Marvel has been enjoying a renaissance on Disney+ with shows like “WandaVision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.” “Loki” is just around the corner in June and there is more in production; the creative boom appears to be here to stay.
However, when the world goes back to not watching TV all the time, will these shows stick around?
While streaming services have been experiencing an increase in popularity in recent years, one has to wonder if the market suffers from oversaturation. Seemingly every major media company has or is trying to have their own platform for their own content (ex: NBC’s Peacock, Paramount+).
Could upcoming projects like “What If?” and “Hawkeye” get lost in the shuffle once the word “quarantine” becomes a distant, shudder-inducing memory?
Maybe, but Marvel is Marvel and people would get on board for the high production values and good stories regardless of a global pandemic and stay-at-home orders.
Historically, past endeavors into the small screen from Marvel have garnered varying success. “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” had a long but relatively quiet run on ABC, starting the “everything’s connected” era with constant references and tie-in episodes to the concurrent theatrical releases. “Agent Carter” ended after two seasons due to low ratings.
The Netflix line-up of “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” “Iron Fist,” “The Defenders” and “The Punisher” was arguably the most successful batch of Marvel television, although the public’s excitement seemed to wane with each new show. All since have been canceled, and their future in the Marvel canon lies in ambiguity as rumors swirl around of “Daredevil” star Charlie Cox’s involvement in the third “Spider-Man” film.
Although past Marvel TV projects are connected in name and reference to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Disney+ shows are marketed as essential viewing for a complete understanding of the ongoing series’ lore and plot points.
So can the Marvel shows survive the pandemic? As long as they maintain quality storytelling and good viewership numbers, then yeah, probably.