TV Review: Marvel's WandaVision, Episodes 1 & 2 (Spoiler-Free)

A visionary new age of television.

WandaVision is a 2021 superhero sitcom created by Jac Schaeffer. It is now streaming straight to Disney+. The series will run for nine episodes until March 5, 2021. The series stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany. It is based on various Marvel Comics. This series is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, acting as the first of the original MCU shows. The next will be The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.


"Who's doing this to you, Wanda?" -Jimmy Woo

Plot


As newly weds, Wanda and Vision move into the suburbs and try to fit in as normal people while concealing their powers. When strange occurrences begin taking place, Wanda and Vision realize something is very off with their new life.



Episode 1 "Filmed In Front of a Live Audience" Review


WandaVision provides a new glimpse into the future of the MCU. Mostly a fun, light-hearted sitcom that is played as though it is from the 50s, the first episode is a delightful ride with our heroes until the very end. The show offers charming dialogue and performances, recapturing the silliness of sitcoms such as I Love Lucy. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany take their characters to a different level in this show, displaying that they can change character whenever needed. It isn't all fun and games, though. There is some element of mystery and eeriness surrounding the premise of the show. Something is clearly off in this place, and the pilot teases just enough to keep the audience invested and legitimately creeped out. The episode is without any action at all, though, and it does not carry the usual marks of an MCU product. That said, I think that a change of pace for the MCU is good. We just got the climax, so something smaller feels nice. WandaVision starts off Phase Four in a fun, weird, delightful, and foreboding way. Although it's a departure from the usual Marvel format, it works just as well as every other MCU project has.


Fun Factor: 9/10

Acting: 9/10

Story: 7/10

Characters: 7.5/10

Quality: 8.5/10


"Filmed in Front of a Live Audience"


Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch

Paul Bettany as Vision

Kathryn Hahn as Agnes

Fred Melamed as Mr. Hart

Debra Jo Rupp as Mrs. Hart


30 minutes


Aired on January 15, 2021


Episode 2 "Don't Touch that Dial" Review


The second episode keeps the same fun of the first one with a little more hints as to what is going on. Wanda and Vision are in another dilemma as they were in the first episode, and this time, it's more interesting. The conflict is a bit more intense and awkward then in the first episode. Mind you, most of the episode is still a sitcom. It's still a funny, charming, simple story that you'd see in any sitcom. The effort to conceal their powers gets a bit more difficult and a bit funnier. There is a specific plot point with a piece of gum that I find absolutely hysterical. However, as fun and delightful as the episode is, there are some moments that are straight-up disturbing. We get more mysterious and sinister teases than we did in the pilot, and I am very excited to find out what is going on. Hopefully it won't take the show too long to give the audience answers. I cannot wait to find out what is in store next week.


Fun Factor: 9/10

Acting: 9.5/10

Story: 8/10

Characters: 8/10

Quality: 9/10


Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch

Paul Bettany as Vision

Kathryn Hahn as Agnes

Emma Caulfield Ford as Dottie

Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau

"Don't Touch that Dial"


37 minutes


Aired on January 15, 2021


IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED EPISODE 1 OF WANDAVISION, STOP READING!!!!!!





Episode 1 Spoiler Section


This episode is thirty minutes long, and I think that about 27 minutes of it was a sitcom. We get some funny stuff with Wanda and Vision. I thought using the heart on the calendar as a central idea for the plot line of this episode was simple, yet clever. The phone call where Vision thinks that the heart means that they are having dinner with Mr. Hart and Wanda thinks it means that they are having dinner for their anniversary is really funny and an example of the great writing for this show. Some of the awkwardness of the dinner party is great. I especially love it when Vision sings Yakatey Yak to distract the Harts. If you are a family member of mine, you will understand why. The way that Olsen, Bettany and Hahn play the 50s sitcom is just incredible. They all exaggerate their expressions and use 50s-type voices. It is masterful acting.


And then we have to talk about the three minutes that aren't part of the sitcom. The first example of creepiness that we get in the show is the toaster commercial that is plopped right in the middle of the episode. Some guy is advertising a new Stark Technology toaster that doesn't burn your toast. In an episode that is entirely black and white, the button on the new toaster is red. They put the toast in and the toaster starts ticking. It goes on for about one second too long, making the viewer unsettled. It is very random and very creepy. One of the other moments is the biggest and most obvious one; when Mr. Hart begins pestering Wanda and Vision with questions that they can't answer, then he starts choking. Mrs. Hart repeats herself constantly, and the episode dramatically shifts in tone. Vision saves Mr. Hart and everyone acts as though everything is fine, which adds to this sense of dread. I'm so intrigued to find out what mystery is going on behind the scenes of this one. The last eerie thing is the final shot of the episode. Wanda and Vision kiss, then the camera zooms out and shows that somebody is watching the episode that we just watched on a TV monitor. I don't know what this means, but it gives me serious Truman Show and Twilight Zone vibes. The person takes notes and we get credits. This mystery is so spooky and unnerving, and I really want to figure out what it all means.





IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED EPISODE 2 OF WANDAVISION, STOP READING!!!!







Episode 2 Spoiler Section


Episode 2 is significantly longer than Episode 1, and, in my opinion, more entertaining. The laughs are better, the story is better, and the terrifying teases are much more unsettling. The episode opens with a cold open that reminds us we are still in a 60s sitcom. The main plot line of this episode follows Wanda and Vision as they prepare for a magic show where they use practical magic instead of their real powers. This makes for some funny usage of both of their powers near the end of the episode. The funny highlight of this episode, though, is Vision's gum dilemma. Vision decides to chew some gum to be able to fit in with the rest of the guys in the neighborhood, and he accidentally swallows it. The gum gets stuck inside of his gears, and he basically acts drunk for the remainder of the episode. The magic show with drunk Vision is hilarious, as he uses his real powers, but Wanda has to use hers to make an excuse for Vision's flight and other abilities. Wanda's involvement in the episode is much less funny and much creepier.


The first sign of something wrong is when Wanda hears a loud bang outside her house. She walks out and finds a toy helicopter in the bushes. The helicopter has color, and it is very eerie and foreboding. From there, Agnes, her neighbor, appears. They go to the planning committee for the talent show, and we meet Dottie. Dottie is kind of a mean girl diva, and we are meant to think that from the very beginning. During the meeting, Wanda meets a girl who introduces herself as Geraldine. This is not Geraldine. This woman is Monica Rambeau from Captain Marvel. She was a little girl in the film, and now she is grown up. After the meeting, Dottie makes Wanda clean up. Dottie acts very suspicious of Wanda, and all of the sudden, the radio goes to static. Somebody then asks "Wanda, can you read me? Who's doing this to you?". The radio explodes and Dottie's glass shatters in her hand. Her hand is now covered in colored, red blood. This scene was absolutely terrifying, and we know that somebody in this neighborhood is doing something to Wanda and Vision in this demented reality.


The episode ends with the reveal that Wanda is very pregnant. While Wanda and Vision are celebrating, another bang is heard outside the house. They go to the street, and the manhole in the ground opens up. Out of it climbs the creepiest frickin' thing in this show: a man in a beekeeper suit, surrounded by a swarm of bees. As the beekeeper looks at Wanda, she says "No.", then we get a VHS-type rewind to Wanda and Vision celebrating the pregnancy. The show then transforms into full color, and the episode ends.


This showcases that Wanda has some control and some idea of what is going on. She can bend reality, so there is a possibility of her being in full control, although I doubt it. The mystery is very interesting and uncomfortable, and I am so excited for next week's episode. Some people aren't crazy about the sitcom format, but I am all on board for this show and cannot wait to see more.