TL;DR – A show that intrigued me from start to finish
Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this series.
WandaVision Review –
While Marvel has dabbled in long-form storytelling tangentially connected to the MCU before with the Agents of Shield and the Netflix universe of Daredevil and others, these were always created in a sort of cauterised and closed off worlds all to themselves. This, of course, reflected the internal Marvel divisions of the time where Kevin Feige headed the film department, but Ike Perlmutter controlled the TV. Well back in 2019, all of that shifted as TV shifted under Feige’s control, and for the first time, all of it was under one house. Our first look at what that will be has come in the form of WandaVision, which we will look back on the full season today.
So to set the scene, we open sitcom entrance style where we see Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) arriving at a new town of Westview. A newly married couple is settling into a small town where they are pretending that she is not a witch and he is not an android, but an average couple. Everything is going well until their neighbour Angus (Kathryn Hahn) comes over and helps Wanda plan her ‘anniversary’, which leads to a dinner party that hints more is going on in the sleepy town of Westview. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
There is a lot to unpack in this season of WandaVision, but the first thing has to be the sitcom style. We jumped through so many different types of the show throughout the season, and while they could have just been the superficial parts of the show, WandaVision commits. Each week not only do they nail the style of the show, but the dialogue, props, even down to the way the show is filmed, is pitch-perfect. It was such a joy to watch play out each week, but more than this by the sinister feeling underpinning everything that went on. That discord permeated each week, making you feel almost bad for liking the sitcom moments, especially when we realise everyone’s pain.
While this is going on, there is a world outside where we get the more standard Marvel aspects to the show. The best elements of this part of the show were that it could bring in supporting characters with Darcy and Woo. With the soft reboot of Thor in Ragnarok, we lost a lot of supporting characters. As someone who always liked the character, it was great to see her return here as the almost audience insert character for both us and then eventually The Hex Vision. One of the great surprises of Ant-Man and the Wasp as the joy that was Agent Woo, as Randall Park brought equal parts of charm and delight. From the moment we see him in the show, and he does the magic trick, you can’t help but see him shine. Indeed, Monica, Darcy, and Woo’s gang was such a compelling part of the show that I hope Marvel takes notice and does something with them going forward.
While you can read more of how I felt the season/series finale in my The Series Finale review, some aspects of the series panned out, and others that didn’t. At the core of WandaVision is, of course, the relationship between Wanda and Vision. It is here that both Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany have been able to show off all their range as we go from happy-fun-time sitcom vibes to full-on confrontation. That relationship arc from the start to the brutal ending gives the show the weight it needs. So when The Hex starts coming down and you know what is about to happen, those tears do flow. As well as this, I did love the chaotic energy that was Kathryn Hahn throughout the runtime of the show. It didn’t matter if she was playing the nosy neighbour Agnes or as the big bad Agatha, who was apparently Agatha all along.
But if there was one weakness of the series finale and then retrospectively the rest of the season, it was Fake Pietro. We know that Marvel is going full Multiverse, they set up the idea in Spider-man Far From Home, and we know that will be the focus of the next Doctor Strange that Wanda will be in. So when Evan Peter’s Quicksilver from the X-Men series appeared, that opened so many questions. The answer to which atm is .. meh, yer nah, nothing happened. It meant that we did not get a signature slow-mo scene that felt like a real missed opportunity from a practical level. But on a story level, it makes no sense to bring him in if he is just some dude, and we saw him use speed powers throughout the show. Is there a chance that ‘Ralph Bohner’ is an assumed/cover name? I hope because if not, he only exists for a boner joke.
In the end, do we recommend the first/only season of WandaVision? Yes, yes, we would. The production design and the acting would be enough to recommend it all on its own. However, I loved the world they built, that we got to see Vision and Wanda have some character finally, and how it projects us into the future. Indeed, it is even more remarkable when you realise that it was never meant to start Phase 4 as we had meant to have Black Widow and Falcon and Winter Solder first.
You can also read our reviews for the individual episodes here with: Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience, Don’t Touch That Dial, Now in Color, We Interrupt This Program, On a Very Special Episode…, All-New Halloween Spooktacular!, Breaking the Fourth Wall, Previously On, and The Series Finale.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
Have you seen WandaVision yet ?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of WandaVision
Directed by – Matt Shakman
Written by – Jac Schaeffer, Laura Donney, Gretchen Enders, Megan McDonnell, Bobak Esfarjani, Peter Cameron, Mackenzie Dohr, Chuck Hayward & Cameron Squires
Created by – Jac Schaeffer
Based on – Characters created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Roy Thomas & John Buscema
Production/Distribution Companies – Marvel Studios & Disney+
Starring – Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Debra Jo Rupp, Fred Melamed, Teyonah Parris, Evan Peters, Randall Park, Kat Dennings & Kathryn Hahn with Julian Hilliard, Jett Klyne, Josh Stamberg, Emma Caulfield Ford, Jolene Purdy, Baylen Bielitz, Gavin Borders, Alan Heckner, Rose Blanco, Randy Oglesby, Amos Glick, Zac Henry, Asif Ali, David Payton, David Lengel, Selena Anduze, Kate Forbes, Ilana Kohanchi, Daniyar, Michaela Russell & Gabriel Gurevich