WANDAVISION’S SITCOM NOSTALGIA SETS THE STAGE FOR A JAW-DROPPING MID-SEASON TWIST

The new Disney+ series “WandaVision” based on the Marvel Comics characters Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch and Vision is a strong reminder why American television is on a roll. 

 In recent times, we are witnessing some of the most fascinating experiments taking place in American television space. In fact, it wouldn’t be a hyperbole to say that American television is today leaps and bounds ahead of American cinema. Some of the best creative minds in the US are currently working in the television space and have been producing some of the best content in the world. Here, I would like to mention the likes of Ryan Murphy, Jonathan Nolan, Jordon Peele, Damon Lindelof, among others. Even the likes of David Fincher and Ethan Hawke in recent years have produced their best work while working in the television space. Now, the primary reason why I am full of praise for American television is because of the creative scope that it is offering to the content creators which is mostly not possible with cinema these days as even someone like Alex Garland expressed while promoting his recent sci-fi miniseries “Devs”. Television essentially takes away the trouble of distribution and so the content creators only need to focus on the creation part. And, it has been given a major fillip by the ongoing global pandemic as television is finding new audiences with each passing day. 

 “WandaVision” is set three weeks after the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019). Wanda Maximoff and Vision are living a blissful suburban life in the town of Westview, New Jersey, trying to conceal their true identities. An important question arises here. How is Vision Alive in the idyllic universe of “WandaVision”? After all, The Avengers had lost Vision when he came between Thanos and the Mind Stone during the finale of Avengers: Infinity War (2018). Well, it obviously has something to do with Wanda and her wide range of superpowers. What’s even stranger is that Wanda and Vision are trapped in a world of sitcoms à la “Bewitched” and “Roseanne”. The journey begins in black & white with a 4:3 aspect ratio in the ‘50s. But by the end of the second episode, we enter the ‘70s and therefore the black & white imagery makes way for colour. 

 Interestingly, the third episode is even titled “Now in Color”. It’s only by the end of this episode that we finally start getting some idea about what really is happening as one of the characters hitherto living in Westview makes contact with the outside world for the first time. Apparently, Wanda has been controlling the reality all along. She is not just exercising complete control over Vision but she has taken control of the entire Westview population. In other words, everyone within the world of Westview is a puppet in her hands. We also learn that Wanda had earlier broken into a SWORD facility and stolen Vision’s corpse before bringing it back from the dead. Clearly, she has crossed all limits but whatever she has done she has done out of love for Vision. But taking a whole town hostage isn’t something that can be taken lightly by the authorities. What will happen when Wanda would be forced to confront the powers on the outside? Will Vision accept her transgressions once he comes out of her spell? Will The Avengers come looking for them? Even as one tries to grapple with these questions “WandaVision” unleashes the ultimate jaw-dropping mid-season cliffhanger marking the return of Wanda’s dead brother, Pietro Maximoff, aka Quicksilver.    

 But the excitement just doesn’t end here. For, it’s not the Pietro who earlier appeared with Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), the one essayed by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. But, it›s the other Pietro, the one portrayed by Evan Peters in the X-Men movies. Oh, yes… you read it just right! Now, this can mean just one thing. After years of wait, the X-Men have finally made a foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). And it’s been made possible by Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox back in 2019 (for a whopping USD 71.3 billion). Before the acquisition, 20th Century Fox owned the rights to a wide array of Marvel characters such as the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. So, 20th Century Fox kept on making the X-Men movies while Disney had to be content with the Avengers movies. But all that has changed with the much-awaited crossover finally happening with “WandaVision”. When Evan Peters’ Pietro walks through that door and meets Wanda, it is quite possibly not just the greatest moment in the history of the MCU but also the beginning of the biggest crossover event in entertainment franchise history. And to think that it wasn’t too long ago when Luke Skywalker had shown up in “The Mandalorian”, these indeed are proving to be exciting times for American television.  

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