It appears that fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were so eager to watch the new episode of “WandaVision” on Disney+ that the streaming service briefly crashed early Friday morning.
The website DownDetector’s Disney+ page reported a spike of “problems” between 3 and 4 a.m., before the problems dissipated a little after 4 a.m. When I watched the show several hours later it was working properly.
It’s not clear exactly what caused Disney+ to crash; there’s been no technical explanation yet as to what exactly happened.
New episodes of “WandaVision” arrive on Disney+ at about 3 a.m. Eastern on Friday mornings, and the 7th episode of the series’ nine episodes arrived Friday.
According to Nielsen’s latest rating measurement of the most popular streaming shows, as of late January, “WandaVision” ranked seventh, as the only non-Netflix show in the top ten. “Bridgerton” is first overall, followed by “Cobra Kai,” “Night Stalker: The Hunt For a Serial Killer,” and “Fate: The Winx Saga.”
Meanwhile, Parrot Analytics has found that audience demand for “WandaVision” is 53.8 times higher than it is for the average show.
“WandaVision” is the first live action TV show, out of many planned, that is set within the continuity of Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe. It stars Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) as a married couple in an idyllic town called Westview.
Most of the episodes feature the two of them in different traditional sitcom pastiches, from different decades. The early episodes had them in black-and-white shows reminiscent of “I Dream of Jeannie” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” while later ones had the characters on set that looked a lot like those of “The Brady Bunch” and “Family Ties.” The episode Friday included homages to “Modern Family” and “The Office.”
The series also has characters from S.W.O.R.D. (Sentient Weapon Observation Response Division)—including characters played by Randall Park, Kat Dennings and Teyonah Paris— trying to figure out what’s going on. And the series introduced Pietro Maximoff, played by Evan Peters, who played Quicksilver in the “X-Men” movies, teasing the possibility of crossovers between those universes.
Disney+ launched in November of 2019, and has proven a huge success for the company. As of the end of the third quarter, Disney+ had just under 95 million subscribers, compared to just 26.5 million subscribers at the same time the year before. The company also reported big growth for its other two streaming services, Hulu and ESPN+.
Last December, Disney announced around 100 new TV shows and movies for the coming years, most of which will debut on Disney+.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.