After the critical success of the first live-action Star Wars series on Disney+, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is off to a strong start with WandaVision, a series that proves to be unlike any other superhero show that precedes it.
The first two episodes of WandaVision are playful homages to the classic TV Land sitcoms of yesteryear like The Dick Van Dyke Show and Bewitched. From the costumes, to the kitchen and family room, and the quippy dialogue — Wanda and Vision are trapped inside a charming white-picket-fence existence. But all is not as it seems.
WandaVision is off to a Weird and Wonderful Start
If by some chance you still haven’t seen Avengers: Endgame stop reading now. When last we saw Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany), Wanda was still reeling from Thanos killing her android boyfriend, Vision. While the series may be billed as a romance, it’s safe to say that heartache is on the horizon. The cracks in their picture-perfect life make for compelling, and frankly chilling, television.
The first episode leans into the classic miscommunication tropes, ripped straight out of familiar sitcom premises. Wanda and Vision wonder what a heart on their calendar means; Wanda assumes it’s their anniversary, while Vision discovers his boss is coming over for dinner. What transpires is a humorous rush to prepare dinner, following Wanda greeting Vision’s boss and his wife in a saucy anniversary-worthy ensemble.
The second episode features an animated opening sequence à la Bewitched. Olsen and Bettany shine in this episode, putting their comedic timing and natural ability to play off each other on full display. After accidentally gumming up the works of his non-human body, Vision puts on a bumbling and chaotic magic show, alongside Wanda, in front of all of their suburban neighbors.
Both episodes, set in a cool sepia tone, are visually magnificent. The series captures so many of the little details of classic series, while making it something uniquely Marvel. In the Avengers films, there was never an opportunity for Olsen and Bettany to show off the full range of their talents, but WandaVision showcases just how talented they both are.
Familiar faces pop-up throughout the first two episodes. Vision’s boss, Mr. Hart is played by comedian Fred Melamed, with Mrs. Hart as Debra Jo Rupp, the nosy neighbor Agnes is played by the beloved Kathryn Hahn, Teyonah Parris plays the friendly neighbor Geraldine, and Westview’s queen bee Dottie is played by Emma Caulfield.
WandaVision is a sumptuous journey through the familiar sitcom tropes that we all know and love, while serving up a sinister mystery about Wanda and Vision’s current situation. It is unlike anything Marvel has created for the screen and it is a strong start into a new generation of Marvel storytelling on Disney+.
The first two episodes of WandaVision are currently airing on Disney+.