By: Aiden McLean (Reporter ‘21)
Aiden McLean’s Rating System: X/10 description (Example)
1/10: so bad it physically hurt! (e.g., The Cat in the Hat); 2/10: horrendous (e.g., The Emoji Movie); 3/10: just plain bad (e.g., Star Wars: Attack of the Clones); 4/10: boring or didn’t like it (e.g., 1984); 5/10: meh’ (e.g., Star Wars: The Last Jedi); 6/10: passable (e.g., Venom); 7/10: was okay (e.g., Monsters University); 8/10: good (e.g., Jurassic World); 9/10: great (e.g., The Dark Knight); 10/10: went above and beyond expectations (e.g., The Lego Movie).
What made 2020 even more of a slog was not only the fact that we were locked in our homes indefinitely, but also the lack of any Marvel content since June of 2019. Since the two intended Marvel movies have been seriously delayed, there was little for MCU fans to get excited about. This all changed last fall.
Three new Marvel shows were announced to soon be released on Disney+: WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and a series about Loki. All across the internet people were hyped but confused: What would the future be for the MCU with these mini-series? Would they be important like the movies or trivial like the Agents of Shield series?
(Be honest, you forgot that existed too). What stories would they tell? Would they be chopped up movies or actual series? Generally the consensus and assumptions were that WandaVision would be weird, The Falcon and Winter Soldier would be unimpressive, and Loki would be awesome. Finally, January 15, 2021 rolled around, and the first two episodes of WandaVision were released. If this is Marvel’s version of a weird story, then I have high expectations for the next two.
This show is QUALITY. It is so good! A year ago, the only reason to have Disney + was for the Mandalorian, which to be perfectly honest, I was ok missing out on, but WandaVision is something that should not be overlooked. The writing, comedy, and cinematography are excellent and weird, but never too trippy. The acting is well done, and it is an absolute blast to watch. Though new viewers should be aware that it may take time to become invested in WandaVision (it is a slow burn), when given the chance, intrigue will turn into fascination.
The general premise is just what the title suggests. WandaVision is a sitcom starring the two Avengers, Wanda Maximoff and The Vision. Wanda tries to make a new life for the couple based around television: Wandavision. I really can’t go more into detail about the story. In fact, I have probably already said too much. What follows is a descent into madness and mystery with a hint of television entertainment.
Each episode is in the style of a different sitcom from another decade. For example, the first episode is a parody of I Love Lucy from the 50’s, the third episode is in the style of the 70’s sitcom: The Brady Bunch', and I think, the sixth episode is like The Office. However, there are a lot of other shows from the 2000’s with a similar formula to The Office, so it's hard to be sure. Everything is altered to fit the style of the sitcom being parodied: the comedy, acting, writing, hijinx, and openings. They even have short, period-styled “commercials” in the middle of each episode. However, there is an overarching narrative that slowly builds with hints in each episode connecting back to a main narrative.
If this show was just a celebration of sitcoms with two avengers, it may have been funny, but not groundbreaking. But this show uses what other shows would call gimmicks as legit tools for storytelling, to bring up ideas about grief, mental health, and love.
The cinematography is excellent. Filters, framing, and color palettes change with the time period, adding some fun. Each episode also has a recap, in which some details will change, making almost every little detail feel important and meaningful and adding to the mystery of the show. The characters are also well done. Wanda and Vision have great chemistry, and it's fun to see them together, as they try to be like other sitcom couples except with superpowers that they would like to hide. Some of the new characters are likable, and some old faces from previous Marvel movies even return to add to the fun.
All that said, WandaVision does have its flaws. The first two or three episodes are rather awkward to watch because the kind of comedy they are parodying is not something that everyone would find funny. Personally, that awkward style of comedy just isn’t for me. The ending is a little shaky, but it still has a very solid conclusion.
Also, to fully enjoy this show’s plot points and get the return of specific characters, you must be well versed in your knowledge of the MCU, and of course, the list of movies is extensive. If you want a specific list, I suggest you watch: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Infinity war, Endgame, Captain America: Civil War, Thor, Thor the Dark World, Ant Man and the Wasp, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, and the second post credit scene from Spiderman Far From Home. (The last two on this list are optional).
In conclusion, I loved this show. It’s funny. It’s dramatic. It’s heartwarming. It’s tragic. It has all the emotions of a good sitcom. You really need to watch this show! I give WandaVision a solid 9/10. As always, I am eager to see what Marvel does next!