By John Kaiser III – Navarro County Gazette

Somehow the world has managed to go an entire year without a single new Marvel movie!

After the mega-epic Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame in April of 2019 and then the final MCU Phase 3 film, Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 2, the MCU has been quiet. Black Widow (now slated for May 7), which was to be the next big MCU release has had it’s release date continually pushed back. Enter WandaVision – The first of a slew of new Marvel shows coming to DIsney+.

Starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, who are reprising their roles of Wanda Maximoff (the Scarlet Witch) and Vision first introduced in Avengers: Age of Ultron and then featured in the subsequent blockbuster MCU movies, WandaVision launched yesterday with two episodes. The remaining seven episodes will air once a week on Fridays until March 5.

If you need a refresher on the characters, Disney+ has also launched a series called Marvel Studios Legends, which basically just takes all the clips of each character from all the movies and edits them all together. The first two Legends episodes are, not coincidentally, Wanda and Vision.

While not the first Marvel property to get an almost surreal, experimental feeling series (look up Legion on Hulu), WandaVision is the first in the mainstream MCU timeline so it may feel like a departure from the grandiose big screen productions.

The 50s sitcom setting and aesthetics of the first two episodes are a direct contrast to the loud action packed movies. The vibe of these episodes is very much of the I Love Lucy, Bewitched and The Dick Van Dyke Show era of television, but with this underlying tension of something not being quite right.

While future episodes look to emulate other classic decades of television, the through-line will be the unfolding of the mystery. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany pull off the silly antics of the 50’s archetypal characters of these period pieces flawlessly with a great chemistry between them. Paul Bettany, in particular, is an absolute delight to watch as the bumbling husband who is absolutely human and eats food regularly.

It is also nice to see these two actually have some proper screen time together. When competing for screen time with all of the other Avengers, their love story gets a bit lost among all of the other noise. The movies show just enough to let you know they have a thing for each other but never really explore it. With WandaVision we will get a deep-dive into their characters and relationship.

What the actual overarching storyline is, what is actually going on, and how it all ties into the movies is all a mystery. Like the Disney+ smash hit, The Mandalorian, if you have any interest in this series (or the MCU as a whole), you will want to watch these as soon as they air before the internet spoils it for you.

If it keeps up the quality and mystery of these first two episodes, this will be a fun one to watch and discuss theories about what is going on with your friends and family while eagerly awaiting for the next episode to air. In an era of the instant gratification of binge watching, this return to form of weekly content is a welcomed respite. It feels good to have something to look forward to.

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