The Wonders of WandaVision
Marvel’s WandaVision captivated both Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fans and casual viewers alike since the 9-episode series ended just this past Friday. The Disney+ series became a Friday night tradition for many families as they attempted to figure out what is going on inside and outside of Wanda Maximoff’s “sitcom world.”
WandaVision is a spin-off series in the MCU, giving a backstory to Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), a powerful Avenger who can bend and influence reality. In her grief after losing her loved one, the AI lifeform Vision (Paul Bettany), Wanda took over a small town in New Jersey to create her own television series with Vision, with each episode mimicking a sitcom from every decade, beginning with the 1960s.
To avoid spoilers for eager new viewers, this review will focus more on who may like the series.
Firstly, how enjoyable is the show for non-MCU fans and people who haven’t seen all MCU movies? The concept of WandaVision doesn’t present the need for everyone to watch all of the Marvel movies; however there are some movies interested non-MCU fans should watch for some clarity regarding certain aspects of the show. Watching Avengers Age of Ultron, Avengers Infinity War, the first or second Thor movies, Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel would provide enough information for new viewers to understand the events and characters in WandaVision.
Due to its involvement in the MCU, WandaVision’s potential as a stand-alone show is lowered. Although it has plenty of its own original, entertaining characters, a lot of scenes can be difficult to process for non-MCU fans. For example, the first scene that referenced “the snap” and people returning to Earth afterwards was something that only seasoned MCU fans could truly understand, and it’s a much different pace than the rest of the beginning of the series. The scenes switching out of the sitcom world creating the setting for WandaVision can easily be lost on new viewers.
Speaking of the original characters, how likeable were they? Most of the new characters were in the background of Wanda’s sitcom world, which made their names hard to remember. There were some memorable new characters, though and they quickly became fan favorites. Agnes (Kathryn Hahn), Wanda’s best friend and the “quirky next door neighbor,” was extremely entertaining and had an immense amount of development in the last three episodes.
The last demographic that WandaVision caters to are people who grew up watching different decades of sitcom TV. Almost every episode progresses with a different sitcom parallel, beginning with I Love Lucy in the 60s. The attention to detail was appreciated; the size of the screen even changed if it was more appropriate for the time period. People who didn’t watch sitcoms can also enjoy the different styles of every episode; it makes everything more unpredictable as viewers attempt to figure out the show.
WandaVision was an incredibly entertaining show, with twists and turns that keep viewers at the edge of their seat every week. If you were a Marvel fan or a retro-sitcom fan to begin with, you have the most potential to fully enjoy the show. However, anyone can still sit down and watch without prior knowledge. If you got really attached to Wanda, it’s being speculated that she’ll appear in the next Dr. Strange movie. Again, WandaVision can be found on Disney+.