This review is a spoiler-free impression of the show’s first two episodes, although if the show catches enough steam I might do weekly spoiler-filled reviews going forward. Enjoy!
Launching the wave of live-action MCU shows about to hit Disney+, WandaVision has come right out the gate and solidified itself as a rabbit hole I look forward to diving into every week, while also serving as definitive proof that Marvel is using these Disney+ shows to push the boundaries of their storytelling and interconnected universe in a way they never have before.
In other words, I like it. A lot.
I was curious to see how much the show would embrace the sitcom elements shown in its trailer, but two episodes in WandaVision is committing to the gag with enough patience to convince me things won’t become ‘normal’ anytime soon. The characters of Wanda and Vision are perfectly suited for such a weird concept, providing opportunities for the show to blend their unique psychological problems and their relationship for a trippy I Love Lucy fever dream. What I love about this sitcom setting is that it’s funny and unnerving in equal measure, delivering what would typically be run-of-the-mill plots in the 50s such as a husband using his wife’s cooking to impress his boss, only for the show to blend in enough mystery and winks to the camera that lets the audience know there is something amiss here.
But what is exactly going on here? I certainly have my theories, all of which are different but have potentially massive ramifications for the Marvel universe at large. The show is certainly taking its time in giving us enough hints and references to uncover the larger picture, and I’m in absolutely no rush for it to reveal whatever its endgame is. The show could stand on its own as a self-contained, episodic sitcom of wacky dark comedy, except now this slow-burn mystery only adds further layers to whatever is going on. Perhaps some people will find these first two episodes to be too slow, but there’s nothing I love more than an uncomfortably long set-up before an avalanche of payoffs that will inevitably make the ‘slow’ moments seem crucial in hindsight. If anything, I’m worried the show will step on the gas too quickly and have the second half of the season be more generic, although the pace they’re going at right now is rock solid so they’ve earned a level of confidence.
We’re only two episodes deep into a nine episode season, and WandaVision is already a show I genuinely look forward to watching every week aside from merely fulfilling my pop-culture obligations (sorry, The Mandalorian.) Much of this show’s success will hinge upon how well it pays off these earlier episodes, but I’m really loving everything I’m seeing so far and believe this could easily be one of my favorite things to come out of the MCU. If the future of Marvel is this fun and fresh, maybe it’s not such a bad thing we’re getting a kajillion of these shows and movies for the rest of our lifetimes.