WandaVision is an Avengers spin-off, from Marvel, for which I couldn’t really get a hold of from the trailer, but… let’s try the programme itself now that it’s out.
Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany – as Wanda Maximoff and Vision – moving into their 1950s house as a married couple in a black-and-white style sitcom, such one of those bland efforts of the time which would always have canned laughter. Wanda is a housewife, whilst Vision works in a rather dull office job in order to mask his true identity. In the first episode, he’s worried because tonight, his boss, Mr Hart, is coming for dinner, and if he does well, he’ll be looking at a promotion.
For reasons clearly only known to the creators, it aims to mix ’50s life with modern special effects, such as Wanda having the dinner and utensils floating around the kitchen rather than cooking it the usual way. There was a spoof advert for a new futuristic toast maker, ToastMate 2000, from Stark Industries; and later, his boss starts to choke on his food – and it doesn’t go too well, with his wife just grinning the whole time as she tells him to “Stop it!”… it all just came across very odd.
There’s also something slightly different about the opening section, as it begins with the Marvel Studios collage of heroes in a 2.39:1 widescreen aspect ratio, before changing to a black-and-white 4:3 ratio as the episode begins. Similarly, the music changes from the usual fanfare, to something more tinny to represent the change.
As the ‘episode’ ends…
Episode 2 is more of the same, albeit with Bewitched-style opening credits, but a McGuffin turns up as a colourful item being introduced to this black-and-white world, thus confusing the character who comes across it, making them seem rather like John Simm’s Sam Tyler in Life On Mars who doesn’t really understand they’re inside a world that’s not all it seems.
Before long, the pair end up at a party-cum-talent show where they perform magic tricks. Why? Absolutely no idea!
Something weird happens towards the end which I’ll leave you to discover, unless you want to read the spoiler section below
Again, Paul Bettany is in this, in the flesh – so to speak – as Vision. Personally, I could understand Vision when he was voice-only, but seeing him ‘come to life’ and sit about Tony Stark’s place just really seemed quite odd.
Wandavision is a one-off mini-series which will serve as the first part of Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and between this and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, it’s likely to be the only new Marvel content you’ll see in 2021, given the ongoing pandemic. After all, just follow the James Bond situation to get an idea when cinemas will actually open again and you can go and see Black Widow, given how Bond’s rumoured to getting put back to the autumn.
The nine-episode series begins with two episodes, and the remainder will be shown at the rate of one per week, ending on March 5th.
Overall, I really can’t see the point of what they’re trying to do here.
Wandavision is not available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but is on Disney+ from today.
However, you can buy various T-shirts, posters and Funko Pops now.
And no, there is no post-credit scene in this show, as this clown points out…
— BluRay𝔸ngel (@BluRayAngel) January 15, 2021
Episode 1 and 2 Score: (finger-snap)
Director: Matt Shakman
Producer: Chuck Hayward
Characters created by: Stan Lee
Writers: Jac Schaeffer, Roy Thomas
Music: Christophe Beck
Scarlet Witch / Wanda Maximoff: Elizabeth Olsen
Vision: Paul Bettany
Agnes: Kathryn Hahn
Mr Hart: Fred Melamed
Mrs Hart: Debra Jo Rupp
Norm: Asif Ali
Phil Jones: David Lengel
Commercial man (both adverts): Ithamar Enriquez
Commercial woman (both adverts): Victoria Blade
Dennis the mailman: Amos Glick
Geraldine: Teyonah Parris
Dottie: Emma Caulfield Ford
Beverly: Jolene Purdy
Herb: David Payton
Beekeeper: Zac Henry
Tap dancers: Yuuki Luna, Eric Delgado
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.