WandaVision Review: A new take on reality

WandaVision Review: A new take on reality

by Claire Tweedie, Reporter

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicks off Phase 4 with a jam packed setup of Disney+ shows amid multiple delayed movies, “WandaVision” raises questions and sets high expectations on the direction of the new Marvel era. With the first two episodes of the first season airing Jan. 15, the show immediately takes a risk as the sitcom format  take a page right out of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “Bewitched.” Both episodes focus more on the unconventional couple blending into their new suburban life than anything else, with conflicts deriving from dinners with Vision’s boss, joining the neighborhood watch party, and participating in an act for the talent show fundraiser “for the children.” If it weren’t for the occasional moments of oddity that hint at the show’s true nature, I might even be able to believe that the show really is just a campy sitcom that I happened to catch a rerun of. 

Filmed purely in black and white in front of a live studio audience, the first episode felt incredibly long, based on the slow start and little discernible plot regarding any connection to the bigger MCU storyline the show will eventually lead into. Although it was enjoyable to watch, all I could ask myself was: what’s going on? There didn’t seem to be any mention or knowledge of Vision’s death after the events of “Avengers: Infinity War”, and while I had a general guess as to why everything seemed so picture perfect for Wanda, the first episode didn’t bring much to the table until closer to the end. One of my favorite things about the show is how the reminiscent use of camera techniques to emulate tv shows of the era can very suddenly shift to more modern effects to emphasize when things feel… off in Wanda’s new reality. These split seconds of confusion for the characters and epiphany moments for the viewer add to the tension that draws you in, staring in wonder and anticipation to see what happens next. The second episode is finally when things begin to click into place as the 1950’s theme shifts into the 1960s with the show finally picking up speed. The rare moments of oddity become more and more frequent until, in a moment of revelation, the audience can finally see how extreme the situation really is. The humor is still situational as any old sitcom would be, but the actors,-specifically Paul Bettany who I surprisingly found quite funny- carry it with grace. Since the second episode seems to finally introduce the reality of the plot behind all the smoke and mirrors, I won’t say much about it in an effort to remain (mostly) spoiler free. The theme of fitting in is still extremely prevalent, but it continues to introduce more of the neighborhood characters in the process.  

If you’ve ever had moments of thinking the MCU played it too safe, with little risk taking and predictable stories, this might be the show that changes your mind. From the moment I sat down, my eyes couldn’t leave the screen and each passing minute only gave me more questions that have yet to be answered. While it might be too early to really determine if the show is good or not, it’s definitely on track for success and has a lot of potential, assuming it’s done right. If you’re hoping for an action packed show similar to every other Marvel movie, though like what “The Falcon and Winter Soldier” will most likely be, then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. “WandaVision” opens up a new phase of the MCU like none other with plenty of mystery and a decent amount of humor to make the tension even more unbearable. With new episodes being released every Friday until March 5, there’s plenty of content left to leave me excited for where the series goes, and what happens next for Wanda and Vision.

Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios https://www.marvel.com/tv-shows/wandavision/1