By Scott C.
Warning: this article includes light spoilers for WandaVision, and spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame.
Season one of Marvel Studios’ WandaVision has now ended. The nine-episode season was created by Jac Schaeffer and directed by Matt Shakman. Disney+’s first attempt at a MCU television series, WandaVision is set after Avengers: Endgame. Yet Marvel fans will not be left hanging for long, as another show is fast approaching; Falcon and The Winter Soldier premieres Friday, March 19th, on Disney+.
But did WandaVision stick the landing? Did the studio produce something great for all audiences to enjoy?
“We are an unusual couple, you know.”
WandaVision focuses on Wanda Maximoff (played by Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (played by Paul Bettany). Both find themselves in a suburban New Jersey town called Westview, where their lives strangely include sitcom and supernatural mayhem.
Vision was killed by Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War before the snap. This meant that while the snap was reversed in Avengers: Endgame, Wanda was able to return, but Vision remained dead. Wanda lost her beloved Vision, but in WandaVision, he is back alive?! Say what?
This series tries to confuse viewers with a dash of mystery, dazzle them with some MCU magic, and present how powerful grief can be. I think that WandaVision does a phenomenal job in strengthening the Wanda and Vision characters, as well as their relationship, which fans have been following since the introduction of the two to the MCU in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Both Olsen and Bettany put on a grand show. In a particular dialogue scene, we have our two main heroes discussing loss and love, which showed me how talented Bettany is when he delivers his lines. Of course, the whole series shows how talented Olsen is, doing justice for Wanda as well. Of course, the chemistry between Olsen and Bettany is good as ever!
“Always was full of threats. And allies.”
WandaVision gives viewers new and old faces. These two familiar characters have become fan favorites, thanks to their onscreen chemistry, and I agree with the positive fan response for both, as it was fun to watch them interact. Yet I left wanting more as the series left some things unanswered for them.
Another new character, or rather, a familiar one from an MCU film, is Monica Rambeau from Captain Marvel, now played by Teyonah Parris. Rambeau had many cool and interesting moments although it sure felt like Parris’ character was only on to set up future storylines more than anything else. (There are many Easter eggs and hints of things to come in the MCU throughout WandaVision. I will not say what they are, but it would not be a Marvel Studios product if fans did not have anything to search for, so being like a ‘hawk eye-ing’ his prey is recommended. It was rather satisfying finding well hidden hints.) Regardless, Parris sure looked like she was having fun being on the series. It sure made the character even more likable.
Now, there is one S.W.O.R.D. character (played by Josh Stamberg) for whom the series made me sympathetic, in the way he was rather overprotective in doing things. (Thanos did wipe out half of the universe before Endgame, did he not?) However, I found the character’s characteristics to be too villainy at times, and was occasionally too cheesy.
Then there was the appearance of Evans Peters (X-Men: Days of Future Past) entering the MCU. I believe that the series did not have its best moment when the major reveal happened for Peters’ character. The actor himself was perfectly fine, so was the character he was playing, and I have seen the post-finale interviews, yet I still find it odd that the series went with this direction. They had to know how most MCU fans did not like a particular creative decision being used in the past, in Iron Man 3. But alas, I am not a Hollywood writer, just a fan. The introduction of certain young twins, though, was handled nicely.
I believe that Kathryn Hahn joining the cast was a quality hire. Hahn knows how to be downright silly (and wicked) and has done so throughout her career, and WandaVision proved that even more. Hahn’s interaction with the cast was entertaining to watch. Likewise, with her character’s arc.
“Welcome to Westview!”
As for everything else, the series as a whole does lean on mysterious themes quite a bit, perhaps too much for its own good, in my opinion. I get that this world was strangely interesting on purpose, but I would have preferred less of the “for the heck of it” mystery, and more fun and creative storytelling. Luckily, there was some of that.
This series was also fans’ gateway to an American sitcoms joyride. The homage to particular sitcoms such as The Dick Van Dyke Show, Bewitched, The Brady Bunch, Family Ties, as well as Malcolm in the Middle, just to name a few, was lovely to watch onscreen. Yet by doing this, the pacing of the main story was bogged down at times, and the runtime of certain episodes did not help either.
The costumes and design of the series were top-notch; the special effects were not bad. Of course, this is a Marvel Studios product, after all. Fans always expect the best, so anything less than that generates criticism.
“Might we resolve this peacefully?”
WandaVision was a psychedelic ride for the MCU and for me. Wanda and Vision having a series to themselves was quite thrilling to watch. Although the series did make some odd choices along the way, I believe that WandaVision concluded heroically by providing everyone with something juicy to watch. As such, this fan can hardly wait to say hello to this part of the MCU again, whenever that will be. Let’s just hope that the pandemic does not make us wait much longer.
In the meantime, on to Falcon and The Winter Soldier!
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