Stick with ‘WandaVision’—it’s headed places

Marvel’s latest foray into television is a surprising pivot from its usual brand of on-screen superheroes

The TV show marks uncharted territory for the superhero duo.
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It’s easy to fall in love with the tried-and-true format that has made Marvel movies so successful and reject anything straying from that formula, but WandaVision is a good reason to keep an open mind.

WandaVision, a new show set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), presents viewers with a compelling and unique take on the Wanda Maximoff and Vision storyline. The first two episodes premiered Jan. 15 on Disney+ and have set the show on a course to continue the characters’ stories in a brand-new light.

Wanda, the Scarlet Witch, a hero with the powers of telekinesis, telepathy, and energy manipulation, and Vision, an android, make an unlikely pair. Thanks to the Mind Stone, Vision became able to think and feel as a human would, allowing a fondness, which eventually turned into love, to grow between him and Wanda. In Avengers: Infinity War, the Stone is taken from Vision’s forehead and he is seemingly killed—only to return suddenly to the small screen in WandaVision.

WandaVision makes a surprising break from the typical style of Marvel’s on-screen stories. Set in the 1950s, filmed in black and white, and seemingly lighthearted and cheesy, it appears to be the polar opposite of the colourized, action-packed, and comically dry MCU movies that first introduced viewers to the superhuman pair.

It doesn’t just differ tonally—the entire Wanda and Vision storyline has been changed as well. The two superheroes’ relationship appears to exist within an alternate universe in which they are a married couple on a 1950s sitcom. In the sitcom, Wanda and Vision must navigate the mundane peculiarities of suburban life without having their superhuman secrets be revealed.

By the end of the first episode, however, I began to wonder if not everything is as it seems. 

As a Marvel fan, I initially found it hard not to be let down by the un-Marvel-ness of it all. It was difficult to ignore how alien the premise of the show felt in comparison to the beloved Avengers movies, and I'll be the first to admit I was a little disappointed. This quickly turned to intrigue, however, when, at the end of the first episode, a hint was dropped that a larger, more Marvel-esque storyline was building behind the scenes of the bizarre pilot.

Working my way through the first two episodes, I realized I was supposed to feel strange watching the show, as if something may be off. The show disarms you with its corny sitcom premise, making the experience of realizing the show's innocent facade could be veiling a more sinister reality all the more exciting.

As the first Marvel instalment to be released since 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, the concluding film for an era of interconnected superhero movies, WandaVision is being met with significant excitement and anticipation. Though I fear the oddity of the show might dissuade some fans from finishing the first episode, I’d urge sceptical viewers to keep an open mind and have faith that Marvel Studios knows how to cater to its audience.

What will the true nature of the show be? That’s the tantalizing question that already has me staying up late digging through Marvel lore, searching for answers. WandaVision, with its mystery and unique premise, is bound to be a binge-worthy piece of entertainment perfect for getting viewers through the current lockdown—I know I can’t wait for the next episode.

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