All of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Disney Plus shows have gotten off to stellar starts, but both WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier tapered off towards the end, with each finale scoring the lowest rating on Rotten Tomatoes out of the show’s respective run of episodes. Hopefully Loki bucks the trend, because there are a lot of fans already of the belief that it could be the franchise’s best streaming exclusive yet.
A time traveling superhero mystery procedural with elements of the buddy cop genre starring Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief and Owen Wilson’s Mobius M. Mobius is a hell of a central premise, and audiences have been raving about Loki since the first episode premiered last Wednesday. In fact, Kevin Smith, a man known for his fondness of the MCU’s ability to generate hype and tell immersive stories, was effusive in his praise of Michael Waldron’s six-episode miniseries, as you can read below.
“Now, this series when they announced it I was like, ‘Oh, I’ll watch it’. You know, I was like ‘I’ll watch it. I’ll do them a solid, they need the help, I’ll watch it. It’s Marvel. They’re always struggling. I’ll watch it’. I was like psyched for WandaVision and with Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki I was like, ‘Yeah, you know, I’m sure they’ll be good.’ And as we saw, Falcon and the Winter Soldier was fantastic. Episode one of Loki? Brilliant.
They’re taking us on a different journey altogether. We ain’t seen this show before. Spending this much time with Tom Hiddleston in that character role that made him famous and being to explore it and then getting to the f*cking feels of it all, you know, as he sees the damage that he’s wrought across his life and then sees his life if he had stayed in that timeline if he hadn’t wound up in the TVA. So aside from like some, you know, f*cking bureaucratic laughs like watching a show set at the f*cking DMV, you got a continuing major character from like the earliest Marvel Cinematic Universe days with Loki taking center stage. And then you’ve also somehow in a story about the god of mischief you got this really what’s shaping up to be a kind of human story.”
Smith’s right in highlighting the wild tonal shifts across the space of less than an hour, something that not many properties outside of the MCU would even attempt, never mind pull off. There’s the tragedy of Loki witnessing his own death and realizing the futility of everything he does, the obligatory exposition to set up who the Time Variance Authority are and what they do, establishing the core concept of the trickster tracking down a rogue variant of himself and the budding bromance between the title hero and his erstwhile handler, punctuated with a couple of action sequences for good measure.
It’s an impressive juggling act, and let’s hope Loki manages to stick the landing, otherwise the Disney Plus roster could end up gaining something of an unwanted reputation.