Let’s start here: I am a humongous Marvel Cinematic Universe fan. I’ve seen every movie since the first Avengers in theaters (COVID-19 permitting) and I love them all. However, I can admit that these movies can get a bit formulaic. Sometimes they become easy to figure out and it can get monotonous.
Well, “WandaVision” is absolutely, 100%, not monotonous or predictable. As of right now we are seven episodes into the Disney+ original and with each passing episode I leave with maybe one answer and about a million questions because I genuinely have no idea what is going on or what will happen next.
For some context the show follows Wanda Maximoff who is by far one of the most powerful superheroes. Somehow, her and her boyfriend Vision, who died for real in “Avengers: Infinity War” and is alive now, are stuck in a weird universe where they are living through decades of sitcoms with a wacky set of side characters.
SPOILER WARNING (GO WATCH THE SHOW BEFORE YOU CONTINUE)
Later, it becomes clear that Wanda has made this universe for herself to cope with everything that has happened to her. This causes the agency S.W.O.R.D. to come and investigate what’s going on and they are just as confused about this whole experience as the viewer is.
What I’ve come to realize is the title of the show, “WandaVision,” has two meanings.
The first one is obvious: Wanda and Vision are stuck in a television somehow and living life through sitcoms.
As the show progresses a new meaning comes to light: WandaVision means we are seeing Wanda’s vision of a perfect life, she is making a world for herself that is perfect and only lets the viewers see what she wants us to see.
I think what makes this show so great is its attention to detail. It’s meticulous and the payoff from all this detail is amazing.
The little Easter eggs placed throughout the show, like Jimmy’s magic tricks and the reemergence of Wanda’s accent when she leaves the Hex, service the longtime fans and pull new viewers into this complex and ever evolving universe in an incredibly creative way.
Along the same lines the detail within each episode and the commitment to the decade they are portraying is striking and enthralling. Each episode takes you on a nostalgia trip back to some of the best sitcoms in television history like “I Love Lucy,” “The Brady Bunch,” “Malcolm in the Middle” and “Modern Family.”
They also shift the screen size depending on the decade they are in as well as which reality they are in. For example, when we are in Wanda’s 1950s sitcom the screen is a square and the image is black and white. When we enter the normal MCU reality the screen goes wide, like in a movie theater viewing, and the color saturation resembles other Marvel movies.
The quality of this show is directly related to the attention to detail and the performances from the actors I can’t wait to see what else we are able to pick out in the last two episodes.
This cast is made up of people who were side characters throughout the various MCU movies but have now been brought to the frontlines. Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) have never been the principal superheroes, Jimmy Woo (Randall Park), Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) came from playing minor roles in Ant-Man, Thor and Captain Marvel, respectively. And every single one of them smash their performances out of the park and their characters get some long-awaited development.
The performance that stands out the most to me is Bettany as Vision. Up until now Vision has been a kind of one-dimensional very powerful robot. In this show Bettany brings the funny and Vision has so many laugh out loud moments along with some great dramatic acting as well.
Overall, “WandaVision” knocked my socks off. I can’t even begin to explain how impressed I am by this show and how invested I am in what happens next. I’m also excited about the doors this show will open for the future MCU movies and TV shows.
I guess we’ll just have to stand by for these last two episodes to see what shenanigans Wanda, Vision and company get up to because I’d bet money it will be just as wild and unpredictable as the first seven episodes.
“WandaVision” is on Disney+ and episodes come out every Friday.
Riley Utley is a copy editor. Follow her on Twitter