Reflecting On Episodic Vs. Whole Season Reviewing | Column from the Critic

Marvel’s “What If…?” has wrapped up. And while my ranking of the episodes will be out before the end of the year, I wanted to reflect on my experience with reviewing Season 1. Specifically, looking back on the show, I wanted to give some behind the scenes looks at my experience with it. Normally, Mitchell is the one who does episodic reviews but when he had a lot on his schedule, I stepped up to the plate with the speculative anthology series from Marvel.

Going into the episodic approach, I set up an easy schedule. Each review would be set up with a skeletal outline, with maybe the introduction written out based on the synopsis for that week’s episode. Then on the release day, I’d get up early and ready for my day job before watching the episode. Then I’d write the review afterwards and get it sent in by the end of the day.

As I went through this, there were a lot of perks to the episodic approach of reviewing shows. The first one I noticed was the increased content that came with getting a post out each week. It encouraged me to stick to a deadline more than covering any other movie would force me to. Another benefit was that it forced me to think more critically and develop my points within a thirty-minute episode. It’s a mental exercise that makes me strengthen my arguments and what works and doesn’t work.

But while there was a lot of good that came from this, I had some issues pop up when doing it; scheduling being the biggest. While I tried to keep to the deadline imposed, there were many weeks where I got the review in by the last minute. This was because I’ve been balancing work for this site and my own blog and my day job in retail. Another issue I had comes with social media, specifically TikTok. After each episode, I’d take a chance to check takes out from TikToker Straw Hat Goofy and compare the points he made. But sometimes there wasn’t much to say about some episodes and I didn’t want to cross into plagiarism. This is where covering a season in its entirety works; I can apply the method of review I’ve done with movies and look at the season as a whole.

While I took a step back to focus on other work in lieu of covering “Hawkeye,” this is something I’m planning on doing with “The Book of Boba Fett.” But this time, I won’t be going in unexperienced. I’ve been around the block and know what to expect later on when I get to this Star Wars project.

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