Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye in Marvel Studios’ HAWKEYE. Photo by Mary Cybulski. © Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Hawkeye time. Jeremy Renner returns as Clint Barton in the most recent Disney Plus MCU show and it’s set during the holiday season. I was only given the first two episodes to review prior to its streaming service debut, but the Christmas in New York is a really great feel for the series. As a New Yorker, it’s cool seeing a very real and grounded setting for what’s sure to be a wild ride.

An Unlikely Surprise

Disclaimer: Clint Barton was never my favorite Avenger. It’s something I’ve said for a long time and no, it’s not because Natasha was the one chosen to be killed for the soul stone. It’s not something I’m going to get into, just know my excitement level for the Hawkeye series was at a tempered five. Unlike any other Marvel show that’s come out this year.

Vera Farmiga as Eleanor Bishop and Tony Dalton as Jack Duquesne in Marvel Studios’ HAWKEYE. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. © Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

However, I found myself being genuinely surprised at what I saw in episodes one and two. Clint Barton’s story taking place during the holiday season is well-done. Him being a larger family man really ties into the themes of what you’d expect to experience in New York City during Christmas time. People gather their children to see the sites in some of the more well-known places in Manhattan. And taking your kids to see a Broadway play is incredibly accurate – though, I was with Clint in cringing a little at the Avengers-themed play they saw on stage. On the other hand, I was snickering at the obvious fun-poking this was doing. Showrunner Jonathan Igla choosing New York City set during the Holidays was a brilliant decision. With some beautifully shot sequences, it really captures the love and nostalgic moments people have for this time of year.

Honestly, it’s all About Kate Bishop and That’s a Good Thing

Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop in Marvel Studios’ HAWKEYE. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. © Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Of course, the biggest stand-out is Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop. From the first second of the show, it’s clear that this is her story. We’re introduced to Kate – what makes her tick, what’s her desires, and her principles as a person. From the jump, people wanted Steinfeld as Kate Bishop and I can see why. She’s flawlessly natural in her role and plays up the slickness of a trained athlete, yet the awkwardness of a fledging teenage hero. Kate’s charisma and confidence mesh well with Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton. The banter between the two are easily some the best moments.

Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez in Marvel Studios’ HAWKEYE. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Rating: 4/5

From everything I’ve seen so far, this will be a surprising [for me] enjoyable series. It’s too early to say how it stacks up with the other Marvel shows of 2021, but if Steinfeld continues to shine the way she is, she’ll easily be one of the best new MCU characters introduced this year. So far, we can look forward to great scenery, a lot of emotional storylines, great action, and a torch will certainly be passed.

Make sure you tune in to Disney Plus for the premiere of Hawkeye on November 24th!


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