When it comes to media, I have a fear of missing out. I started to notice it when the MCU became more of a “thing.” If I missed a Marvel movie, I felt left out and unable to understand a meme or joke online. (Insert Captain America’s I understand that reference meme.)
This FOMO became more apparent during the pandemic. Marvel released WandaVision and everyone was talking about it. I deeply enjoyed the multilayered show, so I was eager to watch and see it unfold. But I’ve watched too many things just because I didn’t want to miss out on what everyone was talking about. That didn’t mean this media was good; often it was the opposite. For example, I watched Falcon and the Winter Soldier not because I liked it. I knew everyone online would be talking about it and I didn’t want to be out of the loop. I was slow to watch it, but I still did.
I think Marvel in particular plays on this FOMO. You can’t miss one part of the story unfolding over years’ worth of media, or you’ll miss a quick reference or character in another piece of media. I haven’t felt the same push from DC. I didn’t watch Joker or either cut of Justice League. I watched Wonder Woman 1984, mostly because it was the pandemic, and I was starved for entertainment. I felt no pull to see Joker and I don’t feel I missed out. After watching a few reviews, I gleaned enough to know I didn’t need to see it. There was no way I was sitting down for Snyder’s Justice League when I haven’t even seen Batman v. Superman. No thank you.
On the opposite side of this coin, I find myself watching shows and films that don’t get spotlighted enough. Legends of Tomorrow continues to entertain and delight and I look forward to the upcoming season. I like the Umbrella Academy and plan to continue with it. There is simply too much media to consume. In fact, media shouldn’t be consumed. It should be savored. I imagine I’ll revisit both Legends and Umbrella Academy, but I doubt I’ll revisit any of the Marvel shows.
With the oversaturation of comic book heroes, burnout is bound to happen. Marvel will probably be pumping out movies—and now shows—until the sun explodes. I’ll check out Loki and Thor 4. But I feel tired.
I want new stories with new characters. I want new voices. As much as I like Marvel, I see the flaws. There is too much queer-baiting and no substantive representation. There needs to be more voices at the table. The studio continues to be average when it could push itself to be more.
In the end, I don’t want more media. I want better media worth talking about.