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WandaVision: An Exciting Show That Isn’t Afraid to Be Patient and Different

January 17, 2021
Poster courtesy of Disney

After 23 films, and 13 years worth of Marvel Cinematic Universe films, it’s thrilling to watch Marvel and Disney create a funky show like WandaVision. After watching the first three episodes, it’s clear that the folks at Marvel are at the point where they can take chances, and release a black-and-white sitcom that features traditional tropes (think I love Lucy and I Dream of Genie), interesting twists, and an insane amount of intrigue. 

The first episode of WandaVision was shot in front of a live studio audience, and it’s a lot of fun watching Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany do more than act sullen, or throw magic powerballs at robots. The two clearly seem to enjoy the heightened atmosphere, and their chemistry is wonderful, which is important, considering the show lives-and-dies on their performances. It’s nice watching Wanda and Vision “enjoy” domesticity, and spend time together that doesn’t end with a purple giant crushing one of their skulls. It’s also nice that all nine episodes are directed by Matt Shakman (Game of Thrones, You’re the Worst, The Great, Succession, Billions, Fargo, Happy Endings, The New Girl – pretty much every good TV show), who’s been working in the industry for ages, and also got his start acting in sitcoms. The writing so far by Jac Schaeffer (Captain Marvel, Black Widow – She’s also an executive producer), and Gretchen Enders, has embraced sitcom tropes (terrible dinner parties) and also included a welcome dose of intrigue to keep the audience guessing. Also, since the show has Disney money, the production design and cinematography are top notch. Cinematographer Jess Hall does a fine job of capturing the sitcom look, while adding in extra shots that are beautifully framed. 

Photo courtesy of Disney

While some have begrudged the I Love Lucy stylings of the first two episodes, as they were expecting something more Marvel-y, just know that the show has big plans, and it’s taking a patient and creative route to a neat endgame. So far (the first few episodes) have focused on the married life of Wanda and Vision, who have moved to the suburbs, and are trying to live a normal life that doesn’t involve The Avengers, or revealing their identities. Their neighbors Agnes (Kathryn Hahn – so good), Monica (Teyonnah Parris), and Phil (David Lengel), don’t suspect a thing, and it’s a blast to watch Vision sweat as the dinner party he throws for his boss goes sideways, as lobsters fly out windows, meat is smashed, and pots goes flying. 

WandaVision is thrilling because it’s something different. It isn’t afraid to ignore comic book tropes (Bang, Smash, CGI, Explosions), and doesn’t have a problem taking its time. It’s very rare for something so huge, to be so unconcerned about pleasing everyone. I can’t wait to see what happens in the final six episodes, and I have no doubt that Marvel’s vision will be successful and fun.

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