by Annika Engelbrecht, Opinions Writer
graphic courtesy of Disney
Seven decades and two Avengers culminates in one show: “WandaVision.” After a year without any Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) content, fans got a taste in the form of a nine-episode mini-series. Despite a slow start, the show completely blew away my expectations. From its strong writing to profound acting, “WandaVision” is a phenomenal TV show and a worthwhile watch.
Set in the small town of Westview N.J., the show follows Wanda Maximoff and her husband, the Vision, played by Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany. The first episode depicts the newlyweds settling into their home, and every subsequent episode jumps a decade into the town’s future. Despite their seemingly conventional lifestyle, the couple faces several strange problems: a bee-keeper in the sewers, a friend who knows too much and an odd message in the form of a radio wave. Is there more to Westview than meets the eye?
Like any MCU production, “WandaVision” is exceptionally written. The plot of each episode builds on one another, enhancing its sense of mystery. In addition to the addicting storyline, Olsen made sure every aspect of the show held significance. The series felt complete with few loopholes due to the intricately crafted details from the color scheme to the neighbor’s pet. While each installment answers previous questions, it deepens the vagueness by bringing to attention new mysteries. The series kept me on my toes, and it perfectly combines stereotypical sitcom television with the darker styles of the MCU.
The characters are complex, each with a distinct purpose in the storyline. Olsen depicted Wanda’s story flawlessly, and it deeply resonated with me, because like Wanda, I have also felt what it’s like to be apart and deprived of time with loved ones.
A highlight of the show was how it portrayed Wanda’s grief due to the enormous amount of loss she’s endured. The series delved deep into her history and the trauma she lived through, from the deaths of her family to being locked away as a teenager. Wanda’s retelling of her past only gets darker as the show progresses, making it possible to group the episodes into the five stages of grief.
Unlike so many other shows that use a character’s trauma for humor purposes, “WandaVision” utilizes Wanda’s grief to develop her character. It was refreshing to see a show embrace a character’s struggles and to see them finally accept the loss of their loved ones.
For those who haven’t binged the MCU movies, “WandaVision” is easy to follow as it does not require too much background knowledge of the MCU since it is mainly centered around Wanda’s story.
Aside from the riveting plot and well developed characters, the cast was what helped bring the series to life. As Olsen’s first standalone MCU production, WandaVision truly showcases her acting talents. All of the actors have fantastic chemistry, embody their characters and seem to enjoy playing them, which only made the show more entertaining. The show’s ambitious seven-decade span, which took inspiration from a plethora of sitcoms, forced the actors to adapt to new environments each time they shot, yet another testament to their talents.
Given “WandaVision”’s numerous qualities, it is no shock that it’s been so sensational, having beaten Disney Plus’s “The Mandalorian” and Netflix’s “Cobra Kai” for the biggest in-demand television series back in February. “WandaVision” surely sets the bar high for the future Marvel and Disney Plus original TV shows coming out this year. The series is a funny, heartbreaking masterpiece, and I hope that Marvel continues this style of entertainment.