- Loki season 2’s success could provide a blueprint for Marvel’s TV overhaul, addressing issues with pacing, storytelling, and production structure.
- The show’s ability to tell self-contained stories within the larger season arc sets it apart from other Marvel TV productions.
- Loki’s use of tangible sets and practical filmmaking techniques demonstrates a departure from the overreliance on CGI, leading to a more seamless and audience-engaging experience.
Loki season 2’s worth is not limited to its important MCU story as the show could prove to be the blueprint Marvel Studios needs ahead of its planned TV overhaul. Ahead of a string of MCU TV problems behind the scenes, the breaks in production allowed by the WGA/SAG-AFTRA strikes of 2023 gave Marvel Studios the opportunity to take a look at the status of upcoming TV shows. As initially revealed by The Hollywood Reporter, the higher-ups at Marvel Studios were unhappy with how Daredevil: Born Again and other upcoming Marvel Disney+ TV shows were turning out.
This came after a long history of production issues on projects like She-Hulk, Moon Knight, and more recently, Secret Invasion. As such, Marvel Studios opted for a complete overhaul of its TV production, reverting to more traditional television structures from hiring head writers and showrunners to oversee production on shows intended to last multiple seasons rather than short, six-part events. Interestingly, this report came less than a week after the debut episode of Loki season 2, one of Marvel’s more critically acclaimed TV ventures. As it turns out, Loki may be the perfect blueprint Marvel needs to pave the way for a better future on the small screen.
Loki Season 2 Is Addressing Several MCU TV Show Complaints
Amid a turbulent few years for Marvel Studios concerning TV productions, Loki is often a show that is regarded as a standout success. While most MCU Disney+ shows have been well-received critically as evidenced by Secret Invasion being the only Marvel Studios TV production to receive a Rotten rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, they have often all received very similar criticisms. These criticisms have been specific to the medium of TV, from the six-episode structure making stories feel less like seasons and more like stretched-out movies to the constant chopping and changing of production staff including writers and directors.
That said, some criticisms of Marvel’s TV shows link to those attributed to the studio’s feature films too including an over-reliance on CGI to subpar storytelling. Despite all of these issues, Loki seems to be one of the few TV productions to avoid many of them, resulting in the God of Mischief’s solo journey being almost unanimously considered as one of the higher-ranked Marvel TV shows. As such, Loki seasons 1 and 2 may provide the ideal structure Marvel needs to follow going forward.
For one, Loki season 2 feels much better paced than Marvel shows of late in that each episode tells its own story. While tying into the overarching plot of the season, each individual episode has different sets, plot points, characters, and elements that differentiate each one from the others, making the show feel more like exactly that: a show rather than a six-hour movie. Similarly, Loki fixes issues that plagued the likes of She-Hulk and Secret Invasion in that the story has a solid blend of self-contained aspects while also being integral to the MCU, the latter of which the aforementioned shows lacked.
However, one of the biggest MCU TV complaints Loki addresses that has been confirmed to be an element Marvel Studios wishes to rectify going forward is the “fix it in post” attitude. Most Marvel shows have been fine with filming a subpar product that will be endlessly changed and altered through CGI or editing in post-production. With Loki though, the team involved opted for a more traditional filming routine by building tangible sets that allowed for “real” filmmaking that often feels lacking in both MCU shows and movies of late, which subsequently resulted in less of an overworked, stressful environment in post-production.
A recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter from Loki director Kasra Farahani proved how the show differentiated itself from regular Marvel post-production issues. According to the report, the acclaim for Loki‘s physical, tangible sets and other aspects of production design will be better incorporated going forward for Marvel after such a reliance on CGI environments that disconnect the projects from their audiences:
“Specifically, we were building more intact, fully 360 sets, including ceilings with integrated lighting, and that was just something that the studio was unsure about because they hadn’t done a lot of that. And so it took a lot of convincing. I dare say, I hope, that it’s even going to change things beyond our show in terms of how things are photographed.”
Every single one of these elements that Loki season 2 is doing right proves how well a TV show can work within the MCU. It is no coincidence that Loki is the first show to receive a second season and is benefiting as a result of a more traditional TV structure. These elements, combined with other aspects like great writing, fantastic characters, and a tone lacking inconsistently wild tonal shifts, all prove that Loki could be a blueprint for Marvel ahead of the studio’s TV overhaul.
Why The MCU Is Reworking Its TV Show Division
As alluded to before, the MCU has plenty of issues within its TV division that have resulted in the planned restructuring. Moon Knight was one show that was affected somewhat early into Marvel’s TV venture. The show’s original creator, writer, and director Jeremy Slater quit the production after creative differences, only to be replaced by Mohamed Diab. A similar situation was found with She-Hulk in which the show’s creator and writer Jessica Gao was somewhat sidelined from the production when director Kat Coiro came on board.
Undoubtedly the messiest MCU TV production though was Secret Invasion. Initially, Kyle Bradstreet was hired to write the show and had been working on it for around a year before being abruptly replaced by Bryan Tucker upon Marvel’s decision for a new direction for the show. This apparently resulted in a split camp among Secret Invasion‘s team before multiple producers, unit production managers, and assistant directors were replaced. This exemplifies Marvel’s TV shortcomings that apply to future installments too, yet Loki remains a diamond in the rough that Marvel Studios can learn from going forward.