My least favorite opinion on Marvel Cinematic Universe that I’ve held onto since 2015 Age of ultronis that I love Scarlet Witch and Vision. MCU fans don’t necessarily hate them per se, but on a larger scale, they play such a small part that they are very few favorites. I once argued at a party with someone who said the two were pointless additions to the MCU narrative. (Even at my own party!)
The reasons why I was drawn to them for the first time were simple: I love witches and I love robots. (The fact that Paul Bettany is so cute doesn’t hurt.) I enjoy them individually, but as a ship, I also like the concept of two estranged outsiders finding comfort together.
WandaVision feels like a justification for my fandom. Finally, two of my favorite MCU characters who only had tiny scenes in bigger, grander stories have their own show. The first three episodes made me even more triumphant – this fun, lively version of this self-proclaimed “unusual couple” is exactly what I wanted.
But the Disney Plus show is about to spiral into big, heavy plot things. Fans are clearly looking forward to the reveal, the answer to how this show fits into the MCU’s grander scheme. But can we take a moment here? Why, why can’t we stick with the funny things any longer?
[Ed. Note: This post contains slight spoilers for the first three episodes of WandaVision.]
In the early days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe fandom, the Avengers Tower was one of the most popular settings in fanfiction and fanart. Writers and artists used the concept of all Avengers living together to envision downtime between cast – Thor devoured pop tarts, Clint built nests in the rafters, Everyone cuddled up and played their Nintendo DSs. My early days enjoying MCU content were shaped by it: all I really wanted was an expanded cut of The avengers‘Post-credits shawarma scene with the worn-out heroes all sharing a bite and talking about their feelings.
With few exceptions – Thor’s one-time roommate Darryl comes to mind, as does the first half of Spider-Man: Far from home (also known as Peter Parker European vacation) – The constantly changing action wheels of the rumbling MCU machine rarely allow scenes outside of duty. And it’s a shame, because these moments are not just cozy one-shots; They often do most of the character work. In fact, Wanda and Visions was the only real couple moment in one of those smaller, less frenzied sequences.
I to like Filler episodes where characters hang out and relationship dynamics are explored. I prefer fearless sitcoms over hours of drama because they devote time to the characters’ more mundane moments. Whenever a story takes a moment to breathe, it has the opportunity to examine the characters to their core, at a time when they are not being driven by the evil machinations of a big bad or trying to save the world. These quiet moments show us who they are when they don’t have to be heroes. With an overwhelming juggernaut like the MCU with its ever-expanding cast, some characters are slipping through the cracks. It’s hard to know what they’re all fighting for when we just watch them fight.
Right now, WandaVision is a chance to slow down. Wanda and Vision’s chemistry finally gets a moment to shine, aside from a few scenes hidden in other people’s films – and it turns out they are pretty fun people who love each other very much! When not running for their lives or battling Thanos’ henchmen, Wanda and Vision can explore the craziness of their relationship. The show’s setup means it does this through pre-established sitcom clichés, but that only strengthens their peculiar quirks and personalities.
The sitcom storylines of each episode may be familiar to viewers, but these characters are first experiencing them. There’s a reason Coffee Shop AU is a popular fan fiction trope, and that the Avengers Tower was the go-to for a lot of Avengers fan content – using an established framework from a genre we haven’t seen the characters in before Both the story and the characters themselves are re-recorded.
And I don’t just enjoy WandaVisionfunny hijinks (although I’d like to emphasize that I love funny hijinks); It’s more than exciting how Wanda and Vision finally get the chance to sparkle. I’ve always loved them because they’re just a witch and a robot – outsiders even in a world full of super soldiers and alien gods who have trouble identifying with the rest of their peers because they don’t fit in. Now I love them because they are quirky, serious and funny, some weird people who have found each other and are just trying to be happy.
Any sequence of WandaVision So far, more clues have been revealed as to what’s behind the curtain on the show’s sitcom reality. We know at this point that something is wrong, that Wanda is purposely not letting how aware she is that she is living in a fantasy, and that at some point there is going to be a great cool thing WandaVision perfect in the Doctor strange Episode. For me, however, that fun part of the show is the important part – it’s already done more for their characters than three films have ever done. I’m looking forward to the big reveal, but wish we had a little more time to rest. I feel like we won’t get that kind of downtime once the bigger plot is in full swing.
The first three episodes of WandaVision can be streamed on Disney Plus.