It's been 15 years since the September 11 terrorist attacks. Countless tributes will be paid to those who lost their lives, those who survived, those who bore witness, and those who rushed to respond. In the grand scheme of things, how the disaster affected the world of entertainment is, of course, of minor concern. And yet, there's no question the catastrophe had an enormous impact on popular culture, as evidenced by the ways our favorite shows reacted and how the day's tragic events have played out on the big screen. The event has not only impacted our lives and worldview; it's also shaped the things we watch.
The biggest TV shows of the day, including Friends, Sex and the City, and Law & Order, were all set in New York City. Shots of the World Trade Center had to be cut (see: SVU, The Sopranos). Dedications were added. Scenes were rewritten. Some shows devoted more time than others to addressing the tragedy, though little reminders (Joey wearing an FDNY shirt on Friends honoring a fallen firefighter, for example) were constant.
Films also drew inspiration from the attacks and its impact on the world. Stories both real and fictional have sought to capture the drama and intensity of that day, with mixed results. That will no doubt continue to be the case for decades to come.
Here we examine how notable films and shows reacted, portrayed, and relived 9/11. Note: This is by no means an exhaustive list; for a comprehensive account of the event's impact on entertainment, click here.