Escape into an Illusion with WandaVision

by Julie Edelstein ’22

Source: Vulture

Published Feb. 14th, 2021

After the release of Spider-man: Far From Home in 2019, millions of Marvel fans held onto the hope that their favorite cinematic universe would soon be back with its usual dynamic stamina. Nobody predicted that this return would be WandaVision, the Disney+ exclusive series starring two beloved franchise characters, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany). Yet just five episodes in, viewers are ever captivated by each plot twist, easter egg, and mystery that the sitcom-turned-action has to offer.

The series initially presents itself as a 1950s-style sitcom, parodying classics like I Love Lucy and Bewitched. The two Avengers live a quaint, suburban married life. But as creator Jac Shaeffer stated, “in WandaVision, it’s a lot of cute, until it’s not.” 

Despite its initially simple appearance, mysteries begin to develop as one fact becomes increasingly apparent: the wholesome domestic tranquility that surrounds the couple is not their reality. Instead, they live in a deteriorating illusion machine, run and guarded by Wanda as she copes with her past tragedies. Through its endless puzzles, WandaVision unites worldwide fans by providing ample feeding ground for frantically posted theories about clues to the meaning of the alternate world. 

As the episodes progress, reality begins to show through the cracks of Wanda’s fabricated world. In a recent episode, viewers were taken away from the regular sitcom structure to a ‘behind-the-scenes,’ where various agents worked to break Wanda’s false visions.

Long-time Marvel fans were delighted to see some familiar faces from previous movies. Notable appearances include Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), Jimmy Woo (Randall Park), and Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings). It was certainly a pleasure for many to watch these adored characters team up together to solve mysteries and save heroes in true Avengers spirit. 

Despite its thoughtful construction and creative execution, it is easy for viewers who aren’t up to date on Marvel knowledge to get lost in the references and hints packed into the series. However, for the most part, WandaVision is well-received by television critics and viewers alike. The show has proved itself to be a staple of entertainment that is worth watching in the long months of quarantine, providing shelter from people’s own restless realities with imagination and adventure.

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