Matt Shakman explains how WandaVision's weekly release will keep viewers hooked in a fashion similar to television's past hits.
WandaVision director Matt Shakman expressed his approval of the series weekly release schedule. Shakman is a television veteran and has directed episodes for hit television series ranging from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia to Game of Thrones. His direction for WandaVision has already become Rotten Tomatoes' highest-reviewed MCU installment.
WandaVision is Marvel Studios' first original programming for Disney+. Similar to the release schedule of The Mandalorian, another Disney+ original series, WandaVision releases new episodes each week on Friday. The series draws heavily from famous sitcoms, with each episode of WandaVision paying homage to a particular decade of television history. The first two episodes of the series dropped on January 15, and fans are now left to wait to see what other series will be referenced in future episodes, along with answers to the big mysteries haunting Wanda and Vision.
During an interview with ET, director Matt Shakman discussed how a weekly release schedule for WandaVision fits the series format. WandaVision dropping weekly is in spirit with how the most popular series in a pre-streaming age was viewed by audiences, as waiting every week as part of the experience. When asked why Shakman said:
"I love the idea of week-to-week. Binging has its place, for sure, but there's something about the mystery -- especially for a show like WandaVision -- where people can think about what they've watched and come up with their own theories and it builds anticipation. It's worked really well for The Mandalorian, obviously, it worked really well for Game of Thrones -- a show I used to work on -- it's exciting to put something out there and allow people to kind of chew on it and come up with their own theories. But I also have to say, because we're involved in a great meta-project with WandaVision being this love letter to the history of sitcoms, is that coming out weekly also feels right for our show, because we're coming out the way those shows used to come out, so it all seems to make sense."
Releasing streaming service shows every week has worked very well for shows like The Mandalorian on Disney+. It keeps the series in the audience's mind longer, so they can discuss and theorize about what will happen next. Yet some series face backlash from fans for adopting this format. Amazon’s The Boys found itself the target of review bombing when the series second season moved to a weekly release schedule. However, it was ultimately a smart move by Amazon, as it's kept the conversation around The Boys going for much longer.
While audiences may have been spoiled by the Netflix binge-watch model, research has shown that a weekly release helps extends the life of a series, especially if the show in question isn't a massive hit right out of the gate. WandaVision weekly release will keep in on the air until March 5, giving a one week break between it and the premiere of Falcon and the Winter Soldier on March 19. Falcon and the Winter Soldier will run for six episodes until the end of April, wrapping up two weeks before Black Widow opens in theaters on May 7. This weekly release format will make sure audiences enjoy MCU content for the first five months of the year. A nice change of pace from the previous year without any MCU installments.