“WandaVision” episodes one & two review

David Eckstein-Schoemann, Reporter

It’s been a long time since any of us has seen anything Marvel-related. After months of quarantine and release delays, fans will finally be able to see their favorite heroes again. While the movies are getting delayed due to the pandemic, we’ll be able to see shows such as “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “Loki” from the comfort of our homes. Spearheading this lineup is “WandaVision,” the first Marvel series to stream on Disney Plus. While Marvel has done multiple other shows in the past on networks such as Netflix and ABC. These new shows are seen as a big leap as they will not only revolve around the same stars from previous films but will also be given cinematic budgets that rival the movies. You can make the argument that these are mini-movies being brought to your home. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the first two episodes of “WandaVision.”

Courtesy of Disney Platform Distribution

The series opens with Wanda and Vision living as a mid-20th-century suburban couple.  As you’d expect, they live out classic television tropes while also trying to conceal their powers from their neighbors. To make things even stranger, their reality starts to constantly change as the pair seem to be living through multiple decades of sitcoms as they live out their ideal lives. Slowly but surely, reality starts to set in as Wanda starts to see that her world isn’t what she thinks it is. 

These episodes start in an “in medias res” sort of way in that you are immediately reintroduced to these characters, and see them live out classic routines without any form of context on how they ended up in this situation. Though this may create some confusion, I feel that what the showrunners are aiming for as a lot of what’s going to make this show interesting to a lot of people is the intrigue that comes from this setup. While you are enjoying these characters live in this televised reality, you still ask questions about how they came to be here. For example, Vision is alive despite having been killed off in “Avengers: Infinity War” years ago. While that was something to be expected considering he is the co-star of this series, you still wonder how he came back in the first place. 

Storywise, the first two episodes go through the classic sitcom tropes like Wanda and Vision having an anniversary, or participating in a magic show where they try to hide their powers. Even though you’ve seen these setups before, you’re still having a ball watching them because the actors are giving their all portraying these characters in ways that you’d never thought you would see them. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany are really enjoyable actors and it’s so nice to see their acting range explored here.

It’s hard to judge this series as it has only just started and we don’t know the big picture yet. From what I’ve seen, the best way I can describe it is that it’s like the Carousel of Progress attraction at Disney World if the characters found themselves in a Truman Show type of situation. In that, you have these people living through multiple decades while starting to see their reality is an illusion. While it’s blatantly obvious that this whole world isn’t real, this show still creates enough mystery to where you want to find out what happens next.

All that is fine and good, but what got me invested the most was how every time reality starts to set in, Wanda resets it and changes up the setup each time. I find that to be a creative way to explore these different time periods. It makes you question whether or not she’s being manipulated or if she herself is creating this illusion. It’s almost as if there’s more to this world than what we’re seeing. When I first heard about this show, I questioned how they were gonna cover all these different types of sitcoms in one series. But because they have the reality-bending aspect of it, it adds a whole different layer to it. It’s interesting because the Scarlet Witch that I’ve read from the comics is known to have powers like this. Stories such as House of M are great examples of this. So to see them finally tapping into that aspect of her character has me really excited. 

I would also like to give props to the production value of this show. Keen-eyed viewers will quickly recognize these episodes as being faithful parodies of classic sitcoms The Dick Van Dyke Show and Bewitched. I watched several clips of both shows after seeing these episodes, and I was amazed at the attention to detail they had in replicating them. You can tell they put a lot of effort in having these episodes reflect both the 50s and 60s. They include everything from the cartoony intros, to the laugh track, to even the lack of color used in shows of that time period. Whoever was in charge of the production really knew what they were doing.

While this show is entertaining, it leaves a lot of questions that remain to be answered. But I think that’s what the creators are aiming for. That the more we watch this series, the more pieces we’ll get to finally solving the puzzle. I, for one, am excited to see where this show leads with this strange concept. It may seem unusual and out of nowhere, but that’s part of the fun with comic book properties. To expect the unexpected.

After over a year of having almost no content released, all I have to say is, “Marvel, it’s so good to have you back!”

Rating: 4 / 5 Sails


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