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Hailee Steinfeld in ‘Hawkeye’ on Disney + makes the Marvel world magical this holiday season

“Hawkeye” is the fifth series to debut on Disney + from the Marvel Cinematic Universe this year, arriving with two episodes streaming just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. As the latest in a scramble for content following the forced sabbatical year of 2020 (the MCU is on track to launch nine titles on big and small screens by the end of the year), the show must maintain. the streak of success alive as Marvel enters Year Two. the streaming service. Lucky for him, he’s focused on one of the brightest talents to join the superhero world to date, Hailee Steinfeld, whose enthusiasm is infectious enough to fuel an entire standalone franchise.

The two characters and their “old school daddy / awesome daughter” pair would work in just about any TV series storyline that Marvel imagines.

The series is named after the last of six original heroes from “The Avengers,” the 2012 blockbuster film that set the model for the blockbuster crossover “franchise universe.” The other five have all had solo adventures on the big screen (although Black Widow only came this summer); Hawkeye, whose real name is Clint Barton (played by Jeremy Renner), will have to be content with the small screen. Part of that is because the character is the least glamorous of the bunch. He’s not a billionaire, a god, a WWII hero, a Russian assassin, or a hulk. It’s a fact the show is keenly aware of and plays out as part of the humor. Everyone has superpowers or at least the grace of being interesting. Hawkeye has a bow and arrows.

As in the Disney + shows “WandaVision” and “Loki,” the character comes with an unexplored backstory to lean on. Clint Barton is the only one of the original six heroes who was already married with children when he was introduced, which the films only referred to in passing. As Disney + focuses on family content, you’d think a “Hawkeye” series would be happy to focus on family life. But Barton is once again estranged from his family and paired with a found family, instead, some kind of surrogate, Kate Bishop (Steinfeld). Bishop is a wealthy Manhattanite whose father was one of many anonymous civilians killed in the famous “Battle of New York” scene in “The Avengers”; she has idolized Hawkeye ever since she saw him shoot arrows off the skyline that day. When circumstances lead the two down each other’s path, she’s like an impatient puppy, ready to be mentored by a guy whose grandpa energy can’t help but let her follow.

The two characters and their “old school daddy / awesome daughter” pair would work in just about any TV series storyline that Marvel imagines. Renner and Steinfeld have great chemistry together, and their odd couple / cop buddy routine is delicious even when they’re not involved in action sequences. But the MCU added an extra twist in an effort to make it a show for the ages: it’s a Christmas story. The low-key character of Barton and his family makes him the perfect vehicle for the traditional trope of trying to get home for the holidays, as soon as he’s come across these villains. Call it “Die hard with an Avenger”.

Since Netflix discovered the holiday market with the hit of “A Christmas Prince” in 2017, streaming has entered the holidays in a big way, including Disney +. As a family-friendly streaming service that your kids can trust, it specializes in vacations. Last year, House of Mouse dug into its other successful studio franchise, “Star Wars”, adding a whole new addition to its growing catalog with “The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special”. This year, it’s Marvel’s turn to bring the prank, and it does so by reverting to the original formula that made its first streaming TV series work.

He brings tons of little treats in every episode, from characters playing in Central Park to Broadway performances.

Since the MCU’s debut on Disney +, the company has apparently worked to prevent the new lineup from anything that might invite one-on-one comparisons to Netflix and the canceled “The Defenders” franchise from “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones,” ” Luke Cage “et al.” WandaVision “,” The Falcon and the Winter Soldier “and” Loki “have all created situations and settings as far removed as possible from these shows and their” vigilantes running around town. New York City. ”But with“ Hawkeye, ”the MCU goes straight for it. The New York setting, the eye-level issues of the streets, the introduction of several comic book anti-heroes to hang more headlines on. franchise are all straight out of the “Daredevil” playbook. There are no global crises or end-time scenarios here, just the little rich abusing their position for illegal gain and a few people with a lot of money. martial arts training for arr to be.

But “Hawkeye” does better than its predecessors at fixing all of Netflix’s old mistakes. Instead of bloated 13-episode series with no established conclusions, this series is a limited series of six clipped episodes. Instead of trying too many twists and turns, he sticks to the simple adventure announced. And most importantly, he brings tons of little delicacies in every episode, from characters playing in Central Park to performances on Broadway. In one of its best moments, the show pokes fun at its own material (and its parent company’s habit of remaking its content for the Great White Way) with “Rogers: The Musical,” arguably the most delicious and deliberately memorable from any streaming series. This year.

But the key to making this show run is Steinfeld, who has already delighted streaming audiences twice this year with two seasons of “Dickinson” on Apple TV +. The reason Marvel returns to the origin story over and over again is the wide-eyed wonder of the not-yet-jaded hero exploring the possibility of what might be for the first time. Even though “Hawkeye” is yet another entry in this category, as Bishop takes over so Barton can come home for Christmas, she makes the tropes feel fresh again. Maybe it’s the city lights, the spirit of the season, or the Christmas soundtrack. But when Marvel closes for 2021 (the finale airs just before Christmas Eve), Steinfeld is making the Marvel world magical once again.

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