“WandaVision”: Watch or Skip?
Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios
The first two episodes of “WandaVision” dropped two Fridays ago, marking the first of the Marvel/Disney+ TV shows that tie into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). There was a lot riding on “WandaVision” before it even premiered. For one thing, these TV shows were announced right after “Avengers: Endgame” came out, so we’ve known about these for years. Not only has the excitement been growing, but this show sets a precedent for the future shows (“Loki,” “Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and a Hawkeye show). All four of these shows are supposed to tie into the MCU, thus impacting the events of the future movies. So, if these shows flop or introduce terrible storylines, that will impact the MCU’s future films to come. So yes, people really wanted “WandaVision” to do well. Did it?
Spoilers ahead for “WandaVision” and the MCU
I’m going to start this by telling you that I’m biased. If you couldn’t tell from the fact that I write a superhero blog, I’m a superhero fan, and I love the MCU. My first thought when watching “WandaVision” was excitement because it began with the Marvel logo that we all know and love. The last Marvel movie to come out was “Spider-Man: Far From Home” in the summer of 2019. Yeah, it’s been a while.
I was kind of surprised when the show started because it was black and white. I knew that each episode would be mimicked after a sitcom from different decades (starting with the 50s), but it was still surprising when the first two episodes were almost entirely black and white.
From an aesthetic point of view, the show was perfect. I’ll admit, I’m not a connoisseur of 50s sitcoms, but between the lack of color, low-stakes plot, cheesy jokes and old-time-sounding laugh track, this show hit all the key points. My only real knock on the first episode is the gender roles it enforces (Vision goes to work and comments on Wanda’s outfit once, and Wanda does all the cooking and spends her day planning a party and being a housewife), but I feel like that can be looked over, since it is a very 50’s sitcom thing to do.
There were fun commercial breaks in each episode. The first one was for a Stark Industry toaster, which was a fun callback to the universe, in which this show lives.
Of course, this show wasn’t entirely a normal sitcom. For one thing, Wanda is a lot more powerful in the show than in the MCU. She changes clothes instantly, and, at one point, she changes a cooked chicken into a basket of eggs. This act leaves a lot of questions, like did she get more powerful? Or is this maybe not a real reality? Two theories I’ve heard are that this show is either taking place in the Reality Infinity Stone while Wanda is Snapped (or Blipped, if you want to use the official terminology) or this is all happening in Wanda’s head. I guess we need to wait to find out.
The other weird moment was when Wanda and Vision had Vision’s boss and his wife over for dinner. After some friendly conversation, Vision’s boss begins to ask the couple about their lives. After all, they had just moved into town. When they don’t have an answer for why they moved or where they came from, the boss gets agitated and starts shouting. You can see Wanda is getting distressed, and, all of a sudden, the boss starts choking. This moment is where it gets really weird because no one does anything. Vision just watches, and the boss’s wife just laughs and says, “Arthur, stop it” over and over as her husband falls to the floor. Eventually, Wanda, in this super quiet, creepy voice says, “Vision, help him.” Vision then uses his power of density shifting to get the food out of his boss’s throat. Weird.
The episode ends with credits styled like a sitcom, but then the camera pulls out and there is someone watching the credits (like we are) on a TV in a super high-tech control room, which is a very different vibe from the 50s sitcom we just watched. We can only see his hands, but he’s writing in a notebook with a logo of a sword on it.
My thoughts after the first episode: I like it. It was kind of like a fluff show most of the time, because the plot wasn’t that important, but there were a few moments that set up the idea that there is more going on than what meets the eye.
Episode two was similar to the first one, with a fun, but not super important, plot. This episode was drawing from the 60s, which you could see through Wanda’s and Vision’s clothes. Their house also changed from the first episode to add a second story. But there were some really important details.
For one thing, despite the show still being black and white, there were some discontinuities. Wanda finds a toy helicopter (which is in color) in her bushes and is really confused. The helicopter also has the same sword logo as the journal in which the guy from the end of the first episode was writing. One of Wanda’s friends also cuts herself at one point and bleeds red blood. I think these discontinuities relate to what’s happening in the real world, rather than whatever world Wanda is in.
There is also a scene where Wanda and some friends are talking, with the radio playing in the background. At one point, the radio changes stations on its own and you can hear a man say “Wanda, can you hear me?” I believe that this part also relates to the outside world, but I don’t think it would be in the Reality Stone, so I think this whole reality is happening in Wanda’s head.
At the end of the episode, Wanda magically gets pregnant, another hint that this world isn’t real but is just in Wanda’s imagination.
Wanda and Vision then go outside, where a man in a bee suit climbs out of a sewer. Wanda looks at him, says, “No” and the whole show magically “rewinds” to when Wanda and Vision got magically pregnant. The episode ends with the whole show becoming color.
So, what is my final consensus? Definitely watch it. Yes, “WandaVision” was cringey at times, but the plots were fun, and there is clearly something weird going on that I can’t wait to see explained in future episodes.