The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has only released one episode, but it’s already obvious fans are in for a much different journey than they had with Marvel’s first Disney Plus original series, WandaVision.
These two projects are setting the tone for the MCU’s future on Disney Plus, as they’re the first two to be released and show the wide range the studio has in presenting dramatically different, yet interconnected, stories on the platform.
WARNING: There are SPOILERS for both WandaVision and The Falcon And The Winter Soldier in this feature.
WandaVision consists of nine episodes, most of which last around 30 minutes (close to the length of a typical sitcom episode).
Some episodes, most notably the last two, have longer runtimes as they take place outside of the sitcom format and serve as the show’s conclusion.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will consist of six episodes lasting about 45-55 minutes each (presumably including credits).
This reflects the length of a typical television drama series, which makes sense because it seems like the show will operate within a more consistently cinematic style for its entire run, as opposed to WandaVision’s switches between a TV vibe and a film one.
WandaVision is a relatively lighthearted affair for much of it’s run.
There are some serious issues at its core, but the sitcom side brings a lot of levity to how they are presented.
It also incorporates a level of surreal-ness to the story, with the frequently changing decades coming with outrageous new looks, catchy theme songs, and commercials meant to evoke a certain nostalgia for those who grew up in each era the show pays homage to.
WandaVision’s vibe (and even its aspect ratio) changes when viewers are taken outside the sitcom world, and the show feels much more like a typical MCU story when it operates outside this format.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is very much based in reality.
The show is focused on exploring the post-Blip status of Earth (as opposed to the rest of the universe which also experienced the traumatic event), the tone – at least in the first episode – is much more serious right off the bat.
The premiere feels very much like a grounded drama series at times; there are no supernatural elements involved in the story so far, and the trailers haven’t hinted at any coming into play.
WandaVision drops viewers right into the world Wanda has created with its first episode and doesn’t explain much about it until it’s fourth episode, almost halfway into the series.
The mystery the show sets up is one of its biggest hooks to keep fans invested and ready to come back for more week to week.
Contrastingly, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s is so focused on starting off by playing catch-up for the audience that its main characters don’t even interact in the first episode.
This emphasis on the two as individuals allows viewers to learn more about them than ever before and sets up their respective arcs for the rest of the series.
WandaVision is much more focused on the magical and mystical elements of the MCU than straight-up action; most of the fighting doesn’t even occur until the very last episode.
This makes sense given that the series is about a witch and an android; the former uses her powers to deal with her grief and the latter wins his final battle via a philosophical debate rather than sheer force.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier promises much more classic MCU-style action, the kind that makes use of weapons and hand-to-hand combat rather than magic.
There are a few thrilling fight scenes in the premiere, and the trailers show that there’s much more to come in the remaining five episodes.
WandaVision turns out to be a story of Wanda Maximoff’s struggle dealing with all the loss in her life (as many have put it, the “big bad” of the series is grief itself).
It does so in a way that incorporates a lot of fantastical elements (namely, a sitcom bubble that has an entire town trapped and a witch’s power to allow someone to re-experience key moments in their life) but there are also a few examples firmly based in reality, most notably Monica Rambeau’s loss of her mother, Maria.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier also deals with mental health, but in a much more traditional fashion.
Bucky Barnes is seen at a therapy session in the premiere, and some of the trailers show him and Sam Wilson together speaking with the same therapist in a later episode.
Both lead characters have been confirmed to have post-traumatic stress disorder, and given the nature of the series this will likely continue to be dealt with head-on as the series continues.
What do you make of this feature?
Did you enjoy WandaVision and are you enjoying The Falcon And The Winter Soldier?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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