WandaVision is the first slice of Marvel Cinematic Universe we've gotten for over a year because the Pandemic just shut Movies down. No theatres open, no Black Widow, no summer movie season, no fun escapism at the movies. The world locked down, and everyone ended up stuck at home like a kind of Purgatory.
And without meaning to, the show has become a reflection of our lives in the Pandemic.
Wanda and Vision are a newly married couple who move to the suburbs in a pastiche of old US sitcoms. The show starts out in black and white, a take-off of shows like The Dick Van Dyke Show and I Love Lucy. Sitcoms are escapism to us, mental comfort food. They make light comedy out of the minor domestic drama. They're steeped in nostalgia, especially sitcoms from the old days. Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Kathryn Hahn, and the rest of the cast get to reenact the codified behaviour of sitcom acting styles. It's all terribly postmodern, and it's nice to see a Marvel project where the actors actually get to act for a change rather than serve as props for the CGI fights. It's like they escaped from the harsh reality into the fun fantasy of a sitcom, just like we're trying to escape our dumpster fire reality by binging on sitcoms like Friends or The Office during our Grim Lockdown Present.
Wanda and Vision are living in a kind of Purgatory, just like we are. She's desperately trying to maintain the status quo, but this world is an illusion. A much darker, grimmer reality keeps threatening to leak through the perfect sitcom world she wants to stay in with Vision, who we last saw die in Avengers: Infinity War.
And grim reality will breakthrough. This is a Marvel story. It's always going to be about fighting a great menace that threatens the world. It's not hard to think of that threat, whatever it turns out to be, as a metaphor for the coronavirus. The show may have been planned at least two years ago, but Marvel Studios have a tendency to capture the mood.