Every four years, thousands throng to Washington for a whirl of Inauguration Day balls and concerts. But as the coronavirus pandemic continues to force most big-ticket national events to scale down, President Joe Biden’s inaugural committee decided to take the festivities to TV screens.

“Celebrating America,” a 90-minute special that aired across several networks Wednesday night, brought together a mix of A-list talent — Justin Timberlake, John Legend, Demi Lovato — and average Americans from all walks of life, including teachers and nurses on the front lines of the Covid-19 crisis.

The special, which moved swiftly (more or less) between genre-spanning live performances and recorded video segments, was as much a celebration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ ascent to the White House as it was a reflection of the new president’s political persona.

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