TV Shows

Hawkeye

After the success of both WandaVision, and Loki, comes yet another Disney+ show about one of the lesser screen time heroes. This time we get a look at Clint Barton, and how he’s dealing with being an avenger, his family, and a newcomer that falls into his lap because of her own shenanigans. Kate Bishop is that person, a young girl that witnessed Hawkeye in the battle of New York which forever shaped her opinion on what it means to be a hero. Together, they team up and put an end to the nefariousness of the tracksuit gang, and that of a mysterious villain who controls the undercity.

It was enjoyable seeing battles take place in the street, at a very personal level, instead of being a ‘save the world’ type deal. Everything tried to be grounded, as best as one can being a hero that shoots a bow with trick arrows, but a few things slip by that ruin the immersion. For me, it’s the way they shoot their arrows, it’s painfully obvious they’re not actually drawing real arrows or pulling the bow string back, just using CGI instead. And then the finale, several instances of Deus Ex Machina (Mother using car to ram bad guy – first, when did we hear the ignition? And secondly, she’d have to drive down the street, pull a U-turn, and then come back and line herself up). Nobody bothers to seriously injure Kate Bishop yet she’s going way harder on them, injuring bad guys. Finale should have ended with Spoiler Big Bad knocking her out to kingdom come.

We did get a nice spiritual ending/send off for Black Widow that was better, and actually tastefully done, than her own solo movie. Guess you shouldn’t piss off the mouse by asking for equal money payments. Watching Florence Pugh again, after seeing her in the trash she was in, still not sure about her acting, though it is a marked improvement over previous efforts. Jeremy Renner is the same old, he’s always just been a meh actor to me. Hailee Steinfeld is always a pleasure to watch since her Oscar nomination for True Grit, she totally outshined everyone. I could just watch her character doing her own thing, with her own show. She’s a joy to behold on screen.

Overall, it was much better, in my opinion, than the previous two tv show outings by Marvel. It had heart, and character, but out of the 6 episodes, only the finale really mattered. The rest was filler, and I guess this is a problem with Marvel’s shows. They are designed to not matter because not every fan will watch it all, some will just watch the movies, and so the plot of the shows doesn’t really matter. If Billy Bob is just going to watch the movies, then the movie will have all of the relevant information, and retain nothing from the shows. Case in point was in Spiderman: No Way Home, as nothing of Loki was mentioned, just that the multiverse shouldn’t be doing that. I digress. Hawkeye’s a fun Christmas show. You might enjoy it.

TV Shows

WandaVision

I had high hopes when the show initially started due to the meta usage of layering a show within a show. And then the slow reveal that everything was a reality created by Wanda was unique. I enjoyed the performance by Randall Park as Jimmy Woo, it brought in comedy to what was otherwise a grim affair. Elizabeth Olsen did an excellent job portraying a woman consumed by grief and the PTSD that comes from watching your loved one die (twice in her case). I was indifferent to Paul Bettany as Vision. There’s not much that character can bring emotionally to the table. He’s more a tool to advance Wanda’s character.

The rest of the supporting cast characters such as Captain Rambo, Darcy, Hayward, and her twins all did pretty decent. Nothing outstanding, just played their roles. Agatha was campy fun and a nice foil to Wanda, but ultimately served little purpose other than to accentuate Wanda as the Scarlet Witch. The citizens of Westview had little effect on the plot, I thought they would have more than what was shown. That they would have a greater impact on Wanda’s character but they simply served to reminder her that her actions have consequences.

Spoilers From Here On

Ultimately, I was filled with disappointment. They failed to deliver what I had hoped to have been shown. I was expecting to see a Scarlet Witch devastated by loss and brought to madness but it’s Disney, they never have the courage to show such loss. Gotta keep it kid friendly – yet their cartoons have no problems killing off the mom characters. I was expecting Wanda’s twins to die, and Vision to die, and then consumed by grief and vengeance, she becomes the Scarlet Witch and a tragic villain. Instead, we got a Wanda that accepted her loss (for the moment) and reverted everything to normal except the townsfolk hate her guts, oh and she stole the magical evil spellbook. Any devoted fans recognize it from Agents of Shield? Yup, the book that made Ghost Rider and the same book he took to Hell, somehow showed up in Agatha’s hands. I’m slightly angered by that. Shows they don’t care at all for Agents of Shield and that they’re clearly retconning it. And watch, all sorts of various sites are gonna be talking about how the darkhold can bring all sorts of magical things to the MCU… Newsflash people! It’s already happened!

Other disappointments include the Vision vs Vision fight. Two entities capable of phasing through matter fighting into a stalemate and then having a philosophical match. Yawn. Captain Rambo gets powers and she uses it to stop bullets. Another yawn.

Honestly, this entire show was just a marketing ploy for Doctor Strange 2. You could have cut it down to four hour long episodes and you’d have achieved the same result. The only gains were a new superhero, Vision back from the dead, and Wanda as Scarlet Witch. And all of that was simply teased, never allowed to go to full fruition. It’s clear the movies are their main goal to forward the MCU, and the TV shows are but appetizers to slightly sate your hunger while they prepare the main course.

Overall, I actually don’t recommend watching this. It’s a time sink with little to no payout. You’ll have learned nothing going into Doctor Strange 2 that would influence the plot. If you knew comics at all, you already know Wanda is the Scarlet Witch. If you do insist on viewing it, you can skip every episode and watch the finale and you would have learned as much as those that watched it in its entirety. This was a special effects extravaganza and light on storytelling. Then again, it’s Disney. What did one expect?