At the end of Avengers: Endgame the entire Marvel universe had been shattered and re-assembled. Half the universe was wiped from existence and brought back five years later. A few casualties stuck, one of whom was Paul Bettany’s Vision, the android created by a combination of The Avengers, their enemy Ultron, and the power of one of the infinity stones.
WandaVision is the first new entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in over a year. The first new entry to be a TV series features the return of Vision and his paramour Wanda Maximoff to a world that looks a lot like a TV sitcom. It’s weird, and it’s delightful.
As the story begins, Wanda and Vision have started an idyllic life in a world resembling a 1950s sitcom. There are silly jokes, dinners with bosses, and comic misunderstandings. If you’ve watched the trailers, then you will have noticed that the series mimics the aesthetic of multiple eras of television sitcoms. In the three episodes I was provided to watch, this is true, with each taking on the aesthetic of a different era, right down to the colour palettes and aspect ratios.
It’s clear from the start that nothing is exactly what it seems. Both Wanda and Vision seem to understand that there is something not quite right going on, but neither one can quite put their finger on what that is. Showrunner Jac Schaeffer and director Matt Shakman have crafted a story and world that is completely weird, peppered with references for fans of the films and comics alike, and unfolds slowly and deliberately.
That world comes complete with a cast of supporting characters led by Kathryn Hahn as the pair’s nosy neighbour. Of everyone in the series, Hahn embraces each sitcom type’s style and aesthetic with the most enthusiasm and steals every scene she is in. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany are also great, with Bettany in particular showing off some great old school comedy chops.
WandaVision already looked like it would be weird, but it is way more bizarre than I ever anticipated, and I mean that as an absolute compliment. It’s funny, gorgeous to look at, paced nearly perfectly, and maintains that Marvel feeling while at the same time being something unlike anything that Marvel has produced to date.
WandaVision will begin its nine-episode run on Disney+ on January 15th