Marvel takes over TV…

For over 10 years now Marvel studios has dominated the box office. Making the studio the biggest power house in today's market. I have been all in from day one. Ever since hearing the line “I am Iron Man” I was addicted, and for every film that followed I was there on day one watching them in the cinema. The experience always had a great impact on me, sharing the universe with my wife, my friends and even the people sitting in the cinema with me. I know Marvel have tested the water with TV shows in the past, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and the Netflix shows were in some way part of the universe, but they were never fully invited in. I found it hard to get properly on board with these shows. This time around, Marvel and Disney are going all in with the TV shows. I think this has a lot to do with Disney's streaming platform, trying to bring in and keep subscribers. In the future, I suspect that they will save the big moments for the big screen, but more and more stories will go down the TV show route. With the success of the Mandalorian showing ‘this is the way’, Marvel have decided to jump right in with 3 big shows to start off the next phase. Wandavision has just finished today, Falcon and Winter Soldier is coming up next, then we have Tom Hiddleston returning with anti-hero Loki. It is looking like Marvel is going to dominate our TVs going forward.

After watching the final episode today, I have to say I've not watched anything quite like Wandavision before. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me angry and for a large part of it very confused. For a long time we have been spoiled with all the different streaming platforms that give us full seasons on the first day of release, introducing the world to binge-watching. I think in a way, this has made me greedy for content. Going through a full season of a show in 1 or 2 days can be fun, but what Disney did with Wandavision was teach us patience; I'm not going to lie, I found this very difficult at the start and was really frustrated especially with the first 2 episodes of the show not really giving much away about what was going on. This made the show feel like it wasn't really going anywhere and a little hard to get into, if this was any other show other than part of the Marvel universe I might have given up after the second episode as it didn't grab me. However, after over 10 years of loyalty, I probably gave it more of a chance than I would any other show! Once I got past the first few episodes and the show kicked into gear, I was so glad I stuck with it. Each week, I started to look forward to Friday night, to sit with my wife and get ready to watch the next episode. It made me reminisce about times before internet streaming, when I had to wait for the next episode. Patience has never been my strong point!

I have very few complaints around the show, but I do think the pacing of the show was off and could have introduced a few elements early to help with keeping me interested. I didn't relate to some of the sitcoms used, as I've not seen them before, so I missed a lot of the references. Overall, I think the concept was a huge success. The small details in the show are what stand out, and the attention shown to things that you might miss first time watching is so well done. From the opening credits including Elizabeth Olsen introducing us each episode to the show but each week sounding more and more run down. You maybe wouldn't notice it at first but only after repeat viewing. To Randall Park’s Jimmy Woo character learning how to make his business card appear out of thin air; this was a nice call back to his first appearance in the MCU in Antman and Wasp, and seemed to be about letting you know that it's all part of a bigger picture. These are cleverly done, without shoving it down your throat.

The performances throughout are outstanding, from the main cast to all the supporting actors and actresses everyone has their moment to shine; I'm going to be so pissed off if we don't get an X-Files style spin off with Randall Park and Kat Dennings who almost stole the show! That honour goes to Kathryn Hahn who was simply amazing and made witches cool again; she even got her own theme tune that is a homage to the Munsters, once you hear it you can't get it out of your head. Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen are truly amazing in their roles that they are so comfortable in. Their relationship as Wanda and Vision feels so effortless and genuine that you are hoping for a happy ending for the pair, but we all know now that wasn't the case. This show is about grief and all the stages that come with it. I felt it too, it's raw and painful, and how it ended left me completely heartbroken.

Marvel played with our emotions quite a lot through this series, no more than when they shocked us with the introduction of Evan Peters ‘Quicksilver'. They teased us, making us think that they were bringing in the Multiverse and with it the X Men, only for it to be ripped away at the end. They did this trick many times throughout the show, with Monica Rambos special scientist on the inside, making us guess week in and week out. I think most fans of the show and comics were hoping for Reid Richards, and it would have made sense for him to be involved this way, but I guess Kevin Feigh has greater plans for Marvel's original family. I do think that was part of the fun of the show, each week I had a theory of what could potentially be around the corner. It surprised me and kept me guessing even to the final episode.
My favourite part in the show was Wanda finally getting her name The Scarlett Witch. The delivery was pitch perfect and gave me the impression that Wanda has a big part to play going forward in the MCU. The 2 end credit scenes show what is to come, with Monica looking to blast off into space to start the secret wars storyline and The Scarlett Witch starting on the path to have a visit with a certain Dr. There's only one question left - is she going to be the villain or the hero in her story, going forward?

I'm excited with the next instalment of the MCU and look forward to Disney and Marvel throwing their weight into the TV shows, and I can see this changing the ways other streamers release content. It feels like a shift from big budget movies now to big budget TV shows. Disney, you might as well just take all my money from me now.

Thanks for reading :)