WandaVision Episodes 1 & 2 Review
After a year of laying dormant due to COVID-19, the MCU makes its glorious return today with its new mini-series, WandaVision. I got up bright and early this morning so I could watch the first two episodes. Then I subsequently spent the rest of the day rewatching it. I had to come up with theories about the underlying mystery of the show. And laugh at all the classic sitcom tropes the show was satirizing.
Thank God DuckTales! got me ready last year with the episode ‘Quack Pack’. This is my review for WandaVision.
Two Decades of Cheesy Sitcoms Rolled into One Hour
The last time we saw Wanda was at Tony Stark’s funeral in Avengers: Endgame. The last time we saw Vision, though, was when Thanos killed him via ripping out the Mind Stone in his head. Now, we see them as a married couple in a place called Westview, a place that functions like the sitcoms of 1950s and 60s. And from there, WandaVision spends most of the first two episodes acting like the Dick Van Dyke Show, I Love Lucy, and I Dream of Jeannie.
I will be honest with you guys, there’s only two ways you’re going to go with the sitcom setting: you’ll either love it, or you’ll keep thinking “Oh my God, this is so cringe!” I hate to say it, but I was in the latter camp for the first episode.
Sue me, I don’t exactly like the culture of 1950s America. It was the time when people thought the American dream was white picket-fences and traditional families, and the conservative humor. I sat through episode 1 asking myself “is this really what passed as humor back then? Was this the kind of thing my grandparents watched?”
Admittedly, it got better as episode two brought us into the 60s and the humor became less forced and more natural. However, being thrown into a stereotypical sitcom may seem cheesy and off-putting to some. But I think it’s also the biggest strength to WandaVision.
The show writers clearly wanted to not only capture the aesthetic of sitcoms of the era, but poke fun at it. Everything from laugh tracks to over-bearing bosses and nosy neighbors gets made fun of, and I love it. In other words, it’s so bad, it’s good. Also, bonus points for the fake commercials!
Not What it Seems
From the get go, we know that something’s wrong. Very wrong. The fact that Vision’s still alive is proof enough, but we can already see cracks forming in the idyllic world of WandVision. First, it’s the little things, like how Wanda and Vision can’t remember their wedding or where they’re from . But it’s when some of the people of Westview start to press them for answers that things get dark. In one instance in episode 1 as Wanda and Vision have dinner with Vision’s boss, the man starts choking. And the whole time, his wife just laughs and says “stop it,” like a broken record. But then, the moment passes, and things return to normal.
Fans have pretty much figured out that this takes place in some Twilight Zone fantasy bubble-world. The question, though, is how did this happen. Here’s my theory. With Thanos dead and nothing to distract her from the (from her perspective) still raw aftermath of Vision’s death, Wanda had a nervous breakdown. So her subconscious had her alter reality to make this dream world where Vision was still alive and she could have her happily ever after. The thing is, she’s consciously unaware that she’s responsible for the world of Westview. Thus, in order to keep her sanity intact, she’ll unknowingly fight any attempts to get her out of her dream world.
Legacy of House of M
If you’re skeptical about this, or that Wanda is capable of that much power, I have the comics to back me up. Wanda’s got a history of mental instability, with her powers previously being able to rewrite the entire universe, having done so on two ocassions. The first time was in 2004 in the Avengers Disassembled storyline. Driven insane by a cosmic entity and remembering the children she had who were erased from existence, Wanda nearly destroyed the Avengers. While she was eventually subdued, her actions led to the Avengers temporarily disbanding. But that was nothing compared to what happened next.
When it looked like the heroes would kill Wanda to stop her from threatening existence, her brother urged her to rewrite all reality. The result? A world where everyone had their dream lives and Mutant’s reigned on top. Then, when everything was put right, she uttered three words that changed the Marvel Universe for years to come.
She turned 98% of all Mutants into normal humans. That’s how powerful she was! And MCU Wanda could end up being on that level!
A Great Start to Phase 4
No matter what my feelings are regarding WandaVision right now, I think that it’s a great start to Phase 4 of the MCU. It’s surreal, it’s mysterious, it’s funny and satirical, and it has a hint of horror to it. And with what Disney has planned for the MCU this year, this is only the beginning to something new. WandaVision is going to be a great start to the long-awaited next chapter to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I think it’s the first big show of 2021, and if you have Disney+, go watch it!
I Give “Episode 1” and “Episode 2” a 3.5/5 and 4/5
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