WandaVision Initial Thoughts

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Media by Disney+

The new Disney Plus miniseries “WandaVision” featuring Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) premiered on the streaming service on January 15th to critical acclaim. The show is directed by Matt Shakman and written by Jac Schaeffer and boasts a rating of 8.2 on IMDB.

As a hardcore fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it was hard to avoid the constant advertisements throughout the month of January of the new Disney+ miniseries “WandaVision.”. 

I’ve never had any particular interest in Wanda Maximoff or Vision as characters, but I must admit I was interested to see what direction the writer and director would take the plot, considering the characters’ fates following “Avengers: Infinity War.”

I was late to the scene, watching the first episode two weeks after the Friday, Jan. 15 premiere. Despite being hesitant to continue watching after episode one, about halfway through episode two, I was absolutely hooked.

Matt Shakman and Jac Schaeffer’s “WandaVision” is a multi-genre miniseries featuring 2 of the 28 MCU Avengers: Wanda Maximoff, otherwise known as Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany), an android made by Tony Stark. The story follows the day-to-day lives of Wanda and Vision in the suburban town of Westview, N.J., as well as the shenanigans that ensue from trying to keep their super-powered identities concealed.

Once the show hints that something is going on behind the scenes of the couple’s American dream, I began to really feel invested in the show.”

In the first few episodes, the show features the couple in a house reminiscent of hit 50s and 60s sitcoms like the “Dick Van Dyke Show,” “I Love Lucy ” and “Bewitched” to name just a few. Each of the first four episodes reflects a different era of American television, with the fourth episode using the renovated set of the “Brady Bunch.” 

I absolutely loved the cinematography of the first few episodes, the combination of black and white with the crisp, high quality nature of modern camera work was pleasing to the eye. The homage to the different elements of American television gave the show an extra dose of charm. 

Given that the episodes mimic the style of shows from the 50s and 60s, the corny and over-the-top dialogue of the first episode was a bit difficult to sit through. However, this isn’t because the show was poorly written; it’s because the scripts accurately mimic the old-fashioned trans-atlantic accents and overdone tropes characteristic of old-fashioned sitcoms. So, it’s natural the initial dialogue between characters feels a bit outdated – that’s the point.

Each of the first four episodes reflects a different era of American television, with the fourth episode using the renovated set of the “Brady Bunch.”

Once the show hints that something is going on behind the scenes of the couple’s American dream, I began to really feel invested in the show. At first, there are only a few hints that something is a little bit off in Westview. With each episode, this tiny hint quickly grows into an obvious truth; something is wrong. As the suspense in the plot grew, I found myself glued to the screen, and eager to see where the show would go next.

The question of whether I’d recommend the show is tricky to answer. I absolutely encourage avid Marvel fans who have watched most, if not every film in the MCU, to watch it. But I can’t ignore the fact that the series carries a degree of exclusivity because viewers who have yet to see every movie in the marvel cinematic universe will have no idea what’s going on in the show.

Casual fans and new viewers who have yet to see “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Captain America: Civil War,” and the two-part “Avengers: Infinity War” series would be incredibly confused by their first viewing of the show, and that degree of confusion would strip a great deal of enjoyment from their viewing experience. So, if you’re caught up, I absolutely recommend that you give it a watch. The quality of the show is on par with the rest of the MCU, and it’s a refreshing change from the overall heavy-hearted tone of other recent Marvel releases, like “Endgame” and “Spider-man: Far From Home.”

If you have yet to see most Marvel films, I’d recommend you devote some free time to catching up and give WandaVision a try when you’re ready.