HomeEntertainment‘The Witcher,’ ‘Secret Invasion’...

‘The Witcher,’ ‘Secret Invasion’ Disappoint as Some Creatives Blame Fans


The Witcher showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich promised to give fans “the most heroic sendoff” in season three for departing star Henry Cavill.

Instead, the Netflix fantasy’s eagerly anticipated final three episodes of the season, released last week, literally had Cavill’s Geralt of Rivia recovering from injuries in bed (before rousing himself for a final fight). The season’s IMDB scores plummeted and its final two episodes earned the lowest numbers of the entire series. Some critics were harsh as well: Cavill “deserves a better exit,” wrote AV Club, while The Verge called the season “a wasted opportunity.”

Meanwhile, over on Disney+, Marvel’s Secret Invasion has been similarly ripped as one of the popular studio’s biggest stumbles. It’s finale earned just a 7 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, and headlines dubbed the project starring Samuel L. Jackson “the worst-reviewed Marvel project ever.”

The reactions follow what was considered a disappointing third season for Disney+’s acclaimed Star Wars drama The Mandalorian, which took a sharp dive in its Rotten Tomatoes score (from the low 90s for the first couple seasons to 57 percent) in the spring. Mando then lost its usual Emmys best drama nomination slot.

Outside of the genre space, over on Paramount+, the latest drama from prolific Yellowstone hitmaker Taylor Sheridan, Special Ops: Lioness, seems to be stumbling a bit out of the gate too, with a weak critics score (57 percent) and an audience score that’s soid (73 percent), yet far lower than his other dramas.

In a couple of these cases, a top creative pushed back and seemed to blame … the fans.

The Witcher executive producer Tomek Baginski put the onus on American fans for controversial changes to the show’s storylines that have simplified its adaptation from author Andrzej Sapkowski’s stories (a divergence Cavill previously suggested frustrated him as well). “When a series is made for a huge mass of viewers, with different experiences, from different parts of the world, and a large part of them are Americans, these simplifications not only make sense, they are necessary,” he told Polish news site Wyborcza. “It’s painful for us, and for me too, but the higher level of nuance and complexity will have a smaller range, it won’t reach people.” Previously, Baginski suggested stories also need to simplified due to young viewers being inspired by only “emotions” rather than plot after being raised on YouTube and TikTok.

Secret Invasion director Ali Selim seemed to suggest Marvel’s “rabid” fans had outsized expectations during an interview with Variety. “I don’t feel bad about mixed reviews,” he said. “Marvel has a very devoted — even rabid — fan base who have expectations and when their expectations aren’t fulfilled, they move in the other direction; they give it a thumbs down. So, it’s a tricky thing. I would love it if everybody loved it, but I also don’t have that expectation myself, so I feel great about the response to it.” He then asked: “Is it our job to fulfill their expectations?” (Well … yeah … that’s probably literally the job.)

It’s as if the franchise fatigue that’s been plaguing big-screen superhero films has now extended to TV. Except in these cases, it’s not as if viewers didn’t tune into the shows — The Witcher fans, for instance, were rather eager to see Cavill‘s final episodes — so much as they were disappointed with the result.

This slump — if it can be fairly called that — comes at an interesting time. After years of streamers demanding more-more, faster-faster content, and arguably stretching thin the creative community at the same time, the years-long Peak TV glut recently seemed to legitimately peak amid studio belt-tightening and cutbacks. The recent seasons seem to represent some of the last episodes from a crazed push for content just before studios began tapping the breaks (and then, with the dual writers and actors strikes, outright slammed on those brakes).

There is some evidence the creative teams behind all these shows have had more piled on their plate than ever before. Sheridan, rather famously, has been working on a multitude of shows at the same time. Marvel has been pumping out so much TV content the last couple years that even Disney CEO Bob Iger recently suggested the shows have hurt the brand due to “diluted focus and attention.” Disney+ announced 10 Star Wars shows in late 2020 (with Mandalorian writer-director Dave Filoni now splitting his time with his upcoming Ahsoka, though showrunner Jon Favreau has stuck primarily with Mando). And The Witcher team had a spinoff, Blood Origin (which flopped in December), and producers have teased that other spinoffs are in the works as well.

Of course, each show’s journey is unique, so it might be overly generalizing to declare “too much TV is making for worse TV, even among top franchises.” Premium cable and streaming shows used to feel, well, special. Lately content has felt increasingly like more expensive versions of the Big 5 broadcast shows they so devastatingly disrupted. Money can always buy better special effects, but it cannot always purchase better scripts. And it turns out, just because a company is only making 10 episodes of a show every two years (or, in the case of Secret Invasion, merely six), it’s no longer a guarantee the result is going to be fantastic, or even merely good — especially when creatives are helping shepherd several other projects at the same time.

All that said, there is the case to be made that while some major franchises have had recent disappointing seasons, on average big genre streaming shows are better than ever. The Emmys had an unprecedented five fantasy shows nominated in best series categories this year — HBO’s The Last of Us, House of the Dragon, Netflix’s Wednesday, Disney+ Andor and (curiously) Obi-Wan Kenobi. So maybe it’s not that big franchise shows are suffering under the pressure of studio content demands, but rather that much is being made that is hands-down terrific, and not everything can be.



Source link

Most Popular

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More from Author

Read Now

Coachella Weekend 1 Recap, J Balvin’s Out Of This World Coachella Set, Metro Boomin & Future Top Hot 100 | Billboard News

It’s Monday April 15th, Billboard counts down the top 10 on the Hot 100, we’re running down all the headliners and special guest performers and some notable audience members that went down at the first weekend of Coachella, J Balvin gives us a behind the scene...

ACKO’s game-changing campaign with Disney+ Hotstar for ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 – Exchange4media

Amidst the exhilarating atmosphere that surrounded the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023, where...

China’s Economy, Propelled by Its Factories, Grew More Than Expected

The Chinese economy grew more than expected in the first three months of the year, new data shows, as China built more factories and exported huge amounts of goods to counter a severe real estate crisis and sluggish spending at home.To stimulate growth, China, the world’s...

Angel Reese Picked 7th by Sky in 2024 WNBA Draft as Fans Hype Kamilla Cardoso Pairing

Welcome to Chicago, Angel Reese. The Sky made the former LSU star the No. 7 overall selection at Monday night's WNBA draft, adding the high-profile forward to the mix alongside No. 3 overall pick Kamilla...

GM says it will move headquarters from RenCen to Hudson’s site in 2025

Detroit — General Motors Co. announced Monday it will move its global headquarters to the Hudson’s Detroit development next year as it works with billionaire mortgage mogul Dan Gilbert's real estate firm to redevelop the Renaissance Center, its current home a mile away.GM CEO Mary Barra,...

Spotify planning to launch Music Pro subscription with lossless

A recent report revealed that Spotify is planning to raise the price of its subscription soon, at least in some countries. And for those who think that paying $10.99 a month for a music streaming platform is already too much, the company may soon introduce an...

Ryan Gosling’s Viral Beavis and Butt-Head Skit Was 5 Years in the Making

People watch Saturday Night Live to laugh, of course, but there are laughs and then there are sketches that last forever. This past weekend, Ryan Gosling hosted SNL and the episode may have featured one of those all-time sketches. What starts as a discussion of AI...

Angel Reese, Caitlin Clark dazzle on WNBA draft’s orange carpet

For the top picks of the 2024 WNBA draft, what they wear could be almost as memorable as where they land.Editor's Picks1 RelatedThe latest crop of hoops prospects -- including Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese and Kamilla Cardoso -- will learn where their pro basketball careers will...

Tesla lays off more than 10% of its workforce – BBC News

By Shiona McCallumTechnology reporter15 April 2024, 13:00 BSTUpdated 1 hour agoImage source, Getty ImagesTesla will lay off more than 10% of its global electric vehicle workforce.In a memo, first reported by news website Electrek, billionaire owner Elon Musk told staff there was nothing he hated more,...

Longtime Yankees voice Sterling retires after 35-year run

The legendary radio voice of the Yankees, John Sterling, is retiring effective immediately after more than three decades in the booth, he and the team said Monday.The Yankees and Sterling made the announcement after The Athletic reported on a planned news conference for this weekend in...