Photo Credit: Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier — the next series from Marvel Studios — premieres Friday on Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar worldwide, including in India. Like WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will air new episodes every week. But unlike WandaVision, there are only six episodes on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. They do run longer though — each episode will last for 40–50 minutes. Ahead of the premiere, Disney gave critics access to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 1 for review purposes. But I'm not going to review the new Marvel series just yet. Here's why. There are no spoilers here, don't worry.
Every review you see out there is based on their experience of watching just one episode, out of the six total. Seeing one episode is like watching roughly 17 percent of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. To me, that's not enough to deliver a proper review. For comparison's sake, that's like watching 20 minutes of a Marvel movie — they are usually two hours long — and putting out a review. Some movies are slow in the beginning and get better later, while others kick off to a great start before succumbing to plot demands. This also applies to TV shows.
For The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Disney has deemed that reviews cannot be published before Thursday (morning in the US and night in India). The first reviews for the new Marvel series will hence start arriving at 9:30pm IST / 9am PT / 4pm GMT. Plenty of reviewers will stick to this deadline and people who want to get a peek at how The Falcon and the Winter Soldier starts off will no doubt find that helpful. But my review will only be published once I've seen all six episodes. I did ask Disney for more episodes but this wasn't possible — and although a reason wasn't given, Marvel's concerns about spoilers are well known.
That's why, for instance, with WandaVision, critics had access to the first three episodes. The fourth episode had a big reveal that Disney no doubt wanted to make sure went unspoiled for the most enthusiastic fans.
Not getting all the episodes is in fact quite common for many series. The bigger the show, the fewer the episodes. With WandaVision, critics saw three out of the total nine. That's 30 percent, which is much better, relatively. With Netflix's The Witcher, we had access to the first five episodes, out of the total eight. That's over 60 percent, even better. It can always be worse. Game of Thrones didn't do screeners — the industry term for film or TV offered under early access — at all in later seasons (their reason was also spoilers and piracy).
With The Mandalorian season 2, Disney also didn't bother previewing the series at all. You can do that when you've Baby Yoda.