Why Christmastime is the perfect setting for the new Hawkeye series

The trailer for Marvel’s spinoff series Hawkeye debuted this week, and it far surpassed many fans’ expectations. But considering Marvel Studios is now an Emmy-winning studio, we should have expected nothing less. And it’s exciting to see that this next entry in Marvel’s live-action TV lineup will be themed around the holidays.

Let’s rewind to explain why this setting is important. There’s always been a bit of a stigma against Hawkeye. Even Jeremy Renner poked fun at himself during a Saturday Night Live episode years ago for essentially being the most useless Avenger. Since The Avengers, Hawkeye has pretty much been the laughing stock of the MCU, and it’s time for that to change.

I myself was a Hawkeye skeptic before seeing the trailer. I wasn’t necessarily a Hawkeye hater, but I definitely see any reason to get excited about his show compared to the other Marvel series that had been announced.

But then I watched it…

A history of Hawkeye in the MCU

Hawkeye has been in the MCU for a very long time, first appearing in 2011’s Thor. But it always felt like they didn’t know what to do with him. In his debut appearance, he was the moody bow-yielder up in his nest. In The Avengers, he wasn’t afforded a personality because he was controlled by Loki for 90 percent of the movie. (And he maybe had a thing for Black Widow.) And in Age of Ultron, they tried to make him a family man? Who lived on a farm?

It wasn’t until the Russos made Civil War that we saw Hawkeye shape up a little more into a well-rounded character. In that film, we saw him as a protector of Wanda, who was locked up at Avengers HQ. He was a pretty great hero in that movie. And the Russos made him even more of a bad*ss in Endgame when it was revealed that he had been the ruthless assassin Ronin after Thanos snapped away half of existence.

So Hawkeye was trending in a favorable direction, but what did we have to look forward to from his solo show? WandaVision promised a mind-bending series with a direct lead-in to Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of MadnessThe Falcon and the Winter Soldier teased the possibility of Sam Wilson becoming Captain America. And Loki promised to reveal what happened to the God of Mischief after he stole the Tesseract in Endgame.

Not much had been built up for Hawkeye (until Black Widow, that is). And it felt like the series was going to need something to make it stand out in order to be a worthy successor to those three shows. Even The Falcon and the Winter Soldier felt a bit standard and lacking pizazz compared to WandaVision and Loki. It was clear Hawkeye would have to step it up.

Hawkeye and the holidays

Enter the Hawkeye trailer, which opened with jingle bells and a shot of the Empire State Building lit up in Christmas colors. I was not expecting that, and already, I was intrigued.

Some have been calling it Marvel’s take on Die Hard. And really, nowhere else in the MCU have we really gotten a holiday story before. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special was expected to be the first MCU holiday special, and that likely won’t come out until 2022. And while Iron Man 3 technically did take place around the winter holidays, it wasn’t marketed as a Christmas action romp the way Hawkeye is.

Marvel Studios’ HAWKEYE, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Mary Cybulski. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

So really, it’s perfect. This theming transforms the show from being a normal Borne-type action series starring Jeremy Renner to a fun-filled holiday extravaganza that brings with it all the cheesy Christmas tropes you could ask for. Taking place in New York City, we get to see Rockefeller Plaza, Grand Central Station (an iconic landmark in Avengers history), and even the Theater District. (Yes, I’m as pumped about the Steve Rogers musical as everyone else.)

And not only that, but holiday-themed movies and series also include some heavy emotional moments. It’s all about learning to love your friends, your family, and even yourself. And at the end of the day, everyone’s heart grows three sizes. All of the live-action Marvel series thus far have done some great work in breaking the characters down as they deal with their emotions. (I gushed about this in my Loki reaction, for example.) And Hawkeye should be another one for the books.

Get ready to add Hawkeye to this composite photo of MCU television characters crying, because it’s bound to happen in his series. Maybe prepare a space for Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop too.

Hawkeye premieres the day before Thanksgiving, November 24. (Sorry once again to Thanksgiving for being overshadowed by Christmas.) It looks like Hawkeye is shaping up to be the perfect series to complement your holiday-watching itinerary this season.

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