WandaVision is the first series adaption from the Marvel Cinematic Universe that premiered on Disney+ earlier this year. We review the highly anticipated series. Spoilers ahead.
Sitcoms, suburbia and superheroes – Wandavision has it all. WandaVision is the first series adaption from the Marvel Cinematic Universe that premiered on Disney+ earlier this year. The show is part of several highly anticipated Marvel projects, due to appear on the Disney streaming site. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki will be released later on in the year.
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) February 24, 2021
How it begins
The show drops the viewer into a 1960s sitcom setting, in a town called Westview. It draws comparisons and inspiration from The Dick Van Dyke show. From the first two episodes, immediate questions were raised. Didn’t Vision die in Avengers: Infinity War? And the simple answer is yes. However, this immediate twist grips audiences within the first five minutes of the show.
So many questions, and not enough answers
This week, the penultimate episode of the show aired. It prepared the audience for what will be a riveting ending to eight episodes of mystery, discovery and character development. The audience has been whisked away into a world far away from the MCU. Instead, a universe has been created for Wanda and Vision to attempt a normal life. Admittedly, the first three episodes are quite slow moving as the show and the characters are establishing their identities. By the end of the third episode, you’re desperate to see how so many questions can be answered over the next five instalments.
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) February 20, 2021
In the fourth episode, the show transitions from the sitcom setting into the usual Marvel setting we know and love. At this point of the show, Wanda has given birth to twin boys. She and Vision are actively attempting to keep up their façade as a normal couple. However, an external force is attempting to make contact with Wanda. We also know one thing for certain, Westview is not what it appears to be. The half-way point of the series is where questions begin to be answered.
What’s going on in Westview?
We discover that Wanda’s friend, Geraldine, is in fact Monica Rambeau. She is the daughter of Maria Rambeau, who is Captain Marvel’s best friend. In addition to this revelation, we are introduced to an agency called SWORD. They are based on the outskirts of Westview and are attempting to infiltrate the town. Darcy Lewis (played by Kat Dennings) begins to uncover the mystery of why Wanda and Vision’s new life in the suburbs is being broadcasted as a television show. She does this with the help of Agent Woo and they strike up a comedic friendship. They become one of the most appealing parts of the show.
Initially, the appearance of Wanda and Vision’s life is endearing and innocent. Westview is a place where the two can finally be together. They seem happy and safe without the responsibilities of being two of the world’s mightiest heroes. You choose to ignore that Vision died in the last Avengers film and instead, allow yourself to be swept away in this utopia. However, as Vision starts to notice anomalies and peculiar behaviour from the citizens of Westview, a dark twist descends over the show. It appears the citizens of Westview are not real people and are in fact playing parts in the TV show against their will, due to Wanda’s control. Or so it initially appears. Once Vision uncovers this first secret, the rest of the show begins to fall into place.
The transition from film to TV
From trailers and sneak previews of the show, there was a risk of Marvel trying too hard to transition into TV. Yet somehow, the recreation of beloved sitcoms and under appreciated characters has worked to their advantage.
The MCU is a busy space, usually occupied by male-driven storylines revolving around the more mainstream Avengers. For this reason, until now, Wanda and Vision have been in the background and haven’t had the opportunity to truly showcase the depth of their characters. This first spin-off show has allowed Wanda and Vision to make space for their stories and increase their likeability and popularity with Marvel fans. Due to the success of previous films, WandaVision has a high valued production that mirrors more of a movie rather than a TV show. No expense has been spared. From being a fairly timid, background couple in previous Avengers films, the pair now step into their own light. They emerge as two key components to the MCU.
WandaVision. (2021) pic.twitter.com/9oGkjCf93S
— Elizabeth Olsen News. (@eolsenews) February 28, 2021
The genius in replicating sit-coms
WandaVision is also aware of its unique selling point: being stylised to replicate sit-coms. They play into this effectively. The show is more than just the characters; it has kept people invested through costumes, music (especially Agatha All Along) and most importantly, the opening credits. Most recently, it has referenced The US Office, Malcolm in the Middle, Full House and adopted the documentary style of Modern Family. It also crosses back to the real world where SWORD is trying to infiltrate this TV show paradise.
I’m bingeing through the last few episodes of Wanda Vision and confused would be an understatement. I’ve seen I Love Lucy, Full House, Malcolm in the Middle, The Office, and Modern Family themes all within the MCU???
— LaMelo Ball Fan Account (@IsaiahJones_24) February 28, 2021
Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany continue their roles as power couple Wanda and Vision, who break down the exterior of their perfect marriage. Instead, they are tasked to work through the difficulties of being heroes while trying to conceal their powers from their neighbours. At some points, the viewer finds themselves hoping the façade is upheld, wanting the pair to continue their life together, even if it’s not real.
The show has arrived at the perfect time, considering where the world is currently. We’re living in a time where we are confined to our bubbles or households. The thought of stepping out beyond our town is absurd, much like the citizens of Westview. As a viewer who feels cooped up, you empathise with the characters of Westview. You hope to see a time where they can also resume their normal lives rather than playing a part in Wanda’s world.
Katherine Hahn shines through
A stand-out character throughout the show has been Agnes, played by comedic genius Katherine Hahn. She manages to sprinkle her eccentricity in every episode. Her over-the-top quirkiness adds a layer of authenticity and escapism to the show. Agnes is dramatic, menacing, comedic and mysterious. No matter how hard you try, you can’t dislike her. That definitely comes down to Hahn’s talents, and she is the perfect choice for this role.
Today’s #WandaVision was an emotionally powerful argument for why escapist fiction can be a vital part of our lives. Also, I hope both Elizabeth Olsen and Katherine Hahn win nominations come awards season – they more than earned it.
— Ray Mescallado (@raymescallado) February 26, 2021
With the last episode only a week away, Marvel fans are anticipating how this series will conclude. Will there be any chance of a second season? Now we’ve become accustomed and invested in the lives of Wanda and Vision, it only makes sense to continue their trajectory. Hopefully, this will lead to a film of their own. WandaVision has laid the groundwork for upcoming Marvel TV spin-offs. If this show is anything to go by, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier and Loki have a high standard to live up to.
— The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (@falconandwinter) February 25, 2021
WandaVision episodes 1-7 are now streaming on Disney+.