How Marvel Struck Gold with "WandaVision"
Updated: Mar 23, 2021
If you had told me in 2019, walking out of Avengers Endgame, mascara streaming down her face, that Wanda Maximoff and Vision would get their own sitcom, I wouldn't have believed you. Back in 2019, I had literally no feelings whatsoever about those characters. I cried in Infinity War during Vision’s multiple deaths and did enjoy their scenes in Edinburgh. However, when I first heard WandaVision would be in a sitcom format, I had a lot of doubts. I could not be happier to have been proved wrong, thanks to the incredible work of Jac Shaeffer, Matt Shakman, and the entire creative team at Marvel. (Warning: spoilers ahead).
WandaVision is easily one of the most ambitious projects Marvel has ever created. It's rare to see such a large scale venture like this be delivered in such a rewarding, way that hits every nail right on the head. Creator, Jac Shaeffer did such an incredible job drawing inspiration from comic storylines, with parallels to the House of M and connecting WandaVision to Multiverse of Madness.
In addition to the incredible continuity work to make sure WandaVision fits right at home in the MCU, Shaeffer and Elizabeth Olsen made for an incredible writing duo when it comes to how they were able to bring Wanda to life on screen. While I would normally be hoping for Wanda to get her own movie at this point, it feels right to be spending all this time with the most powerful avenger. As in watching the Scarlet Witch origin story unfold across multiple episodes. Olsen’s performance is simply masterful, she brings so much life and charisma to each episode. Regardless of whether Wanda will become a big heroine, villain, or somewhere in between, the audience can already tell she is going to be integral to Phase four in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
As a die hard sitcom fan, I loved getting to see some avengers fit perfectly into a comedic setting. Not to mention, the sitcoms themselves were actually quite funny and enjoyable, even if it weren’t avengers there! Rarely did the jokes feel forced, it was surpising just how well these characters were able to pull off comedy. Once again, Elizabeth Olsen perfectly exemplified each decade, absolutely nailing the facial expressions, dialect, and comedic timing of each era. Although it was amazing across the board, the show would not work nearly as well without Olsen’s incredible performance. The comedy is also anchored by hilarious Kathryn Hahn, finally getting her overdue recognition. She steals every scene she’s in, and offers some endlessly quotable one liners.
By exploring her background, her interests, and everything that brought her up to the series, Wanda becomes so much more than just a cool avenger with a shifty accent. This would not be possible through a traditional movie, which is why I am so happy with the TV format the studio decided to go with. Not to mention the storylines we got outside of our little dream sitcom hex. Bringing back Dr. Darcy Lewis and Jimmy Woo was so much fun and a great decision on Marvel’s part. Even though we got very limited Darcy in the last episode, I’m certain we’ll see her in Love and Thunder, and maybe see Jimmy Woo in Quantummania? So many possibilities, I can’t keep track of them all.
Some characters I wasn't expecting to resonate so much with me were Monica Rambeau and Vision. I was so excited to see Monica, but was never entirely sure how she would fit in with the story. Teyonah Parris' incredible performance, especially in episode four, gave us amazing insight as to who Monica is, and how compassionate and strong she is as a character. Once again, Marvel exceeded my expectations and I simply adored Photon’s origin story. I’m so excited to see her in Captain Marvel 2, and to witness how her powers evolve. In the comics, she becomes the leader of the Avengers, and if Avengers 5 (which is rumored to be in development) is led by Photon, our new Captain America, and Wanda, I will be the happiest MCU fan alive.
And to Vision, I am so sorry I never appreciated you until now, when you died for like the fourth time. Seriously, I got so attached to my favorite sitcom family that the finale physically hurt. Paul Bettany’s performance was great, and he did an amazing job fitting into all the decades. I never thought Vision would become one of my favorite avengers, but after WandaVision, my opinions have changed for the better.
Long story short, WandaVision has set the bar for Marvel’s TV shows extremely high, and I cannot wait for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier coming later this March. Especially since Marvel and Disney+ have decided to start releasing episodes weekly, like the traditional cable sitcoms that have since gone out of style in favor of streaming. We all remember cable and waiting a week for a new episode, right? Well, at least Wanda does.
There's no doubting that Marvel, Disney+, and especially Jac Schaeffer struck gold with WandaVision, if this is any indication as to the new content we'll be getting from the studio in the future, count me in!