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Review: 'WandaVision' is kitschtastic and positively bonkers

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Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany as Vision in Marvel Studio's WANDAVISION exclusively on Disney+ (Photo: Marvel Studios)

Well, I've watched the first three episodes of "WandaVision," Marvel's first series for Disney+ and I can tell you that I'm not entirely sure where the narrative is going but I'm certainly enjoying the ride.

"WandaVision" drops Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) directly into a satire of a black-and-white 1950s sitcom that feels, as most of my colleagues have noted, heavily influenced by "Bewitched" (Wanda is more commonly known as the Scarlet Witch) and "The Twilight Zone." The bulk of the narrative of the two episodes sees the duo trying to fit into the comforts of suburbia. Vision wants to impress his boss and Wanda gets lessons on how to be a good wife from nosey neighbor Agnes (Kathryn Hahn). The narrative is absurd and the efforts of Wanda and Vision lead to a comedic disaster that, nonetheless, results in a era-appropriate nonsensical ending.

Stylistically the third episode sees the visual aesthetic moving into the colors and fashion of the late 1960s or 1970s. The narrative, however, picks up where the second left off. This, along with a few clues placed along the way, suggests that what we're seeing isn't real. Lingering at the edges of the story there is a secret organization who appear to be monitoring every move that the superhero couple make. The neighbors and the neighborhood are not be what they initially seem to be. What they are exactly is yet to be revealed.

Those looking for an experience that mirrors the films in the MCU are likely to be a bit bewildered. There's very little action and the scope of the production is much smaller than anything that we've seen to this point. "WandaVision" goes well beyond the light comedy of the Ant-Man films or the retro charm and nostalgia of "Marvel's Agent Carter" and "Captain America: The First Avenger." They even include parody advertisements half-way through the episodes. It's all very innocent and golly gee willikers (unless Agnes is sneaking in a double entendre).

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I suspect that there's something larger lingering around the corner. Just don't be too surprised if you can't wrap your head around the first three episodes. That's the point, you're supposed to feel dizzy and disorientated. I don't think that they can stick with the current gimmicks for an entire series.

Without knowing what will happen in the next six episodes, production photos suggest that a future episode will take place in the 1980s, it is hard to tell if this will all make sense at some point. It's possible that by season's end we'll be in a more contemporary space. Who knows where it fits in with the rest of the MCU. They don't need to tell me right away. Part of the fun of "The Mandalorian" was trying to figure out exactly when it took place in the Star Wars timeline.

I love that Marvel is willing to stray into unusual places. Let's see where this journey takes us.









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