the last flight pre-COVID on March 7, flew from LA to Boston," Lamas remembers.  "There were a couple of people wearing masks on the plane and gloves, and I was not one of them.  And then I ended up back in the hospital the 9 of March or so, and I think toward the end of that week … we ended up starting to get our first actual COVID patients, and there was this sort of a growing realization that, ‘Oh, this is real.’"

And that stark reality is something the writers say they take seriously every single day, aware of the delicate balance between entertainment and responsibility.

"Having a number of doctors on staff, it was impossible for us in good faith to say we were going to sort of ‘jump over’ COVID," Lamas says. "So, we made the decision ultimately, in our premiere, to have in a flashback setting a really in-depth look at what our characters had been through during the pandemic.  But then also book-end it with hope."

"We have millions of viewers, not just in this country but around the world," adds Lu. "That just makes it incredibly important for us to be responsible to do no harm."

"The Resident" airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. on FOX 5 Atlanta.

Malcolm Mitchell's tells Good Day Atlanta about his annual ReadBowl, and his new children's book

It's the fourth annual free Virtual Global Reading Competition, (The Super Bowl of Reading) where teams of students compete from around the world to read the most minutes. The competition kicks off Jan. 11. and runs through February. Mitchell will crown the winners online on Super Bowl Sunday. Kids compete for great prizes, home libraries, copies of Mitchell's brand new book, and this year the grand prize winner gets a visit from Mitchell himself!

Mitchell has a new book out, "My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World." For more information on the ReadBowl and to purchase the new book, click here. 

Jody Baumstein of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta gives tips for talking to your kids about the news and current events:

When big newsworthy events happen, our kids need help understanding what’s going on. Parents will not have all the answers to their kid's questions, but there are guiding principles that can help with these challenging conversations. 

Licensed therapist Jody Baumstein has some solutions to help your children understand what's happening around us. 

Preparing for the conversation:

  • Acknowledge your own feelings
  • Wait until you’re calm
  • Expect questions you don’t have answers to

Start a conversation and follow their lead:

  • Find out what they already know
  • Actively listen
  • Keep information simple and developmentally appropriate

Provide comfort:

  • Be honest
  • Validate your child’s feelings
  • Practice healthy coping skills
  • Limit exposure to news and social media

Keep the conversation going:

  • Co-view media together
  • Keep your cool
  • Be a role model

Christal Jordan gives her take on the upcoming Lifetime Wendy Williams biopic

Talk show host Wendy Williams executive produces the biopic on her life, revealing the highs and lows she has experienced throughout the years.

Williams has made herself the go-to source for great celebrity dish on her hit talk show, "The Wendy Williams Show," but recently the spotlight has turned towards her. The authorized project provides a revealing look at Wendy’s journey, from her scrappy upstart days in urban radio to the success of her own syndicated talk show.

Despite all the naysayers and obstacles Wendy encountered throughout her life, her strength and determination have allowed her to thrive. Ciera Payton takes on the lead role while Morocco Omari stars as Wendy’s ex-husband Kevin Hunter. Watch the trailer here.