I went into WANDAVISION as one of those rare guys who doesn’t give a crap about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Honestly, few superhero movies do it for me. The last great superhero film I watched was LOGAN, which I thought was incredible. In the end, I’m more about THE BOYS than the MCU.
Enter WANDAVISION, which I caught on Disney Plus. I knew enough of INFINITY WAR and the other movies to know the very basic setup and that Wanda and Vision were kinda boring characters, which I found a plus as it meant the show creators might be willing to take some chances and deviate from the tried-and-true formula. They did, and I found the show pretty amazing even though I was ignorant of many of the Easter eggs and cameos. I wasn’t looking to recognize the familiar but to see a good story, and I wasn’t disappointed.
In WANDAVISION, super-beings Wanda and Vision live in a small town that is idealized as a TV sitcom from the 1950s, but all is not as it seems. Each episode advances in era, imitating THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, I LOVE LUCY, BEWITCHED, I DREAM OF JEANNIE, THE BRADY BUNCH, FULL HOUSE, and others, even THE MUNSTERS for a clever snippet, until the conceit is eventually dropped in favor of reality. The show does a great job at emulating the old shows and explaining why the conceit was there. As the strangeness continues to seep into the program of Wanda’s life, we slowly discover what happened to the town, her role in it, and the effort to stop it.
The show explores some strong themes related to grief without immediately alleviating dramatic tension with a phoned-in wisecrack. Wanda and Vision develop as deep characters you truly care about without relying on them being shown heavy-handedly as cool. In short, the show takes itself seriously without becoming heavy lifting, keeping what works so well about the MCU while offering greater depth, more surprises, and a strong story that packs consequences.
So I liked this one a lot and would recommend it even for those who aren’t fans of the MCU, though it would help to at least read a synopsis of the last few Marvel movies leading up to the events in the show.