A tale of a telepathic, telekinetic, and reality-bending superhero and her android lover, who was very much dead the last time we saw him. A set of TV characters living in an idyllic small town for yet unknown reasons. A play on classic sitcoms with a side of time-hopping and a hint that everything might not actually be as pleasant and peaceful as it seems. That is the latest series hit WandaVision in a nutshell, a show that is as surprising and mind-bending as ever. But that is nothing new when it comes to Marvel.
Set in the rather cheesy, white-fenced town of Westview, MCU’s beloved superhero Wanda Maximoff, aka Scarlet Witch (played by Elizabeth Olsen), and everyone’s favourite flying android Vision (played by Paul Bettany) find themselves in a life the couple has always dreamed of – a normal life with normal neighbours, a normal family, a normal house and normal jobs. But everything might not be as regular as it seems after all, with a mysterious voice constantly trying to reach Wanda through a radio, asking who is doing this to her (we have yet to find out what “this” is), and a strange beekeeper lurking in the sewers. And with a clear memory of Vision definitely dying at the hands of Thanos at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, we know – even without the fun but deliberately unexplained and tumultuous race through the decades – that not all can be quite what it seems in the couple’s domestic paradise.
After the phenomenal success of Avengers: Endgame in 2019, the last year or so was supposed to represent the move from a phase formed by RDJ’s Iron Man and Chris Evans’ Captain America to a new era of the MCU, but thanks to the pandemic, biggies like Black Widow and The Eternals had to be moved to 2021. Turning the streaming platform Disney+ into its newest home, Marvel has now finally set foot into the world of TV land, with WandaVision officially turning the page to phase 4 of the MCU and opening the door for future projects like the upcoming Spider-man movie or Doctor Strange’s next adventure (all three cinematic marvels are set to be connected to each other, but we have yet to find out how).
As with every Marvel blessing, WandaVision continues the studio’s continuous high demand from its audience. It is definitely not a show that one can simply jump into, without having seen a single Avengers movie or without any knowledge of what has been happening in the fantastical world of the MCU. But once that knowledge has been established, WandaVision is nothing short of a TV highlight. With every episode, Marvel hands the watcher a picture-perfect piece of film-making – from the acting, to the script, the set design, the cinematography, and the aspect ratio – everything is as well-made as it can be, always going back to that loving tribute to old sitcoms (the first episode and most of the second have even been stripped of colour and serve as black and white delights). Every aspect, even the tiniest details of WandaVision are deliciously stylish. The jokes are great and perfectly set to the time period they are supposed to have grown out of, the performances are phenomenal as always, and, as with every Marvel project, there is this clear sense that there are people shaping this who know exactly what they are doing and what they have planned for their fans. And with Easter eggs for the MCU’s mega-fans waiting around every corner, while still leaving the watcher questioning what is truly going on, WandaVision feels like a gift waiting to be unpacked.
Written by Laura Weingrill