The new show from Marvel Studios just dropped on Disney+. And boy, it’s a doozy.
I’m writing this down just as I finished watching the first two episodes, and I’ve got a lot on my mind. But maybe not a lot to write down. Be warned, potential spoilers ahead. Read it at your own risk.
Wanda Maximoff and her husband Vision, (played by Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany) are your average super-powered suburban couple. But things aren’t always what they seem. Now we’re familiar with the Scarlet Witch and Vision from both the MCU and Marvel Comics, (If you aren’t, go watch the movies, and read the last article I did to get an idea of the comics) but this show throws everything you know upside down and inside out.
WandaVision starts out like an old 50s’ – 60s’ sitcom. Literally showing cue cards of the characters Wanda Maximoff and Vision instead of the real actors playing them. Much on the lines of Bewitched or I love Lucy. Yes, complete with the black and white. The story of a reality bending witch and her android husband as they move to a new house in the suburbs and try to fit in. All while dealing with hiding their powers in classic hilarious old school comedy fashion.
Completely different from the other Marvel shows we’ve seen so far like Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and the like.
It’s written like a sitcom, it feels like a sitcom, it looks like a sitcom. The opening scene takes a classic trope of seeing a date on the calendar and confusion as to why it’s there, then the situation hilariously playing out. Or how they have a nosy neighbour, or a Queen Bee of the cul-de-sac.
But behind all that there is something sinister going on.
There are expertly performed scenes, well written jokes that call back to the comedies of yore like the Dick Van Dyke show, and a great cast. After the first few minutes I’ll admit I was a bit…off, post The Mandalorian I was expecting something more. But then the little twists start to hit. Small beautifully crafted bits here and there that throw off this perfect suburban life. A splash of colour in the black and white setting, an advertisement for watches by Strucker, a Hydra logo, a voice in the radio, little glitches here and there.
It’s all very well shot, moving from classic sitcom style direction to something a bit more dramatic. Keeping the viewer hooked when they least expect it. And wanting to know more. It all seems very mysterious.
At the end of the first episode we’re greeted by a mysterious observer watching the WandaVision “show”, surrounded by what looks to be equipment with the S.W.O.R.D logo. This is later confirmed in episode 2 when we see it on a toy helicopter.
For those of you unfamiliar with the acronym, S.W.O.R.D like its friend S.H.I.E.L.D is a clandestine intelligence and counterterrorism organisation that deals with extra-terrestrial threats.
S.W.O.R.D stands for Sentient World Observation and Response Department, in the comics, originally an offshoot of S.H.I.E.L.D, headed by Special Agent Abigail Brand.
In the MCU however the acronym stands for Sentient World Observation Response Division.
Now how is this related to Wanda and Vision and this strange world they live in?
We don’t know yet. As far as I can remember neither has been a member, and they don’t exactly fall into the extra-terrestrial category. Unless you count the infinity stone that powered Vision but that’s not the case. Right? RIGHT?
Anyway, the two-part premiere while off to an odd start, does garner attention, and does keep you interested. It’s a show within a show, with a ton off great moments, and weird moments, and something sinister in the background. All elements that should make a great show.
We already know that there are big roles for other characters from the MCU and the comics incoming, so this is a good start.
It’s weird as hell, and I can’t wait for more bizarreness in future episode.