Sunday 19 June 2022

To infinity down the rating plughole

American superhero films and TV series aren't my cup of tea, but the BBC has been repeatedly popping up on my Twitter feed recently promoting a Disney+ TV series called Ms Marvel

Even though I've been dozing for months, the sheer frequency of those BBC tweets caught my attention, and yet another one popped up this evening, following one this morning.

I can't say I was puzzled as to why though, given the accompanying BBC blurb on those tweets. Their take on Ms Marvel was clearly all about identity politics and rejoicing in the fact that a female Muslim character - a Pakistani-American teenager called Kamala Khan - was made the main character ['superhero headliner'] in a Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) TV series.

I've done a little digging into the matter regarding the BBC News website and found that they've been enthusiastically following this for a while, plugging the identity politics/Go Muslims! angle - e.g.:
Marvel reveals Muslim comic-book superhero, Kamala Khan

Ms Marvel: Muslim superhero film 'in the works', Marvel says - BBC …

Ms Marvel: Trailblazing Muslim superhero goes gaming

Marvel has cast its first onscreen Muslim superhero!

Ms Marvel on TV: A 'bold move for Marvel to diversify their characters'

Ms. Marvel: First trailer revealed - what do we know

Ms Marvel: We meet the MCU's first Muslim superhero!

Why Marvel has struck gold with Muslim superhero Ms Marvel

Ms Marvel: Critics praise Disney's 'joyful' first Muslim superhero story
Ms Marvel: 'I felt I belonged on set'

And this is where reality rides in on a horse of bold colours...

Moving away from the BBC's cheerleading on Newsround and Newsbeat and Twitter and the BBC website to the real world of what audiences actually want to watch, it's clear that the viewing public aren't anywhere near so enthusiastic. 

To put it mildly.

The programme has massively flopped in the ratings so far, scoring a new low for any MCU-branded programme by a vast margin. 

Its premiere sank to way under a million viewers - astonishingly, a bare half of the previous lowest-rated Marvel TV flop to date.  

So, presumably being seen to be unwanted and woke, Ms Marvel has 'gone broke' and absolutely bombed. 

The series might be fun and delightful - as per the friendly critics and the BBC - but the public clearly aren't inclined to watch it, for whatever reasons.

My guess then is that the BBC will now keep quiet about Ms Marvel flopping with the least until Twitter/their US media allies starts blaming the audience's disinclination to watch it on racism. Then the Beeb is bound to lurch back into action.

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