Falcon & Winter Soldier series premiere: More of Disney+‘s slow-burn status quo

How much energy can you muster for a drawn-out superhero option on TV this weekend? In terms of content that favors deliberately paced cinematics over instant, wham-bam action, the DC Comics universe already has a four-hour option capturing headlines—and for good reason.

Hence, HBO Max has mildly spoiled the debut of new Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The first episode launched Friday, March 19, without the surprise and weirdness factor that came with January’s Wandavision premiere. Without novelty on its side, the series has to stand on more familiar laurels. Thankfully it succeeds at that, but the results don’t quite reach the “rush to watch right now” conversation-starter status Disney+ has enjoyed over the past few months.

Shield retires a shield

This is now Marvel Studios’ second post-“unsnappening” series, and it’s the first to take a more predictable tack on the fallout throughout the Marvel universe. Endgame set this new TV series up in shameless corporate-synergy fashion when Chris Evans handed his Captain America shield to Anthony Mackie (The Falcon) and Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier), essentially telling audiences, “Two superheroes will continue a specific plotline—so stay tuuuuned.”

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