From: Silver Screen
Weekend Watchlist: Ranking Marvel TV shows to binge this weekend
This article contains potential spoilers for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In the wide realm of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, TV shows pop up here and there to give more depth to characters who might not be famous enough for their own movies. However, Marvel reached a whole new level in 2021 when Disney+ released a variety of shows that are easily bingeable and perfect for a Marvel weekend.
So, for all you Marvel fans out there, as everyone settles back into classes after spring break, here are five Marvel shows from 2021 ranked for your enjoyment.
1. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021)
“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” deserves the number one spot not only for its delivery on the thrills of Marvel masterpieces’, but also for its take on real world issues. The series never shies away from the injustices going on in the world.
TFATWS follows Sam Wilson (the Falcon), portrayed by Anthony Mackie, and Bucky Barnes (the Winter Soldier), played by Sebastian Stan, as they mourn Steve Rogers’ death, stop the sudden emergence of more super soldiers and homelessness after the Blip. The show also deals with racism as America adjusts to a Black Captain America — as the show puts it, no more blonde hair and blue eyes. TFATWS takes on racial injustices and educates younger kids who may be watching the show on the injustices of the world, while still having the classic Marvel fight scenes and characters we love.
The show was filmed as protests over the murder of George Floyd erupted all over the world. Racist police, protests and systemic mistreatment of Sam, a Black man, compared to Bucky, a white man, are frequently and openly discussed.
Mackie and Stan share some truly fantastic scenes and are hilarious on and off screen. Whether it’s their fake feud with Tom Holland, or their improv in the series, they do an amazing job in their respective roles. They are serious when they need to be, but provide plenty of comic relief as well.
With “Captain America 4” currently in pre-production, now is a good time to watch TFATWS and prepare.
“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” is available to stream on Disney+.
2. Loki (2021)
The God of Mischief does not disappoint in his spin off show.
“Loki” takes place before the untimely demise of our favorite mischievous scamp. During “Avengers: Endgame,” Loki (Tom Hiddleston) grabs the Tesseract, which holds one of the Infinity Stones, and disappears during a scene of great commotion. For years we never knew where he went — until now. While time traveling, he broke the law by accidentally creating a Nexus event, which is an unscripted event in time that forms a new reality. This prompted his arrest by the Time Variance Authority (TVA) thus demonstrating their high authority as they protect the timelines of the universe from falling into disarray. The show follows Loki as he tries to escape both the TVA and from his future: death.
Luckily for us, Loki will return for a second season.
“Loki” is available to stream on Disney+.
3. WandaVision (2021)
Some people may be angry that “WandaVision” is not ranked first on this list, but I can take the heat.
Its twists are easily predictable and it starts out slow. While the finale is great, the show mainly drags, failing to keep viewers hooked and wanting more. That being said, the effects and performances are phenomenal. The series is creative, interesting and gives Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) more depth; Olsen shows off the spectacular array of emotions Wanda has and the show explores her powers in ways previously unseen.
“WandaVision” is available to stream on Disney+.
4. What If…? (2021)
“What If...?” explores the multiverse concept that Marvel has been tiptoeing around for years and finally formally introduced in “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” In this show, The Watcher (Jeffrey Wright) tells the stories of parallel universes and what is happening to the beloved Marvel characters in them. The episodes ponder theoreticals like if the first Avenger was Peggy Carter instead of Steve Rogers, or what if Thor was an only child?
“What If…?” is different from the other shows on this list because it is completely animated. This can be an advantage, as well as a disadvantage. On the plus side, it has an interesting premise and it’s cool that other multiverses are explored. It’s fun to hear some friendly Marvel characters' voices back on the screen — Chadwick Boseman, Samuel L. Jackson, Benedict Cumberbatch and more reprise their roles. Inversely, sometimes it is strange hearing an unfamiliar voice on a familiar character and, since it doesn’t have a plot that carries episode to episode, it’s not as captivating as other Marvel masterpieces.
As an added bonus, if you look closely at the “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” poster you can see Captain Carter’s shield in it, which hints that one of the multiverses Doctor Strange may explore might delve into animated territory.
“What If…?” is available to stream on Disney+.
5. Hawkeye (2021)
“Hawkeye” gets last place on the list because its main characters are a little boring and its plot is predictable. However, there are some interesting side characters and funny exchanges.
“Hawkeye” follows Clint Barton (Hawkeye), portrayed by Jeremy Renner, on a family vacation to New York City. This excursion quickly turns into a work trip when Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) unintentionally puts a target on her back by wearing the Ronin suit, Barton’s previous persona that garnered him lots of enemies. As Barton struggles to get home to his family by Christmas, he and Bishop fight villain after villain while enjoying “Rogers: The Musical,” a musical about Captain America that has “Hamilton” like qualities.
While the end credit scene is a bit of a let down, the show makes you wish you were an archery champion. Be sure to watch “Black Widow” before “Hawkeye” to get the most out of your experience, understand the characters a bit better and learn a bit more about Clint’s close connection with the Black Widow.
“Hawkeye” is available to stream on Disney+.