Marvel Studios presents WandaVision, a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) — two super-powered beings living idealized suburban lives — begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems.
Where does one even try to begin talking about a show as deeply complex, wonderfully funny, and emotionally devastating as Jac Schaeffer’s WandaVision, which serves as the first property to kick off Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Initially, Black Widow was set to be the first, but I’m more than glad it was WandaVision.
For the past few weeks now, this show has been smashing records and even managed to cause Disney+ to crash due to so many people watching the newest episode the instant it released. People were so eager to tune in every Friday to see what was going to happen next to Wanda Maximoff and Vision, and it’s not hard to see why.
The show’s first half is essentially a gigantic love-letter to old-school sitcoms of the 1950s and onward including Bewitched, I Love Lucy, and The Brady Bunch just to name a few. These episodes come complete with laugh tracks and plenty of funny gags to make viewers laugh, but each episode has that MCU flavor in it. You know that, while this episode may be funny and is a parody of a sitcom, there are so many hidden meanings behind it.
Take the debut episode for example – it’s something that you would see on a show like The Honeymooners. The dialogue is essentially the dialogue you would expect to hear on a 50s sitcom and a lot of the jokes are period-accurate, but at the end of that episode, something creepy and bizarre happens just to let you know that all is not what it seems.
The burning mystery of WandaVision isn’t revealed until a much later episode, and even when you get big answers revealed, there are still plenty of questions that are left unanswered, and it left all fans thirsty to hear what the answers would be. The second half of WandaVision is an emotionally devastating look at grief, trauma, and love. You don’t have to be a big Marvel fan to feel intense sympathy and sadness for Wanda Maximoff in these episodes.
Episode eight titled “Previously On” does this the best. It takes us back to Wanda’s childhood and shows us some of the most pivotal moments of her life. The moments that make Wanda, well, Wanda. And seeing how much trauma she has gone through over the years and the realization about what may come next is absolutely heart-wrenching.
Elizabeth Olsen has always been one of my favorite actresses, but she has easily shot up to one of my top three favorite actresses now. Not only has WandaVision solidified the fact that Wanda Maximoff is the strongest character in the MCU, but now I can say she is my favorite. If Olsen doesn’t win dozens of awards for her intricate and beautifully layered performance in this show, then it would, quite simply, be one of the biggest snubs in awards history.
And Paul Bettany does a superb job in the role of Vision as well. In previous MCU movies such as Infinity War and Age of Ultron, Bettany feels more like a badass robot than an actual person, and it was certainly a lot of fun to watch him on-screen. The scene in Age of Ultron where he lifts Mjolnir like it weighs nothing was absolutely hysterical. But now, Vision has gotten so much development to the point where I feel a strong emotional attachment to his character.
Jac Schaeffer truly did a marvelous job writing all nine episodes of this show. He clearly had a vision (no pun intended) of what he wanted to do with this series and he made it look incredibly easy. Planning out a show this intricate and complex would be a daunting task for any screenwriter, no matter how much experience they have. But Schaeffer is obviously skilled and at the end of the day, his vision became a reality and it blossomed into WandaVision, which is not only a jaw-dropping and exhilarating introduction into Phase Four, but it is easily one of the best things the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ever released.
Overall Grade: A+
Created by: Jac Schaeffer