“WandaVision” a must-watch for Marvel fans

Shannon Koborie, Staff Writer

Since its Jan. 15 debut on Disney+, “WandaVision” has gained attention for its unlikely combination of nostalgia-filled classic television and action-packed sci-fi drama. 

The latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe follows a grieving Wanda Maximoff, played by actress Elizabeth Olsen, in the weeks after the events of “Avengers: Endgame” on her journey through processing the loss of synthezoid soulmate and co-Avenger, Vision, played by actor Paul Bettany. 

In order to cope with Vision’s tragic death in “Avengers: Infinity War”, Wanda uses real New Jersey town, Westview, to create a seemingly “perfect illusion” world styled after a family sitcom in which she and Vision can live together in marital bliss. Cracks begin to form in the order of her utopian sitcom, becoming more dangerous the longer Wanda attempts to suppress her grief.

“WandaVision” proves to be an important watch because it draws heavily from past Marvel movies and lesser-known plot points from the comics that may affect the plots of future works, like the addition of Wanda and Vision’s twin boys, Tommy and Billy. 

Perhaps the most crucial reason viewers should tune into “WandaVision” is the introduction of S.W.O.R.D. (Sentient Weapon Observation and Response Division), a counterterrorism agency that may become a large part of the MCU in the next phase. Marvel productions are notoriously intertwined with one another, and skipping out on “WandaVision” will not only deny a viewer of a quality show, but may also make understanding future storylines difficult.

To investigate the circumstances of Westview, S.W.O.R.D calls in “Ant Man”’s agent Jimmy Woo, “Thor”’s Dr. Darcy Lewis, and “Captain Marvel”’s Monica Rambeau, now an agent for S.W.O.R.D. Darcy’s witty commentary on Wanda’s sitcom hilariously incorporates a character expression of the viewers thoughts, while Jimmy’s straight-laced demeanor and Monica’s determined attitude provides a force to believe in.

Director Matt Shakman, known for his work on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and “Game of Thrones, effectively uses his experience in comedy and action to bring “WandaVisioncreator and head writer Jac Schaeffer’s work to life, putting forward a show that skillfully blends both genres without losing the intensity and intricacy of a Marvel production.

Whether due to Olsen’s limited experience in comedy or simply the older style of humor used in the first few episodes, her delivery came across as stiff at times, lacking a certain authenticity that seemed to come more naturally to co-star Bettany. Despite this, Olsen gave a powerful and deeply emotional performance that allows the viewer to feel and understand the workings of her trauma, portraying the complexity of Wanda’s character that gets overlooked in the “Avengers movies.

Bettany’s Vision provided a wonderful voice of reason for Wanda throughout the show, comforting her when things spun out of control while also questioning her in order to keep everyone safe. 

In just nine episodes, “WandaVision” works its way through seventy years of television history, pulling elements from classic sitcoms like “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “The Brady Bunch”, along with more recent counterparts like “Malcolm in the Middle” and “Modern Family. The clever inclusion of Easter eggs from these sitcoms creates a sense of familiarity and nostalgia, ensuring that “WandaVision” can be enjoyed not only by Marvel fanatics but by anyone watching.

Since the introduction of both characters in “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, Wanda and Vision had never been treated as main characters in the MCU. To gain a new newfound appreciation for Wanda, Vision and the love they share, “WandaVision” is the show for you. If for some reason you have not hopped on the Marvel train yet, “WandaVision” is still a captivating show for anyone who enjoys the thrill of a drama and the light-hearted mood of a classic sitcom. To fully appreciate the complexity of the storyline, it is recommended that you watch previous Marvel productions, especially “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame”, before viewing “WandaVision”.