Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Entertainment

WandaVision Review: A Bold New Direction for the Marvel Franchise

[Warning: this review does contain spoilers. If you’re simply wondering whether it’s worth watching or not, the answer is yes!]

 

When I heard that Marvel was going to follow up the 3-hour saga that was Endgame with some spin-off TV shows, I have to admit, I wasn’t particularly invested. Especially as in the case of Wanda and Vision, their relationship wasn’t massively developed in the films, and so I didn’t really care too much. And also, crucially, Vision is very much dead where we last left off in the franchise. However, I was intrigued by the trailers, and so decided to steal my housemate’s Disney Plus login and give it a go. And I’m so glad I did.

 

What makes WandaVision so stylistically strong is the way in which every episode is set in a different era (beginning with a black and white 50’s setting and a canned laugh track) and progressing gradually into the current day. Each episode also parodies various classic sitcoms, from The Dick Van Dyke Show to The Brady Bunch, as the two protagonists appear to experience the trials and tribulations of suburban family life.  But all is not as it seems. Gradually, the world begins to fall apart: objects enter the black and white scene in colour, nosy neighbours start malfunctioning and every now and again, someone asks the wrong kind of question. This show is definitely one to stick with – the first episode gives very little away as to where this might go, but it’s worth the wait (and in a way, it’s quite refreshing for Marvel not to clearly explain stuff for once). By far the greatest standout of this show is the chemistry between the two protagonists: Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany are incredible together, and genuinely sell every second of this old school Hollywood relationship. And I can’t not mention Katheryn Hahn, who is fantastic in the role of nosy-neighbour-turned-badass-witch Agatha (who even has her own theme song).

 

For me, the weakest plot points were those happening outside the ‘hex’. Although I was all for the return of Kat Dennings as Darcy (from the Thor films, if you need a reminder), the politics of the SWORD department hired to bring Wanda to justice simply didn’t feel as developed as the sitcom world – and definitely less exciting. That being said, what made this show so special was how human it felt, compared to the huge blockbuster movies. It still has the trademark moments you’d expect from the franchise (an epic witch-fight in the sky, a massive tank attempting to drive through a forcefield, and most importantly, an insanely long credits sequence), but WandaVision is ultimately rooted in the actions of a woman trying to process her immense grief.

 

Olsen’s performance as the tortured Scarlet Witch underpins the entire series so powerfully, and contrasts with the ironic cookie-cutter sitcom jokes. By the final episode, the closing moments with her and Bettany are so bittersweet, as she realises that she has to give up the world she has created and accept reality – and this kind of complexity is refreshing to see from Marvel. 

 

I can’t wait to see where they go next, (and in the meantime, I’m very tempted to binge-watch all the movies again instead of finishing my dissertation…)

 

You can watch WandaVision on Disney Plus.

Lottie Cox

Nottingham '21

Hi, I'm a final year English with Creative Writing student. I'm a lover of movie nights, my dog and a good cup of tea!
Similar Reads👯‍♀️