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  • Writer's pictureNoah Yard

Tune in to Wandavision: Spoiler Free Review

I’m a huuuuge Marvel Cinematic Universe fan, I’ve seen every movie, I have all the Pop Vinyls… But even I had started to feel some understandable Marvel fatigue by the start of 2020. With multiple movies out a year, and with characters returning and teaming up over and over again, it’s easy to imagine people wanting the repetition to stop.

Then 2020 happened, and now people are once again jonesing for the return of our favourite heroes. But the MCU’s return isn’t marked by a large, crossover blockbuster, but instead, the universes first show on Disney Plus, Wandavision! And while I’ve only seen the first two episodes it’s fair to say that the show does things different enough that any worries about repetition have been abated.

First of all, it’s a sitcom! No, not A sitcom, it’s ALL the sitcoms. Each episode of Wandavision takes place in a reality-based upon a different romantic sitcom throughout the decades. Episodes one and two were based on I Love Lucy and Bewitched respectively. Every detail in each episode, from the colouring, the scripts, the effects and the laugh track, are staples of the classic sitcoms of old.

Episode one deals with a pretty familiar concept, Vision’s boss is coming to dinner! And Wanda and her new husband must throw an extravagant, successful dinner party or Vision could get fired! In a multi-camera style, black and white episode the pair bumble and balance disasters the best two dimension-hopping superhumans can. It’s genuinely funny and enjoyable to. Everything is so charming, and the concept is so novel, that any corniness in the script, which is of course intentional, can be forgiven.

Of course, it’s a superhero show, right? And you’d be forgiven for thinking that as such there should be some action or weird happenings. While the first to episodes aren’t action-packed, they are still full of intrigue, with a mystery so tantalising that I’m upset I have to wait a week to continue.

If you’re a MCU aficionado, you’d know Vision is supposed to be dead. But in this world of meddling neighbours and simple issues, his existence within it is never questioned. In fact, the whole world seems to revolve around him and Wanda. This is just one indicator that everything isn’t quite as it seems.

Without spoiling it, both episodes have moments of “Oh my god something weird is going on.” When everything is so meticulously recreated from an old dream sitcom that when something is amiss it’s downright horrifying and creepy. These emotions are elicited through simple techniques, the way the characters are framed in a shot becomes more modern, the music moodier. Sometimes it’s as simple as Wanda finding a coloured toy object in her black and white garden, or her and her husband being unable to remember anything about their new lives. Then there are the neighbours and supporting cast, who respond to situations inappropriately or attempt to pop Wanda’s perfect reality.

“My husband and I mean no harm”, she says to a particularly bitchy neighbour.

“I don’t believe you,” says the neighbour, before a disturbing voice begins to call to Wanda through a radio on the table.

The underlying mystery, there are many hints let’s just say, episode two, for instance, the Bewitched episode has these little incidents, as well as a larger, more disturbing interruption to this sitcom reality. It definitely gets you hankering for more of whatever is happening, you’re on the edge of your seat for any clues or indicator as you watch on.

A particularly clever trope that the show plays with is fake commercials. Not only do they really hammer you in the face with the fact that Wanda and Vision are on a show within a show, but they also give out little pieces of information. Pay close attention to the toaster made by Stark Industries, or the watch made by Hydra.

I also want to take a moment to appreciate Kathryn Hahn, who is the nosey neighbour to them in both the first episodes, jumping eras with them. You might remember her as the hilarious campaign manager from Parks and Rec, or Charles’ ex-wife from Brooklyn 99. She’s a perfect fit for the sitcom genre, and a bright spot in any scene she’s in, so It’ll be interesting to see how that carries through to the spookier aspects of the show.

Wandavision totally breaks the mould on what we think of when we talk about the MCU. It’s charming and funny, and despite its high concept story is small in scope. It’s a perfect way to re-enter the MCU after a year of no new entries. You can enjoy the sitcom campiness, perfectly acted by leads Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, or you can wait it out for the underlying mystery that lurks beneath. Either way Wandavision is well worth tuning into.

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