FoofDeckman’s review published on Letterboxd:
This miniseries was extremely disappointing. I don’t know why I expected them to stray from the “Marvel formula”, but I had hope they were going to for a good chunk of the series. As soon as it got to a certain point I knew exactly what direction it was going in and it just drained me. Not because it was terrible but because it could have been great, instead it’s just generically bland.
All of the performances are fine. I’ve never really been a fan of Elizabeth Olsen in the MCU, mostly cause the accent that comes and goes but I found her to be fine in this. Nothing entirely special about her performance, but it was serviceable. Paul Bettany is great, whenever he isn’t playing serious vision and just sort of having fun is when his performance shines. Kathryn Hahn is pretty bad in this, I won’t get into spoilers yet but when she changes personalities her performance just drops in my opinion. Julian Hilliard and Jett Klyne are pretty bad, but they’re child actors so I’ll give them a pass. Teyonah Parris and other side characters fine as well performance wise.
I really enjoyed the sitcom era homages. For the first 7 episodes it has a new style to it to represent sitcoms from a certain era of tv for each of those episodes. I found that concept to be really creative and I thought it shined the best in the first 3 episodes, which are also my favorite. I really liked how the actors were able to change their personalities completely to fit this certain time period. It all works well together with the story and at that point you don’t really understand where the story is going.
For the first 5-6 episodes I was into the show and I liked the direction it was going. Before I get into spoilers I’d say that if you’re a Marvel fan and keep up with this stuff this is worth watching. Even if I personally didn’t like it very much, I’d imagine the majority of fans of the MCU fans would enjoy this. It’s very generic and bland, but those first few episodes are very solid and I’d imagine most of these elements that are left open will play an important role in the future.
Okay now that I’m in spoilers I can say that I hate that there’s a main villain in this show. The reveal that Kathryn Hahn’s character has been pulling the strings all along was really the part where I mentally checked out of the show. Her inclusion to me makes this story so much less interesting than it could have been. For the first few episodes I thought it was going in a direction where Wanda’s emotions were going to be the main villain since she has this entire town in this hostage situation. She was clearly unstable as shown throughout pretty much every episode and I thought it was going to focus solely on that and the show was going to be her coming to terms with grief and the people she’s lost.
Unfortunately that idea got stuck in my head fairly early and I feel that idea I had of what the show could have been really hurt my enjoyment of what the show ended up being. Instead of something interesting or smart, it went for dumb and generic. Part of the show has to do with her overcoming her grief, but then they just recreated vision with all his memories, so now that final goodbye probably isn’t even final moment with Vision. Now they’re gonna dredge him up in some future movie cause we can’t have closure in this continuous storyline.
The fourth episode is when i started to become worried. That entire episode isn’t focused on Wanda and Vision, but instead it’s completely focused on Sword and them trying to figure everything out. Instead of leaving it up to Interpretation they just started to explain what was going on. I thought the the show was slowly going to reveal what was happening as it continued, but it just randomly explains everything in this very out of place episode.
I think the last 3 episodes are the worst in the entire series. Instead of leaving the creation of the town up to interpretation, they just exposition dump as to why this town exists the way it does. It just felt like such a lazy way to explain this interesting concept of Wanda turning this town into a TV show. Okay she liked sitcoms growing up, thanks for explaining that. Episode 8 and the finale aren’t good and are the main reasons I’m giving this such a middle of the road rating.
The finale is the worst example of everything I dislike about most of the more generic marvel projects. That’s not to say all of them are like this, cause I do like a good amount of them, but this turns into the bottom of the barrel action garbage at the end. I jokingly told my friend that the finale was going to have a blue laser in the sky. It wasn’t blue, but there was a red laser in the sky. It just turns into an action scene where Wanda has to defeat the bad guy cause we can’t have a Marvel project without a main villain. There’s this giant CGI laser battle that just feels like it’s making up rules as it goes along. Oh I guess Wanda can just do this now, Okay sure. Vision fights evil Vision until they randomly just stop and talk it out, which was fine but this was after 10 minutes of just cgi destruction nonsense.
This end battle just feels so out of place compared to everything else in the show and once it is over. EVERYBODY JUST FORGIVES WANDA. WHAT! SHE HELD AN ENTIRE TOWN HOSTAGE AGAINST THEIR WILL! WHY IS EVERYONE OKAY WITH THIS? That was extremely off putting when Teyonah Parris’ character just forgives Wanda for mind controlling this entire town. Cause I guess we can’t have Wanda seem like the bad guy I suppose.
This also has a bunch of unresolved arcs that don’t end. I know that everything Marvel basically does this thing, but in this finale characters just disappear for the “COME BACK NEXT TIME TO SEE WHAT HAPPENED” thing. X-men quicksilver is in this show and he just disappears during the finale and never shows up again. There isn’t even a resolution or explanation or anything with that character, he just vanished from the series cause they wanted to focus on the CGI laser fight in the sky.
Vision’s doppelganger does the exact same thing where he just vanishes from the show. He was teased at the end of episode 8 and then brought into the finale for like 5 minutes. WHAT A CHARACTER! STAY TUNED FOR NEXT TIME! Kat Dennings is also gone for some reason, her character is at least mentioned during the finale, which I guess it’s a lead in to some other project. But the other two I mentioned before her just felt rushed out the door. I know this is Marvel’s thing of having teases towards future movies, but nothing in here gave me a reason to be interested for the future besides the doctor strange thing in the second post credit scene. (I thought I heard his theme but I’m not sure if that’s actually what it was)
Once the era homages stop at the end of episode 7 the show just turns into every other marvel project and has the same villain of the week problem that most of them do. I know I have a pretty unpopular opinion on this show, given the really high ratings I saw, but this personally just drained me and felt so tired by the end. I can’t be the only one that feels this way, but that “Marvel Fatigue” definitely feels real to me. This could have been a really smart and interesting character study, but instead we just got a generic villain of the week finale. What a disappointment.