WandaVision: “Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience”/”Don’t Touch That Dial” Review

After the longest stretch of time since the last piece of new MCU material (that being Spider-Man: Far From Home back in July 2019), Marvel and Disney have sprung forward with the long anticipated WandaVision series.

Not only does it launch a new wave of series on the new Disney+ platform, but it takes two beloved characters and sends them down a rabbit hole no one really expected.  Does it live up to massive hype and satisfy an 18 month period of MCU withdraw, or it is underwhelming as some fans have initially reacted?  Honestly, it’s a bit of both, and that’s not a bad thing.

It’s truly unlike anything we’ve seen in the MCU thus far!

Scarlet Bewitched
Existing in some sort of sitcom world, the first two episodes see Wanda and Vision living as a married couple, trying to conceal their powers, and just live normal lives.  In the process, they deal with typical sitcom tropes, the first episode featuring an awkward dinner with Vision’s boss, and the second placing them both in a talent show to raise money for the local Rotary Club.

There’s a laugh track (which according to Elizabeth Olsen was provided by a real live audience) and even many of the special effects are done using the very same techniques TV shows would have used at the time.  It has some genuinely funny punchlines, all while brilliantly satirizing the types of archaic shows it’s emulating.

It even features a commercial for a Stark brand toaster.

As a piece of MCU canon, it’s vastly different than anything we’ve seen before, and may even come off as an outright spoof.  To fans who were expecting some sort of direct spinoff to Captain America: Civil War, they might be disappointed (albeit not too much as that kind of seems like what Falcon and Winter Soldier will be).

However, this type of unique approach is exactly what this cinematic (and television) universe needs.  Admittedly there’s been uniformity to many of the previous MCU films, the tropes are too many to name.  But WandaVision, which seems like an absurd idea on paper, is a fresh new take on these characters.  And it delivers the very thing that many fans craved, seeing more of their relationship.

Also, there’s no way to discuss this series without addressing how hilarious Kathryn Hahn is.

The Big Mystery
Without getting too far into spoilers, it is somewhat acknowledged that this “series” is just that, some sort of artificial reality, perhaps even by Wanda’s own making.  At this point, we’re still not clear on exactly where or what all of this is.

But the very rare moments in which the characters get a glimpse outside of their Matrix-like existence, it’s quite clear that these are in fact the true minds and souls (assuming for Vision of course) of the two titular characters.

Vision is very much aware that he’s an android and avoids sticking out at work.

And while we’re on the subject of speculation, it wouldn’t be out of the question that this could all just be a comforting simulation that Wanda (or someone else) has created to cope with the tragic reality of Vision’s death at the hands of Thanos in Infinity War.  But that’s a mystery we’ll all enjoy slowly unraveling as the series goes on.

Getting off to a seemingly underwhelming start (according to some on social media), WandaVision is hardly what many Marvel fans expected, but it’s kind of better off for it.  It’s clever, witty, creative, and surely has a lot more to say!

What did you think of the first two episodes of WandaVision?  Let us know in the comments!

We’re not the only ones watching…

WandaVision is streaming exclusively on Disney+

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