What happens when you mix almost every style of TV sitcom from the 20th Century with postmodern superheroes? You get WandaVision.
The first two episodes of Marvel's outing into Disney+ were released simultaneously, a refreshing reintroduction to two Avengers who are rarely staged front and centre. The twist? They're living in an alternate reality set in the confines of a 1960s suburban sitcom. They're there, they're carefree and they're happily enjoying a slaptstick suburban life together.
Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany play terrific sitcom characters, charming us as they use their superhuman powers to make every day suburban life glamarously easy and escaping tricky situations with the neighbours.
Although WandaVision does lean on a lot of science fiction and world-altering questions, there’s plenty of fun to be explored in making the most of this sitcom style. The entire cast brings that sense of innocent fun with apparent ease.
But almost like some twisted episode of Black Mirror, you instantly get the feeling that something’s awry. This loved up couple may eventually, very slowly, start coming to terms with the fact that they probably shouldn’t be there. When this blissful world is occasionally stirred and more serious questions are proposed, that's when WandaVision is at its best.
Characters quite literally ask them how they got here or who they are and they simply can’t answer them yet. People, objects and colours start appearing that don’t quite belong. Why and how are they there? That's the question alluring you throughout the opening hour of WandaVision.
That question gets especially interesting to consider when you remember that Vision brutally died twice in Avengers: Infinity War. Wanda wasn't afforded time to grieve in the film's box-office-battering sequel (Avengers: Endgame), so that's potentially what we're see here. The most important question comes right from Wanda’s mouth. "Is this really happening?"
The opening episodes of WandaVision stretch the limits of what a ‘cinematic universe’ can afford audiences. It’s a dreamy setup for what will hopefully be an altogether more emotionally gripping series later on down the line.
Any Good? It’s a promising introduction to a refreshingly wacky take on superheroes
WandaVision is available every Friday on Disney+