WandaVision head writer Jac Schaeffer stated that “The show is a love letter to the golden age of television”. And that statement has indeed aged well.
Honestly, when Marvel announced that they will be making a show on Wanda and Vision, I was quite sceptical of it. I felt that the duo combination was in plain words quite boring. Sure, they are probably one of the strongest Marvel characters in the MCU, but what story could Jay Schaeffer possibly write that could interest fans.
Each episode of WandaVision uses a different direction and art style which was seen in shows from the 1950s to 2000s. This includes a change in the hairstyle of the characters as well as their fashion sense. The show pays attention to such small details in every episode that it’s mind-boggling.
WandaVision takes on the format of classic shows in the golden age of television. You start with a black and white 4:3 aspect ratio episode, a format which was popular in the 1950s shows such I Love Lucy. An interesting detail in the first episode which put a smile on my face was when Marvel Studio’s logo changes from colour to black & white, the surround sound also changed to mono, as was the case in classic sitcoms.
Episode 6 of WandaVision even paid tribute to the original costumes for Wanda and Vision, which in retrospection were a smart choice to avoid in the MCU. Episode 7 used a mockumentary format, which is used in the popular American show The Office. It featured characters talking directly to the camera and even the title intro of the episode gave us The Office theme vibes.
When you first start watching WandaVision, you might be a bit surprised why it starts as a sitcom. But every piece of the jigsaw puzzle starts coming together as the show keeps progressing which leads us to the dramatic finale in episode 9.
While “The Series Finale” episode was jarringly fast-paced, it still managed to tie up most of the loose ends in the story in its 42 minutes run time. Wanda Maximoffs final battle with Agatha elaborated on the former’s constant life of adapting. While we initially believe that the old witch has outsmarted our Avenger, she coyly learns her tricks and uses them to defeat her in a visually climactic battle.
The battle between the Vision created by Wanda and the white Vision created by SWORD also paved the way for an interesting philosophical debate that questioned existence itself.
Wanda realized that the imaginary life that she wants with Vision and her children is just what it is – a figment of her imagination that she has created to fight her grief. Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda) and Paul Bettany (Vision) create a heartbreaking finale as they tuck their children into their bed for the last time. They embrace in each other’s arms as the magical hex swallows them erasing Vision and her boys from existence. The duo sparked chemistry which was fueled by a masterstroke of storytelling that almost leaves you teary-eyed.
The show finally explored the backstory of Wanda and gave us an insight into her powers. As stated by Kevin Feige, the Scarlett Witch is the most powerful character in the MCU. And this show elaborated on the extent and nature of her power.
Kathryn Hahn (Agnes), Teyonah Parris (Monica Rambeau), Kat Dennings (Darcy Lewis) and Randall Park (Jimmy Woo) made enjoyable additions to the show as well.
Now that Disney owns Fox and all its Marvel characters including the X-Men and Fantastic 4, Wanda Maximoff was finally given her Avengers alias name Scarlett Witch too. The mid and end credits scenes of the show also set up the events of Captain Marvel 2 and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
However, some fans will be let down by the fact that the series didn’t include much-anticipated cameos from Dr Strange or possibly Mephisto. Moreover, it was also revealed that the disguised Pietro (Wanda’s brother) we saw wasn’t Evan Peter’s Quicksilver from the X- Men movies. He was just a citizen named Ralph Bohner, which still doesn’t completely rule out the fact that mutants may still join the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
WandaVision makes for a great watch because it’s unlike anything that Marvel has pulled off in the past. Elizabeth Olsen delivers an indelible central performance that is backed by equally amusing and interesting side characters. Despite featuring superhero characters it brings out the humane conditions that affect all of us – Love and Grief – and brings it to the small screen in a unique and alluring way.
Final Verdict: 4 stars (out of 5)