Despite the rough year, it’s a good thing to be thriving in an age of streaming services in a time when the world is locked off. Being in the comfort of our homes where we are sitting and relaxing, watching either old or new shows is just therapeutic, especially with what’s happening around us. If it’s either being played, made to be watched fully, or something to have in the background, it’s nice to have option to pick whatever we want.
From original shows, revived series, or just something on your “To-Watch” list, there’s something for everyone. Hulu, for those who have access to it, even carries morning talk shows – name it, and it’s watchable on some service. Though, yes, it’s a little annoying to have so many services, and it seems like every network is becoming its own streaming option, but at least if you’re looking for something peculiar, you’ll know where to check. It’s also pretty awesome that older series thought to be dead or forgotten that are also coming back (thank you, Disney for bringing Gargoyles back.)
It seems that not every series being released or premiering on these platforms are old, finished series, but in fact, are new series either continuing or starting on these services. From Stranger Things, Tiger King, Handmaid’s Tale and The Mandalorian; some of the best entertainment in the last couple of years has been these originals on these services. The majority of these programs are on Netflix, seeing as it’s the longest running streaming site and the one everyone has. However, there’s a difference with what Netflix does with their series.
Netflix will release a whole season of their shows at once, and let those with time to binge it all. Time-consuming but effective since this is what they do with their originals all the time. Usually, the first weekend of the month will be crazy, because of these new releases, the majority of people will praise it for about a week or so. Then, the smoke vanishes and the overflowing of comments subsides as everyone goes back to their day-to-day, taking any interest with the new hit-show with them as it becomes old news.
The Witcher is an example of this type of trend. It’s beloved and Netflix did an amazing job adapting it, however, it was short-lived. Since it was all given to us at once, everyone binged it, raved about it for that week, and then that was the last we heard about it. There was no real wait for anything climaxed in its first season, and nothing built over time for us viewers to be eager for, except a second season. We’re gotten word about some specials and a season two, but that’s the future, and it’s already been a year, so why does it matter to the average viewer? It doesn’t.
Nowadays, interest in most trends doesn’t really last, people don’t have the attention span or time to really keep up the fads, and they end pretty quickly.
That’s Netflix though. Not every platform does this practice, and it’s for the better that they don’t. It would be boring to have everything given to us with no suspense, and we won’t be that grateful for new releases. It would also mean us viewers would have to wait a longer time for episodes since most shows are still filming their episodes as they are airing or releasing. South Park being a show that does only one episode per week because they animate, record and release all in a 5-6 day period, so they make relevant jokes, therefore, staying popular.
For the better, people shouldn’t expect this to become a familiar practice. With shows being either uploaded with every episode available right off the bat or released once a week, having something to watch is one piece of a normal life that hasn’t changed.
There are two types of people, the people who wait for it to be completed, so they can binge it as fast as possible, and the people who just watch it as it comes out. For the latter, they stay on top of the new releases and don’t get spoiled by Twitter. It also gives them something to look forward to every week and excites them to watch these episodes because it becomes a weekly routine to tune in to see the story and characters unfold and grow. Becoming attached to this routine is a piece of a normal life, no matter the time or place.
It’s funny that the entertainment titan, Disney, is still the king at consistent content. With Disney+, there’s animated originals for the children, The Mandalorian for new and old Star Wars fans, and lastly, for the Marvel fans, we’ve been steadily getting information on the next phase in the ongoing Marvel Cinematic Universe. Currently, that series being WandaVision, the show that shows us everyday life with Wanda Maximoff and Vision after the events of Avengers: Endgame, and what mysteries surround their almost too perfect suburban life.
WandaVision has everything and everyone; Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda, Paul Bettany as Vision, Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis, and without spoiling, Disney paid extra to get a special cameo. As for effects, they are spot on where Wanda still has her iconic red magic, Vision can easily transform forms and fly seamlessly, transitions are well done, and there’s even animated portions that are beautifully done and fit the theme of the plot perfectly.
Much like most original series, the popularity sky-rocketed, both due to the current time and because it’s well-done and entertaining. Though it’s no surprise since it is Disney, however, they made sure to do the franchise justice, much like the Star Wars franchise and The Mandalorian.
It should be noted that every week, it comes back and becomes “the talk of the town”, ever since the first two episodes. Why is that? WandaVision, like The Mandalorian, is giving us something to come together for and talk about weekly. If it’s theorizing or giving us “did you see that?” type moments, it’s a flavor of normalcy we need currently. People can luckily binge now, with a total of nine episodes. However, it’s showing success and will be a continuing theme, with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier coming out later in March.
Disney is giving people something to come together for and talk about much like their blockbuster movies, but also giving people a reason to keep their subscription to Disney+. Marvel’s Kevin Feige compared week-to-week episodes of WandaVision to a new movie every week, even going as far as saying the shows were designed “to be experienced that way.” Long time viewers and fans who have already been used to the level of detail in Disney originals are probably not surprised, but it makes the show even more enjoyable. Though Disney has been criticized for the lack of Disney+’s non-binge programming, both shows benefited from being spread over multiple weeks, allowing Disney+ to sustain subscribers both with children or without, there’s at least something for everyone. While these shows aren’t cheap, they cost a lot less big name franchise movies, letting Disney try their hand at taking creative risks more often without financial loss.
Does Disney lose to Netflix if they do weekly episodes? No, Disney being a titan they are, they are also smart. They know how to keep people coming and talking about their franchises. WandaVision is not just a Marvel original with a good plot, but is a series that makes viewers want more instead of letting us down because there was no suspense. I’m glad to say I watched weekly since that way I wasn’t spoiled to what happened, but it also made me look forward to watching something new with someone I cared about. It was like a mini Marvel movie every week, and it didn’t disappoint.