This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Jaewon’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
(SPOILERS FOR ALL EPISODES OF WANDVISION)
“But what is grief, if not love persevering?”
WandaVision is a fun and unique Marvel show that was a really interesting way to start phase 4 of the MCU. I’m a Marvel fan, but my excitement and expectations for this show were pretty low for the most part. Then, when the trailer dropped, I found the concept and the idea that something is off fascinating. I wish they used the mystery element in a more compelling way, especially with the hints dropped in an episode like episode 3. But this show was enticing and a fun thing to look forward to every Friday.
Easily the best part of this show is the use of character development. Wanda and Vision have appeared in the MCU, but they are generally relegated to being side characters. I always thought that Wanda’s trauma and grief was a compelling topic to explore, and my favorite episode (episode 8) clearly shows the strong themes and explores her character in an interesting way. Vision was also a fantastic character in the show and the way he slowly starts to understand his reality is consistently interesting.
Before I start telling you why I was let down by many aspects of this show, I will say that this is easily one of the most interesting Marvel projects, even if it’s far from perfect. There was a lot of potential here, which was used well in many cases. The characters are well developed, the mystery starts off strong, and the concept is weird and exciting. But I ended the show with a bit of a shrug, as it wasn’t always what I was looking for in the concept.
For starters, it begins as a sitcom. The humor was decent, the clichés were fun, and the style was replicated perfectly. But the hints that something was wrong were a bit slow, even with how intriguing it was. But then episode 4 rushes to catch up to where we were with a completely different storyline. This is usually my problem with the pacing. Information is fed to the audience to slowly or too quickly, leaving me wanting more or feeling that a plot line was rushed. They never got the story beats just right (to me).
They also didn’t land the humor for me. The sitcom comedy was fine and the Marvel quips during the FBI segments were passable, but it left the comedic aspects of the show feel very dry. Episode 7 was actually my favorite in terms of comedy, but even that was a completely different style to the rest of the show. There’s some tonal whiplash here and there as well.
The main story was good. I liked almost everything regarding Wanda and Vision, and the juicy reveals are usually pretty good. The mystery is perfect sometimes. The best parts of this show are eerie and hook me in with a sense that something is wrong. It surprises me and keeps me on edge, exploring what Wanda has been through. But this show’s storylines can quickly devolve into something uninteresting. The show ends like any other Marvel film, which is fine for any Marvel property that isn’t WandaVision. But the feeling that this was something new faded quickly. The villains also kind of suck. The Agatha reveal was really fun and Kathryn Hahn did a great job, but her character is eventually just another bad guy with boring motivations and mediocre dialogue. The bad FBI agent who’s name I don’t remember was maybe the most boring villain Marvel has has in a while. Marvel has been on a bit of a hot streak with their villains lately. Mysterious, Thanos, The Vulture, Hela, and Killmonger are all FANTASTIC villains but their streak has sort of come to an end with this show.
Dialogue is frequently forced throughout the show, although it doesn’t bother me that much. But the story beats that are forced are pretty bothersome. The way they explain the mystery of the show feels weird and uninspired, even with how good the actually setup is. Wanda’s childhood obsession of sitcoms is a weird reason for the ‘show’ to be a sitcom, and it felt a bit out of nowhere, although I get it. Agatha being a witch came out of nowhere and I still don’t know where she’s been all this time. And Monica’s powers feel out of left field. The ending was also a bit of a let down, especially since my favorite episodes came before it. So overall, it was a bit disappointing. The themes and character are amazing and segments of the mystery are great. It’s a fun show but if I had to describe it with a sentence, it’d be untapped potential. (It’s still pretty good tho)
Thanks for reading!