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WandaVision: New Beginnings

WRITTEN BY ARSH VOHRA AND SNIGDHA DHAMEJA


Symposia : 7.5/10

IMDb : 8.1/10

Rotten Tomatoes : 91%


‘WandaVision’ presents the new forefront of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and strays away from the clichéd ‘superhero’ content expressed in previous projects.


The series captures Wanda Maximoff’s journey through the seven stages of grief as she slowly

accepts and mourns the loss of her loved ones. With the pilot airing in a 50’s sitcom style, complete with accurate costume and sets, the initial episodes pay homage to sitcoms

through the decades. The series almost completely contrasts what Marvel usually has to offer, and is rife with sentiment that is often missing in the action-laden projects of the MCU. The characterisation of Wanda and Vision throughout the series could be described as nothing less than sensational. Their personalities, characters, quirks and flaws are laid out in several poignant and humorous scenes; opening wide doors for the potential of their characters in the next phase of Marvel content. I found it particularly refreshing to see Marvel embark on a project that wasn’t about saving the world from aliens or some ethereal force, but rather the downfall of an Avenger who grapples with grief and loss. While they did manage to factor in some typical action scenes towards the end, I absolutely loved how Marvel decided to put up a simpler show that focused on emotional impact, rather than senseless action and violence.


The show definitely plays with your mind because nothing is truly as it seems. With each episode, you foray into Wanda’s world along with her, uncovering secrets together. The latter episodes contain twists and turns that shock, delight and tug the threads of seemingly well-woven reality. ‘WandaVision’ is a breath of fresh air for hardcore Marvel fans, and promises something new while resolving the aftermath of past events.


However, ‘WandaVision’ being Marvel’s first venture into TV, comes with quite a few flaws. The character treatment given to Wanda and Vision that made them so likeable and filled with personality is non-existent with Monica Rambeau, Jimmy Woo and Darcy Lewis. All three of these characters act as the audience's perspective, but come off as bland by the end of the season. Along with this, in the final episode, there is hardly any pay off to the arcs of these characters. They end up playing minor and forgettable roles in the conclusion of the series which raises the question: why were they in it at all? The bad character work doesn't end there because ‘WandaVision’ suffers from having far too many villains. By episode nine, there are maybe four villains out of which two are caricatures and highly underdeveloped. The lack of characters that the audience can care about and providing them with inconsequential endings are two fatal flaws of the show.


In addition, structure is a key component to the pacing and viewer satisfaction of a show. This series was a structural mess. ‘WandaVision’ is ambitious and somehow equally feels like Marvel’s not trying at all. Due to a confused episodic outline that might have bit off more than it could chew, the ending feels unsatisfying. As I reflect on the show, a lot of its problems revolve around the structure which makes the series feel purposeless in many ways. Even though this isn’t Marvel’s fault, viewer satisfaction was also hindered by fan theories. The ‘Feitro’ reveal left many disappointed because they expected something else to occur. Overall, the show didn’t feel as cohesive as it needed to be to have the kind of impact that the studio desires.


My last issue with the show is purely on a filmmaking level. The scriptwriting outside of the sitcom episodes is subpar at best. It explains too much to the audience, leaving little to the imagination and lacks a natural flow. Furthermore, director Matt Shakman made some massively disappointing decisions. The scenes outside of the sitcom look extremely cheap. There are quite a few moments in the show where poor cinematography, editing and direction shine through. The use of wide angle shots, oddly placed cuts and a tacky sound mix give off the impression that the show was made on a low budget and it’s not! We know that Marvel is willing to spend up to 25 million dollars, 25 MILLION DOLLARS PER EPISODE for its Disney+ shows. Yet, ‘WandaVision’ looks like an inexpensive CW show and that is an unforgivable mistake made by the creative team.


Despite all of these flaws there is something about this show which is endearing. It’s different and captivating. It brought millions of people together every Friday for two months as we all tuned into the new episode of ‘WandaVision’. Most importantly, it made me truly care for a character. Wanda, who was previously a side character with a truly horrible accent, has now become one of my favourite characters in the MCU. I can’t wait to see what’s next in store for Wanda and Vision.

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