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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Loki is a series set after the events of Avengers: Endgame (consider that your spoiler alert) about the trickster god featured in many Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) finds himself once again in big trouble, this time with the Time Variants Authority, a powerful but bureaucratic organization that exists to ensure that people stay in their set timelines, to keep the universe in order. Owen Wilson co-stars as Mobius, a time detective who takes a chance on his impish prisoner; together, they set out to solve time crimes. Expect lots of comic book-style action violence, including stabbings, disintegrations, and hand-to-hand combat. Many of Loki's kills from previous films are replayed, as well as Thanos' brutal destruction. "Dammit" is heard, and in one scene Loki is briefly nude after his outfit disintegrates, but all sensitive body parts are covered.
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What's the story?
LOKI is set after the events of Avengers: Endgame and is centered on the trickster god (and brother of Thor) who's featured in many Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. After stealing the Tesseract, which gives him the powers of time travel, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) finds himself once again in big trouble. This time he's up against the Time Variants Authority (TVA), a powerful but bureaucratic organization led by the Timekeepers that exists to ensure that people stay in their set timelines and the universe stays in order. Loki gets marked as a "Variant" (someone who messes with the Sacred timeline), but Mobius (Owen Wilson), a TVA detective, takes a chance on his impish prisoner. Was Loki born to cause pain and suffering, as the TVA emphatically states? Or is he free to change and create his own path?
Is it any good?
This delightful, thoughtful addition to the MCU brings all the quirky fun and humor of Thor: Ragnarok while deftly exploring some pretty big questions about existence and free will. Loki smartly plays off the supercilious Loki with the perfect foil -- the warm, earthy Wilson -- and their buddy-comedy banter is a pleasure to behold. There are also tons of mostly grown-up jokes about the TVA being mired down by endless paperwork and bureaucracy (shades of Joe Versus the Volcano). And it's always a treat to see Eugene Cordero (The Good Place), this time as a hapless desk jockey who's spent so much time working at the TVA that he doesn't even know what a fish is.
Viewers understand that Loki's ultimate goal is to be king of Midgard (Earth) and rack up the rest of the universe after that. And, as we've seen in previous films, Loki is very, very hard to trust. But this series explores what the trickster god is truly made of and doesn't shy away from asking the big questions. It gently explores the ideas of determinism and free will while solidly remaining an action-packed superhero revel, and this balance represents the very best of what Marvel can do. Loki's premise opens up tons of fun possibilities -- even in the sometimes bloated world of Marvel spin-offs and iterations, viewers will likely be left wanting more than a limited series this time around.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about superheroes. Do you think Loki is a superhero or a supervillain? Why? What does it take to be a hero?
Who's your favorite character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Would you want them to have their own show? What do you like about them?
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