When I started watching WandaVisionm, I really had no idea what to expect. Like many fans, I was mostly drawn to check it out because it was a part of the MCU and under the Marvel banner, and therefore relevant. So I watched the show weekly instead of waiting and binging the entire thing over a brief period of time, like a really long movie, as I normally do lately. At first, I really thought it was some bizarre and surreal parody that was beyond my understanding and that someone at the house of the mouse had found amusing. But soon, I began to suspect something else was going on.
This series’s creators had me completely fooled, this show is unlike anything done before it in the genre, and they do it well. I never expected such a sadly tragic, and deeply sobering examination of mental health issues and how it affects those around us. Wanda’s escape into her mind to avoid a pain she could not bear is easier to relate to than a storyline involving something purely fantastic. It’s a gamble the show’s creators took that paid off, arguably, in a big way for their creation’s emotional impact, in a story that provides a glimpse into madness that is both intelligent and surprising.
The main problem is Wanda cannot let go of the past. The series narrative portrays her eventual return from a complete psychotic break back towards accepting and dealing with reality. Wanda’s escape into fantasy is so thorough it becomes almost real. And her reaction to tragedy and her massive delusional denial of reality is a metaphor we can learn from. Although we don’t go as far as Wanda does, each of us goes through building to some extent our own reality by embracing parts of the world and rejecting or ignoring the rest. Wanda’s grieving takes the form of building an entire alternative stereotypical idyllic reality, a reality occupied by ghosts of her own making created partially, perhaps to act as guides while representing her wishes about how life could be if only things had turned out differently. Wanda is both the chief protagonist and antagonist in this one. This series represents some excellent writing. Of course, Marvel put in enough occasional super-power moments to keep an old genre fan interested enough in the show to keep watching.
Not familiar with this title? WandaVision is an American television miniseries created by Jac Schaeffer for the streaming service Disney+, based on the Marvel Comics characters Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch and Vision. Set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it shares continuity with the franchise’s films and takes place after the film Avengers: Endgame (2019). WandaVision is produced by Marvel Studios, with Schaeffer serving as head writer and Matt Shakman directing. The series has all the best production qualities from stem to stern one would expect from a Marvel production.
Even though for me, some of the early scenes took a little getting used to because they seemed so on the money and authentic right down to the dialogue and the contrived manner in which it was delivered, I found this a little offsetting. Also, I’ve got to admit it took me some time, warming up to the show’s two leads. Without any notable exceptions, the entire cast does a terrific job of bringing this story to life. It was poetic irony at play when the memory of Vision gave life to White Vision and perhaps gained a new life through him. There’s already talk about a spin-off series featuring members of the supporting cast, namely the very likable and usually enjoyable pair of actors Kat Dennings and Randall Park in an X-Files type series. It’s an idea that I love, and I am hoping it becomes a reality.