My original half-way point review will follow this one, as most of what I said there still stands. I am revising my review to slightly raise the score and to highlight a few more things in the back half of the first season.
Going into the second half of this season I was very concerned they wouldn't stick the landing - a problem that plagues all of the MCU shows - it felt like they were rushing things and just didn't have enough time to really wrap up the story they were telling and they were *still* introducing new characters and concepts all the way up to the penultimate episode. However, the final episode really brought things together and stuck the landing probably better than any of the MCU shows have thus far.
The show is not without its problems, for sure - but the bottom line is this is a fun show, with one of the best casts the MCU has put together. I'm very pleased with the end result and am happily looking forward to more Ms. Marvel in the future.
** My original review - 7/10 at 3 episodes in:
First of all, this show is a lot of fun. Secondly, all the 1 star ratings are people with some kind of agenda, be it political, racist, religious, or otherwise - don't listen to them. I'm not saying people can't dislike this show - but a 1 star review is very telling about the persons bias and/or ulterior motives. Now on to my mid-season review...
This certainly isn't the best of the Marvel shows, but it's definitely one of the better ones thus far, and is carving out its own unique place among them.
I have to start by praising the casting here. Marvel has pretty much always done a great job with casting their lead characters, but sometimes supporting cast isn't all that great - I can't think of a single character that seems to be miscast in this show. Iman Vellani - Ms. Marvel herself - is *perfectly* cast for this role. She's got charm and personality in spades and is immediately likable. Zenobia Shroff and Moran Kapur play her mother and father, respectively, and are fantastic in their roles as well. Matt Lintz as Bruno and Yasmeen Fletcher as Nakia are both superb. Huge props to the casting director because they nailed this one.
The show is also full of a lot of great visual flair that really feels very unique to a Marvel property. We get to see text message conversations playing out on screen via the surrounding neon lights and traffic signage. Kamala's imagination running wild is depicted by graffiti in the neighborhood springing to life, vividly animated alongside the live action. It's got a unique visual style all it's own, making it stand out among other Marvel properties that have otherwise, unfortunately, begun to feel very "samey" across the franchise.
The show also does a remarkable job introducing a family dynamic that, while it may seem very foreign to most American viewers, is immediately relatable and humanizing - it's a beautiful thing that we see far too little of in Americanized media. It showcases a family very different and yet so very similar to that of the average American family - and it does all this in a positive way, showcasing differences in a celebratory way as opposed to the all too common negative way we've become so accustomed to.
The show isn't without its problems though. I truly loved the first two episodes, but the third episode introduces the series main villains and, well... their introduction leaves much to be desired. Without going into deep spoilers I will say that the "reveal" as to who the villains were felt very abrupt and rushed, and it just made little sense in the context of the plot thus far. I'm hopeful they can clean it up and redeem it by the end, but knowing the series is only 6 episodes I think this was rushed mainly due to time constraints, which is a real shame.
That issue aside - this is a pretty good show and I recommend it to anyone looking for a light-hearted and fun time in the Marvel universe.
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