I’d heard “WandaVision” was going to be weird. The trailer confirms the weirdness, and I’m here for it.
With its Disney + shows, Marvel has an opportunity to let its full creativity flow through smaller stories, limited-run stories, and all kinds of storytelling experiments.
“The Mandalorian” showed what’s possible when a huge franchise (also owned by Disney) turns its attention to a small part of its universe. Marvel can do the same thing. Hell, it’s been doing the same thing for decades in the comics. Now, with Disney +, it’s got a space to play without the burden of billion-dollar film grosses. I hope they take full advantage of the opportunity.
Now then, as for that trailer …
The black-and-white, “Bewitched”-esque section of the trailer hints at significant trauma for Wanda. It appears she’s constructed this universe as a coping mechanism. That tracks from “Endgame,” where we saw Wanda tap into her grief to nearly tear Thanos to bits. The “Endgame” coda with Wanda and Hawkeye was a band-aid. She’s very much not okay. This (hopefully) continues a trend of Marvel weaving the effects of trauma into its characters’ development. Tony Stark was consumed by PTSD in “Iron Man 3,” and that angle created an emotional resonance the yielded one of the best films in the franchise. An overweight Thor was partially played for laughs in “Endgame,” but we also saw the depth of his sadness when he couldn’t bear to hear the name “Thanos” and he begged to be the one who sacrifices himself to unsnap the universe.
The “WandaVision” trailer makes it clear the show won’t be set exclusively in the black-and-white world. That allays a concern I had when I first heard about the show’s funky angle. From what I can tell, the narrative skips across decades and potentially includes present-day action. That’s going to be important, because as much as it’s fun to see Wanda and Vision in anachronistic settings, I’ll like the show more if it advances–even in small ways–the overall MCU.
This is an exciting cast. Kathryn Hahn makes everything 25% better. Kat Dennings (who isn’t in the trailer but is part of the cast) also makes everything 25% better. And Teyonah Parris–there’s a flash of her in the trailer–is playing a grown-up Monica Rambeau from “Captain Marvel.”