WandaVision, A Spoiler Alert!
A Marvelous Disaster or Slow Burn to Excellence?
For those of you that have not seen the newest entry into the Marvel Universe's lineup of movies and series, the first episode doesn't give much hope so I urge you to go onto the second before throwing in the towel on what I think will be a grand adventure.
To break down the first episode, what people will notice from the beginning, is that it is not a parody of just one old television show. The obvious first thing anybody noticed from the time they showed the previews to the first episodes' release is that it looks like they are copying from the old series Bewitched. By the end of the episode, we are treated to interesting performances by Debra Jo Rupp from that seventies show, and the revered character actor Fred Melamed. Melamed, playing Visions boss in this altered world that puts Vision in his Paul Bettany look, working as a likeness of the typical nine to five office employee, is considering what to do with Vision at work. Debra Jo Rupp portrays her role as a darling wife to a more conservative timed businessman, or the working man of the era as Vision and Wanda have them over for dinner.
The entire dinner is a mistake, and Wanda must save the day for Vision in front of his boss and his wife. The use of her magic is definitely a bewitching idea, especially trying to keep the boss and his wife from noticing. Debra Jo Rupp in front of the kitchen, while everything flies around behind her, reminds me that ole Mrs. Foreman liked her some wine. But somehow, with all the moving parts, literally flying around through the air, the scene comes together well and Wanda saves the day.
While the magically enhanced Wanda Maximoff is no simple housewife and witch, as was the character of Samantha, the setting will certainly leave you wondering if that's her role in the series. As always, Elizabeth Olson is a joy to watch and starts off the series as a loving, down to earth witch living in suburbia. Living with Vision, who we all know died at the end of Avengers Infinity War, Wanda tries to mix with the rest of the suburban housewives, including the character of Agnes. Agnes, played by Kathryn Hahn, is playing a close neighbor whose relationship reminds one of Lucy and Ethyl from the I Love Lucy show in the sixties. Factoring in the black and white viewing of the first two episodes and the feeling that it parodies Lucy and Ethyl from I Love Lucy becomes hard to miss.
It's really not until episode two that the feeling the show is a slow burn into failure starts to subside, and even then it's basically the very end. With episode three forthcoming on Friday the 22nd, a lot needs to be answered.
We all know that Vision died, if a machine, even an artificially intelligent super bot, can in fact die. In the second episode, we get to see more of the world that Wanda and Vision find themselves trapped in, genuinely getting a sense that's what is going on from the occasional voice of someone asking, "Wanda, who's doing this to you?" Vision and Wanda's continuing to mix in with suburbia treats us to the two unleashing their gifts at a charity magic show in the town's square, which goes off as a big hit despite literal gum mucking up Vision's inner workings.
The big "tada" moment comes at the end when they get home from the magic show, escaping the very Mayberryesque town for some privacy and patting themselves on the back that it was all for the kids. Wanda goes to get popcorn for the kids and...
Wanda's suddenly pregnant. A noisy clutter from outside distracts the two love birds from the mysteriously joyous moment as they find a character in a beekeeper's outfit outside, crawling out of a manhole cover. Wanda's obviously shaken by the site of the character and the two are instantly whisked backward, like a rewind, to the moment they were in their living room asking the question, "Is this really happening?"
The happy news comes in small doses in the first two episodes and finally, the best news of all, the scene fades from the abysmal black and white to color before fading out, a voice in the background that many think sounds like Chris Evans' Captain America, again asking, "Wanda, who's doing this to you?"
If you're like me, a bit skeptical about Wandavision, I don't blame you. Seeing two of my favorite Avengers in what looked like a sitcom did not set especially well with me after the decade I've spent watching their characters grow. However, Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olson have proven to be two brilliant talents and the writers have yet to fail us, even though there have been a few plot holes or spots that made us all clench our fists. Finding out who the big bad is shouldn't take too long for what should be a nine-episode season.
My final opinion on the first two episodes, this appears to be a slow burn start that should, if the writers have done what everyone expects them to have, be a slow burn to an excellently bewitching season.
About the author
I have always enjoyed writing and exploring new ideas, new beliefs, and the dreams that rattle around inside my head. From the current state of the world to the fantastical ideas of science I've enjoyed exploring them. Time to share them.