Sunday night, Marvel and Disney+ did great at the MTV Movie & TV Awards. Their first forays into streaming television won big, and an OG6 Avenger was given the Generation Award, and during the broadcast they dropped a clip from Loki, their next series due in just under a month. After the success of WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier—more commercial than critical in the latter’s case—the hype could not be greater for Loki, and I believe this series will live up to it for two reasons. One, people f-cking LOVE Tom Hiddleston as Loki, and I predict everyone will love going back to the villainous version of Loki for a bit and then seeing him on a self-determined redemption path divorced from Thor. Fans clamored for a Loki movie after The Avengers came out in 2012 and this series is finally delivering on the desire to see Loki do cool sh-t without the distraction of servicing one of Thor’s sad space boy stories. And two, Loki is going to be F-CKING WEIRD, with lots of timey-wimey space magic bullsh-t and new multiverse concepts introduced into the MCU. People will have loads of opportunities to speculate and theorize, which will feed the hype machine week-to-week and keep audiences engaged throughout the whole run of Loki. (Absent theorizing, you could feel a substantial momentum loss from week one to week six of Falcon.)
But another reason to believe in Loki is that it just plain looks good. This clip shows off Loki meeting Mobius, and I dig the vibe between Hiddleston and Owen Wilson, especially how Wilson plays Mobius not as an officious bureaucrat, but as someone who is genuinely delighted by Loki’s whole deal and, much as Loki is always working an angle, seems to be working an angle of his own against Loki. I also enjoy the way Loki snarls “space lizards”. I mean, I am NOT excited by the YouTube Illuminati using this show as some kind of proof that reptiloids secretly run the planet, but I really just love how Hiddleston hits the syllables in “space lizards”. (I bet there are a lot of outtakes of him delivering that line in different ways, and I would love to see all of them.)
I do wonder, though, which of Marvel’s typical problems Loki will bring with it. WandaVision and Falcon both had some issues that are common to all Marvel things, and as much as I would like to believe Loki will be free of that static, I doubt it will be. It’s just a question of which of Marvel’s weaknesses shows up first. My money is on “too much exposition/bad pacing”, because they have a LOT of new worldbuilding to introduce with the Time Variance Authority and multiverse concept. Hopefully Loki will be strong enough, as WandaVision was, to overcome the inevitable flaws. I also wonder, assuming the series is good, if the Emmy talk around Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany will extend to Tom Hiddleston. Could Marvel TV end up nominated in major categories? And if they do, how many people will decry it as the end of prestige TV?