The long-awaited WandaVision has finally premiered on Disney+. Centered around two less-explored characters and unlike any other Marvel movie or TV show, is it worth the watch?
Spoiler warning for WandaVision and Marvel movies released to date.
Since its first announcement in 2018, WandaVision has been highly anticipated, despite the limited information provided by Disney and Marvel Studios. As the first installment of Marvel’s “Phase Four” and the first of many Marvel shows to be released on Disney+, WandaVision sets the scene for the next stage of the Marvel Cinematic Universe while also providing a new direction for future releases.
The first season of WandaVision premiered on Jan. 15 and has been airing weekly episodes on Disney+. WandaVision was created by Jac Schaeffer, who co-wrote Marvel movies Captain Marvel and Black Widow, and is directed by Matt Shakman, who has directed episodes of Game of Thrones and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany reprise their roles respectively as Wanda Maximoff (also known as Scarlet Witch) and Vision (formerly known as Jarvis, Tony Stark’s ex-virtual butler). The show takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame but in a completely different setting. Each of the three released episodes takes place in a different decade, beginning with the 1950s.
In the sitcom, Wanda and Vision have to try to fit into the neighborhood of Westview and navigate married life while also maintaining their cover as everyday people. Instead of their powers being used to save the world, they serve as comedic fodder alongside a laugh track that is reminiscent of sitcoms of decades past.
The first half of the first episode is almost a standard sitcom, with Wanda and Vision acting as a typical married couple, only with Wanda using telekinesis and Vision occasionally mentioning that he’s a robot. However, at the end of the episode, everything begins to unravel when a dinner guest starts asking Wanda and Vision simple questions about their happy life together. When neither is able to answer how long they’ve been married, the guests begin to act abnormally, as if they are malfunctioning. Wanda begins to panic, and the background music turns sinister. Vision eventually steps in and saves the day at Wanda’s command, and there seems to be a happy ending to the episode. At the end, everything wraps up nicely, but as the credits roll, the screen pans out to a very modern computer setup with a viewer switching off the show.
The second and third episodes pick up in the '60s and '70s, respectively. The characters don't acknowledge the time jumps, but the costumes, hairstyles and sets reflect the new decade. Viewers are also treated to a new theme song and title sequence in each episode. Wanda and Vision continue with their lives in Westfield, with Wanda anxiously resolving the “glitches'' that are appearing more and more frequently in their lives. In placing their roots in Westfield, Wanda and Vision make new friends and expand their family.
One of the new friends is a character supposedly named Geraldine. However, the actress for “Geraldine” is credited as Monica Rambeau, the daughter of Maria Rambeau, a character from the movie Captain Marvel, suggesting that Wanda and Geraldine’s friendship won’t be simple. Both episodes end with a message to “Please standby.”
It is obvious to anyone who has seen an MCU movie or TV show that WandaVision is something new. Olsen and Bettany get to show off their comedic timing and chemistry more than they ever did in any of the Marvel movies. Bettany, in particular, is more dynamic since he now gets to play a (kind of) human, in contrast to the robotic Vision from the movies. The lack of action means audiences get to see more conversation and actual acting, giving Olsen and Bettany a chance to provide more depth to their characters.
Before starting WandaVision, I recommend you lose all expectations. It is nothing like any other Marvel show: there are no fight scenes, there is no obvious villain (yet) and our heroes attempt to blend in as everyday people. It also isn’t a basic sitcom as its teasers and promos suggest: the characters have powers, and there are stakes, even if audiences don’t yet know what they are.
While it does have elements of a comedy, the best part of WandaVision is the mystery storyline. Each episode provides additional Easter eggs, clues and breaks in sitcom-reality. Viewers have six more weeks for the entirety of the mystery to unravel.
WandaVision promises to be a great watch for longtime fans of the MCU and potentially for newcomers to the franchise as well.
Viewers can watch new episodes of WandaVision every Friday on Disney+!
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