After a COVID-19-forced fallow period early in 2020, streaming services have restocked their shelves and are prepared with a summer packed with premieres.
This week, Disney+ delivers its latest Marvel series, “Loki,” and HBO Max brings back floral competition series “Full Bloom,” featuring two Washington state flower artists including a former Seahawks cheerleader.
When Loki (Tom Hiddleston) disappeared with the Tesseract in “Avengers: Endgame” — after the Avengers hopped back in time to gather Infinity Stones to undo Thanos’ destructive snap — Marvel fans never saw the god of mischief again.
Where did he go? Or perhaps more importantly, since this occurred during the “time heist,” when did he go?
“Loki,” streaming Wednesday (June 9), addresses that question up front in this time-skipping adventure that introduces the Time Variance Authority, a bureaucratic organization from the comics but new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that appears to have charged itself with protecting “the proper flow of time.”
Loki’s escape in “Endgame” violated “the sacred timeline” — viewers already saw Loki die in the future at the hands of Thanos in “Avengers: Infinity War” — and the Time Keepers are worried about branching timelines and multiple Loki variants, including one who sows destruction while frequently time-hopping.
Loki gets paired with Owen Wilson’s TVA investigator Mobius to try to stop this other Loki. Off-screen, Hiddleston schooled Wilson in all things MCU.
“Before we started filming, Tom very generously and patiently was taking me through the whole MCU mythology. We’re calling them ‘the Loki lectures,’ ” Wilson said in a virtual news conference recently. “He was letting me ask questions and I think that was really important and really helpful to our dynamic once we started filming the scenes, because some of our conversations when we were going over that stuff would work its way in.”
Because the Loki of this Disney+ series is a variant who hasn’t experienced the events that came after the first “Avengers” movie, it’s an opportunity for Hiddleston to play a different version of Loki.
“What I love about the series is Loki is stripped of everything that’s familiar to him,” Hiddleston says. “Thor is not close by. Asgard seems some distance away. The Avengers, for the time being, aren’t in sight. He’s stripped of his status and his power.
“And if you take all those things that Loki has used to identify himself over the last six movies, what remains of Loki? Who is he?”
Two Washington flower arrangers vie for the $100,000 grand prize in the second season of HBO Max’s “Full Bloom,” streaming Thursday (June 10).
Jimmi Cook, a 28-year-old Belfair native, is both a body builder and a florist. He’s co-owner of White Barn Home & Garden, a 4,000-square-foot home décor, floral and gift store with a 10,000-square-foot nursery in Belfair, Mason County.
“My staff and I go absolutely crazy with our store displays,” Cook explained. “The floral studio is located in the shop, so my customers are able to work one-on-one with me.”
Cook grew up making floral arrangements and later got into bodybuilding, entering his first competition at age 25.
Kiara Hancock, 40, is an executive assistant at Highspot and a mother of two who lives in University Place, Pierce County. She spent eight years as a Seahawks cheerleader.
“Cheering for the Seahawks taught me so much about teamwork and how to communicate efficiently and effectively, and most importantly how to see something through to the end,” Hancock says. “All those lessons definitely come into play on this show.”
Still to come
In addition to this week’s new arrivals, other familiar titles will roll out in the weeks ahead including “Blindspotting” (9 p.m. June 13, Starz), a follow-up to the Rafael Casal/Daveed Diggs 2018 movie of the same name about an Oakland, California, family; “Monsters at Work” (July 2, Disney+), an animated sequel series to the 2001 Pixar movie; “Leverage: Redemption” (July 9, IMDbTV), a follow-up series to the former TNT crime drama with Noah Wyle as the new lead alongside returning cast members Gina Bellman, Beth Riesgraf, Christian Kane and Aldis Hodge; “Turner & Hooch” (July 16, Disney+), a sequel series starring Josh Peck as the son of the Tom Hanks’ character from the 1989 film; and “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” (8 p.m. July 18, Starz), a prequel series set in 1991 about Kanan Stark, the character previously played by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, who was a mentor-turned-rival of Ghost in the original “Power.”