Friday, July 16, 2021

Loki - Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey

Wow, that was a long six weeks. 

Bla bla bla spoilers bla bla bla....

Beating a Dead Six-Legged Horse

Thought experiment: What is Loki about? Meaning if you were to pitch it to someone to watch who hasn't seen the last decade of Marvel movies, how would you pitch it? My answer is that Loki is about Loki, a deep analysis of Loki's character, his motivations, his flaws, his strengths and every other aspect of the character analyzed in excruciating detail like a grad student who thought it would be fun to write his thesis paper on him and ran out of things to say about halfway through. 

In-depth character analysis can be done well, ala Joker,  but that's if the character is shown making the decisions that lead them to where they are. Loki instead features characters telling Loki who he is and why he does what he does, with Loki arguing with them trying to defend himself. This gives us less character exploration and more character explanation, which leads to audience exasperation. 

Pacing Pacing Pacing

Stories tend to have a flow, one which allows the consumer to follow the story to its natural conclusion. One thing that can hinder the flow of stories is by having a massive cliffhanger at the end of every. Single. Telling. Cliffhangers can be a fine thing to keep your audience's attention and have them come back, it's a formula that soap operas have perfected, but Disney already had the Loki audience with the title alone. They could've ended every episode with a Sonic the Hedgehog style PSA warning people about playing with fire and people were going to tune in next week. Instead we got an unsatisfying heavy cliffhanger that would hardly be satisfied in the next episode. For example: episode 4 ends with a promise that everything will be explained, but the next episode is spent running around the Land of Easter Eggs and answers nearly nothing. It wasn't until the final episode, when we're with manic Kang the Conqueror that we finally get some sort of resolution to what's been happening over the entire show. 

Loki's Worst Crime

They talk about all the horrible thing's Loki has done in his life, and would still do on the timeline, but for me his worst offense was just how boring the show ended up being. Long segments of exposition and taking up time to have characters quip endlessly back and forth made each episode feel padded. Coupled with the high fantasy/sci-fi/time travel and all the British accents and I feel like I watched a season of Doctor Who cut down to just the filler episodes. 

Lokis in the Rough

While I am not a fan of Marvel's latest streaming series, they're were a few highlights I wanted to mention that shone above the dross. 

Miss Minutes: Adorable. Voiced by one of my favorite voice actors Tara Strong. Especially in the last two episodes where she added an air of creepiness to the narrative. 

Classic Loki: Played by the talented  Richard E. Grant this Loki gave me what I wanted the series to give me: The consequences of Loki's actions. Sadly it was once again all through telling instead of showing but at least his telling was worth hearing. 

The Destruction of Lamentis 1: Call me a psychopath, but anytime I can watch an apocalyptic event unfold in basically slow motion I'm a happy guy. 

Alligator Loki: I WANT ONE!!!


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