As I’ve been trying to get back into writing film and TV reviews on here, WandaVision is one I wanted to discuss since watching the first episode a couple months back. It became a Friday tradition for me to watch the latest episode of WandaVision those 7-8 weeks, as I was very eager to see a little bit more of events taking place after Avengers: Endgame. While I must warn all of you that this review will contain spoilers so that I can give my full thoughts on the series, I will say that WandaVision, at least the first few episodes, is one of the most unique, original and fun pieces of media to come out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and while the show does kind of go back to Marvel’s brand of action later on, this is still a series that I found very enjoyable overall, not to mention gripping and mysterious.
WandaVison give a very exciting and weird glimpse into Wanda’s own aftermath of the events of Infinity War and Endgame, with Vision being killed by Thanos and Wanda clearly having a lot of emotions to figure out. She creates her own little world by controlling the citizens and everything in a little town called Westview, which she claims as her own little suburban sitcom slice of the perfect life she has always wanted. The show begins by throwing you into a strange mystery, in which the show is written, shot, styled, and acted like a sitcom, with each episode featuring a different sitcom era. Episode 1 was 50’s sitcoms, episode 2 was 60’s, 3 was 70’s, and this was basically the structure of the show. Then in episode 4, the mystery of why everything is the way it is begins being revealed, before episode 5 begins a new story structure, taking place in 80’s sitcom world while going back and forth between the events of Westview, and what is happening outside of this “hex” over at S.W.O.R.D headquarters as they try and follow what’s happening in Westview to solve this mystery.
I adored the first 3 episodes of the show, and applaud them for their uniqueness, and the overall quirkiness of it all. I find that Marvel truly shines when they try something new that goes outside of their brand of action, rather than the action itself. Say, Guardians of the Galaxy or Ant-Man. I like when Marvel gets quirky and weird, and the first 3 episodes of WandaVision were full of that. As the show progressed, it balanced things off with events taking place outside the hex, while still holding that charm. By the last couple episodes, however, it just became all action. I’m not saying those episodes are bad, not by any means, but the charm of the show did kind of disappear. I found the scenes outside of the hex to be great as well.
I found the villain of Hayward to be kind of underwhelming. He was arrested and “defeated” rather quickly, and all he really did was create the White Vision, a cool byproduct of a weak character who comes off as more overpowering than he actually is. The other S.W.O.R.D characters were great, though, specifically Agent Woo, who returns after his great debut appearance in Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Darcy Lewis, a character whom I surprisingly very vividly remembered from back in phases 1 and 2 in the first two Thor movies. Both characters provided show stopping comedic relief in my opinion and they were just as great and funny in WandaVision.
The main villain here, however, is Agatha Harkness, who disguised herself as Wanda’s “nosy neighbour” in Wesrtview. As soon as that Agatha All Along theme song played, she became one of my favourite villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I did not expect a resolution to the conflict by the end of the series like what ended up happening. I was really hoping Agatha would be in many of the Marvel films and shows, but we’ll have to wait and see where this story arc will go, and how (or if) they will implement Agatha into the MCU in a bigger role.
I found the show to be very well written and to show to be well structured, especially when considering how they slowly built up the story. It‘s an amazing mystery with a fantastic villain who reveals herself eventually. I like how the creative team decided not to rush anything and keep us guessing each week. And the way Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, and the whole cast were able to completely change up their acting style each episode given which sitcom decade they were in was admirable. I also found the sitcom style openings each episode to be a strong highlight, along with the more practical effects in the early episodes. WandaVision managed to authentically portray 7 decades worth of sitcoms, which must have been challenging. There is a making-of documentary for this show on Disney+ which I thought gave a really deep insight on how the show was produced. Definitely check that out, along with WandaVision.
Overall, I found this to be an excellent series, and one of the most original and fun engagements to come out of Marvel Studios, even if the show does fall into more typical action-driven Marvel fare by the last couple episodes. It is a great introduction into Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and starts the post-Endgame universe with a bang. I can’t wait to see where this story goes, though it’s a shame we’ll need to wait until Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which won’t come out until exactly one year to this day. Nonetheless, Phase 4 has kicked off in a very exciting way.
SERIES GRADE: A-