Set in mid-century suburbia, Marvel Studios' original series "WandaVision," offers Disney Plus subscribers a reality-bending love story between a superhero and a human-like robot.
Released Jan. 15, "WandaVision" narrates the non-traditional couple's journey in navigating a traditional world. Although reminiscent of two hit 1950s sitcom series, "I Love Lucy" and "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "WandaVision" proves it can stand on its own while still paying homage to black-and-white cinema.
The series begins in a conventional suburb in Westview, New Jersey. Wanda Maximoff, portrayed by Elizabeth Olsen, and her husband Vision, played by Paul Bettany, discover a mysterious heart drawn on their calendar — one that Wanda assumes represents the couple's anniversary.
As the first episode progresses, audiences follow Vision through his first day on the job at Computational Services Incorporated and Wanda's anniversary preparations with the couple's neighbor Agnes, played by Kathryn Hahn. The audience soon learns the heart’s true meaning, a forgotten reminder of dinner party plans with Vision's boss and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Heart, played by Fred Melamed and Debra Jo Rupp.
Wanda is forced to improvise the entire evening, further molding her perfect-housewife persona. After a day full of surprises, the two agree to celebrate their anniversary in remembrance of the remarkable dinner party. While the couple struggles to keep up a conventional image, this doesn’t stop them from being head over heels for each other. Their on-screen chemistry was captivating, and it reminded me that love is a fight worth fighting.
More modern and playful than episode one, episode two opens with the couple's preparations for the town's talent show fundraiser — one that the two plan to win without magic. Wanda makes her way to a committee meeting with Agnes and other housewives in the neighborhood while Vision explores the local library. As Wanda struggles to fit in and conceal her magical powers, Vision accidentally swallows a piece of gum with unsavory side effects.
During one of my favorite sequences of the series, the talent show, Vision's gum incident causes him to lose control of his powers during the couple’s magic show. After Vision accidentally reveals his powers to the audience, Wanda quickly covers it up using her own magical abilities — fooling the entire audience and winning the Comedy Performance of the Year Award.
The color begins to seep into the black-and-white production after the couple returns home to discover a life-changing surprise. Despite various problems the two faced, all was well in Westview.
If I hadn’t already started watching, I would have waited for the entire series to be released, as it seems like a good one to binge. In this day and age, worldly troubles can feel overwhelming and consuming, yet “WandaVision” serves as an upbeat and cheery distraction to help get your mind off things. The first two episodes are available to stream on Disney Plus with the other seven episodes to be released weekly.
Traveler Score: A