WandaVision ★★★½

WandaVision is at its best when it creatively explores Wanda’s grief through the sitcom format and tries to do something new, but at its worst when it follows the standard superhero format. the first few episodes drip with a great sense of eerie intrigue... which is then immediately destroyed by pulling the curtain back to reveal the same old grey world of series callbacks, dull banters, and military personnel. instead of fleshing out Wanda and her family, the runtime is wasted on the military's response. it smothers the emotion -- the characters never get time to breathe. 

I think the MCU is WandaVision’s biggest antagonist. there’s never a sense that anyone in the story is being confronted with the opportunity to change, and wrestling with what it might mean to embrace it. there’s cool ideas for rich character work, but no foundation to build them on. it’s difficult to connect with the emotional aspects of WandaVision because there’s never really any emotions that precede it. looking back at the Marvel canon, Wanda and Vision never really spent much time together before Vision’s death — they got some scenes as roommates in Civil War and were shown in a mid relationship in Infinity War. but there’s never a moment that illustrates something one loves about the other, nothing to anchor the scene where Wanda has to kill the person she loves. 

that’s not to say no one could find this moving, emotions are obviously subjective. it’s just annoying to me how their relationship is always described and never shown. and WandaVision tries to show it — but that’s difficult to do in twenty minute episodes. yes, if this show were not so focused on external issues with the S.W.O.R.D stuff there could be quieter, small moments that allow the characters to breathe. however, I mostly blame the prior Marvel movies that didn’t try in the slightest to flesh out Wanda and Vision’s relationship. 

but for all the overused MCU tropes and predictable plot points, when WandaVision tries to break free and burst the Marvel bubble — and when it gets close — it’s promising and refreshing and most of all, exciting. now that Marvel has more of a plan for the coming shows and movies, I hope they can use the magic from the first couple episodes to find genuine emotion and humanity in other projects. WandaVision certainly isn’t perfect, but it sure is exciting.

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