3.5 out of 5 Stars
Wanda Maximoff: What do you say to silver dollar pancakes, crispy hash browns, bacon, eggs, freshly squeezed orange juice, and black coffee?
Vision: I say, “Oh, I don’t eat food.”
Wanda Maximoff: Well, that explains the empty refrigerator.
(Episode 1, Filmed before a Live Studio Audience)
*Warning, this review contains spoilers* do not read until you have finished all 9 episodes in the series.
I could never understand all the fuss about Avengers or the marvel cinematic universe, I watched the later instalments of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame only fairly recently. I was a little bored, but given so many people raved about its complexity and consistency, I saw them out. It made perfect sense to me to have a spin-off show for Wanda and Vision, after all they were the most powerful and interesting characters and became mere pawns in the fight to get stones from Thanos, or something (Just kidding I understood the plot).
I’m a fan of meta-television though and I enjoyed the references to genres of family sit-coms through the ages, however it felt a bit like “hmmph, hurry up”. I mean, I get it, she’s a witch and this is Bewitched, right? She has to keep her magic and Vision’s superpowers a secret, right? But I saw it for what it was, a fantasy, a chance for Wanda to fast-track the life she always planned with Vision, a house in the suburbs, two kids and a life juggling boring problems like ‘how to fix dinner for the boss and his wife’ rather than stopping Thanos’ nefarious plan to destroy 50% of the population.
The whistle stop tour through 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s and then kind 90-2010’s family television might have been fascinating, if it weren’t for those dang unanswered questions, why is Wanda’s life a TV show? Who are these people? Why are their kids suddenly 8 when they were babies a genre ago?
I also felt that there was some sloppy storytelling near the end, as the TV trope device was meant to be Wanda's internal narrative writ large, but it seemed to fall down in episode 7. This genre based device was executed well in Crazy Ex-girlfriend where music videos are the narrative device and reflect the internal state of the singer, but it felt like the consistency was off in Wandavision. The "baddie" character felt a little inconsistent. Perhaps it was designed to throw the viewer to make the final reveal unguessable?
Remember that bit in “Infinity War” when Scarlet Witch saves the avengers in the Wakanda batlle with a flick of her witchy red glowy stuff?
Okoye asks: "Why was she up there all this time!?"
Gooooood question?! Why wasn't Wanda in the front line in this battle against Thanos?Why does Wanda lose everything in the war, when she has given the most? Why is the most powerful Avenger only protecting Vision? Why is she given no closure at the end of Avengers, Endgame? Well, if you ever wondered that, then Wandavision is for you.
For me, the reveal of the series was kinda like, “oh that's what I thought this was, that was supposed to be a twist?” Like, she’s Scarlet Witch, was I supposed to be really surprised when she turned out to be a witch? Like all origin stories, she get's her slightly cooler and less sexist comic book character costume as part of her "coming of age" story.
What I liked best about WandaVision was the idea that when we are suffering and grieving, we can prefer to live in a fantasy world and sometimes that world can be at the expense of our family and friends. While Vision, well, indeed, the entire town, treads on eggshells around Wanda, her energy is constantly taxed to maintain the fantasy, the one she wishes she could really live. If anything, WandaVision is about how we cope when we are not “our best selves” and how we can learn to cope, move on and recover from great loss. Hopefully without great cost to those around us.
Ultimately, if we can relate to the great sorrow, loss and pain that Wanda suffered, then we can take comfort that God cares for us
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
Wandavision gives Scarlet Witch/Wanda an origin story, a fantasy where Vision lives and it's pretty fun, probably could have done it in a shorter mini-series, but still, it was fun, and we could all use some fun, right?