Wednesday, October 13, 2021

TV Show Review: What If...? - Season 1

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Some episodes were fun fresh takes
Cons: Some episodes fell flat
The Bottom Line:
Alternative takes
Mixing up the Avengers
Animated show




“That’s Was Brilliant!  Let’s Do It Again.”

Clearly, Marvel is gearing up for the next Dr. Strange movie with all of their Disney+ shows.  Each one has touched on the idea of a multiverse to some extent, but the most obvious of these has been season 1 of What If…?  While I originally was excited about the idea behind the show, I wound up being mostly disappointed.

This show was set up as an anthology series as each episode featured a different “What If” question.  What if Peggy Carter got the injection and became Captain Carter?  What if a zombie plague got unleashed on the Earth, infection some of the Avengers?  What if T’Challa because a Star Lord?  What if Thor were a party animal?

Each episode explores how the world might be different from what we’ve seen if that one thing were different.  Some stay fairly close to the movies we’ve seen while others are very different.

This is an animated show.  It’s the stylized animation most popular for TV type shows these days.  I’m not a fan, so I had to adjust to that as I watch, but eventually, I got used to it.

This also allows the producers to use whoever is available.  Sometimes, they do use the original cast to voice their iconic characters.  Sometimes, they use a sound alike.  I’m not sure how or why those choices were made, but I’m going to go with actor availability.  Either way, I had no trouble recognizing the characters by their voices alone.

Each episode is about half an hour, which is about right for exploring these alternative universes.  Most of the time, I felt like we got as much story as we needed.  In fact, a couple episodes felt a little long.

This format allows for some great crossovers.  You never really know which characters might pop up in any given episode and impact each other’s stories.

On the other hand, I couldn’t help but feel like we were watching fan fiction each week.  Mind you’ve I’ve enjoyed reading fan fiction over the years, so I’m not opposed to that, but the ideas could be pretty out there at times.  And, like fan fiction, some weeks worked much better than others.

And, again, I feel like I might have enjoyed this more if I were more of a Marvel fanboy.  My exposure is the Marvel movies, which I’ve seen once each.  I probably missed Easter eggs and cool moments that would have meant a lot more to me if I were more familiar with the characters.

The result was another mixed show for me.  Some episodes of What If…? worked well while others fell flat.  There are plans for a second season, and I will go back to see how they mix up the characters and their stories in the future.  But this is a show best enjoyed if you are a bigger fan of the characters.

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