It was no great surprise that shows set in the MCU were announced, given that The Mandalorian was months away, Netflix had big success with Daredevil, Punisher, Jessica Jones and the rest of The Defenders. Giving series the chance to explore beloved characters over several episodes, who aren’t perhaps big enough for the bigger screen, but giving them a chance to become those bigger characters with more story and more development after several episodes than some characters have had in leading movies.
Ask anyone who knows my taste in Marvel and they will tell you how much I love Scarlet Witch as a character, and she’s probably my second favourite MCU character, behind Spider-Man, despite having only seen her in 4 films, with varying size roles. And given what had happened to her in Infinity War and Endgame with losing Vision and losing her brother in Age of Ultron, it was certainly going to leave her in a dark place, which is where I think the character becomes the most interesting, and we even saw a tiny bit of that when she had her bad-ass moment taking on, and nearly killing, Thanos (singlehandedly) in Endgame.
The show was sold as a sitcom and that the show would go decade by decade, paying homage to successful sitcoms along the way, as the audience tries to figure out what’s going on and what’s happened to make the world like this. The obvious comparison’s to comic storyline’s like Tom King’s The Vision and House of M were clear inspirations for the show (as well as other storylines I wasn’t as familiar with).
Almost predictably the show had it’s critics for it’s early episodes, which were purely sitcom with little hints of mystery each episode, slowly unwinding what was going on. I still don’t fully understand what these people thought the show was going to be about, it’s exactly what the show was sold as, and as the show goes on you get more and more pieces of the puzzle and becomes more and more like the MCU formula that we know and love.
In recent years, especially since the release of Avengers: Endgame, there has been a question of superhero fatigue and with 2020 not having a Superhero film til December when Wonder Woman 1984 was released to mixed reviews. It particularly gave comic book fans a chance to have a break and space after the events of Endgame which closed a chapter, then the events of Spider-Man: Far from Home which fully rounded off Phase 3.
The performances by everyone involved were incredible, Elizabeth Olsen has done a great job in her role since she was introduced and continued to do so in every episode of the show, no more so than the particularly emotional moments in episodes 8 and 9. I’m very excited to see more of the character in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness in 2022 and what is next for her character. Paul Bettany was a standout for me and has continuously put in underrated performances as Vision since he was introduced into the MCU in Age of Ultron, but his talent has clearly peaked with his performances in the early episodes of this show, as he was born to play a sitcom sitcom husband.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the show is Monica Rambeau, Teyonnah Parris does a great job, she has some of the best moments in the series and has such an exciting future and makes Captain Marvel 2 infinitely more exciting. Kathryn Hahn has been putting in great performances time and time again in many a film and show for years and it’s great to see her get some more fan acclaim from Wandavision. Other shout outs go to Randall Park and Kat Denning, who have now made previous weak MCU films more watchable.
I also think a lot of credit goes to the team behind the scenes that nailed each decade from the sets to the costumes and background actors who really built out this world. The real challenge was for the writers who managed to balance the time periods perfectly and blending with the sitcom and real world and sense of mystery going on and created some truly beautiful and memorable lines of dialogue and moments, so big credit as well to the director of the whole series, Matt Shakman as well.
I don’t really have any complaints about the series, part of me wishes they had gone bigger. Part of the internet culture and something I enjoy doing is looking into theories and things that could happen, when I realised a couple of episodes from the end maybe it’s going to be a smaller, more contained series than I had perhaps initially hoped, and that’s not a bad thing. Marvel were testing the water with this, it wasn’t supposed to be their first series on Disney+ but it has kicked it off in a great way and will be loved and remembered by fans and one of the strongest and the most unique entry into the MCU yet.
I’m gonna write another post in the coming days, talking about spoilers and what they mean for the MCU and what I think could happen in Doctor Strange, Spider-Man and the next phase of the MCU. Only 2 weeks until Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
Let me know what you though of Wandavision in the comments. Like my page on Facebook and follow on Instagram to keep up to date with my latest posts and reviews.