I think it’s safe to say Marvel fans and casual viewers alike have been completely enthralled by WandaVision.
This post contains minimal *spoilers*, but I suggest having watched at least the first couple of episodes first–if not all of them!
In WandaVision, we meet the familiar characters of Wanda Maximoff and Vision, but this time in a very unfamiliar setting, seemingly a black and white television series set in the town of Westview.
In a delightful and “punny” play on words, the name of the series links the two main characters together, Wanda + Vision, while also alluding to their “television” debut.
This story is very much unlike anything we’ve seen so far in the Marvel universe, and it had me at episode one. The set design and costume detail is incredible, constantly changing and progressing through “time” with each episode.
Just like with the rest of the Marvel properties, equal amounts of attention have been paid to the main storyline as well as to how this particular story relates to all of the others in the universe.
One example is Wanda’s ever-changing accent and her relationship to language. Casual viewers may think the creators are simply trying to phase out her accent to make it easier on the actress, Elizabeth Olsen, but several articles and a little digging online suggest this isn’t true.
When we first meet Wanda in Avengers: Age of Ultron, she speaks with her native Sokovian accent. In subsequent films, she suppresses her accent in order to assimilate into American culture, becoming more spy-like under the teachings of Natasha Romanoff (see Avengers: Civil War).
In WandaVision and in the town of Westview, Wanda maintains the “all American” accent, fitting perfectly into the tv world she inhabits. But, when she’s (spoiler) not in Westview, her natural accent tends to come back.
This flip-flopping back and forth of her accent, and essentially her identity, really underscores the struggle and loss that Wanda feels. This all seems incredibly intentional and deliberate in order to tell her story.
I very much appreciate the effort to delve further into these characters’ stories, ones who weren’t the main focus in previous storylines. I feel it lends a sense of humanity to them that you might not otherwise see in a guns blazing, lightning shooting battle.
I don’t pretend to understand all of the nuances or every link to the other movies, television series, or comic books, but that’s why this show has something for everyone. It doesn’t rely solely on what’s come before to make it a cohesive and thoughtful story in its own right.
It’s a wonderful–one might dare say “magical”–feat that for me brings the story to life.
You may have noticed that my enjoyment of this show lies heavily on its attention to detail. I admire that while it still blossoms in its own individuality, its ability to maintain consistency within the framework of a pre-existing storyline is nothing short of incredible.
I am in awe of the show writers and their ability to plan, research, plan some more, and then create a world that fits so perfectly into an already established franchise.
As a proofreader/editor, consistency and detail or two of my favourite things!
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Thank you for sharing this time together. See you again soon.
Special shout-out to the amazing Kathryn Hahn. She is a dream and I love her dearly.