(EN) Let’s talk about… WandaVision (2021)

Have you seen the first chapters of Wandavision, what did you think? The truth is that I liked them a lot. We have to admit that, in relation to the superhero genre, this new adventure of Marvel studios appears as a breath of fresh air, even if, when watching the first two chapters of the new Disney+ series we can intuit that it is basically the same story we are used to. I mean, despite the originality in the format, you can still feel that we are in the presence of a superhero story. But what is Wandavision all about? The truth is that for now we can’t comment much about it, since this review (and I promise I’ll do another one once the season is over) will be based only on the first two episodes. Let’s say it’s more like a “feeling review”, plus for those who know a little about the Marvel mythology, the story is not so unknown, I mean we know it’s based on the comic book saga known as “House of M”.

Well, let’s talk a little about what we could see during these two chapters of Wandavision, but I want to make a clarification, it’s something I had been thinking about, but I couldn’t help it. The truth is that I should have waited until the third chapter to make this first review, since it is in the third chapter of a TV series where it is clarified a bit what is happening (usually it is the chapter where the first major plot twist occurs), with the likely appearance of the antagonist of the season and the decision to fight (or the way of fighting) of the protagonist (in this case Scarlet Witch). But this time I couldn’t help but get around to writing about it, partly because I had nothing else to write about at the moment. That said, let’s go to the opening chapters of Wandavision. The first chapter starts with the two protagonists, at the same time starting and already living as a couple in the suburbs of some city in the United States, during the golden age of television (from this moment until the end of the second episode, all in black and white). I say “starting out and already living” because both characters are at once comfortable and strangely confused by the situation they are going through. This is particularly noticeable in Vision, who is seeking information about “what they’re doing” and, at the same time, striving to maintain the status quo he’s involved in. While this happens, Wanda acts in a more established way, more at ease and more mimicked with the environment, although, at the same time, we can feel in her the effort not to see something that seems to be present everywhere, the fictitiousness of the whole thing. Then, both characters inhabiting an idealized world of ordinary life in the golden age of television, try to carry out a life together, something we had already seen in Avengers: Infinity Wars, let’s assume that this story is the continuation of such desires.

All well and good with that, but, let’s remember that Vision is dead in Marvel movie continuity. The charismatic robot superhero was killed by Thanos in the quest for the infinity stones. So, who is this Vision we see alongside Wanda in the new series? Obviously it’s too early to answer this, based on what we’ve seen, but we can theorize about it based on what we know from the comics. Remember I mentioned House of M? Well, in this story, Wanda alters the real world, transforming it into an idealized world where a number of Marvel characters live in a state of bliss, with all their dreams fulfilled. But most importantly, she herself is protected in a world where she leads a family life like the one she always wished for, together with her brother Quicksilver and her father Magneto. This occurs because of a storyline well within the chronology of Marvel comics, a storyline involving Wanda’s children (who were not actually her children, but fragments of the soul of a dark entity). It is the memory of these children that causes, on more than one occasion, Scarlet Witch to lose control of her emotions and turn against the world, her friends and her own family. Now, it does not seem possible that the plot of Wandavision will follow to the letter the events we have seen in the comics, but it is possible (as it has happened with the rest of the Marvel movies) that the story will be based on these events. This is why we can intuit that Vision’s death may have triggered a nervous breakdown in Scarlet Witch and what we see in Wandavision is perhaps the result of that. An important thing to remember, after having seen the first two chapters of the series, is that at one point and through a radio transmission, we can hear the words of a person who asks Wanda, “Who did this to you?” indicating that it is possible that there are more sides to the issue than we can find in the comics.

That’s all I can say about the first two episodes of Wandavision, well, regarding the story, the truth is that the production design part, the scenarios and particularly the camera shots have seemed to me very well worked, almost identical to the visual proposals on which they have been based (the sitcom series of the golden age). I feel that the high points of the series occur in the transition from this funny proposal and the more dramatic sequences, the parts where the breaks in this reality occur. As I promised previously, I will make a new review once this season is over, let’s take this first review as an invitation to see an interesting proposal, not only within the superhero genre, but for television in general. At a time when everything seems to be a copy of something that already existed and I mean a marked copy, let’s say that Wandavision may seem a copy of the material from which it has drawn its inspiration, however, what it really is, is an original story that has been based on a series of inspirations to collude in something completely different, as good stories should be, at least that’s what I think.

The good:

  • The audio-visual approach to the classic television era.
  • The way it breaks the fun tonality to move to the more dramatic.
  • Both main characters maintain the charisma known from the Marvel movies.

Downsides:

  • The endings for both chapters feel abrupt.
  • The chapter recaps feel poorly constructed.

In short… let’s wait until the end of the season, but so far… see or die!

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