WandaVision and D+ Content

My wife bought a year’s worth of Disney+ over the holidays. I am personally not a fan of annual subs for things that I am not actively using – I do have Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Spotify, since I use those nearly every day. D+ is different. We binged on the Mandalorian, watched Soul, some Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and a couple other films. And now we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of interest (for me). It’s not a lot of money for us, and we’re still miles away from the previous cable costs that we cut 10 years ago, but I guess it’s a principle thing.

D+ certainly has plans for content streaming, no questions. Investment in the Marvel world and a bajillion offshoots to the Star Wars world are on the way. Not tomorrow, or next month though. From a month to month basis, is there content that makes sense to pay a fee? There’s no ‘vault’ content that’s suddenly going to show up here.

I think Disney is aware of this challenge, and why they are taking the non-binge approach to release. Having week to week releases makes sense if you want to maintain engagement (hello Blizz!) and therefore subscriptions. Netflix pumps out insane content in large chunks to keep engagement.

Slight tangent on episodic vs serial content. Episodic is something like Star Trek TNG. You can watch it in pretty much any order and it makes sense. A serial is closer to LOST or GoT, where missing an episode is a problem as it has key pieces for the next one. It works in a positive sense, as it allows you to digest what occurred before the next episode. Which is one reason why I like The Boys more than Umbrella Academy.

Now for WandaVision. The pitch for this series does not do justice to the actual content. It’s weekly and serial, so there’s than concept of engagement or at least digestion between episode. Without spoiling, it’s set up as a spoof of a 50s romcom, like I Love Lucy. Which it does, but with a surreal tone, effectively breaking the 4th wall on a regular basis.

By the third episode it’s moved into the 70s, and we’re in Stranger Things / Twilight Zone territory now. The framing is consistent to the period, but the subject matter is clearly a different thread.

I won’t spoil anything, but state that the challenge with this particular format (30m serial) is that you need a really good hook (or frankly, hooks) to keep interest going. There is but one hook now, as it’s a 2 person show. That low risk approach makes the time space between episodes feel long rather than an opportunity to dig deeper. If it was an hour long, or if there were more story threads then it would be more engaging. Mandalorian is a great example of this, where it was borderline episodic, but had serial elements that you wanted to see through.

WandaVision is good. More than good, as compared to pretty much any 30min piece of entertainment out there. Is it worth paying 2-3 months of D+ until it reaches its end of arc? eh, not really.

5 thoughts on “WandaVision and D+ Content

  1. Next year when Mandalorian comes around I’ll binge watch it. Pretty much we got Disney + for Baby Yoda, watched a few movies, and near the end of the third month I unsubbed. This year we waited for all Mando episodes to release, subbed for the month, then unsubbed. Which I might add is a royal pain in the arse to do through Amazon Prime.

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  2. Oh, I’d forgotten all about WandaVision. I saw the trailer months ago and meant to look out for it but (obviously because it’s on Disney Plus, which I don’t have) I never heard any more about it. Happy to wait until it comes out on either some other service or DVD.

    I’m confused by your comments on The Boys/Umbrella Academy though. It sounds as if you’re saying The Boys is a serial while Umbrella Academy is episodic. I haven’t watched The Boys so I have no idea what it is but I watched UA and it absolutely has to be watched in the exact sequential order it was shown, at least if you want to have a fighting chance of working out what the hell is going on. It’s hard enough to follow even then, given the extreme messing about with numerous timelines. I can’t imagine how confusing it would be if you shuffled the pack.

    Maybe I’m misreading the paragraph?

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    • Yeah wasn’t clear. The Boys had a week delay between episodes and Umbrella Academy did not. I preferred the break. I should have done it manually with UA, and did re-watch some episodes, but still ran through much faster.

      All to say I prefer breaks in serial content, given the choice.

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