After a lackluster year hit by the pandemic, Marvel Studios made 2021 quite memorable with its plethora of shows and movies. Starting the year with WandaVision, Marvel Studios ended the year on a high with Jeremy Renner and Hailey Steinfeld starring Hawkeye. But the question arises, how good these shows were exactly? Here are all Marvel TV shows of 2021, ranked.
5. What If…?
What was supposed to be the most adventurous, no-strings-attached, unadulterated content of the year fizzled out soon enough despite having the potential to be something greater than itself. Despite retaining most of the live-action actors, including the late Chadwick Boseman, What If…? failed in its execution episode after episode with individual brilliance shining sparsely across its nine episodes. While the series did have a few memorable moments, it was clearly a reflection of Marvel Studios still not being willing to explore uncharted, darker territories.
4. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
While it’s too early to make any prediction regarding the future of Sam Wilson as the new Captain America in the MCU, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier never really managed to coherently execute the storyline with its overarching socio-political commentary. As a grounded and more realistic storyline, the show failed to deliver the grittiness and rush with its shoddy action sequences and dialogues. Nevertheless, the banter blossoming into a lifetime of friendship between Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson despite their differences was truly wholesome.
WandaVision is arguably the boldest exploration Marvel Studios has developed so far in terms of storyline, production, and conceptualization. Studded with angst, trauma, and grief, WandaVision truly shone due to the stellar acting performances by Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, and Kathryn Kahn. However, with all its praises, WandaVision failed to neatly tie up the story by choosing the easy way out despite spending hours dealing with complex psychological issues caused by trauma. The show’s homage to past sitcoms and increasingly getting creepier with each passing episode surely worked wonders but never really reached its true potential due to the show’s blatant disregard for any kind of consequences.
The Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld starring series is proof that even a grounded story with relatively low stakes can work really well if done properly. In all its quirkiness, Hawkeye is a compelling watch that sets up the character of Kate Bishop while delving deeper into the life of Clint Barton. Though the show is a far cry from the original comics series by Matt Fraction, Hawkeye still stands on its own despite all its shortcoming and even that…slightly disappointing finale.
If there was a show that really made us think hard on choices, free will, and destiny, Loki shone bright as a surprise entry. Starring Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, Sophia di Martino, with Richard E. Grant in a cameo role, Loki holds a special place in our heart for its themes of redemption, forgiveness, and finding love, even if it’s narcissistic in a twisted way. Let’s not forget, Loki introduced the multiverse to the MCU in just six episodes with all the ramifications and consequences of tampering with the space-time continuum.
All Marvel TV shows are now streaming exclusively on Disney+.