In a year which saw the MCU explode onto the small screen and kick all kinds of ass, is it any wonder that it’s an MCU show that was my favourite of 2021?
With so many to choose from, however, which one was it? The incredibly clever puzzle box antics of WandaVision? Classic MCU-style superheroics with a dash of socio-political politics in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier? The reality bending, Doctor Who-esque shenanigans of Loki? Animated multiversal traversal in What If…? Or maybe latecomer and underdog-with-a-dog Hawkeye?
It doesn’t help my choice that most of the above were excellent, though in the case of What If…? and Hawkeye, they were a bit inconsistent. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier suffered from having a weak villain and zero consequences for one of its bad guys, as well as a final costume for one of our heroes that looked a bit daft in action, despite – or more accurately, because of – the fact that it was comics-accurate. WandaVision, despite being pretty consistent throughout it’s impressively detailed series of sitcom pastiches through the decades, felt a little too much like it relied on standard superhero tropes in its finale (though it was still pretty well handled, in fairness).
Which leaves us with Loki. And oh boy, did I enjoy Loki. The time, space and reality warping adventures of everyone’s favourite trickster god after he’s caught escaping his own timeline – and is then tasked with assisting the paradox police in catching a variant of himself – was great at showing us just how much chemistry Tom Hiddleston has with anyone and everyone. His back and forth with Owen Wilson’s laidback Time Variance Authority Agent Mobius was a delight, but so was his genuinely lovely interplay with his righteously indignant variant, Sylvie. To top it all off, we got a Loki variant based on the original Marvel Comics character – and he was played by Richard E. Grant. It was phenomenal; we even got a glimpse of Throg, voiced by Chris Hemsworth – and even the Thanoscopter
It wasn’t perfect. Though the reveal in the final episode was intriguing and well played, much of the finale saw Loki and Sylvie, who’d fought through and survived so much, simply sat at a desk listening to exposition.
The cliffhanger twist was delicious though – and above all, what lingers in the mind long after the season’s end is the feeling that you cannot wait to see ‘the’ Loki back in action with Mobius and Sylvie, across time and who knows what reality that remains.
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