Ranking the Best and Worst Disney+ Marvel Cinematic Universe Shows of 2021
It might be hard to remember a time as strange and distant as January 2021, but give it a try, please. For us. Disney+ was just about to debut its latest, greatest initiative: making TV with the Marvel logo slapped on it that's just as important as its movies. The first show? WandaVision. The curtains opened on Wanda and Vision, dapper in 1950s-sitcom chic, laugh track and all. And damnit, we were hooked like it was 2012's The Avengers team-up all over again.
Now, nearing the Marvel-on-Disney+iversary, we've just wrapped up Season One of Hawkeye. Of course, that means we have to shuffle our ranking of Disney+'s Marvel Cinematic Universe shows so far. Sure, it might still be a little early. But we're not about to wait until Moon Knight's grand debut to fire up some debate amongst the fandom.
5| What If....?
Listen, this is a kill your darlings situation to begin with. But if we had to lose one MCU jam from Disney+'s slate so far, it would have to be What If...? We'll always love the series that gave us Captain Carter, Chadwick Boseman's final performance as T'Challa, and the grand introduction of zombies to the ever-expanding multiverse. But given What If...?'s loose anthology format, it never felt quite as critical to the larger MCU as its peers. Though, that might change when we see Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
4| The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Sure, it's easy to bag on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which told a choppy story that was fairly far off from the MCU Standard. But a decade from now, we'll likely just be happy that we got to see Sam Wilson's full journey to becoming Captain America. Plus, no matter where John Walker goes, this remains a surprisingly gutting story of PTSD and how America treats its veterans. But seriously. How much can you possibly complain, when all that Sam-Bucky banter is still living rent-free in our heads.
Maybe it wasn't the best idea to debut Spider-Man: No Way Home right around the time Hawkeye was dropping episodes on Disney+. Meaning: It was a little hard to maintain excitement for Hawkeye when the year's biggest movie was about to drop. But if you're guilty of looking over your shoulder at No Way Home, you missed one of the breeziest, big-hearted stories the MCU has ever seen. Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld's holiday adventure keeps the stakes relatively low, to its benefit. Sometimes, it's perfectly OK to just whip up some punch, kick back, and enjoy the ride.
If Marvel released one episode of Loki, per week, in perpetuity, would anyone complain? Didn't think so. The solo vehicle for the fan-favorite antihero ended up being the cinematic, high-stakes adventure we wanted out of the MCU shows. Of course, Michael Waldron and Kate Herron teamed up to make a wonderfully weird, retro-futuristic mystery. But Loki's legacy will be its chips-on-the-table decision to show the explosion of the MCU's multiverse in the season finale, with consequences we'll see play out for years to come.
Remember when we were a little disappointed when Marvel announced a standalone show for the the two Avengers who just kinda stood near the back and shot stuff out of their hands/head? Well, WandaVision, surprisingly, ended up being a home run ball. Marvel went weird, like really weird, taking on a sitcom format that masked the darkest, yet truest story the MCU has seen so far. We'll remember WandaVision as the show that comforted us during an impossibly dark time, and the laugh-tracked adventure that made us find a forever love with Wanda and Vision.
From: Esquire US