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article imageReview: ‘WandaVision’ is a unique and loving tribute to fan favourites Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Jan 15, 2021 in Entertainment
Marvel Studio’s first Disney+ series, ‘WandaVision’, picks up after Thanos’ defeat, following the intense love affair of the title characters through the idyllic (and potentially sinister) lens of sitcoms.
One of the things that’s become clear over the last decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the studio is not afraid to take risks when it comes to storytelling style. Consequently, Guardians of the Galaxy became a box office hit, and Thor: Ragnarok broke new comedic ground much to the acclaim of moviegoers and critics alike. While the company partnered with Netflix to bring several characters’ stories to the small screen, their new television venture is going in a wholly new direction. Leveraging the power of their subscription streaming platform, Disney+, the studio will be launching a number of series exploring Marvel personalities who’ve been spotlight adjacent. First up is WandaVision, which is launching with episodes one and two of a nine-episode season that focus on a pair who captured each other’s and audience’s hearts with their unconventional romance and tragic conclusion — in spite of getting very little screen time in the grand scheme of things.
Picking up shortly after Avengers: Endgame, the first episode opens with a freshly married Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) arriving at their new suburban home. Though their superpowers separate them from the average couple, they do have a similar routine as Wanda begins her day in the kitchen — giving new meaning to self-cleaning — and Vision prepares for his first day at the office, remembering to put on his human face and hat before walking out the door. A miscommunication results in a madcap dinner, while Wanda tries to keep the friendly housewife from next door from uncovering their secrets. In the next episode, the pair agree to participate in a charity talent show as they continue their journey in trying to fit in with the neighbours. Of course, their magic act goes awry. But disaster is averted and the episode concludes with another fairy tale ending.
However, there are mounting clues that everything is not well. No one, including Wanda and Vision, are sure where they came from or how they got there. Moreover, something sinister appears to be lurking in the commercial breaks (look for the symbol). And all of this is quite subtle when compared to the unknown forces controlling the airwaves. The series will be gradually working towards uncovering this mystery, but who knows the implications it may have once solved.
This throwback to classic TV sitcoms is impeccably curated and executed by director Matt Shakman. The cast and crew partook in somewhat of a sitcom bootcamp, watching old shows, reading scripts, studying the productions and adapting what they learned to this unique concept. Shakman even met with TV icon Dick Van Dyke to discuss the success and longevity of these series. Most notably, the first episode was filmed in front of a live studio audience to capture the energy of sitcoms from the ‘50s and ‘60s. Clearly inspired by the magic of Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie, and the zany antics of I Love Lucy, the first episode is a unique and invigorating experience that spills over into the next episode.
There is so much to draw fans into the series, including the distinctive openings for each episode and the many eras of television it plans to faithfully incorporate throughout the season — with appropriate updates of course. The third episode leaps into the ‘70s with a new look and some new additions to the cast, so definitely stay tuned!
More about WandaVision, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Matt Shakman, Marvel
 
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