WandaVision ★★★★

“Wanda. Welcome home”

A beautiful exploration of love, loss & grief wrapped up in a fanciful package of zany sitcom parodies, mystery box intrigue and cinematic blockbuster action. 
WandaVision is a strange beast and a bold way to kickstart the next phase of the MCU and its brave new world of Disney+ TV shows, and thankfully, it’s (mostly) fantastic.

Given the weekly rollout, the over-saturation of fan theories, the slower pace of early episodes and starring roles for two ‘B-tier’ Avengers, WandaVision could have been a big misfire had it not been for fantastic character work, a mature exploration of grief, cinematic spectacle, mysteries on par with Lost & HBO’s Watchmen and fantastic performances from its incredible cast.

While Kathryn Hahn makes anything better and Paul Bettany really shined in the earlier sitcom episodes, it was Elizabeth Olsen’s performance that gifted the show it’s biggest strength. The range she showed was absolutely stellar and the MCU is stronger for the character development the show has given the Scarlet Witch, turning her from Sokovian side-hero to A-tier Avenger overnight.

I don’t think the show entirely stuck the landing and its conclusion did feel a little bit more conventional than I expected, but WandaVision deserves a lot of credit for fully unleashing a deeply strange but bittersweet side to Marvel, instead of wholly relying on the formula that’s worked so well for the 23 films prior.

There’s definitely questions to be asked about how important WandaVision (and other Disney+ shows) will end up being to the overall MCU, but the slower pace, the layered world building and the ferocious engagement it’s garnered from fans has been a real bright spot in a year that’s sorely needed a collective pick-me-up. 

Roll on Falcon and the Winter Soldier!

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