WandaVision Enchants Viewers with Classic Sitcom Escapism

WandaVison S01E1-2
WandaVision so far is a delight; watching dramatic actors who embody dramatic characters get to play in the world of physical comedy, live audience reactions, and wholesome sitcom shenanigans.

Despite Wanda and Vision being two of my least favorite characters in all the MCU, I decided to give WandaVision a chance due to my insane love of all things, both sitcom, and vintage. I'm incredibly glad I did – WandaVision feels like a meta episode of a beloved drama series – it's really the MCU's version of the "meta fun episode" trope, like Supernatural's "The French Mistake" or the Arrowverse's musical crossover while also being a love letter to the evolution of sitcoms through the decades.

Elizabeth Olsen is Wanda Maximoff, and Paul Bettany is Vision in Marvel Studios' WANDAVISION, exclusively on Disney+.

The first two episodes of WandaVision are a reminder that television should be fun and about the wholesome, loving relationships between the characters on screen. The whole series premise of being a romp through sitcoms of the decades is one that could not be better suited to my tastes…but I was hesitant. That mostly comes from me being franchise fatigued on the MCU and totally over Disney's blatant cash grab for anything Marvel – even when it's not the best plot, story, or acting. Everything about it was tired, and I was bored with it. Until now, that is. Thanks to WandaVision.

Episode 1 of WandaVision comes right out of the gate with a 20-something minute episode that honestly feels like it could be the cold open to a film – which I suppose is basically what this series is. Think of it as being paced like a giant film that you watch in chunks; the first episode was charming, but we didn't get the sense that there was a larger story outside of the week's episode until near the end when the shoe really dropped. You get that first sense that this is not reality and something is really wrong.

WandaVision Enchants Viewers with Classic Sitcom Escapism
Paul Bettany as Vision and Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in Marvel Studios' WANDAVISION. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios, 2020. All Rights Reserved.

Now, being a huge fan of the "House of M" storyline, I love the whole "Wanda retreating into escapism to cope with the world falling apart around her" plot, and what better escapism is there than the world of sitcoms? That's why I fell in love with sitcoms especially – when the real world is in chaos, you can always count on the comfort of television couples and worlds to retreat into, knowing that everything will always be A-OK by the end of the half-hour. The story is wrapped up with a nice neat little bow, ready for the next week's misadventures.

I'm also incredibly glad that Disney released it at the absolute perfect time – though I'm not sure they can take all the credit for that. The real world is insane enough, and watching how sitcoms evolved to match the times through the decades is a fascinating 1,000+ word article I'll bore you with later, but bringing that television stability staple into the uncertainty that is 2021 is a genius-level move, especially as the series goes on. We all realize that the escape is not as sweet as it seems.

WandaVision episode 2 gives us a little more of that, and the general consensus is that it's left audiences foaming at the mouth for more…but not in the usual "rabid fandom" kind of way. WandaVision brought the fun back to the MCU and genuinely has me excited to sit down Friday nights after work and watch a new episode of a Disney show, and I can't remember the last time that's happened.

About Eden Arnold

Having spent far too much time in front of the television growing up, Eden has lots of opinions about television (as well as movies and everything else). She puts this to good use along with her journalism degree and writing experience with by-lines over the years in many print publications, books, and online media outlets. You can find her on Twitter at @Edenhasopinions

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