Summer 2023 saw the long-awaited Disney+ series Secret Invasion disappoint both fans and critics, becoming the MCU's first show and third project to receive a "Rotten" score on Rotten Tomatoes. As such, some fans feared that the MCU's next project, Loki Season 2, would see a similar fate.
Loki Writer Responds to Show and MCU Criticism
In an interview with Esquire, Loki Season 2 writer Eric Martin gave a simple response to critics of both the show and of the franchise at large: "Thanks for watching."
According to Esquire, that statement was immediately followed by a laugh. But, Martin did seem to mean it. He expanded, saying he "hope[s] they [critics] stuck with it," as he was "sure people at points got a little frustrated" waiting for things to resolve throughout the six-episode story:
Esquire: "What would you say to the corner of fans and reviewers who have been critical of this season—and even the Marvel operation at large lately?"
Martin: "Thanks for watching? [Laughs.] No, I mean, I don’t want to be ridiculous about that. Seriously, thanks for watching, and I hope they stuck with it. I think we had a challenging season with a lot going on. And I’m sure people at points got a little frustrated, like, Well, is this gonna lead to anything? But it always was."
Martin continued, saying that reviewing only one episode at a time can be challenging, as doing so involves forming opinions "on things that are in progress."
He explained that, "Nobody’s going out and reviewing a movie at the midpoint," and that it is important "to see the whole [season]" in order to form complete opinions about the story:
"That’s the tough thing about Rotten Tomatoes, and people reviewing and weighing in on things that are in progress. Nobody’s going out and reviewing a movie at the midpoint. It doesn’t make any sense. You need to see the whole [season]."
He reiterated, though, that he is "glad they [critics of Loki Season 2] watched," and he "hope[d] it landed for them:"
"But I hope they stuck around, and I hope it landed for them. Ultimately, I’m just glad they watched."
Martin enjoyed that episodes of Loki released weekly, though, saying "it doesn’t reduce it down to your weekend binge." He added that "It’s good to live with these things," and that having time to fully process the story in between episodes "makes it all more valuable:"
"I’m really happy. We had a weekly release. It’s good for the industry. It’s good for the viewers. It’s good for the people making it. It makes what we do a little more precious, and it doesn’t reduce it down to your weekend binge, and then you forget about it. It’s good to live with these things, and to absorb them and fight about it. It makes it all more valuable."
A Break from MCU Weekly Releases
Despite Martin's own appreciation for the weekly release model, the MCU is stepping away from it for its next two Disney+ projects.
The MCU is also trying to combat what many refer to as "Marvel Fatigue" by categorizing certain projects — including Echo — under a new "Marvel Spotlight" banner. These projects will be able to stand on their own, without the viewer needing to be familiar with every piece of MCU canon to follow what happens.
The effect these changes and trials will have on the MCU as a whole still remains to be seen, but with the MCU taking on only one cinematic endeavor in 2024, there is ample time for the franchise to regain its footing.
Both seasons of Loki are available to stream on Disney+.