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The Disney+ Marvel Studios Series Thread

Moe_Syzlak

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That may be a good point, and I have read about other people who gave up on the show, it all seems to be after episode 2. I do find it interesting because the first two episodes are short, so they're not exactly a big time investment, but (with the trailers) they seem to establish a pattern and both episodes are pretty strictly committed to the gimmick. I can see how many might have seen that more impenetrable than inviting. Again, not trying to command anyone to like or even watch a thing they don't care for.

I'm in my mid 30s, so born in the mid 80s, a little older than Wanda the character. I'm familiar with a lot of the prior decades' shows through reruns that aired when I was a kid. Nostalgia is a part of the theme of the show and my personal nostalgia may account for some of my positive reaction to it.
IIRC the two shows parodied in the first two episodes are the Dick Van Dyke Show and Bewitched. Both were in heavy syndication in the 70s when I was a kid (I was born in 1970). And, frankly, the parodies didn’t work for me at all. I’m certainly open to parody. I thought the Brady Bunch Movie did a great job of lampooning a show from that era. And it just didn’t feel like there was much more to it than that. It seemed to hint at a larger story, but not enough to give me the patience to suffer the parodies.
 

addiesin

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Yeah, I would lean more towards calling it homage or pastiche over parody, but that's not much of a distinction. Either way, it is definitely a gimmick, that I guess you either love or hate.

I, too, enjoyed the Brady Bunch movies.
 

Gaith

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For my part, I've been watching Sebastian Stan play Bucky Barnes for 11 years now, since Captain America: The First Avenger. In all this time, I've found him a bit of a nothing character, whose friendship with Steve was pure and nice and all, but underdeveloped, and therefore uninteresting. When he told Steve he wasn't sure if he was worth all the trouble his plight had caused in Civil War, I nodded enthusiastically in agreement. This also made me doubt Stan's acting abilities.

After these first two episodes, however, I'm a bona fide Bucky fan, and would love to see Stan take on the part of Luke Skywalker in a post-RotJ Disney+ series. :D
 
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addiesin

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After these first two episodes, however, I'm a bona fide Bucky fan, and would love to see Stan take on the part of Luke Skywalker in a post-RotJ Disney+ series. :D
I completely agree, felt the same for Wanda and for Vision, they were like bland background characters who were only even there because they existed in the source material, but now they are two of my favorites. Making these characters likeable is Marvel's bread and butter, but it really feels like they've fixed something that was never really working.
 

Racerx1969

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WandaVision is a tough start. My wife and I were about to give up on it after the first two episodes. "Is this all they are doing? Is this going anywhere?" But we were encouraged by my sister and a MCU nerd friend to stick with it. In episode 3 we started to see where they were going and it took off from there. The ending is a bit of a let down, but it's not terrible. Overall it was worth watching and we enjoyed the ride.

Falcon and the Winter Soldier is great right out the gate. We are fully enjoying it and were both cracking up during episode 2. The chemistry between the two is good. New Cap, new baddies are indeed new--nobody knows who they are (unless I missed something). Which makes sense considering how Sam and Bucky respond to him.
 

theryaney

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Loki is coming, June 19.


WandaVision was good, not really groundbreaking but an enjoyable pastime. TFATWS though, I think is working. Great chemistry and interesting story.
 

Gaith

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Somewhat replying to Spence's thread, with regards to the series, I personally am far more interested in the "slow" stuff about Sam's feelings and Louisiana family than the small-time threat posed by a handful of refugees, enhanced strength or no. I agree their motivation should have been explained earlier than it was, and it turned out to be more believable than I was expecting, but their rallying cry/dream of a border-free world is still laughable, and dooms them to failure and long-term irrelevance, no matter how many hostages they take or hospitals they blow up.

Instead, this story is primarily about how Sam decides to become Captain America, regardless of who nominated him. Its heart lies in Bucky's line that neither he nor Steve understood what it would mean for a Black man to carry the shield. There was beautiful storytelling in following Isaiah Bradley's declaration that no self-respecting Black man would want to be a Captain America with the scene of Sam's Black nephews happily playing with the shield. They think nothing of it, Bradley is against it, and Sam is in between.

Sam's limited finances don't make a ton of sense, either, given his celebrity status, but they make for a more compelling story. And I'm delighted to see that the weak third episode was very much an outlier.
 

revel911

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Somewhat replying to Spence's thread, with regards to the series, I personally am far more interested in the "slow" stuff about Sam's feelings and Louisiana family than the small-time threat posed by a handful of refugees, enhanced strength or no. I agree their motivation should have been explained earlier than it was, and it turned out to be more believable than I was expecting, but their rallying cry/dream of a border-free world is still laughable, and dooms them to failure and long-term irrelevance, no matter how many hostages they take or hospitals they blow up.

Instead, this story is primarily about how Sam decides to become Captain America, regardless of who nominated him. Its heart lies in Bucky's line that neither he nor Steve understood what it would mean for a Black man to carry the shield. There was beautiful storytelling in following Isaiah Bradley's declaration that no self-respecting Black man would want to be a Captain America with the scene of Sam's Black nephews happily playing with the shield. They think nothing of it, Bradley is against it, and Sam is in between.

Sam's limited finances don't make a ton of sense, either, given his celebrity status, but they make for a more compelling story. And I'm delighted to see that the weak third episode was very much an outlier.

How does it not make sense?

He was gone 5 years immediately after being a government fugitive, he would have started out broke, so the only way he is making money is those government contracts. Government pays in 90 days cycles, so its not like he won't have money .... just not yet
 

addiesin

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How does it not make sense?
I assume he doesn't mean logistical sense, but common sense (Sam's common sense specifically).

If what you do for work isn't paying the bills, you stop doing that and start doing something that does pay the bills, that's just life if you don't want to be homeless. Since Sam is still superheroing, we the audience can assume he's taken care of financially one way or another. If not, it makes him seem kind of dumb for essentially working for free (especially post-Sokovia Accords, where all superheroing has world governments involved). Normally we don't have to think about this stuff because it would be an issue with any superhero franchise except obvious cases where an explanation is built-in (Batman or Iron Man being a billionaire, The Boys being a corporate entity, characters having secret identities with jobs completely separate from superheroing, etc). But the show brought it up explicitly, so it's now shining a light on a corner nobody thought they'd have to clean.
 
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Gaith

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Yeah, Sam starts off the series a civilian military combat contractor, which has to pay well, and one imagines he could easily get advanced several million from a publisher for an Avengers memoir. That's not even counting the corporate speech circuit, celebrity endorsements, or a loan from one Pepper Potts. He shouldn't be filthy rich, but he shouldn't be nearly broke, either.
 

Gaith

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Welp, much like WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier had an excellent penultimate episode, and an underwhelming finale. The action was probably the worst in the whole MCU (movies and Disney+ series) - edited so quickly and choppily as to be almost unwatchable. Also, I had no idea where the Flag Smashers were trying to move those politicians to, or to what end. Things were better on the character side, but still awkward lots of the time, with Sarah getting no lines, Sharon's reveal as the Power Broker both clumsy and boring, and no resolution for the dang boat! I suspect the COVID production shutdown mid-filming had a lot to do with all this.

Still, for all the sloppiness and dangling bits, unlike WandaVision, which ultimately failed to make a coherent statement on Wanda's grief, this series ultimately succeeded in showing how Sam decided to take up the Captain America mantle after all. (He just did so at the end of the fifth episode, rather than the finale!) I look forward to Sam's apparently upcoming Captain America flick from the same writer.

WandaVision: B
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: B
 
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asterixsmeagol

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The whole boat story should have been cut.
The Flag Smashers seemed to be promoting a totally open-border world, but I'm not sure why they needed super serum or really how any of the things were doing were meant to further their cause. Sam said not to call them terrorists, but they were DEFINITELY terrorists.
 

Moe_Syzlak

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I haven’t seen the final episode yet but I liked the penultimate episode best of all... by far. But the sister seems to be in the mix solely to have nephews yell “Uncle Sam!” 🤣
 

Gaith

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The whole boat story should have been cut.

Disagree. I don't think these series should simply try to replicate the pacing and plotting of MCU movies over 6-10 episodes; I think they should take advantage of the extra time to flesh out the characters, and the family/boat subplot did exactly that.

If anything, the Sharon stuff should have been excised. So she's now an apolitical, freelance arms dealer baddie - my least favorite kind of stock villain - because the US government gave her the cold shoulder after she willingly became a criminal in Civil War? And, as a white woman, rose to dominate an Asian crime underworld so expertly in a few short years that she did so while keeping her identity a total secret? Even by comic book/movie logic standards, please. 🤮

The Flag Smashers seemed to be promoting a totally open-border world, but I'm not sure why they needed super serum or really how any of the things were doing were meant to further their cause. Sam said not to call them terrorists, but they were DEFINITELY terrorists.

Maybe, but Sam's larger point was that that word has become so loaded that it shuts down any potential for debate at any level, which ultimately does more harm than good. And they needed the super serum because their goal was comically beyond their grasp as a small, ragtag bunch of international emigrants. I appreciate the attempt to tell a meaningful story around the Snap that also mirrors the gradual immigration crises in Europe and elsewhere, but putting a near-child at the center of their group didn't make them any less amateur-looking.


I haven’t seen the final episode yet but I liked the penultimate episode best of all... by far. But the sister seems to be in the mix solely to have nephews yell “Uncle Sam!” 🤣

I only now, on the third or fourth reading of this post, picked up on that pun!
 

hbenthow

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I think that this pretty much sums up "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier":


In addition to all of that, it's just flat-out boring. It's a rambling, padded mess of mishandled ideas and butchered themes that I don't think even a fanedit could fix (other than by turning the excellent first action scene of the first episode into a Marvel One Shot and cutting the rest of the series entirely).
 

revel911

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I enjoyed most of the series, just wish the Flag Smashers were better set up ( I know there was a virus plotline cut) and the end wasn't rushed.
 

Racerx1969

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I finished watching a few days ago, and watched the Assembling making-of episode last night. My wife an I really enjoyed the series. Nah, it's not perfect, but employing some suspension of disbelief and enjoying the deep look at the main character's development arcs we thought was great. Watching the making of gave some interesting insight into the struggles with natural disasters and the pandemic that they had to deal with.
 

Murikamir

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I have heard, and this makes sense to me, that they had a virus/disease plot for the flag smashers, that they would have released a pandemic to wipe out half the world population. Understandably they axed that story because of life, but I still wish i got to see it as I am sure it would be better than what we got.
 

Gaith

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^ From what I can tell, the Flag Smashers Virus Subplot theory is still unconfirmed, but it would seem to make a lot of sense.


Loki, Season One (2021)

All three Disney+ MCU seasons to date have had very high highs, but Loki S1 was the first to remain strong throughout, and end on an entirely satisfying finale. I've never seen Doctor Who, so I can't comment on any similarities there, but it definitely wasn't heavily reminiscent of DC's Legends of Tomorrow, which was one of my big concerns going in. The premiere did a great job of reconciling the villainous Loki that escaped with the Tesseract with the mostly reformed figure from the start of Infinity War, and Sophia Di Martino is excellent as Silvie. (Owen Wilson is pretty great, too.) Add in astonishingly beautiful production design for the TVA and some legitimately mind-boggling concepts, with ramifications for the entire MCU going forward, and the result is the clear winner from the series thus far.

WandaVision: B
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: B
Loki, S1: A-
 
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