Happily Ever After?: WandaVision -S01 Ep 01 and 02 - Reviewed

Courtesy of Marvel Studios 

There is a lot of mystery and excitement around the release of WandaVision. For the die hard fans, it has been over a year since we have last stepped foot in the MCU. In the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home, fans have wondered what was next in Phase 4 of the Marvel saga. Originally, it was going to be Black Widow. Somewhere down the line, we would get to see Wanda and Vision in their own show. Well, plans changed and the schedule was flipped around because of the pandemic. And now, WandaVision is not only the first Marvel Studios produced TV show, it is also the start of Phase 4. So how is it?

Pretty damn good. 

WandaVision is a refreshing start to a new era in Marvel history. After the earth shattering consequences of Endgame, the relatively small scale WandaVision is a nice palate cleanser. Right off the bat, you know that this is not going to be your typical superhero show as the familiar Marvel Studios intro desaturates and turns into a black and white Dick Van Dyke style opening credits for a multi-camera sitcom starring Wanda and Vision as newlyweds living in a nice slice of suburbia. Marvel fully commits to the period stylings of the time with a 4:3 aspect ratio, period accurate sound, and special effects. You can even see the strings on the pots and pans that are being used by Wanda, the same way they would be on a show like Bewitched. 

Now, I know what you are asking. Where in the timeline is this? Where is Wanda? How is Vision alive after having his head crushed by Thanos? These first two episodes won't answer your dying questions but will give you a lot more to think about and chew on. These episodes are mostly sitcom scenarios with minor throwaways bits hinting at the larger story being told here. These are done through cutaways like commercials or sudden violet jolts that will unsettle and delight fans of the characters. Think of these moments like cracks in the sitcom fa├žade. I imagine as the show goes on, we will learn more through these cutaways and commercials about just what exactly is going on.

Courtesy of Marvel Studios

That doesn't matter right now though as the first two episodes have Wanda and Vision dining with Vision's boss and try to ingratiate themselves into the the neighborhood. This allows Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany to fully lean into the goofiness of the material. You can tell that they are having a blast playing in this sandbox. Bettany in the second episode lets loose in a way we haven't seen him do since A Knight's Tale.  Kathryn Hahn also livens up the proceedings as the noisy neighbor Agnes. Everyone here is leaning into the sitcom atmosphere and is fully committed to the bit. 

The biggest surprise of these first two episodes is just how fun it is as a genuine sitcom. There is something truly amazing about seeing a sorcerer and a robot living in fake domestic bliss. With the longer time that television allows for, we get to really spend time with Wanda and Vision and get to know them as characters in a way that just seeing them in the movies doesn't make possible. I am excited to see where this series goes. While it doesn't offer the immediate superhero action or answers that some would want, I am totally on board with taking it slow and seeing where WandaVision takes us. 

-LSO