TV Round-Up: WandaVision Episode One and Two

 

WANDAVISION

Around the turn of the century, there were rumors that multiple epic properties that could or would be difficult to adapt in single movies were being considered as multi-platform adaptations. Start with a movie, move into a TV show and then go back and forth as needed.

They never saw the light of day back then. But in the day and age of binge-watching and with movie theaters shut down for the foreseeable future, the time seems ripe to see if such an idea can and would work. Enter Marvel Studios, who at this point can seemingly do no wrong. Wanting to bolster subscribers to Disney Plus, Marvel is working on multiple live-action series that will tie into the larger MCU.

Given that we’ve all had to take a year off from new Marvel movies and audiences have gotten out of the habit of going to a theater every few months for the latest Marvel offering, introducing WandaVision right now seems like a great idea.

After two installments, it’s hard to know exactly what WandaVision is or wants to be — beyond a love letter to the classic sitcoms that many of us grew up watching in syndication and Nick at Nite. The first two installments take a page from The Dick Van Dyke Show and Bewitched respectively, even borrowing the classic routines and situations that provided comedy in both. A lot of the comedy in these first installments comes from the classic misunderstanding model.

Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen are more than up to the task and there’s a bit more romantic chemistry between these two than we saw on-screen in their previous Avengers appearances. Part of that is the show is focused on them and not a plethora of other characters who need their moment to shine and get us caught up on where they’ve been.

And while the sitcom premise is interesting, there are some hints at larger things going on. At the close of episode two, Wanda and Vision run outside after hearing odd sounds throughout the episode and see what looks like a guy in a hazard suit coming out of the sewer. This leads to the episode rewinding to the point before this in which Wanda reveals she’s expecting (after showing no signs of it at any point until now) and the two being happy.

WandaVision-TV-Theme-SongThis does bring up some intriguing questions. I’m not one who is steeped in the lore of these two characters, so a lot of the Easter Eggs I’m hearing about online probably swooshed right past me. But, we are introduced to the idea that someone is watching these two and that someone (possibly Wanda) can and is rewriting the story for a happy ending when needed. Given that the Vision is one of the few characters who stayed dead in the cinematic universe, I can’t help but wonder if this construct is some reality Wanda has created as a wish-fulfillment that she and Vision have a simpler life. Certainly, the idea that there’s no problem so huge that it can’t be overcome in thirty minutes on a sitcom is one that has appealed to many of us over the years.

Whatever the case, I’m intrigued to see where the series goes and what answers are provided. I’ve also heard rumors that this one ties directly into the forthcoming Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (which could be opening the door to the multiverse being part of Spider-Man’s world as well), which is an interesting notion.

It certainly seems a far cry from when The X-Files fifth season left us on a cliffhanger that was then resolved in the big-screen movie a few weeks later and we then jumped into season six. I can only hope that Kevin Feige and company have a better plan than Chris Carter and company did there….

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