Weekly Releases Work for WandaVision

I’m not going to have any spoilers for episode 7, “Breaking the Fourth Wall,” in this, but the other episodes should fair game at this point. You’ve been warned.

After the first two episodes of WandaVision aired, I was intrigued and really frustrated that we were getting into the weekly episode format. I talked to Paul at some point before episode 3, and we were both in agreement that we wanted to sit and binge the show, and that it would benefit from that.

I think, we might have been wrong.

You see, Paul and I were both of the mindset that this was a marketing and sales decision, in order to keep people on Disney+ through the run of the show. I still think that is probably the reason it’s being done, but now after watching 7 episodes, I think we’ve benefited from this schedule.

At a certain point a few weeks ago—probably before episode 4’s real world reveals— I thought that maybe the show would benefit, the way that The Mandalorian, so that each big fan service thing or big reveal got its own week to ruminate and be absorbed. I loved that one week we got Bo Katan, the next Ahsoka Tano, the next Boba Fett, and that we weren’t immediately diving into the next thing.

I do think WandaVision has had some of this benefit, especially when we saw Pietro come back, and had a week to wonder, but that’s not the big reason why I think the show is benefitting from weekly releases.

The big reason, is Vision.

From the beginning of the show, we’ve been kind of made to think that Wanda is ‘THE’ main character, with Vision being secondary, but Wanda created the Hex for herself, and also for Vision. And while other Westview characters have been playing the roles that Wanda had cast them in, Vision has been a bit more sentient and self aware earlier on. She didn’t create a puppet of Vision, but really recreated him.

In the fact that Vision, with or without his memory is the real Vision and not just a puppet, the artificial world that Wanda has created has been off to him from fairly early on. It’s been like a cut on the roof of your mouth that you can’t stop tonguing, and seems to not heal because of that. He’s clearly had a sense of analyzing and over analyzing, and trying to figure it all out, trying to make it make sense in his head.

As Vision struggles to make sense of his odd, unreal world, we are trying to do the same. Vision notices something odd, some break or hint in the reality to let him know what’s really going on. And as we wait another week for more information, we do the same.

Easter Eggs

Almost every week, I’ve watched the show first thing when I wake up on Friday morning, before I go on any social media, or do anything. Because I don’t want spoilers. I watch the show, I think about it, and as the day and week progresses, I see videos on YouTube, and posts on Instagram, pointing out the different Easter Eggs, and what they may mean for WandaVisions future.

I’m primed for wanting to know more, and as I see the posts, and watch the videos, people point out “the hand in the mirror” and “QuickSilver said ‘kickass'” and because we know little to none of it is an accident, we’re left wondering what if anything each easter egg is hinting at.

We’re going through the same kind of frustrating search for answers that Vision is going through, and in that way it’s really working.

An Added Benefit

I’m not watching the show with my wife and son, because I didn’t think they’d be interested when I started, but now I plan on rewatching it with them, once it’s over. But after the third episode, I told my wife, “it’s kind of scary, but in a way that I think would be more scary to you, than Logan,” (he’s almost 5).

I think they’ve been slowly causing this psychological dread with in us each week, in a way that they couldn’t really do if we were binging, and I think that dread is also a benefit to the show.

After WandaVision, we know that Wanda is going to be in Dr. Strange 2 which has been described as the MCU’s first horror film, and I think we’re being primed for that a bit. I also think, that the dread we’re getting in some of the episodes is similar to what Vision is experiencing. The vague feeling that something truly awful and heartbreaking may be coming, but not entirely sure what, or from where. And I kind of think that’s the point.

What do you think? I’m sure in our binge culture, you want to binge it, but do you think you’re benefitting from weekly releases instead? Comment below.

PODCAST: WandaVision Episodes 5 & 6 (SPOILERS)!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Things are getting CRAZY in the town of Westview, folks! On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast , we breakdown Episodes 5 & 6 of the excellent, new Disney+ series, (FULL SPOILERS) Over the last 2 episodes, WandaVision has has broken records to become the #1 show in the world!

WandaVision: The #1 Show In The World

I’m not that surprised by the ultra-positive response to the series. Among the reasons for the show’s popularity, is how unique and beautifully unconventional the series. There’s never been a major, mainstream comic book, superhero movie or TV series like this. Which is why it’s attracting so many new viewer who’d normally avoid the genre. It doesn’t look like it’s filled with the big CGI battles that turn some people off. Now audiences who normally avoid superhero-fare like this, are tuning into WandaVision for it’s charm, mystery, nostalgia, and the fact that it could be the most widely unique superhero project of the decade. The MCU seems to have another home run on his hands, now I can’t wait to see what they do with The Falcon and The Winter Soldier which premieres a week after WandaVision wraps up.

Ôjopp

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/43472059 Or subscribe/listen on Spotify, Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

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Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/11mA9kClyevVZjWYMQB1Io?si=7TfnqkBiShqTQpZhh2UDsA

Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul’s

PODCAST: Best TV Shows 2020!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

This episode of The World’s Best Podcast, features the final installment of our series of podcasts looking back at The Best & Worst of 2020! This week’s co-host Big Paul Sr. and I go over The Best TV Series of 2020! The Mandalorian! The Boys! Star Trek! What We Do In The Shadows! Just to name a few of our picks for the coolest shows of 2020! 

   In my opinion, 2019 was one of the best years of television that we’ve ever seen. It was a clear turning point for the medium, where TV could now stand toe-to-toe with Film, to tell the most compelling and beautiful stories on ANY screen. 2020 didn’t quite live up to 2019, but it was still a phenomenal year from A-List programming.

Listen To Our Podcast Here (Available On Every Major

Listen here:  https://www.spreaker.com/episode/43208440  Or subscribe/listen on Spotify, Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

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Spotifyhttps://open.spotify.com/show/11mA9kClyevVZjWYMQB1Io?si=7TfnqkBiShqTQpZhh2UDsA

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The End of An Era: Arrow & Supernatural Come To An End

After we recorded this episode, we realized we left out a few key, important shows. While we might record a follow up mini episode to talk about these shows further, I still wanted to include a special section here, acknowledging a few of these amazing television programs. Specially, Arrow and Supernatural, both of which ended their groundbreaking runs in 2020…

  It’s the end of an era for two groundbreaking genre series… both Arrow and Supernatural came to an end in 2020. Both show’s helped The CW essentially rebrand itself. The CW was defined as network, by an audience made up of predominantly young women, featuring shows like Dawson’s Creek and other teen romance-dramas. Supernaturaland Arrow largely changed The CW’s identity. With the exception of the show’s handsome leading men, Supernatural was essentially a dark, weekly horror film. As the series grew and developed, it became more of a horror/fantasy/drama and and became The CW’s flagship show over it’s 15 season run. With a rabid and passionate fan base, Supernatural went on to be the longest running and one of the most beloved genre show of all time. 

   Then of course, there’s Arrow. A series that redefined superhero television as we know it. The dark and gritty Siri’s drew much more inspiration from DC’s other most popular billionaire vigilante, with this version of all over queen having much more in common with Batman than the Green Arrow of the comics. The first season in particular drew heavily from Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, foregoing any of the more fantastical elements of the DC Universe in favor of a more grounded and realistic approach. Which seems almost comical in hindsight considering how the show through that philosophy out the window in Season 2. What began as a small vigilante story with nary a superpower in sight ended with a full blown adaptation of Crisis on Infinite Earths! The storytellers were nothing if not ambitious. Arrow went on to launch an entire interconnected universe of DC superhero shows, like The Flash, Supergirl, Black Lightning, and Legends of Tomorrow among others, in what would become known as The Arrowverse . Even though Arrow may have come to an end the universe that there is its name sake is continuing to grow, with the new series Superman & Lois premiering in February on The CW. None of that would have been possible if it wasn’t for Stephen Amell who played Oliver Queen, he grew as a performer and an actor significantly as the series developed, imbuing his Oliver Queen with enough gravitas to shoulder an entire interconnected universe. Without a doubt, Stephen Amell‘s portrayal of Green Arrow made him the leader of an entire multiverse of heroes.

Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

I Really Want to Like Batwoman

I’ve been watching Batwoman pretty consistently for the last year and a half. When I wrote the recap at the end of season 1, I was unaware that Ruby Rose had decided to leave the show, and I speculated how the show could improve in season 2 under the assumption she would be returning. Things obviously haven’t gone the way I hoped, but has it been all bad?

We’re currently three episodes in, and while the first two, I think were making some good steps towards digging the show out of the hole they were in, the third feels like a step backward. You see, I love Alice (played by Rachel Skarsten), and Mary Hamilton (played by Nicole Kang), and they’re back, and doing well still. I also, really enjoy Javicia Leslie, as Ryan Wilder the new Batwoman. She’s more charismatic, her character is good, and while it’s probably coming together a bit quickly, there are the growing pains that would come with becoming Batwoman.

Is Kate Kane Dead?

The first problem that arises in the third episode, is that of Kate being still alive. The character of Safiyah (whom I assume will be the season’s big bad) has promised to help Alice find the living Kate in exchange for erasing all evidence of “The Desert Rose.” This seems to be the writer’s having written themselves into this corner, in which the only likely ways it will be fixed are that it’s all a lie, in which case it feels lazy, or that Kate is alive, but her face was mangled, and now after reconstructive surgery she looks like a different person. Both of these possibilities are crappy as far as I’m concerned.

The only other option that I see, one which I will be writing a retraction to this very article if it happens, is that Ruby Rose leaving the show was a fake out, and that the whole plan was to do this the entire time, and have her come back at the end of the season. I don’t know that I would love that result, but if the writing is well done, I would respect the hell out of how fucking bonkers it would be, and how well kept that secret would have been for over a year. I think there is a better chance we’ll see George Clooney come into the show as Bruce Wayne, than that happening.

Too Formulaic

I really enjoy the Arrowverse, but one of my big complaints has been that there was too much repetition in the formula. Every show becomes a ‘team-up’ with a tech person, a black sidekick of equal ability, etc. They started to break from it, Legends of Tomorrow has been a genuine team show, and doesn’t fall nearly as much into this formula. But I’m afraid there’s been a lot of other ways in which the shows have been repetitive, “oh another speedster/archer big bad” being one problem that comes to mind.

In episode 3 of this season, it appears we’re beginning to follow the formula of Arrow in story beats. The big bad from season 1 is actually a lackey to a new big bad who is hidden away from society, with a magical source of healing pretty much everything, and is surrounded by the most highly trained assassins in the world.

Is that what’s going on here? Because episode 3 certainly makes it seem that way.

I don’t want to be dealing with rehashing, and repetition. You can have a bad guy come back in new creative ways, but what I don’t want to see is the female Ra’s Al Ghul. Alice has hints of the Joker, but she’s not a Joker knock-off, and she was my favorite part of season 1. It’s ok to have overlap, but not carbon-copy.

The Other Big Shared Universe

It is not really helping Batwoman, that it’s airing episodes at the same time WandaVision is airing episodes. Both are newer additions into large and successful shared universes, but WandaVision is doing something that I think shines a bit of a light on how Batwoman is failing in that area.

WandaVision, which I think has some issues—mostly in roll out schedule, is another great example of a Marvel property in which we understand that it’s the same continuity with all of the other MCU that has come before, but it seems so fresh and new. It’s something that Marvel has been great about, not falling into a formula, not getting to repetitive; Thor: Ragnarok, Guardians of the Galaxy, had so little in common with what came before but fit so perfectly, and WandaVision does that too.

Batwoman, like I said above, is repeating a lot of the same things from the Arrowverse, and if I’m being honest about what’s “new or different” it’s hard to come up with much. Even the female empowerment, and LGBTQ inclusion aren’t new (not complaining about either of these, but with Supergirl we get both). There just isn’t much that’s new, and it kind of makes it feel like this is our new Arrow, and it doesn’t hold up to that standard.

Prove Me Wrong, Please

Batwoman — “Prior Criminal History” — Image Number: BWN202fg_0078r — Pictured: Javicia Leslie as Ryan Wilder — Photo: The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Now, we’re three episodes into the season, and I am open to being wrong. I am hoping I am. I’m watching WandaVision excited to see the next week’s episode every week with no idea what I’m going to get and loving it, and I’m watching Batwoman every week hoping that I’ll get the spark, the thing that’s gonna make me go “ok, this fucking crazy, and this is what makes this show stand out.”

I know nothing about Batwoman and the mythology beyond this show, so as far as I’m concerned that leaves things wide open. Find something to shove us into new exciting territory.

MUST WATCH: WandaVision

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

As crazy as it must sound, it’s been just over a year and half since Spider-Man: Far From Home hit theaters. The film served as an epilogue of sorts to The Infinity Saga and our last piece of new content from The Marvel Cinematic Universe. When WandaVision premiered on January 15th, it ended what almost became the longest gap in new content since the studio’s inception. Second only to the 1 year 11 month gap between The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2. Fortunately, it looks like we have an insane amount of new MCU content coming our way this year, with WandaVision  as the first out of the gate..

  If going to talk about WandaVision, if you’ve seen the trailers, which I’m sure most of you have, you know the deal. But just in case, I’m posting a trailer right here to refresh your memory. Take one last look if you need a brief reminder:

I’m not gonna waste time going over the set up. Instead, I’m going to dive right in to what worked, and what didn’t, in The MCU’s first and highly anticipated new Disney+ shows. So, what did I think of the first 3 episodes of WandaVision? Does it live up to the hype? Was this the right project It kick off Phase 4 for Marvel Studios? Honestly, I don’t know yet.

The Big Problem: Weekly Episode Release Vs. Binge Format

My biggest take away from WandaVision was that streaming services desperately need to go back to the format that made them so intriguing and unique in the first place: Release all episodes of their original programming on the premiere date! It was so exciting things when a new season of Daredevil or Stranger Things, would premiere on Netflix and I could watch the entire story at my leisure! It was like getting to watch a trilogy of your favorite movie series over one weekend!

I understand that when Disney+ launched, the service needed to build up its library of original content and it’s subscriber base. The concern being, that people would just sign up, watch the first season of The Mandalorian over the weekend, and then cancel the subscription. Disney+ is successful enough now that it can move beyond that way of thinking and remember what drew people to streaming services in the first place.

    For a series like WandaVision, the weekly format actually hurts the show. In fact, it’s WandaVision’s biggest weakness. Each episode of the show is formatted to replicate and pay homage to a classic sitcom era. Episode 1 feels very much like The Dick Van Dyke Show, while Episode 2 feels more like Bewitched, with Episode 3 turning into something like The Brady Bunch or Happy Days. While this is certainly extremely unique and innovative for a superhero story, it’s too earnest for its own good. Let’s be real, we don’t really give a shit about the sitcom format, we’re all here to watch this series because we know this is The MCU and something extremely strange afoot. We care about the mystery of WHY Wanda and Vision are stuck in this weird TV sitcom reality. The series takes the sitcom gimmick that they’re replicating each week, way too seriously. It seems like the creators didn’t just use the aesthetic and style of a 1960s sitcom, they also seem to be following the rules of storytelling that you’d see in a sitcom in the 60’s, which isn’t all that interesting. Like I mentioned before, innovations like this need to continue for superhero films to survive and thrive. But WandaVision would’ve been much better served leaning into the creepy and unsettling aspects of the whole TV sitcom format, more like something out of The Twilight Zone. As it stands we get a pretty earnest and straightforward series that’s basically a sitcom staring Wanda and Vision, with hints of something darker and mysterious in the background. How did the characters find themselves in this strange TV world? Who or what is doing this? Is it Wanda herself? The answers to those mysteries are what we’re here to see. 

Know Your Audience & Why They’re Watching

They don’t have to show their hand right away, but we want more than just a silly sitcom with hints of something more interesting down the line. It couldn’t help but make me think of the film, Natural Born Killers, where Juliette Lewis’ abusive upbringing is shown in flashback form as a 60’s style TV sitcom, complete with a laugh track, while keeping the dark and twisted nature of her family life in tact. Seeing a horrible childhood juxtaposed with the wholesome sitcoms of yesteryear is what made that sequence so disquieting. Even Supernatural once did a crossover episode with Scooby-Doo, without ever compromising the tone or identity of either series.

    WandaVision would’ve been much better served to up the creepy factor by 100%. The sitcom format would work so much better if we were more frequently reminded of the unsettling truth that something sinister is causing this. As it stands it’s basically just a sitcom that occasionally reminds us that there’s something unusual and dangerous at the heart of these events. There are more creepy and disturbing moments, as well as more overt clues about what’s actually be going on, in Episodes 2 & 3. Which is why I think the 2nd and 3rd installment are so much stronger than the 1st. Now it feels like we’re going to have to sit through weeks of a sitcom that we’re not really interested in watching, to get to the part of the story that really matters, which will probably be around the last three episodes. I’m old enough to have watched many of these old shows when they aired in the “Nick-At-Night” days. A large part of the audience won’t even know what show’s WandaVision is drawing inspiration from.

    If the whole season dropped at once, the first 3 episodes would seem so much more charming and intriguing because we wouldn’t have to wait weeks to find out where this is going. We could dive right in and finish it out over a weekend. After all, it’s only six hours of content. Having said all that, I definitely like the show. Despite some of the creative choices that I disagree with, WandaVision is as fun as something like this could possibly be. Mainly because Wanda and Vision are such great characters and Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany are excellent actors who really give it their all. They’re a fun duo to watch and they have great chemistry as a couple. 

The bottom line is I encourage any superhero or MCU fan to check out WandaVision, just know what you’re getting into first. This is not an action adventure series. It’s very deliberate and with it’s own methodical and sometimes slow pacing. Which can be frustrating at times, but the potential of the underlying mystery as well as the performances by the excellent cast, will keep me coming back for more each week.

Like any good Marvel fan, or fanatic in my case, I kept my eyes peeled for Easter Eggs and believe me there are a ton of them! Wanda and Vision both have such storied history‘s as characters that there is a lot of storytelling there for the show to pull from. There are a lot of cool callbacks, Easter Eggs, and clues to previous MCU projects, comic book characters and storylines, as well as upcoming shows and films, in The MCU.

Easter Eggs, Clues, & References

 First of all, Wanda seems to have undergone a massive power upgrade. She can seemingly create and manipulate matter at will. Conjuring up objects from thin and altering existing ones. There’s a neat end credits sequence at the end of each episode with a musical score that’s creepy as hell and works as a unsettling contrast to the bright and bubbly nature of everything that comes before. It reminded me quite a bit of how Wanda’s powers would manifest in miniseries House of M with these sort of blocks. When she creates or destroys, something it comes apart or is put back together again small squares much like what we see in the end credits.

All 3 episodes drop huge clues that the people monitoring Wanda and Vision are S.W.O.R.D., we see their symbol in the van monitoring thing at the end of Episode 1 and it appears again in on a red and yellow toy helicopter that Wanda finds in Episode 2.

From Episode 1, the SWORD insignia appears on the notebook in front of the monitor, as well as on the computer screen on the left, in the bottom right corner of the screen

The inclusion of SWORD is extremely interesting because they’re basically SHIELD for space. They monitor extraterrestrials threats to Earth and other dangers to the planet from outer space. This would imply that something extraterrestrial is at play in WandaVision, which opens up all sorts of fun possibilities. In one of the Spider-Man: Far From Home post-credits scenes Nick Fury is seen on an alien ship or space station, which led many to theorize that he was setting up S.W.O.R.D.

Wanda makes a new friend in Episode 2, a young African-American woman who introduces herself as Geraldine. They meet while attending a planning event on a sunny afternoon, under gazebo filled with other women from the community.

Geraldine (Real Name: Monica Rambeau AKA Spectrum)

They’re all there to discuss the upcoming talent show fundraiser that the town is putting on. Right off the bat, there’s some really weird shit going down at this gathering of happy homemakers. Within her first few seconds of interacting with Wanda, Geraldine looks almost frightened and appears confused as to why she’s even at this meeting in the first place. As if she just woke up from an upsetting and disorienting dream. In Episode 3, we see that she’s wearing a necklace bearing the insignia of SWORD . She may introduce herself as Geraldine, but we know better. She is in fact Monica Rambeau a.k.a. Spectrum. We’ve actually encountered Monica in The MCU already, we met her as a child, in Captain Marvel. Monica is the daughter of Carol Danvers’ best friend. Monica is clearly following in the footsteps of the woman she look up to since she was a little girl. The next time we see her in The MCU outside of WandaVision will be as a full fledged superhero in Captain Marvel 2 which will likely involve SWORD in someway.

  Someone, presumably SWORD,  are tattempting to contact Wanda through the radio. You very clearly hear them asking her “Who is doing this to you, Wanda?”The voice on the radio is Agent Woo who we first met in Ant-Man and The Wasp.

Wanda and Vision perform a magic act in the town’s talent show school fundraiser. One of the props they use in their act, “The Cabinet of Mysteries”, has a symbol on it that looks a lot like The Mind Stone. An artifact key to the origins of both Wanda and Vision.

The commercial in Episodes 2 is for a watch made by Baron Strucker, who gave Wanda and her brother their powers. The watch also has the HYDRA symbol and says HYDRA on its face. Episode 3 has a commercial for a bath product made by HYDRA

In Episode 2, Wanda goes from normal to what looks to be about six months pregnant in a matter of moments. In episode three she gives birth to twin boys named Billy and Tommy. Shortly after their birth Wanda tells Geraldine (AKA Monica) that she was a twin and she had a brother named Pietro. This causes Geraldine to snap out of it for a moment and mention how Pietro was killed by Ultron.

At which point Wanda makes note of Geraldine’s SWORD necklace and hurls her out of town, back into the real world. She’s intercepted by what looks to be a massive government operation that seems to be monitoring the strange dome that has encased this town. Which reminded me a lot of the facility SHIELD constructs around Thor’s hammer, Mijonir, when it falls to Earth in the first Thor film. 

It was also really cool just to hear Ultron referenced in Episode 3. He was an underrated villain who I’ve always wanted to see return. I had a theory that Ultron could somehow be involved in the events of WandaVision. I’ll just hold out hope that he’ll possibly make an appearance by the end of the season, who knows?

    In the comics, Wanda and Vision have twin children (Billy and Tommy), who are later revealed to be constructs created by Wanda’s powers. The knowledge that her children were never “real” eventually leads to her mental break with reality that results in the deaths of Hawkeye, Scott Lang, and Vision. The fallout causes The Avengers to briefly disband. Which would seem to suggest that these children will likely be a very important part of the series going forward.

Left: Billy AKA Wiccan; Right: Tommy AKA Speed

  In the comics, It’s later revealed that the children were in fact real and survived. Eventually becoming the Young Avengers known as Speed (Tommy) and Wiccan (Billy), whose powers mirror those of Wanda and her brother Pietro AKA Quicksilver. Other members of Young Avengers include Scott Lang’s daughter, Cassie, who will develop size changing powers in Ant-Man 3. As well as, Hawkeye’s protege Kate Bishop, who will be making her debut in the upcoming Hawkeye Disney+ series with Hailee Steinfeld in the role.

Expect us to continue covering WandaVision as the series continues!

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

Is Robert Downey Jr Playing Grand Admiral Thrawn on The Mandalorian & Other Disney+ Star Wars Shows?

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Who Is Grand Admiral Thrawn?

After 2020’s thrillling 2nd Season of The Mandalorian and the phenomenal Final Season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars both streaming on Disney+, fans are excited about what’s next for our favorite corner of a galaxy far, far, away. In Episode 4 of The Mandalorian’s 2nd Season, titled “The Jedi”, not only were we introduced to Rosario Dawson’s live-action iteration of Ahsoka Tano, but a MAJOR name from Star Wars mythology was dropped as well. A name that has potentially massive implications for the future of the franchise. In this episode, Ahsoka revealed that she is hunting Grand Admiral Thrawn himself. While many viewers likely didn’t understand the weight that his name carries, Thrawn is one of the most fascinating and dangerous villains in the Star Wars Universe. With more seasons of The Mandalorian and the recently announced upcoming shows like Ahsoka, Rangers of The New Republic, and The Book of Boba Fett, all coming down the pipe line, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni plan to keep these shows closely interconnected much like The MCU. The plan being that at some point, there will be some big crossover miniseries or movie on Disney+ that will bring all the characters from the various shows together to combat some larger threat.

Grand Admiral Thrawn would be the perfect antagonist to embody that larger threat in a team up project like this. Not only would he poses an existential threat to the galaxy, but he’s also a fantastic character. Thrawn was first introduced in a trilogy of novels written by Timothy Zahn.

The novels told the story of how The Emperor sent Thrawn on a special mission to investigate a strange new threat that took him far beyond the outer rim, for years. He was so far away in fact, that communication between himself and the heart of The Empire was impossible. Thrawn finally returns with a small fleet to find The Rebellion victorious and The Emperor killed after the events of Return of The Jedi. He rallies what’s left of The Empire and with his brilliance and lethal cunning comes damn near close to destroying The New Republic. 

From The MCU’S Greatest Hero to The Most Cunning Villain In Star Wars?

This image was created by a fantastic digital artist. I don’t have the artist’s name right now, but as soon as I do I will post it on this article with a link to see more of their work.

    Rumor has it, that none other than Robert Downey Jr, old pal of Jon Favreau, is in talks with Disney and Lucasfilm to sign on as the character in upcoming Star Wars projects for Disney+. While it hasn’t been 100% confirmed that Thrawn is the character Downey is meeting with Disney/Lucasfilm and Favreau to discuss, reports have been very clear that the role is not a cameo, it’s a significant part, it would require Downey to wear some sort of prosthetic make up and it would be a departure from the heroic characters he’s been playing over the last 15 years or so. 

     I think this is fantastic news. Like I mentioned before, Downey is good friends with Jon Favreau, it’s a fantastic role for any actor, and after the unmitigated disaster that was Dolittle, I’m certain Downey is probably looking for a sure thing for his next major project. As an added benefit, I often describe Thrawn as an evil Sherlock Holmes. Considering that Robert Downey Jr. played a pretty damn good Sherlock Holmes in the past, that’s just one more check in the plus column. I really hope this rumor becomes reality. It’s interesting that so many elements from The Star Wars Expanded Universe are being brought into play lately because when Disney bought Lucasfilm they tossed out all of the Star Wars EU stories and filed them under the umbrella of Star Wars “Legends”. Meaning the stories were no longer considered canon. I understand why Disney/Lucasfilm would want to do that at the time, a lot of the EU stories took place after Return of The Jedi. The company wanted to keep the “Post-RoTJ” time period wide open, so they didn’t have any pre-existing stories or characters that would interfere or contradict the direction that they wanted to go in. Which didn’t work out quite as well as we all would’ve hoped, however, I must admit that I absolutely love The Force Awakens.

Thrawn was reintroduced to Star Wars continuity as the main villain facing the fledgling Rebellion in the final 2 seasons of Star Wars: Rebels. An argument could be made that Lars Mikkelsen, who played Thrawn in Rebels, wouldn’t be a bad choice to play the live-action version of the character. So I really like the actor, he played the villain Charles Augustus Magnuson in Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Season 3, he also played the wizard Geralt meets in the first season of The Witcher. Personally I think his brother, Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal, Casino Royale, Doctor Strange), would be much better suited to play Thrawn. Unfortunately, he already played a pretty major character in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as Galen Erso, the man who was forced to design and build The Death Star. BUT he also put the fatal flaw in the space station’s design that allowed Luke to destroy The Death Star during The Battle of Yavin.
We’ve even seen Thrawn appearance in some excellent comics recently. Disney also owns Marvel Comics, so there of been some fantastic Star Wars graphic novels published, with one miniseries specifically focusing on Thrawn.

    With Thrawn already having made his appearance on Star Wars Rebels and now possibly in live action for the first time, as well as Boba Fett officially surviving his trip into The Sarlak Pit (which is also an Expanded Universe concept), it seems that Lucasfilm is getting more comfortable about using EU characters and stories. They seem to be keeping the essence of exactly who these characters are, while changing minor details like when they appear in the mythology. Thrawn debuted on Star Wars Rebels at the height of The Empire’s power, right before the start of The Rebellion. In the EU, he comes into play after Return of The Jedi and the fall of The Empire. So people like Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni seem to be interested in using EU characters, they might just move around where they pop up in the Star Wars timeline and how they fit into mythology, while still respecting the essence of the character. Which begs the question what other EU characters might we see pop-up next? Dash Rendar? Prince Xizor, or a fan favorite character like Mara Jade? My money would be on the latter. Time will tell. Despite the lack luster ending of The Skywalker Saga, it seems like it’s still a pretty good time to be a Star Wars fan!

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

FIRST LOOK: Superman and Lois!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Superman and Lois is one of my most highly anticipated new shows of 2021. The latest series in The CW’s ever expanding Arrowverse. While Supergirl hasn’t always been one of my favorite Arrowverse shows, the series has had it’s moments of greatness. It’s done an excellent job at adapting some classic pieces of the Superman mythology, including this iteration of Superman and Lois Lane. Ever since he made his debut in the Season 2 premiere of Supergirl, I’ve been a big fan of Tyler Hoechlin’s Clark Kent. I’d have to say it’s a toss up between Hoechlin and Cavill, as my favorite live action versions of Superman. 

  Over the last several years, the main Superman comics have really focused on his life as a hero and family man. With Clark and Lois juggling superheroics, their careers as world renowned journalists at The Daily Planet, and raising their young son Jon Kent AKA Superboy, DC’s power couple always have their hands full. The biggest change this series seems to be making, is that Clark and Lois have 2 sons, instead of the one son they have in the comics.


Despite frequent trips to Metropolis, Clark and Lois wanted to raise their family in as much of a normal, healthy environment that they could reasonably find, under their unique circumstances. It seems as if Clark has decided to move his family back to The Kent Farm in Smallville. As the concept art below shows, the wholesome small town of Clark’s childhood is one of the major settings of the new series.

Their are an abundance of Superman villains and stories that haven’t even been touched yet in The Arrowverse, so there’s a great deal of potential for some exciting stuff in this new series. As the show moves closer to its release date, DC & The CW dropped some great images that I’ve posted throughout the article. as well as a brief trailer have been released, which you can watch below, but it’s really not much more than a teaser. You can take a look for yourself right here…

If there’s one thing we can count on, whenever a new TV show or movie comes out based on a classic superhero property, we’re going to get a new version of the suit. You can take a look a Superman’s new uniform yourself below, but I think they knocked it out of the park. It is absolutely beautiful. It was made by the same team behind the costumes for the hit Amazon Prime series The Boys, so it should come as no surprise that they did such an amazing job on this latest version of the classic Superman uniform. To be honest if I had one critique, it would be that I’d like to see the symbol a little bit larger on his chest. It’s a little too small for my liking but it looks fucking awesome nonetheless.


Like it’s predecessors, Superman and Lois will be just as interconnected to the other shows that make up The Arrowverse. In fact, it looks like we won’t have to wait long to see a crossover. While the series that started it all, Arrow, may have ended its 7 season run in Spring 2020, the rest of The Arrowverse is still very much alive and interconnected. Which leaves the door wide open for characters from the flagship series, to pop up in other Arrowverse shows. So I was very happy to hear the recent announcement that Arrowverse mainstay, David Ramsey, will be returning the DC TV Universe as John Diggle for a 5 -episodes arc focusing on his character beginning on Superman and Lois. Diggle will also be appearing in several other Arrowverse shows as part of the 5-episode arc. David Ramsey will even be directing a few episodes.

This is exciting news for couple of reasons. For 7 seasons on Arrow and dozens of appearances on other Arrowverse shows, Ramsey played John “Digg” Diggle, Oliver Queen’s closest friend and confidant. His special forces training, bravery, and contacts in the espionage community, made him one of Team Arrow’s most valuable assets. He joined Oliver’s mission to save their city, eventually suiting up as the vigilante, Spartan. With the exception of Oliver Queen and Sarah Lance, Diggle is one of the most skilled and dangerous hand-to-hand combatants in The Arrowverse. He even took up the mantle of The Green Arrow on several occasions. Out of all of the Arrow characters that could possibly continue on in other DC shows on The CW, I think his character has the most potential for some interesting stories.

(On the left is a piece of art done by the amazing BossLogic, showing Diggle as a Green Lantern. Top right is John Stewart from Justice League: The Animated Series, Below is Ernie Hudson as Diggle’s Father.)

The details of his return have deliberately been kept under wraps for now, which in my opinion can only mean one thing: We’re finally going to see Diggle become a Green Lantern! The idea of Diggle joining The Green Lantern Corps, has been teased for years and references to the existence The Green Lantern Corps go as far back as Season 1 of The Flash. The last time we saw Diggle in the Arrow Series Finale, something small and strange plummets out of space, landing directly in front of Diggle, blowing him off his feet into the side of his van. Almost as if it was sent directly to him, Digg picks the object up out of the small crater it created on impact, and opens it to find a glowing Green Lantern ring! It was pretty awesome. If I’m right, after years of teases and hints, I think this 5-episode story will be about Diggle making his debut as the first Green Lantern in The Arrowverse. Digg becoming a Green Lanter was a popular fan theory for long time, that the creators gave more legitimacy to as time went on. For example, we find out that Diggle’s father (played by Ernie Hudson) is a high-ranking military officer whose last name is in fact, Stewart, making Diggle’s real, legal name: John Stewart. 

    John Stewart is one of the classic, fan favorite, Green Lanterns from DC Comics. The character is an African-American former soldier (just like Diggle) and for an entire generation of fans who grew up watching John Stewart as Green Lantern in the classic Justice League Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited, John Stewart IS THEIR Green Lantern. One of the running jokes in The Arrowverse was that Digg was always the most uncomfortable with the crazy, bizarre shit involving super powers and meta-humans that the characters would frequently encounter. So it makes a lot of sense that he might go to someone like Clark Kent/Superman, if he’s freaked out about the situation he suddenly finds himself in. Green Lanterns, power rings, and alien species can all be pretty stressful things for a relatively grounded guy deal with. So Superman and Lois seems like the perfect place to debut Diggle as John Stewart, Green Lantern of Space Sector-2817. I’m extremely excited to see what they do with this!  Becoming a Green Lantern isn’t exactly easy, which is why I imagine he’ll be making appearances over multiple Arrowverse shows. Perhaps he’ll be learning some thing about his new powers and abilities from each of the heroes he guest stars with? These are all just more great reasons for me to be excited about this new series.

Superman and Lois premieres this January on The CW.

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

What I Want to See: Grogu the Gray Jedi

There’s going to be some spoilers for the Mandalorian season 2 finale, so you’ve been warned.

With the wrap up of season 2 of the Mandalorian we’ve seen Grogu (aka Baby Yoda) go off with Luke Skywalker. So in season 2 we learned that he was a Jedi youngling when Anakin slaughtered them, and now he’s going off with Luke to be trained, presumably alongside Ben Solo (the future Kyle Ren).

That is a lot of darkness surrounding the cute and cuddly character. He doesn’t have a great start—through no fault of his own— to a life as a Jedi. In addition to all of that there is clearly a conflict in him, one that we have seen before in Star Wars, that of emotional attachment. These elements, personally make me want to see Grogu be a Gray Jedi.

We’ve seen Gray Jedi before, but we’ve also seen people who would probably have been better if they hadn’t fought their nature, like Anakin. Emotional attachment is such a fundamental conflict within Star Wars, and I think letting Grogu handle that in a less binary more healthy manner will be cool.

When 900 Years OldYou Reach, Look This Good You Will Not

In addition to wanting to see Grogu go the way of a Gray Jedi, I also think he gives the storytellers an interesting opportunity to anchor the future Star Wars (both our future but also the stuff happening after the original trilogy) within the canon.

Yoda’s species ages at such a slow rate, that they have an opportunity to oversee or participate in such a wide range of generations. Grogu is years younger than Anakin (maybe fifteen) all the way through The Rise of Skywalker and he’d be the equivalent of a preteen?

Grogu can stand beside the Jedi that Rey trains, and the Jedi they train. It’s not to say that I want him to be a Yoda, where he is the wisest, and know so much about the Jedi order, but I think having a character who can come in and out of the different Jedi stories will help to keep Star Wars feeling connected in the wake of the Skywalker Saga ending.

Should Grogu get his own movie?

I’m not fully opposed to this, but I’m not sure it’s the way to go either, but if we’re going to get Grogu as a main character—and I’m assuming he’ll learn English as he grows older— I have a couple of ideas for who I want in charge of it.

Taika Waititi is one of my personal favorite filmmakers right now. He directed Thor: Ragnarok, taking the Thor franchise to a place I never thought it would be, and I loved it. Next he directed Jojo Rabbit, which you haven’t seen it is one of the best films of 2019, about a boy and his imaginary friend Hitler, in which he tells an endearing story of a young nazi during WWII.

The reason I bring up these two projects, is to say that Taika Waititi can take very weird concepts and make them great, because he understands storytelling, and isn’t afraid to dive into the odd. If we’re ever going to get a Grogu movie, I can’t really imagine it won’t be the weirdest Star Wars film to date.

I know that Patty Jenkin’s Rogue Squadron was the big film takeaway from last week’s Star Wars announcements, but we know that Taika Waititi is also going to be directing a Star Wars film, and while there has been little to know information on it, the one consistent thing people have been saying is that it’s going to be weird and different.

My last point in arguing for Taika’s take on Grogu, and is that he’s directed an episode of The Mandalorian, he’s already in someway connected not only with Star Wars, but with this character.

We’ve Never Had a Real Gray Jedi

This is going to be a controversial point, because there is some speculation that Qui-Gon was a Gray Jedi, or that Kanan was. But the only real confirmed Gray Jedi we’ve seen have come in books and video games. Never a show, never a film. It’s an aspect of the story that is open for expanding the lore for the audience that only watches Star Wars.

Like I said before, Gray Jedi make the most sense in a lot of ways, they’re not good or bad, but rather they’re balanced. It’s something which in a series always so concerned about balance, has been sorely lacking, especially when we have so many balanced non-force wielders. With Lando, and Han, and Hando—just now realizing what they did there with his name— we see good characters with bad sides, and bad characters with good sides. Even within this season of the Mandalorian, we see Boba Fett, who is a bounty hunter help to do the right thing due to his honor code, and then presumably become a crime-boss.

Nuance is lacking in the force, and Grogu the Gray would be a great way of introducing it. That’s what I want to see.

PODCAST: The Mandalorian Episode 6 “The Tragedy” Commentary & Review!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

The Mandalorian is just about wrap up it’s excellent second season and all the pieces are in place for an epic ending to the show’s sophomore season! Mando is ready to go full on Liam Neeson in Taken on Moff Gideon and I can’t wait for their inevitable showdown! I have a feeling that Moff Gideon is going to learn the hard way, that as far as Mando is concerned, NO ONE messes with The Kid. So, on this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, we recorded a commentary and review, of Season 2, Episode 6, “The Tragedy”. I hate when I have a movie or TV series spoiled for me, so I deliberately waited until at least one other episode of The Mandalorian had aired, before I posted this episode of the podcast. Fair warning, we are in FULL SPOILER territory on this one. Now, with Episode 8 just a few days away, I figured that enough time had passed. I will offer one small tease: A fan favorite character finally lives up to their legendary status in spectacular fashion. As always, we had a blast making this episode, so we hope you have fun listening! Enjoy!

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/42430178 Or subscribe/listen on Spotify, Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTunes/Apple Podcasts : https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000502042114

Spotifyhttps://open.spotify.com/show/11mA9kClyevVZjWYMQB1Io?si=7TfnqkBiShqTQpZhh2UDsA

Stitcherhttps://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=185563

Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul