4 Globes out of 5
Marvel is known for its tie-in of action-packed superhero battles along with sarcastic, quirky humor. For Disney+ and Marvel’s latest show, “WandaVision,” there’s more comedy than battle action. However, this doesn’t keep from an ever-progressing plot and many turns that will take the viewer on a mind-blowing journey. In fact, there’s so much happening in every episode that it’s hard to cover everything.
Before I explore the ups and downs of this superhero series, I should note that I am not a Marvel fan, in fact, I normally don’t like any type of action show but this one, in particular, has captured my mind and heart.
With new episodes, every Friday, “WandaVision” starts Marvel fans out in the black and white ’50s in a classic sitcom featuring Wanda Maximoff and her android husband, Vision. What seems to be the usual story of a husband and wife moving to a new town with a new job for Vision quickly turns into a path of confusion. Another important character to note is Agnes, their neighbor who sticks by them throughout the series. Wanda nor Vision seem to know how they got to the town of Westview or their lives before Westview.
This first episode is an interesting introduction to the series, it goes from a seemingly regular old-school Bewitched style show into a great Marvel plot twist that sets the audience up for what is yet to come. Not only is the planning of the episode great, but actors Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen do a great job of making these characters quirky and loveable from the start, along with getting audiences to fall for their loving relationship. Possibly the coolest part of “WandaVision” is the fact that each episode takes place in a new decade, with neither Wanda or Vision aging with the progression of time. It adds an interesting twist to this intriguing sitcom style. Another one of the best parts of each episode are the theme songs that change with each new decade; it adds a new element each show to go along with the changing year.
From here, things only get weirder. In the next episode, it’s now the ‘60s as Wanda and Vision work to fit in with their community by performing a magic act in the talent show. While they’ve been working on keeping their powers a secret, this episode is the first time their powers are really used. It is also the first time the appearance of the color red is introduced into the episode. There are two points within the series where red is highlighted, first with a red toy helicopter and second with a cut hand and blood. The main plot twist of this episode, however, isn’t necessarily the color. It’s when a man in a beekeeper suit comes out of the sewer and then quickly disappears, leaving the audience on another cliffhanger.
This is another excellent episode filled with small hints as to what’s coming next. As the audience continues to watch the show, they’ll be able to look back on these little hints with their jaw wide open as they realize how it all connects together.
Episodes three and four where things change, whether that’s for the better or worse is up to the viewer. After an odd, accelerated pregnancy in the ‘70s, things start to come into reality, specifically with cast member Monica. As the viewer is brought into present times in episode four in the Marvel universe, a lot of the loose ends are tied together, and it appears that Wanda has been controlling this TV show’s reality.
This shift from Wanda’s reality to the present reality can either engage viewers more or turn them away from the show. On one end, it adds more suspense to the story and adds a new layer to the story conflict. However, a lot of the sitcom goodness that was in the first few episodes starts to disappear as Wanda seems to lose control and the focus shifts to the present reality to try to figure out how to stop her.
The next few episodes, five and six continue to explore both realities. In episode five, Wanda and Vision explore the ‘80s with their new twin sons and another surprise occurs at the end of the episode with Wanda’s dead twin brother Pietro (played by a different actor than her brother shown in the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie) shows up at their door. However, right before Pietro mysteriously appears, Vision starts to question Wanda about the reality that she seems to be controlling. He’s afraid there’s something she’s hiding. Episode six, a Halloween special in the ‘90s, is used to explore the bounds of Wanda’s reality as Vision explores the border and eventually pushes out of the Hex only to be pulled back in by Wanda.
While the Halloween episode entertains with great costumes and the loveable twins, Billy and Tommy, most of the episodes can be a bit boring until the end plot twists. Even though the episode may be drawn out sometimes, the big reveal at the end of each episode keeps the viewer coming back from more. Even if the story is a bit bland sometimes, the actors don’t waver, they create three-dimensional characters that are filled with personality and undergo deep character development.
The latest episode of “WandaVision” was released on Feb. 19 and takes the family into the 2000s with a “Modern Family” type of humor and filming. Vision is trying to get back to Wanda from the outskirts of the town while Wanda has a complete mental breakdown. Eventually, Wanda has Agnes take the twins for the day so that she can get some rest and relaxation. But something weird is happening, items in the house keep glitching and turning back in time to their former forms. For instance, an almond milk bottle turns into a milk carton, then a glass milk bottle. The intrigue doesn’t end here; later in the episode, there’s a cliffhanger as audiences finally learn who’s been controlling this Westview reality all along. I won’t spoil who it is for anyone who wants to catch up in the series, and I’m honestly indifferent about the reveal. While it is a huge reveal, I feel like they just sort of threw it in there with no background thought. However, knowing Marvel, I’m waiting to see what exactly they do with this person and their backstory. I know they wouldn’t just throw an evil character in for no reason.
This Disney+ series is definitely one to watch for fans of Marvel movies, sitcoms, and anyone in between. This is a show that truly has something for everyone whether that be the comedic aspect, the time warp into old mimicking old TV shows, the superhero action, rising conflict, or just the loveable characters all throughout the series. Families can watch it together or one can watch it alone, either way, there’s so much to “WandaVision” that viewers will want to sit in close and pay attention. It’s almost like the viewer gets to follow along and solve the mystery with the hints along the way, creating a show that can grab attention from the young or old. Not to mention, it’s a guarantee that each theme song will get suck in the audiences’ heads for weeks.