[Series Review] WANDAVISION
Courtesy of Marvel Studios
This Friday, fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) will finally be able to experience the first two episodes of WANDAVISION, an original series from Marvel Studios featuring Wanda and Vision. Since its initial announcement a few years back, there hasn’t been much info on what the series is actually about, leading to speculation from die-hard fans. Recently, I had the chance to check out the first three episodes of WANDAVISION, and boy oh boy, were they a journey.

In WANDAVISION, the series takes on a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) – two super-powered beings living idealized suburban lives – begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems.

Each 30-minute episode harkens back to a sitcom related to that decade. The first episode has a ’50s inspired I Love Lucy appeal followed by a ’60s-inspired Bewitched feel in the second episode, with a 70’s-inspired Brady Bunch feel in the third episode. The first two episodes are filmed mostly in black and white with hints of color – especially red – with the third being all in color.

Each episode also features a decade-appropriate commercial with hints related to other characters from the MCU, such as Tony Stark and Hydra. I’m not sure what this means for the series as a whole, but I can only assume they are connected to a bigger picture. Additionally, the production design is nothing short of stellar. From the period type clothing to the furnishing of the homes, each episode’s visuals directly relates to the time period in which these characters are currently living in. I really enjoyed seeing how each episode and how Wanda’s and Vision’s home transformed to fit the time period it was set in.

Paul Bettany as Vision and Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2020. All Rights Reserved.

As for Wanda and Vision themselves, Elizabeth Olsen’s and Paul Bettany’s performances are heartwarming and lovely. You really get the opportunity to see the characters’ relationship flourish and the chemistry between the two is undeniable. Even more enjoyable is watching these characters try to interact in the real world without giving away their superpowers. I think what was most impressive to me is that no matter the cheery disposition of Wanda, you can see in her eyes that something is not quite right. It’s fair to say that Olsen gives a nuanced performance that speaks volumes in regards to the mystery at hand.

Also featured in the series is Kathryn Hahn, who plays Agnes, the nosy next-door neighbor, and Teyonah Parris, who plays Monica Rambeau (sound familiar, Captain Marvel fans?), another friendly neighbor that grows increasingly close to Wanda. The comedic timing from Hahn is one of the best parts of the series but the mystery surrounding Monica is one that’ll keep viewers on their toes. That said, all the neighbors that live in the town with Wanda and Vision seem to have a peculiar disposition that is off-putting enough to put the viewer on guard.

Leading up to the premiere, there were a lot of questions from fans about what would actually be going on in this series. If you’re searching for answers in these first few episodes, you won’t find them. You will, however, find breadcrumbs that steadily reveal secrets the further into the series you go. I recently watched the Coen Brothers’ film A Serious Man, and one of the lines that stuck out to me and I think will work well in regards to how viewers should approach the series is that we must “accept the mystery” at hand. Don’t question it. Instead, embrace it and wait for all to unfold.

WANDAVISION may not grab the attention of viewers right out the gate, but trust me, give it time. It’s a bold move by Marvel to put this out as their first series and I applaud them for doing that. I’ll admit it took me until the end of episode 3 to be all in, but once I was, I found myself locked in. I was immediately yearning for the next episode. As much as I enjoy Marvel, I’m much more captivated by the unraveling mystery of this series and I think a lot of horror/genre fans will be as well.

Discover what’s at stake in WANDAVISION when it premieres exclusively on Disney+ on January 15, 2021.

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Nightmarish Detour, TV Reviews

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