Thumping the Shark?

Well, I’ve now finished the WandaVision TV series, as hopefully have you, given the rest of this editorial will feature the odd spoiler or two.

In many fantasy/science fiction TV series that have run a long time, there is a noble tradition of featuring the occasional bat-shit crazy ‘trick’ episode which diverts from their run-of-the-mill staple fare.

This can be a curse in Buffy, which turns the whole affair into a musical for a single ep; or that classic Trek episode where Kirk, Bones and Spock land on a world which is basically a spare set from Bonanza and they have to replay a Wild West-themed plot.

The greater mass of WandaVision is a series of ‘trick’ episodes, each one taking the Mickey out of a particular decade’s soap opera until we reach the end of the cycle and a small dose of reality intrudes.

I can see where Marvel/Disney was going with the narrative arc, but the conversion from I Love Lucy to meaningful MCU action in such a short time felt a little rushed, leaving me feeling, ‘Oh, I should be a lot more emotional about now. I wonder why I am not?’

Also, there are too many character threads left unresolved and dangling, from the brother who should have been an X-man, to that FBI agent and his cheeky scientist chum.

I’m guessing a portion of its disjointedness had much to do with the intrusion of the pandemic into the real-world business of filming superhero television, leaving as many holes in the shooting as there were in the wrap-up.

But, as I never cease pointing out when commenting on matters of media, your good plot costs as much as a bad one. SFX not included!

Thumping the Shark?
Thumping the Shark?



I am an author of various fantasy, science fiction, crime and other genre books from Gollancz, Hachette and HarperCollins. Some day I hope to grow up and be an astronaut. Exploring Mars would be nice.

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