After an eighteen-month-long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic—which felt like an infinity, to be sure—the Marvel Cinematic Universe is back with the Disney+ series WandaVision. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder and that was definitely the case when it came to the MCU. I watched the debut of WandaVision with the biggest, goofiest of smiles etched across my face. It was good to be back in the world of Marvel again, although things aren’t quite as they seem in WandaVision.
The first episode opens in the style of golden-age sitcoms and television of a bygone era. The entire episode is in black and white, and we are introduced to the familiar faces of Wanda Maximoff and Vision, albeit styled as husband and housewife of the 1950s.
It is immediately clear that things are not as they seem, with countless curious moments that highlight the surreal reality that Wanda and Vision now inhabit, but the series does not yet stray too far from it’s sitcom genre framing. Rather brilliantly, the show actually plays rather well as a sitcom—the setup being much like Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie. What’s more is that it actually is genuinely funny and has many great moments throughout. However, that is abruptly brought to a halt when we zoom out to see a mysterious figure watching the program on a television monitor in a strange operation room. We don’t learn anything else on that just yet, though.
The second episode continues on the same structure as the first, but we see more hints that this reality isn’t all it appears to be. Wanda discovers a toy helicopter which is presented in full colour, contrasting the black-and-white world she and Vision have found themselves within. Another moment sees a radio suddenly break transmission and a voice is heard calling out to Wanda. The episode reinforces the idea that Wanda and Vision are potentially trapped in some alternate or false reality and so, too, may be all the people around them.
Now for a bit of speculation. I can’t help but ponder if this is going to be a Truman Show–style twist and some villain is manipulating Wanda and her Reality Stone–gifted powers to create a television program out of her life. Who that villain could be is beyond me, but I am at a loss otherwise as to what is causing Wanda and Vision to be experiencing reality in the form of a classic sitcom format.
I’m sure episode three will provide us with some more answers or hints as to what is actually going on. But, for now, I am just overjoyed that the MCU is back, and I am even more excited to see it exploring and playing with different genre types such as this. WandaVision is a pure delight and, for next week, I say bring on the 70s!