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WandaVision Review: Totally Familiar And Like Nothing You’ve Seen Before

I watched the first three episodes of WandaVision, and I have so many thoughts running through my head about where things might be going. This show leaves you with more questions than it answers–at least in the early episodes. Despite all of those unknown elements, I think you are still in for one hell of a fun ride.

The series begins after the action in Avengers: Endgame, which will of course lead to questions about how Vision could be in anything taking place after he died in that movie. Since the first episode presents as a very The Dick Van Dyke Show-style sitcom, with Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) as newlyweds, I think plenty of twists and turns are a given. I am sure all of the questions will get answered eventually.

The first two episodes are practically straight-forward sitcoms, with a few strange Marvel-esque moments peppered in here and there. The third, a 70s-themed The Brady Bunch homage, kicks off the real action in the series.

Director Matt Shakman did not skimp when it came to creating the period-specific sitcom aesthetics for WandaVision. Each episode begins with a Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez-penned opening theme inspired by the time period. Shakman even utilized a vintage aspect ratio rather than filling the full screen. There are subtle differences you can only notice when comparing the first two episodes side-by-side, with things becoming slightly less sepia-toned, then the dramatic shift into full, saturated technicolor in the 70s-themed third episode.

The sitcom boot camp the actors participated in during production is on full display in the performances, with changes in their vocal and physical performances syncing up with the decade represented on the screen. White things could have easily felt a little too campy and satirical, WandaVision instead reads as a lovingly made tribute to television shows of the past.

While Olsen’s Wanda is clearly the star of the show, Kathryn Hahn as nosy neighbor Agnes steals the scene whenever she drops by. Buzz about the possibility that Agnes might be Agatha Harkness from the Marvel comics is plentiful, but do not expect too many reveals in the first three episodes. There is fun to be had in trying to spot the clues, but with six episodes to follow you can expect most of the secrets to remain a mystery for a little while longer.

Producer and Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has said the intention for WandaVision was always to create something that could not be done within the framework of a traditional feature film. This ambitious mini-series certainly succeeds on that criteria. WandaVision has a familiar setting and familiar characters, yet it is unlike anything you’ve seen before. It might be a little too quirky and overly dependant on Marvel Cinematic Universe knowledge to grab onto the casual fans, but I think most people who have been looking forward to WandaVision are in for a treat.

The first two episodes begin streaming on Disney+ on January 15 with new episodes weekly thereafter.

About WandaVision

Marvel Studios’ captivating new series “WandaVision” stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, and marks the first series from Marvel Studios streaming exclusively on Disney+. The series is a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff and Vision—two super-powered beings living idealized suburban lives—begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems.

As The Bunny Hops®