TV Review: WandaVision

The MCU expands into TV, paying homage to classic sitcoms and kickstarting a new era for Marvel

Source: IMDb

Source: IMDb

Whether you are new to the Marvel universe or have been an avid fan for years, the new TV show WandaVision on Disney+ is a great addition to the MCU, or Marvel Cinematic Universe. The TV show features Wanda Maximoff and Vision chronicling Wanda’s life immediately following the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame. Wanda is dealing with grief dating back to her childhood and, most recently, Vision’s death in Avengers: Infinity War.

WandaVision is set primarily in a town called Westview, with a mysterious force field, referred to as “the hex,” separating the town from the rest of the world. Since its appearance, no one has been able to enter or leave Westview without consequences.

The first few episodes of WandaVision are uniquely told, paying homage to generations of classic American sitcoms from the 50’s to the 2000’s for reasons revealed later. The show replicates sitcoms such as: The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Brady Bunch, Malcolm in the Middle, and Modern Family. The citizens of Westview are operating as characters, but people outside of the hex are watching what’s transpiring as if it were a show on television. S.W.O.R.D (Sentient Weapon Observation and Research Department), a government entity, is keenly interested in the phenomenon. The organization summons experts from many different fields to solve the mystery, bringing familiar characters from other Marvel storylines to the delight of viewers. While most citizens in Westview are playing a role, one member of the community seems off, whether too curious or not robotic, and that is the friendly nosy neighbor Agnes.

The show transitions from the sitcom narrative to an active storyline where characters inside and outside the hex now interact, upping the stakes and conflict of the storyline. By the end of the ninth episode, we understand the whys behind the hex and how these characters will impact future Marvel stories. Viewers should be sure to watch through the credits completely for the mid-credit scenes starting at episode 7, as they move the plot forward.

Fan speculation has WandaVision as a standalone series, and there have been no reports that Marvel has approved or denied a second season. However, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said during his virtual TCA press tour that a second season is not guaranteed.

“I’ve been at Marvel too long to say a definite no or yes to anything, in regards to another season of WandaVision,” Feige said.  Rather, a second season would be “dictated by the story.”

 According to Matt Shakman, the director of WandaVision, the TV show is set to lead into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, one of the next installments in the MCU, scheduled for release in 2022.

WandaVision is a treat for fans familiar or unfamiliar with the Marvel universe. For those new to Marvel, three movies that help explain the backstory of the main characters are: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. There are plotlines pulled from the comics as well for the hardcore fan. There are many subtle details within the series that the new fan might not pick up on, but avid fans will enjoy. As a fan of the movies, but never having read the comics, I enjoyed the series. For those interested, there are plenty of online resources to learn how the show foreshadows future Marvel events.

Overall, the first few episodes do not follow the traditional Marvel action. For those who stick with it, the series gets better with each episode, with a classic Marvel action-packed conclusion.