By Isabel Sinnott
Image Source: Disney+
WandaVision is a new show that takes place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU, three weeks after the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019). The first episode was released January 15 on Disney+, and a new episode has been released every Friday following its premiere, concluding on March 5.
WandaVision stars Elizabeth Olson as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, Paul Bettany as Vision, Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis, Randall Park as Jimmy Woo, and Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau, and starts out following Wanda and Vision as they live a quiet life in the suburban town of Westview. Each of the first few episodes takes place in and is styled in the form of a different decade sitcom; the first is a black and white sitcom from the 50’s, the next from the 60’s, then transforming to color for the 70’s, then 80’s, and finally 90’s before the decades theme starts to break up and the tone of the show begins to shift.
WandaVision is different from many other films in the MCU because it doesn’t have much of a focus on action or violence. The first several episodes are formatted as sitcoms from the various decades following the two main leads, and are in general much lighter and funnier, though there are plot holes and inconsistencies that add mystery to the show. As you watch, you will notice that there are several parts of the show that don’t quite make sense, or add up, and as the episodes continue, more details are revealed to show that something else is going on behind the scenes.
The feel of the show is also quite different from your standard Marvel movie– while several others definitely do focus on emotional impact and deal with grief or more melancholic themes, those are the primary themes of WandaVision. Senior Skylar Shaffer stated that, “[I liked] how they focused more on the storyline with Wanda’s grief. It was really great to see because they had never told a story like that before.”
There’s an interesting divide when you watch the show– the content, at least at the beginning, is uplifting and amusing, styled as a sitcom and not diving into any real questions of what’s happening, but in each episode, there are small moments where something is just off, where something just doesn’t quite work or make sense. By episode 4, events start to unravel and the audience begins to understand what is happening, though still not everything is explained, and they are left with just hints and ideas as to what could come next.
WandaVision takes place soon after Endgame ends, which initially raises the question; how are both Wanda and Vision present and alive? Infinity War ended with Vision’s death and half of the universe, including Wanda, being snapped away. Wanda came back in Endgame, but Vision was still dead, and there was no obvious or logical way that he should somehow be back, unharmed, with what appears to be the infinity stone back in his forehead. Many other questions pop up– is Wanda actually controlling everything or is there something else behind the scenes? Questions continue to be answered slowly as the season progresses, but more questions continue appearing.
The series is not yet confirmed for a second season, as it is meant to lead into “Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” a Marvel film that has a current estimated release date of March 25, 2022. The other upcoming Marvel projects, “Loki,” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home” are also expected to tie into the next movie. Though the option for a second season of WandaVision has been left open, the head of Marvel has stated that it will take more time to determine where the story will go, and whether it will be continued through other movies or another season of the show.