WandaVision and The Falcon And The Winter Soldier have now been released on Disney Plus, and I think they make the MCU better. Here’s why.
When Marvel and Disney announced they were taking the MCU from the big screen to the small screen, you may have been, like me, excited but a bit cautious.
Were these new shows going to be deserved stories in their own right or just filler until the next cinema outing?
Well, two shows in and that question has firmly been answered: these shows are important and mean business.
But what WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier have shown is that the Disney Plus shows are also going to retroactively make the previous MCU films better.
One of the main reasons for this is that it is putting a spotlight onto the side characters in the movies and giving them more time to shine.
Disney Plus Making MCU Movies Better
As much as everyone loved Sam and Bucky in the Captain America films, they didn’t really have a lot of screen time to develop their relationship. Sebastian Stan in particular, while doing great work, hadn’t really been given a lot to latch on to the outside of his relationship with Steve.
The shows having longer run-times than the movies obviously helps with this. There is more time to delve into the characters and link that into the wider plot of the shows, which both shows have done, though in different ways.
WandaVision’s whole plot is about the relationship between Wanda and Vision, and the lengths in which she will go to protect her family.
Before WandaVision, while getting some standout moments in other films, neither of the characters had much spotlight, and I’m not sure how many people were actually invested in their relationship.
But as each episode went on you got more attached and more invested in their story.
This development will make MCU rewatches all the better for it. Being able to see how their own journeys started with the knowledge of where it ends up can only be a good thing.
In one of the shows best episodes, Previously On, it dives into Wanda’s past, going from her childhood to where she is now.
It begins by showing us how her parents died, a story we had only been told by her and Pietro, not actually seen. It adds another layer of understanding to her pain.
Then it goes up to before the events of Captain America Civil War, giving the viewers an insight into Wanda and Visions relationship, giving them a moment to share with each other that the film just didn’t have time to delve into.
It not only helped with their relationship and characters for the show but will make revisiting Civil War more rewarding.
The Falcon and the Winter Solider adds depth to the MCU
The same goes for Sam and Bucky. Not only will their relationship building in the show make going back to seeing how it began better, but also how they connected without Steve.
One of the main characterisations of both characters was and is their relationships with Steve, and the show managed to use that to give the very different characters common ground, but also as a starting point to build from and allowed them to go down different avenues.
As in WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Solider also goes back to a time previously unseen.
In one of the best scenes of the show, and easily Sebastian Stan’s best performance, we see Bucky in Wakanda coming out of recovery from the Winter Solider programming inside him.
In the films, Bucky was dropped off and then back fighting fit with the team without much else said about it.
This scene adds a lot of needed depth to Bucky’s character and in that moment when he knows he’s free, perfectly captured by Stan, you feel like you have been on a journey with him right the way back to The First Avenger.
Sam as well gets a lot of development in this show, showing us his family life and how he navigates being a superhero. Reaching the end point where he finally takes up the mantle of Captain America proudly, will only be enhanced when paired up to what came before in the films, down to his opening scene running with Steve.
These shows give the Thanos Snap More Impact
Surprising me, both shows deal with the aftermath of the Blip in ways I wasn’t expecting.
WandaVision actually shows us the moment half the population came back, and the confusion that that brings.
The Falcon and the Winter Solider depicts it in a more grounded, human way. Showing what it means for someone to be gone for five years, the people they knew to be older, but also what it’s like for the people left behind who were alone for all that time, now having everyone who they lost return.
I was surprised at how well showing Sam and his sister dealing with a very sci-fi concept in a real way worked, with them going to the bank for help only to be denied.
It is an aspect to these shows that I wasn’t expecting but am really glad they did.
One of the best things Avengers Endgame did was move on five years later. It allowed the moment of the snap to hold real weight and meant it had lasting consequences for all of the characters.
The streaming shows have taken on that mantle and are taking that massive moment in cinema history and making sure it still has the impact on this universe that it should.
Going back and seeing the snap will hold extra power knowing that even by the end of the Infinity Saga everyone is back and all is well, that it has a lasting impact on these stories moving forward.
So with only two shows in to what is set to be non-stop content for the mouse house, they have set the standard of great stories, which not only adds to the characters as we move into the next age of the MCU, but also builds on what came before in exciting and rewarding ways.
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