We're now halfway through the first season of Moon Knight on Disney Plus, and there's a lot to be said for the show. Full of thrills, chills, and gore, this one-of-a-kind Marvel TV show had me hooked.
However, it is proving divisive for Marvel fans and critics alike, with some heralding the compelling plot and creativity of the Marvel Phase 4 project as one of the best Marvel TV shows to date (ourselves included), and others they find it distinctly mediocre.
I feel somewhere between the two camps. The show suits me perfectly as a lover of Egyptology, superheroes, and Oscar Isaac. Of course, it took me a while to get to the first episode, but in the end, I couldn't help but look forward to the next episode.
With great anticipation, I grabbed the remote and instinctively pressed the button for the next episode, only to be reminded that Disney Plus won't release these Marvel shows in their entirety. A week passed, but despite my excitement the week before, I felt strangely lukewarm about watching the second episode. Still, I persevered, discovering once again that it took me a while to settle in before the second half of the episode brought me back on the hyped train.
It's not that the same thing chose to be reproduced this week that I realized that it's not in the series that it's the same thing that I missed between the episodes – that's the calendar of the sortie that ruined Moon Knight for me.
Give me more
As we pointed out in our review, Moon Knight forgoes much of the typical origin story narrative we're used to seeing, rushing to introduce high-level concepts you're sure to grasp as quickly as Steven, one of Mark's dissociatives. identities, he does. .
Alternating between fast-paced, information-overloaded cutscenes and a slow-burning mystery story that reveals itself to viewers, Moon Knight creates a rich narrative full of intrigue, but there's also a lot to take in over the course of a week.
I also had trouble staying awake sometimes, Steven. (Image credit: Marvel Studios)
To me, that just doesn't work - what Disney has done is take all the pacing, stylization and drama of the Marvel movies and similarly styled Netflix shows and try to repurpose those elements into a streaming structure of traditional television.
It may have worked for WandaVision but, in my opinion, this show's success is largely due to the way it parodies traditional television (and sitcoms in particular). The protagonists are also familiar to the average viewer of the series; the same goes for Loki and Falcon and the Winter Soldier. We know these characters very well from their other appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so there is more room to focus on the story.
On the other hand, the Netflix Marvel shows, which have aired in their entirety and are now available to stream on Disney Plus, blended character development, world building, and anticipation so well because they weren't limited by traditional television. . broadcast schedules. . They have been able to capture the richness of comic book origin stories and expand it through their many episodes, which the viewer can enjoy at their leisure.
Patience is a virtue
Of course, a weekly publishing schedule is not without merit. Above all, it cuts down on the flood of spoilers from major plot points. Sure, there are still plenty, but at least you're much less likely to know how a show ends before you've started it.
It's been a problem for Netflix ever since they established the new era of binge eating culture. Some viewers have time to sit down and flip through an entire season while others don't: Stranger Things stands out as an example of a show where some fans suffered such a spoiler-filled fate.
Weekly releases also give shows a lot more time to breathe and find their audience, which is important for a show like Moon Knight that is based on a lesser-known hero. As a show, it's a breath of fresh air, but it won't be for everyone, so a longer release cycle allows disinterested viewers to drop in with a more natural cadence.
Furthermore, programs that are removed entirely can generate a high level of advertisements that then disappear after a few weeks. For something like Moon Knight, that would make it much less likely that it would catch the attention of potential fans outside of die-hard Marvel viewers. Apple TV Plus shows such as the critically acclaimed Severance have achieved huge success due to their weekly episodic releases; Your word of mouth promotion helps you gain mass with each new entry. Why, then, can't something like Moon Knight be as successful?
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)
So why are Disney and Marvel sticking to this weekly release strategy? Well, ever since they first announced the move back in 2019, it's probably been a way to retain customers.
When the platform launched, there was much less content. It is therefore a way to achieve that in its first months of activity; there's a reason people keep their subscriptions active. Now, thanks to various acquisitions and a steady stream of new content, that's not the case, but Disney seems to be holding its own with its streaming service's weekly episodic releases.
Is that the real issue here regarding the weekly releases on Disney Plus? Not necessarily. As we've seen, there are plenty of justifications for weekly releases, but if that's the approach that Disney and Marvel are going to continue to take, maybe they should have reconsidered the cadence and pace with which they've written the script and moved away from some of the very films they rely on to carry the show.
Of course, there's always the option of waiting until all the episodes come out, but if you have as much FOMO as I do, it's a tough decision, so I guess I'll see you all on Wednesday for the next episode.