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Review

WANDAVISION 1×03 Review

If you were looking for the perfect way to widen the world of WANDAVISION then episode 3 is just for you. Read Neil’s review…

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WandaVision (Disney+)

Synopsis

Wanda and Vision work to hide their pregnancy from the neighbours whilst trying to grapple with becoming parents for the first time.

Review

It’s time for another leap forwards in the world of WandaVision as the show transitions to the 70’s and takes on a Brady Bunch aesthetic. Only three episodes in to the series and we’re already seeing it prove that it has the versatility of writing to become a weekly anthology of differing inspirations.

Disney+ were very right to release episodes one and two (reviewed here) together last week. They go together as an extended series premiere perfectly. There’s a connectivity between the storytelling in those two episodes which works perfectly to setup the overall world and story arc for the show. Episode three stands much more singularly as a story-of-the-week with ties to that wider world.

The shifting decades help to give the show a less serialised feel than the story itself. If you were to take a step back and look at the piece as a whole it certainly adds up to a 90 min movie so far. Whilst I doubt that it would put off any viewers to digest the series as one go, it certainly helps to ease the potentially complex narrative with these chapter-esque breaks.

Episode 3 begins to peel back the mystery behind the sitcom-bubble of the show. With only six more episodes it seems executive producer Matt Shakman is going to tease the story out over a very slow burn. But I’m absolutely here for it if the level of storytelling he reaches here is able to continue. Even when its teetering on the edge of becoming something more serious WandaVision is able to balance it against a typically Marvel level of comedy.

In this episode that comedy revolves around Wanda’s pregnancy. Elizabeth Olsen feels born to play the material she’s given in this episode. Her campy reactions when her powers go wonky and her scenes with Teyonah Parris are perfectly played. Likewise the core relationship between Wanda and Paul Bettany’s Vision remains the beating heart of the series. It felt as though Vision had a little less to do this week but perhaps given his real-world status that is to be expected. Is he just another part of the sitcom mystery?

Parris also proves that she is an excellent addition to the cast in this episode. There’s a moment between “Geraldine” and Wanda which almost brings the universe crashing down around them this week. Its the series first big emotional beat and both actors play it brilliantly. It plays in to the sitcom mystery as well as the wider questions around Wanda, the series and the MCU multiverse. It also leads in to the series biggest cliffhanger to date.

What’s particularly impressive and evident here is the set design and costume design. Each episode the series has stepped up to loving recreate a new decade. Now we’re seeing the world in colour for the first time it’s evident that despite this being Marvel on the small screen, it’s no less detailed that it’s big screen counterparts.

Yet again WandaVision has perfectly pitched itself to match series of its chosen era. Laugh tracks feel less authentic and comedy moments feel even more corny than in the previous episodes. But in doing so the series manages to illicit even more laughs as it nudges and winks, tongue firmly planted in its cheek.

Verdict

If you were looking for the perfect way to expand on WandaVision‘s opening episodes, widening the mystery and the world of the show, then episode 3 is just what you’re looking for.

WandaVision stars the returning Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany as Vision. Joining them are Kathryn Hahn, Kat Dennings, Randall Park and Teyonah Parris.


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