WandaVision off to a promising start

The first two episodes of the long-awaited WandaVision, a show that I have been extremely thrilled about since the launch of Disney+, were finally released on Jan. 15, 2021.

“My initial reaction was, ‘Wow,’” English teacher Sasha Duran said. “And my next was, ‘I NEED to see more.’”

Officially initiating Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, WandaVision serves as a sequel to Avengers: Endgame and provides well-deserved spotlights to Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch) and Vision. The show uses a mix of elements from classic sitcoms and follows the suburban lives of the two characters as they “begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems,” as mentioned in the Marvel Studios synopsis.

For senior Jhonny Rodriguez, the aesthetic of the first few episodes have intrigued him.

“I admire the show’s 50s-60s look,” Rodriguez said. “It’s definitely new for Marvel, but, as has occurred with their past experiments with new things, I’m certain it will end up working in their favor.”

While I was originally skeptical about the concept of a sitcom-like setting, I cannot help but feel impressed by it. Marvel’s bold pursuit of a comical, more positive atmosphere, which differs from the action-packed, more serious tones of a majority of its past films and TV series, works well.

“I love the show’s sitcom-like appearance,” senior Hân Le said. “Not only are the jokes hilarious, but it really hits the nail of portraying a facade further within the show.”

By consisting of laugh tracks and cliches from classics like The Dick Van Dyke Show and Bewitched, WandaVision provides new silly sides to Wanda and Vision, both of which previously seemed one-sided on-screen. The humorous nature of the show accurately reflects the wishes of both characters, who seek a sense of normalcy and happiness in their constantly-threatened, supernatural lives.

Perhaps what makes the show’s world better is the supporting characters. Already, Agnes, a new addition to the Marvel Universe who supposedly has some significance in the comics, has made a great impression; her hilarious remarks consistently left me entertained.

Of course, WandaVision is not entirely a comedy. It smartly balances its elements of humor with moments of seriousness and mystery, revealing to viewers that it is still relevant in the context of future Marvel storylines.

Whether it is through ominous expressions, distressed phone-calls, interrupting commercials and strange or out-of-place occurrences, the show makes sure to indicate that a much bigger threat exists beyond the lives of the happy couple. This was especially obvious by the close-up shots or close-up to wide shots of characters and objects.

“I really liked how the multi-camera single set sitcom format was used in the first episode to establish ‘the rules’ of the show,” Duran said, “and how it switched to single camera at the climax of the episode, where everything went sideways and was a little anxiety-inducing.”

While I still have many questions about the show’s trailers and content thus far, specifically concerning how Vision is alive and how Thor’s Darcy Lewis, Captain Marvel’s Monica Rambeau and Ant-Man’s Jimmy Woo have an influence in the series, these first two episodes of WandaVision have truly been remarkable. Marvel has done a fantastic job at producing something unique while still captivating and piquing the curiosity of its audience.

Overall, WandaVision has left me and other viewers very optimistic about the Marvel Universe’s turn to streaming services.

“I think it’s a great step to exploring new ways of storytelling,” Le said, “and I’m very happy that they are expanding and adding new layers to the universe.”

In addition, many are also thrilled for future series that were previously announced in December 2020 during Disney’s Investor Day.

“I’m excited for Armor Wars, She-Hulk and Secret Invasion,” Rodriguez said.

Other notable future shows include What If?, Ms. Marvel and Moonknight.

All of these incoming characters within the Marvel Cinematic Universe have certainly made Duran happy.

“I’m looking forward to moving away from the big-name superhero era to the lesser-known but still cool and kickass superhero era,” Duran said.

With the next episode of WandaVision releasing Fri. Jan. 22, I strongly recommend starting the show. It will truly be a Marvel-ous experience.