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Review: WandaVision S1E1 Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience

WandaVision S1E1

The next phase of Marvel’s cinematic universe begins in the highly anticipated WandaVision. The Disney+ show brings an intriguing new format and take on the classic Marvel characters of Wanda Maximoff and Vision. WandaVision S1E1 takes us into the homage/spoof of classic television shows kicking off with Dick Van Dyke meets Bewitched showing the two in a blissful marriage. But, is this reality?

The last we saw Wanda, she had helped defeat Thanos in Avengers: Endgame after being returned from being blinked out. She attended Stark’s funeral, and that’s where we left her. Vision, as far as we know, was killed in Avengers: Infinity War. In an attempt to stop Thanos, Wanda destroyed the Mind Stone in Vision’s forehead with Visions saying “I love you” just before he was destroyed. But, Thanos returned Vision using the Time Stone to then plunk the stone from Vision’s forehead and helping to complete his gauntlet. Due to Vision being destroyed before the blink, as far as we know he didn’t return.

So, what’s going on?

WandaVision‘s debut episode doesn’t tell us a whole lot until the very end. The two are living the domestic life presented as a classic black and white television show. It’s entertaining in its winks and nods to shows of the past but, the concept drags on for far too long. There’s a lack of enough hints as to what’s really going on making this debut just… weird.

Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda and Paul Bettany as Vision are charming enough in their roles. The pull off the now cringe-worthy style of story of the time. The episode is a solid send-up of the overused story of the boss coming over for dinner. As far as playing off of classic shows, WandaVision S1E1 does things really well.

The addition of Kathryn Hahn as Agnes is solid and she nails the tone of the era as well. It’s all enhanced by a goofy add for a toaster by Stark Industries that’s way over the top.

WandaVision S1E1 nails down what it’s trying to do. The tone, style, story, costumes, stage, it’s all damn near perfect. But that doesn’t mean it succeeds.

The show drags on for its rather short 29 minutes and only gets to the point at the very end. Something is very wrong in this pollyannish world and the episode would have been stronger by focusing on that. Glitches in the episode would have played well. Small details not quite sitting right and being out of place would have worked well. It’s these sort of things and the addition of them would have made the concept all the more intriguing.

Olsen’s depiction of Wanda is a bit odd too as her Sokovian accent seems to have gone away for a Jersey-ish delivery. It could be to play up the time and it might return. It could be to play off the style of the time. But she’s “European” as Vision tells his boss to which he makes a negative response. Why this choice was made is unclear, beyond the boss’s reaction, but it’s all very weird. It’s just a very noticeable decision and is a bit odd.

WandaVision S1E1 isn’t bad. There’s a lot to like. It’s just rather boring. This isn’t your normal Marvel Cinematic Universe entry, and that’s a good thing. But, the episode stumbles. It’s clearly a series that the whole will likely be stronger than each individual part.

Overall Rating: 7.0