On Screen: A Marvel Blockbuster Within a Sitcom in WandaVision

Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany as Vision in the Marvel TV series WandaVision, streaming on Disney+ (Source: Marvel Studios/Disney Plus from Polygon).

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to On Screen, The Augur Bit’s column all about television and film! This time, I’ll be reviewing the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first television series, WandaVision.

WandaVision made its debut on Disney+ in January and released its final episode on Mar. 5. Directed by Matt Shakman, the series stars Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff, also known as The Scarlet Witch, and Paul Bettany as Vision. 

In WandaVision, Wanda and Vision live a suburban life together as a couple. However, WandaVision is much more complicated than that one-line summary. To start, the show takes place after Vision’s death in Avengers: Infinity War, and at the beginning of the show, there’s no explanation as to how Vision exists in this series. On top of that, from the beginning, Wanda and Vision appear to be living in a sitcom where each episode is based on a different decade of television history. For example, the first and second episodes are largely based on 1950s and ’60s sitcoms like The Dick Van Dyke Show and Bewitched, and the third episode is based on The Brady Bunch, which aired in the ’70s. Yet we know this show is taking place in modern times, since it takes place just after Avengers: Endgame. So, to sum everything up, Wanda and her deceased love interest Vision are living through different decades in sitcom history, even though they are living in modern times. Seems totally normal, right?

Of course, that is not normal. However, as the nine-episode series progresses, things start to unravel and we begin to figure out what exactly is happening with Wanda and Vision. 

This complex plot may seem like a lot to handle if you are not a Marvel fan. But this really is a show for anyone, especially if you like sitcoms. WandaVision truly is a Marvel blockbuster masked as a sitcom, which makes it perfect for Marvel fans and non-Marvel fans alike. 

One of the most interesting facets of WandaVision is how it parodies other sitcoms. Whether it’s the black and white style of 1950s-era sitcoms or the breaking of the fourth wall–style of Malcolm in the Middle and Modern Family, WandaVision has lots to offer for anyone who enjoys television or simply wants to feel a little bit of nostalgia for sitcoms of the past. 

And if you are a Marvel fan, this show is a must-watch. It’s Marvel’s first original series on Disney+, and it marks the beginning of the next batch of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) projects. In the show, Wanda and Vision get some much-needed time in the spotlight. WandaVision explores Wanda’s origin and sets the path for her future in the MCU.

My only complaint for this show is about its finale. It certainly was not a bad episode—in fact, it was very entertaining—but I think it left a little to be desired in terms of Wanda’s overall story arc. In the finale, Wanda didn’t fully reckon with the consequences of her actions. While I enjoyed most of the finale, I wish more time had been spent on Wanda grappling with the effects of what has happened throughout the show. Whether closure comes in future MCU projects or not will probably affect my view of the finale, but for now I remain slightly disappointed. 

WandaVision was a big risk for Marvel. It’s not typical for a company that is known for its action blockbusters to produce a sitcom starring two superheroes, but their bet here definitely paid off. WandaVision was a refreshing change of pace for Marvel and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for the MCU. 

My rating: 8.5/10

If you like this show you should watch: Agent Carter, The Mandalorian, or any Marvel Cinematic Universe movie or show

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Alex Gerson ’23