WandaVision: Entering a New Age of TV

Written by Charlotte Allen

Recently, we have all been spending more and more time indoors and so the television has become a hub for activity (particularly in my house). But I found myself rewatching the same old sitcoms again and again, as they were comforting when there was so much uncertainty. So I decided to branch out and watch something entirely new, something in a genre I had never watched before. Cue ‘WandaVision’.

I have never really watched anything from the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ (MCU) before and so I was slightly worried I wouldn’t get any of the references in the series. But I didn't have to worry, as a non-MCU viewer I was still able to follow the story and understand what was going on. Each episode follows different sitcoms through the decades - the first episode is based off of black-and-white sitcoms such as ‘I Love Lucy’, the second is also based on typical 60s black-and-white sitcoms like ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ (though we start to see the inclusion of colour), the third episode is completely in-colour, based on shows like ‘The Brady Bunch’ and so on. Again, I have never seen any of these shows before or been alive during the decades of television featured, but I still found it really interesting to watch the set and format change through time.

For viewers in a similar position to me, the basic premise of the story is that two characters from the fictional universe, Wanda (Elizabeth Olson) and Vision (Paul Bettany), are trying to settle into an idyllic suburban lifestyle whilst concealing their powers. Wanda (aka ‘The Scarlet Witch’) can alter reality and practice telekinesis. Vision is an android created by artificial intelligence, who featured heavily in one of Marvel’s most recent films (Avengers: Infinity War, 2018). As the series progresses, the couple realises that everything is not quite as perfect as it seems in their small town.

The first episode introduces the two characters, as well as their neighbours, and I quickly took a liking to Wanda, with her sharp mind and reality-altering abilities. Vision is also a fantastic character to watch, particularly during the scenes at his work place where his android abilities gain him a certain notoriety. The next episode is where the mystery really starts to deepen, as we see how the couple struggles to keep up appearances during a town magic show and Wanda’s time-altering skills are put into action. The third episode in the series is where we see that their neighbours, and the town as a whole, are hiding something- it is at this point that a quick google might be needed for non-MCU fans, to read into the significance of the storyline with Ultron and Wanda’s brother.

Episode four marks a distinct change in the series, with the blending of the Westview storyline and the events of the MCU universe surrounding it. We are introduced to a bunch of new characters and learn some interesting details about a few of the original ones. By the time we get to episode 5, we realise that it can only be a matter of time before Wanda’s world comes under pressure and we question the lengths that she will go to, to protect her family. Episode 6 is a Halloween extravaganza, where our trio of heroes are tested and we finally start to see Vision following his hunches.

Episodes 7 and 8 really excel the development of the main characters and provide some brand new origin stories, setting up for an awesome finale...

I have to admit that it has been a somewhat challenging start to the year, maybe 2021 didn’t begin in the way we had all hoped last year. But I have really enjoyed getting into this new series and it definitely helps to have a new episode to look forward to each week. I can’t wait for the future of MCU!

The information and pictures for this review came from WandaVision (2021)

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