“WandaVision” is Marvel’s latest step into the television world and much like their movies, they don’t seem to be able to miss.
The series, created by Jac Shaeffer and directed by Matt Shakman, stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, reprising their roles from previous Marvel appearances as Wanda Maximoff and the Vision, in a serial mystery that mimics various sequences from popular television shows throughout decades. It begins in the 50s merely showing Wanda and Vision playing house like an episode of I Love Lucy and quickly picks up as the hints about the true nature of the show are dropped slowly. The show releases episodes every Friday on Disney+.
The first thing that should be mentioned about the show is that the serial nature, meaning weekly releases, lends itself to the immersion of the show. If you only watch the first episode, you may honestly be convinced that the show is straight out of the 50s. However, any keen eye will probably recognize the two main actors for their co-starring roles in other Marvel properties. Unlike most streaming TV shows, “WandaVision’s” format harkens back to a time when all TV shows were released weekly and it creates a lot of tension with a huge cliffhanger at the end of every episode.
The show has also sparked intense online debate after each episode is released. Most of these borderline conspiratorial theories are developed by diehard Marvel fans which can become an almost alienating factor but on the other hand, the easter egg hunting in each episode can often create stronger fanbases for characters such as Scarlet Witch (Maximoff’s superhero identity) and the Vision. It also creates a fun element for viewers as they meet their minds with others about the intricacies of the show. One can go down a rabbit hole researching about who the various characters are and what their underlying motivation for doing certain things could be.
The show also introduces another character comic readers will know: Monica Rambeau, otherwise known by the monikers Spectrum, Photon, Pulsar, and even Captain Marvel. The adolescent version of Rambeau was introduced in the movie “Captain Marvel” and this finds her immediately after she returns after the infamous Snap caused by Thanos in “Avengers: Infinity War.” We learn that she’s an agent of SWORD, a counterpart to SHIELD. She and Wanda become foils of each other as the show unfolds. Ultimately, the show is almost a treatise on responses to grief. Wanda is mourning the loss of her romantic partner in Vision (despite him being alive in this show) and Monica is mourning the loss of her mother who died while she was snapped. The two handle the grief in slightly different ways. Wanda chooses to play house with a loved one she knows is dead. Monica chooses to ignore the death as best she can. This becomes immediately obvious as she demands to put right back in the line of duty despite having only returned and learned of her mother’s death three weeks or so prior.
The show is an excellent turn for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The show is still currently running and hopefully, you will consider tuning in on Disney+. “WandaVision” receives an A rating.