Why Loki didn’t work

We talked about Wandavision, and how it collectively broke us. We talked about Falcon and Winter Soldier, and how it revealed dark truths and personal growth. Now, let’s talk about Loki.

I’d describe Loki as the Booberry of the Halloween cereal trinity. It’s fine, but if there’s Count Chocula or Frankenberry I’m grabbing those first. 

We watched Loki, but it’s hard to say I can remember a lot of it. It just didn’t grab me in the same way most of the other Marvel content. So let’s break it down and talk about what didn’t work.

First, though, I do have to say that there were several really good characters in Loki. Mobius, played by Owen Wilson, was a good character. He had hopes, dreams, friendships. He cared about his job for good reasons, which allowed the world to shatter his reasons to the four winds.

Unfortunately, the time and care that went into this character didn’t transfer into the rest of them. One prime example is Sylvie. 

I thought a female Loki was a clever idea, at first. But honestly, I can’t tell you one damn thing about her that distinguishes her. 

And I don’t mean I can’t distinguish her from other Loki variants. I mean I couldn’t tell you what makes Sylvie different from literally any character. She’s like Selene from Underworld or Alice from Resident Evil. We just do not know anything about them. You could literally swap out either one of these women for Sylvie, and it wouldn’t change the story at all. She was, in a word, boring. 

We also don’t see a lot of growth in our world’s Loki. At least, no more than we’ve seen in the Marvel movies. And this is what I’d consider the cornerstone flaw of this show.

The character of Loki transitioned a lot from his first appearance to his last. He went from being compared to Hitler by an old man who had for sure survived the Holocaust, to being a hero who gave his life to save his brother. 

And this took several movies! We were given time to see the complexity of the character. He loved and hated his adoptive family. He wanted to be accepted but didn’t want to have to try too hard. This was an important story arch for him that impacted the rest of the world around him.

All of this great character growth was smooshed into a few moments, scattershot here and there through a series that consisted of six episodes. 

Finally, the biggest issue I had with this show was the constant talking. Not talking about anything interesting, mind you. Just talking. 

Especially between Sylvie and Loki. It appears that whoever was writing this series thought the only interesting characters were them, and the only interesting thing they could do was fall in love with each other. Which I, at least, didn’t care about in the slightest.

I’ll be honest, I left the show feeling cheated. Here we have an awesome premise. Time cops, making sure that there aren’t a million evil timelines going on. Someone to step in like Abed in the best episode of Community and grab the dice out of the air. So many cool things could have been done with that! We could have seen alternate timelines where literally anything could have happened.

Instead, we get a lot of sensitive talking done by two people who aren’t that interesting, followed by a lot of things blowing up that we don’t care about because we don’t care about anyone who’s affected by them.

Time for the wrap-up. Here’s what we can learn from Loki.

One clever character doesn’t make a show.

You have to make your characters actual people for your audience to care about them.

It would be nice if something, you know, happened. 

So that’s it. What did you think of Loki? Let us know in the comments. 

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