Archive for Worldbuilding

WandaVision not Television: Franchise on the Small Screen

Posted in Conferences, Franchise as form, papers, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 24 June 2021 by Ben

What follows are my notes for my SFRA talk this past weekend.

WandaVision not Television: Franchise on the Small Screen

So I have been interested in franchise for a while and have been presenting on the subject at SFRA and elsewhere for the past few years. In these presentations and in a few roundtables I have mainly discussed filmic instances of franchise, such as Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens and the Iron Man and Captain America trilogies. My shift here to a discussion of what used to be called television has to do with what seem to me new ways franchises are making use of the medium and our nostalgia for it. Examples of this shift to original serialized streaming content that develop franchise storyworlds at critical moments in the history of a franchise include WandaVision and the Mandalorian and, more recently, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki. My cautious and perhaps vague thesis regarding these “shows” states that they represent processes within Star Wars and the MCU distinct from older instances of franchise television such as Star Trek: The Original Series or The Next Generation, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, or even Marvel’s Agents of Shield.

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