The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) finally comes to the small screen. Sure, there were those pesky Defenders on Netflix and Agents of SHIELD somehow managed to keep up the good fight with Agent Phil Coulson for all those seasons.
But today starts the direct connection of the MCU to television with the first two episodes of WandaVision on Disney+. And from the previews we knew we were on to something different, the first two episodes helped us to know that for sure.
Recap of WandaVision Season 1, Episodes 1.1 and 1.2
The first episode of the series is both simple and complex. Someone almost inevitably asks me if they need to know much about the MCU to jump in on a show like this. And I would say, more than anything, you will want to love television to jump in on this show.
The complexity is how well the show takes the format of an old show like The Dick Van Dyke Show and twists it to tell this story of Wanda and the Vision, the newlywed couple that has come to Westview to settle down in a Pleasantville-like way.
The story is a spot on sitcom story. There is a heart on the calendar, which Wanda and Vision both think means something important but are unwilling to admit to the other that they aren’t sure what it means.
Wanda winds down the road of thinking it is an anniversary for them and begins to prepare with the advice of the nosy neighbor and the lastest advice from the new issue of a ladies magazine.
Vision meanwhile discovers at work the heart on the calendar was to remind them that his boss, Mr. Hart, would be bringing his wife over for dinner, after he reminds Vision how important this dinner is by showing Vision the latest dinner club failure, as a guy cleans out his desk.
Of course, hilarity ensues as Vision arrives with his boss and his wife and Wanda is ready for appropriate 1950ish levels of television intimacy and is unprepared with a dinner, because her husband is an android and doesn’t eat. The neighbor is recruited. Wanda’s powers are both helpful and unhelpful before
breakfast for dinner brinner is served.
The day is saved when Vision saves his boss from choking and the couple look to have survived their first real Westview test.
Episode two sets us up with a Bewitched like adventure as Wanda meets the queen bee of the town, but only after an opening scene where she and Vision hear unusual noises, only to think it is branches scraping their house. It seems to worry both of them.
We learn also that they are practicing for a magic show to close the local talent show, which is the only fundraiser for the Westview Elementary school. But before the big show, Vision visits with the fellows of the neighborhood watch association, only to discover that they are really more about danishes, gossip and the like.
But something goes wrong when Vision accidentally swallows a piece of gum and it mucks up his insides.
Hilarity ensues as Vision breaks from the script of their magic show, using his powers and Wanda uses her powers to cover by “revealing” their tricks. But the show is a comedic success and the queen bee seems to like Wanda and all is right with Westview.
Except for the end of the evening, when the couple see that Wanda is pregnant. But they are quickly lured outside by a sound, to discover person in a beekeeper suit coming out of a manhole. But Wanda has none of it and uses her powers to roll back time and instead, while celebrating her pregnancy, real color enters their previous black and white world.
Review of WandaVision Season 1, episodes 1 and 2
The danger with high art concepts is that they can flop. As a creator you have to be really committed to the concept and see it through from beginning to end. And, unequivocally, WandaVision is pulling it off.
They take the format of television shows across the ages to start to tell the story of Wanda. But the thing is, you could strip out the Wanda has powers part and they have managed to make two great, period appropriate shows of televisions. The jokes work but aren’t a reach; you could air them in their appropriate era with no issues with standards and practices.
The risk is that the show won’t work because the modern audience doesn’t remember the shows it is homaging. But I was a latchkey kid in the 80s and I am sure they are counting on Nick at Night having helped. The best part for me? The commercial in each episode, with subtle nods to the MCU and its rich history.
But there is more going on. Something isn’t right. In episode one, we see Vision digging at what exactly his “computations” company does. And the end of the episode shows that someone is watching and studying the episode.
But it really starts to show something could majorly be off in episode 2, as Wanda hears a voice call to her directly from a radio before it fizzles out. Earlier she discover a drone, with was most notable for the fact that it was in color and it had a SWORD logo on it.
The noise that Vision and she heard at the beginning and the ending of the episode just further show us that something isn’t right and it seems to be centered on Wanda and her powerful nature.
What will happen now that color is being added to the network? I cannot wait to find out!