Review by Katie McKenna
One of last year’s (many) oddities was its lack of Marvel films. While most blockbusters were postponed, no absence was felt quite as much as the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The pause of Marvel’s clockwork-like release schedule added to the chaos of an already turbulent year. So, when the trailer for their latest project Wandavision dropped, it was hard for even the most cynical viewer to not feel excited.
Paying homage to sitcoms throughout the decades, Wandavision follows former avengers Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) and their misadventures in a suburb where things aren’t quite what they seem.
After almost 13 years of Marvel films, Wandavision was certainly a breath of fresh air in the MCU. Replacing the bland cinematography and tiresome quips with endearing homage, it seemed Wandavision’s scripts had evaded the Disney executive in charge of replacing creativity with profitability. Giving viewers a new sitcom era per razor sharp episode while also filling us with a sense of unease – Wandavision was must-see tv.
Sadly, this momentum isn’t kept up. Over the course of its run the show begins to fall apart. Starting with an episode set outside of this ‘sitcom-land’ which explained everything for viewers who couldn’t keep up, Wandavision’s tight pace became bloated, and each episode was longer than the last to add more and more fan service. It was hard to watch a show which had begun with so much creativity and potential fall flat on its face.
The final nail in the coffin, however, is when the sitcom format that had made the show so unique is dropped entirely in favour of the big superhero showdown. Before they had finished the sitcom eras too! It would have been great to see how they used the late 2010’s ‘sad-com’ to show us Wanda tackling her grief.
It’s still hard to hate Wandavision though. Regardless of all the creative freedom given to the writers, they were still stuck in the Marvel box. Its duty to convention is what killed it. Wandavison could never give us a truly satisfying ending because Marvel films never really end, they just set up the next one. It’s a system that creates hype at the expense of satisfying and complete stories, fast-food cinema. It’s disappointing to see a show with such potential fizzle out, but hopefully it’ll show Disney that creativity pays off and we’ll see more ambitious superhero films in the future.