Conspiracies and Hexes: A Look Inside the World of ‘WandaVision’

As one of the most anticipated television shows of the year, ‘’WandaVision’ provides awe and raw performances, but it fails to meet fans’ intense standards.

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Logan Klinger

One must watch several episodes of ‘WandaVision’ before the series switches to 100% in color, in what proves to be a visually delightful scene.

On January 15th, 2021, Disney+ released one of the most anticipated TV shows of this year. ‘WandaVision,’ starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, gathered 6.5 million household views in America, earning its place as one of the most watched shows across the world this year. 

What makes ‘WandaVision’ so fascinating is the mystery of its true genre. The show follows protagonist Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), a witch, and her partner Vision (Paul Bettany), an android, as they live a seemingly perfect suburban life. Both characters were introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ (2015), and have appeared on the big screen in several movies as superheroes. 

The show is characterized as a sitcom. Most episodes are set in various decades where the cinematography is modeled after sitcoms of their respective time periods. Anika Thapar ’21, a self proclaimed sitcom connoisseur, appreciated the references. “I loved how all of the episodes seemed to even have matching set decorations. The stairs in the 70’s episode were the same from ‘The Brady Bunch,’” said Thapar. 

Many episodes started with introductions similar to the ones in sitcoms. For instance, the short introductions matched fonts and even sitcom styles such as the ones in the shows ‘Malcolm in the Middle,’ ‘Happy Endings,’ ‘Bewitched,’ ‘Mary Tyler Moore,’ and many more. The directors even made sure to include a ‘Full House’ reference, as Elizabeth Olsen is the sister of both Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who also starred in the show.

‘WandaVision’ starts each episode with a unique introductory song that foreshadows the rest of the show. (Logan Klinger)

Another key aspect of the show are its commercials. ‘WandaVision’ utilizes fake commercial interludes, in order to foreshadow and to highlight various elements of the plot. For instance, a commercial about blue soap both acknowledged Wanda’s backstory and made a reference to another Marvel television show, ‘Agents of Shield.’ These commercials are especially delightful and humorous during episodes that can especially invoke our emotions.

Perhaps the best part about ‘WandaVision’ is the acting. Not only did ‘WandaVision’ give Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany the recognition that they deserved, but showcased the phenomenal work of other actors. “My favorite character was Agnes Harkness (Kathryn Hahn) whose portrayal is incredibly rich and humorous,” said Sophie Poritzky ’21. Other notable actors in the series include Teyonah Parris, Randall Park, Kat Dennings, and Josh Stamberg. 

‘WandaVision’ had been anticipated by avid fans for several years before coming to Disney+. While this can be helpful for growing a fanbase, it also put a lot of pressure on show-runners to be on par with the high standards. Before it came out, fans circulated a theory that actor Evans Peters had been seen on set. 

What makes this remarkable is that in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, Wanda’s brother is the fan favorite character Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), who does not return for the next movies. In the X-Men movies, a different version of Quicksilver is played by Evan Peters, which had fans theorize that ‘WandaVision’ would bring together the MCU and X-Men movies. 

Even though such a crossover is now possible, fans were irritated in learning this was not the case. However, Evan Peters still had a cameo in ‘WandaVision.’ “It just doesn’t really make sense, and I feel like Marvel was only really doing it to make us get hyped over the possibility of X-Men coming into the Marvel Comics Universe. Expect, they didn’t actually do it,” said Reese Villazor ’21. 

The lack of a true X-Men crossover was not the only annoyance to fans. Following comic-book lore, many fans theorized that we would see an appearance of more franchise characters. One such character was a demon named Mephisto. Instead of debunking these theories, the actors encouraged these theories, which led to fans’ inevitable disappointment. “It also didn’t necessarily help that the cast was also encouraging and foreshadowing the existence of conspiracies, in a way,” said Villazor. 

The beauty of ‘WandaVision’ does not lie in the intense action scenes or even in the nostalgia of the era-based episodes. “It’s great, because we finally got insight into Wanda as a character in a very raw manner, which also allowed us to explore the topic of grief. That’s something that I really enjoyed seeing, especially in such a visually and creatively appealing format,” said Villazor. Many fans resonated with Vision’s now-famous line, “What is grief, if not love persevering?”

Despite a few unsatisfactory aspects, ‘WandaVision’ set a high bar for future Marvel projects on Disney+. It truly earned a place as ‘art’ in modern television, and the show has viewers the opportunity to enjoy it in their own little world. 

To watch ‘’WandaVision’’ on Disney+ (subscription required), click HERE.

“It’s great, because we finally got insight into Wanda as a character in a very raw manner, which also allowed us to explore the topic of grief. That’s something that I really enjoyed seeing, especially in such a visually and creatively appealing format,” said Reese Villazor ’21. 

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