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New Escapist Video! Diving Deep on “WandaVision” with “A Marvelous Escape”…

With a slew of Marvel Studios productions coming to Disney+ over the next six months, The Escapist has launched a weekly show discussing these series. I’ll be joining the wonderful Jack Packard and the fantastic KC Nwosu to break down WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki as they come out.

This week, we take a look at the fourth episode of WandaVision, particularly the pointed metatext, the question of “checkbox” storytelling and the question of how best to pace a story being told like this.

New Escapist Column! On How “WandaVision” Plays Sitcom as Horror and Nostalgia as Nightmare…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With WandaVision currently streaming on Disney+, it seemed like an interesting opportunity to look at the show’s use of the language of sitcoms.

In particular, sitcoms have long been a staple genre of American television. However, they don’t just reflect cultural norms, they also project an aspirational ideal. For generations of Americans, the domestic sitcom presented a vision of domestic life that shaped and informed popular consciousness. In WandaVision, those nostalgic fantasies become a trap and a waking nightmare, as characters build themselves a life of seeming domestic bliss dictated by decades of television. Wanda has built herself a cage, treating television as a mirror.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Column! On “The Good Place”, “Brooklyn 99” and “Parks and Rec” as the True Successors to “Star Trek: The Next Generation”…

I published a new In the Frame piece at Escapist Magazine this evening. With self-isolation, I’ve been taking the opportunity to binge some light, feel-good television including Parks and Rec and Brooklyn 99, and I’ve come to the shocking realisation that these network sitcoms are probably the closest thing in the modern television landscape to Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Of course, there are a variety of reasons for this. Most obviously, it seems like the only viable space for that sort of utopian humanism in the modern world is within the narrative trappings of the familiar sitcom, a space where audiences are inherently more accepting of a fundamentally functional world. More than that, there’s a sense in which The Next Generation is perhaps closer to an idealised workplace show than its science-fiction trappings would attest; at its core, The Next Generation is about a band of hopeful and hyper-competent people working together for the common good. That’s admittedly a much harder sell these days than it was a quarter of a century ago, but shows like Parks and Rec and Brooklyn 99 offer a very similar vibe.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.