Disney+ has provided Marvel with a new and unique outlet for the next phase of their ever-growing episodic universe. Especially with the lack of those big theatrical releases that you must see at midnight due to COVID and theatre closures, the roll-out of Marvel releases on the streaming platform in 2021 has given fans a much-needed dose of the MCU. And in typical Marvel fashion, all the shows connect to each other, feature films, and the large MCU.
“WandaVision” was the first of the Marvel series to be released on Disney+ this year. It’s arguably one of the more risky but more revolutionary pieces Marvel has done. While they’re known for their action-packed films with big gadgets and tech, “WandaVision” tells a sad story through the power of American television, focused on the fictional lives of Avengers’ Wanda Maximoff and The Vision. With season one of Marvel’s first series, “WandaVision,” wrapped up, here are some of the things we absolutely adored about the show as we move further into Phase Four of the MCU.
*Some spoilers ahead*
- Countless Easter eggs.
Marvel is famous for outdoing not only everyone, but themselves too. Just when you think it can’t get any better, it does. Marvel fans live for end-credit scenes, nods to old movies, and teases towards potential future films, and “WandaVision” gave fans that and more.
If you did some comic research (or in Maeve’s case, bought almost all of the Vision and the Scarlet Witch issues), much of the plot was there from the beginning. Agatha Harkness and her brooch, White Vision, Wanda’s twins with powers, their Halloween costumes being their OG comic fits (“Sokovian fortune teller,” Wanda? You’re not fooling anyone), Monica Rambeau becoming Photon – it was all there! It’s incredible how Marvel is continuing to draw much of their inspiration from the comics but was even more fun to watch the reveals unfold each week.
Maeve’s favorite thing to do after an episode? Immediately watch ScreenCrush on YouTube for all the hidden Easter eggs, nods to the comics, etc. – they catch it all! If you’re looking for the best recaps of the Marvel releases, it’s ScreenCrush.
- How it deals with the topic of trauma and grief.
While “WandaVision” presents itself as a humorous homage to classic sitcoms, the underlying theme of the show is about dealing with the loss of a loved one. Trauma and coping are often difficult to portray effectively within the restrictive time constraints of a mini-series, but “WandaVision” deals with these heavy topics in a beautiful way. We recommend checking out the Her Campus article, “Why WandaVision Was Such A Hit During A Time of Nationwide Grief And Monotony,” if you are interested in learning more about this subject.
- The costuming, duh.
This is arguably Mackenzie’s favorite part of this series. In Disney+’s “ASSEMBLED,” Mayes C. Rubeo, the costume designer for “WandaVision” talks about how the show was such a joy but a challenge to work on. “This has been an incredible project for me because it allows me to design costumes of many different fashion eras,” she says. Ultimately, Mayes was able to create the perfect mixture of sitcoms and superheroes with her stunning costume designs. Check out this HCCU article that breaks down all the eras in “WandaVision”.
- An homage to American sitcoms.
Even though we didn’t grow up in the many eras portrayed in “WandaVision”, we couldn’t help but notice both the direct copies but also subtle illusions to American sitcoms. It’s revealed in Episode 8 that Wanda grew up watching “The Dick Van Dyke Show”, but that wasn’t something we caught. When it got to the 1980s and on, we spotted those classic stairs from “The Brady Bunch”, that “Full House” opening, and the “Modern Family”-esque asides where the characters are interviewed separately.
- The. Music.
When you award-winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Bobby Lopez on a project, you know it’s going to be good. We loved hearing them discuss their songwriting process in Disney+’s “ASSEMBLED,” (in Maeve’s opinion, they needed more screen time) and how they created a continuous melody that was transposed for different time periods and theme songs. Which was your favorite theme song? Maeve’s was probably the black and white cartoon version from Episode 2 (but the 80s gets an honorable mention), and Mackenzie’s was a tie between “A Newlywed Couple” from Episode 1 and “Let’s Keep it Going” from Episode 6 (gotta love that 90s/early 2000s nostalgia).
Plus, Agatha’s song. I mean, come on. If you haven’t heard it, first of all, what are you doing but fix that right now and listen here. We know she’s supposed to be the villain, but it’s hard not to love this song.
- More character development from Wanda – finally!
While we got tastes of Wanda and Vision, their backstories, and their powers starting in “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, this show dedicated much-needed time to these two characters (if you need a reminder, Disney+’s “Legends” gives the perfect ~10-minute recap of the characters we are seeing in new series. So far, check out Wanda, Vision, The Falcon/Sam Wilson, Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier, Baron Zemo, and Sharon Carter).
At the end of “Avengers: Endgame”, with the return of billions from the Blip, we aren’t quite sure what’s next for the Avengers. The show teased the timeline after Endgame for a while, until we learn that Wanda returns from the Blip to find Vision still dead, and being experimented on (check out this article from Digital Spy and this article from Screen Rant to see how these series are fitting into the larger MCU timeline). In “WandaVision”, we not only learn more about Wanda’s past in Sokovia (her first use of powers – ahh!) but also where she is now: hint hint, without Vision, and mourning big time.
Personally, we think Elizabeth Olson deserves an Emmy. She demonstrates such range as she portrays a rollercoaster of emotions every episode. We can see her smile and tone introducing the episodes slowly fade as the episodes go, from a once-perky housewife to a depressed and lonely mom (yes, this insight comes from ScreenCrush. Here’s your reminder to watch their videos again).
- Wanda and Vision’s heartwarming and heartbreaking love story.
Vision’s line in Episode 8 has struck a chord with fans everywhere, and even those who haven’t seen the show saw it popping up on their social media. He says, “Because it can’t be all sorrow, can it? I’ve always been alone so I don’t feel the lack. It’s all I’ve ever known. I’ve never experienced loss because I’ve never had a loved one to lose. What is grief, if not love persevering?” While this show displays Wanda’s pain and loneliness after Vision’s death, Vision, although synthezoid, has the biggest heart of all.
When fans finally learned why Wanda set up The Hex in Westview, New Jersey, it’s easy to feel that pain yourself. The framing to the heart on the calendar in Episode 1 to the house deed from Vision is heartbreaking but only makes you love their relationship more. Although Wanda didn’t get to grow old in the piece of land Vision bought for them, we hope we can see her conquer her powers, reconnect with other Avengers, and maybe find love again.
And let’s not forget when Wanda takes down The Hex and has to watch her red energy draw closer. She watches as the loss of her children and husband crackles towards her home, and if that isn’t the bravest thing in the MCU…
We loved “WandaVision” and can’t wait for more Marvel content on Disney+. Until then, you’ll find us watching “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” every Friday and anxiously waiting for Wanda’s reappearance in the March 2022 release of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” (a title, by the way, that Maeve cannot get enough of).