The Weirdness & Whimsy of WandaVision
I didn't know what to make of WandaVision when it was announced. I mean, really, just the title was tough to get on board with, but consider the two somewhat underdeveloped characters whose romance was foisted on us out of nowhere in Captain America: Civil War getting their own show.
Then consider the nonsensical nature of the trailers.
Wait, maybe the trailers are where it started to turn.
After the first, which really did nothing for me, the subsequent promotional material started to show a peek behind the curtain of what WandaVision is all about.
Not about the plot, of course, that's still a total mystery, even after watching the first two episodes, released this past weekend.
No, what the trailers started to reveal, alongside those episodes, is the shows vibe and tone, which has swung from my first read of utter nonsense to whimsy, weirdness, and truly surreal.
It was the best possible direction the show could have gone to pull me (and I expect many others who had reservations) in. WandaVision ping pongs between darkly comedic, to saccharine, to flat out strange, from scene to scene and even minute to minute.
Modeled after the monolithic sitcoms of the 1950s and 1960s, the first two episodes have already paid direct homage to The Dick Van Duke Show and Bewitched, with plenty of nods to the other famous shows of the time so far (and I'm sure more are forthcoming).
But underneath all the loving references to that bygone era are sneaking hints to something much darker and stranger than the premise—two super heroes trying to fit in alongside their white bread neighbors who haven't the slightest clue who Wanda Maximoff or Vision are—and the creeping dread that Wanda and Vision are already starting to note, even if they'd rather not, that things aren't quite right in this world they currently inhabit.
While I'm not typically a fan of shows about nothing, Larry David properties excluded of course, I find that I already desperately want to see where this rabbit hole leads me, even though (spoiler alert for Avengers Infinity War and Endgame) I know that the fantasy that Wanda has dreamed up for her and Vision can never truly be. And fantasy this is—if you couldn't figure that out from what's already gone on in the MCU and the trailers I can't help you—as the show's first two episodes have clearly shown that it's not "real", even if it's unclear what is actually happening. But so far, hints within and without the actual events concerning our two leads, have shown incontrovertibly that this world was "made for television"... and that it's a world seemingly of Wanda's design.
I look forward to more of this, though I regret the brevity of the episodes and the show itself (so far at least), and I can't wait to see what other laughs and outright strangeness comes of it. Whether it be put upon dinner guests whose facades are cracked and broken by an earnest choking bout, only to forget the incident seconds later and leave as steadfast friends, or beekeepers emerging from suburban manhole covers in the middle of the night, or whatever it is that Kathryn Hahn's Agnes is up to, there's something new lurking just out of frame.
So far they've kept me guessing. I want to see how the rest of this puzzle unfolds
Grade through 2 episodes: 8 lobster door knockers out of 10 terrible magic tricks
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