Review: WandaVision

Blake McMillan

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for WandaVision. 


When Disney announced a show starring two of the Marvel Cinematic Universes least famous characters, the last thing I wanted to do was watch it. The premiere came in January, and when my friend wanted to watch the first two episodes, I figured the least I could do was hatewatch it. I was surprised to find the beginning to an intriguing, all-new, all-different door of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). 

WandaVision stars Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany as humanoid Vision. Last seen in Marvels Avengers: Endgame, the show finds Wanda in 1950s television sitcom, fully equipped with black and white and a laugh-track. Back from the dead is Vision, the Mind Stone back in its place on his head. (You know, the one that the Tony Stark (Iron Man) built robot that came to life (Ultron) gave to Vision to make him a living droid that Thanos (buff alien man?) previously ripped from forehead thereby killing him and somehow not bringing him back after the apocalyptic Snap was undone. (That run-on sentence should show that hopefully, WandaVision requires a great amount of pre-viewing.)) 

WandaVision hurls the two oddities through eras of family television in an idealistic town called WestView (initialed WV for Wanda and Vision?). Each episode that takes place inside West View is inspired by a show from a decade in TV. It visits sets, characters, and ideas like the 1950s series I Love Lucy, then 1960s Bewitched, 1970s The Brady Bunch, 1980s Full House, 1990s Malcom in the Middle, and finally, the 2000s Modern Family. The overarching question, though, is why are two superheroes inside a television set morphing town? 

As the show goes outside of WestView, we are reintroduced to some old MCU alum. Monica Rambeau, who was last shown in 2019s Captain Marvel, which took place in the (real) 1990s, is now a 30s-something grieving the loss of Maria Rambeau, working at S.W.O.R.D., a subsidiary of S.H.I.E.L.D. looking to save the citizens of WestView. Jimmy Woo, last shown in 2018s Ant-Man and the Wasp, still works for the FBI and plans to team up with Rambeau to figure out whats going on. And finally, S.W.O.R.D. asks the help of Darcy Lewis, who hasnt shown up since 2013s Thor: The Dark World. 

The three find that Wanda has turned to binging television by rewriting her favorite childhood shows. With herself as the lead, Wanda casts a spell on the New Jersey and bringing back her deceased love interest. No one can enter the Hex(the large invisible hexagonal barrier built by Wanda) without their appearance adapting to whatever television era Wanda is showing that day. And if anything goes wrong, Wanda has the power to remove anyone or rewind and delete a scene. When the going gets rough? Cut to the credits. 

The show asks nothing of viewers as its start, but once they get invested, it becomes hard not to write some big theories. Some glaringly obvious ones, like quirky next-door neighbor Agnes being the Marvel Comics villain Agatha Harkness, were fun to theorize about. Wanda realizing, she is the Scarlet Witch, something moviegoers have known from the comics since she first showed up on-screen in 2015. 

After weeks of online speculating, the reveals were worth the waits. Other theories, like Wandas deceased brother Pietro being recast as Quicksilver actor from the Sony X-Men series had potential. Quite frankly, an online theory about Wanda reaching into the multiverse and grabbing an X-Men seemed like a fantastic way to bring in Sonys characters into Disneys universe (and was better than Marvel Studios tossing him away as a citizen of WestView).  

WandaVision is probably the MCUs best love story yet. It feels more Disney than Marvel, but that is not a terrible thing in this case. It assembles nostalgic MCU cast members, good theme songs my friend group and TikTok has been singing its been Agatha all along for over a month) and a climatic act of love in its final act. The show is a proper narrative on coping, as Monica teaches, and Wanda realizes its time to let go. However, its fan theories were sometimes better written than the show itself. Maybe Kevin Feige will hire Twitter to write a Quicksilver comeback. (Kevin Feige, please hire Twitter to write a Quicksilver comeback.)