‘WANDAVISION’: Back to Your Regular Programming
After Episode 7 we are most likely done with the sitcom-based chapters of WandaVision. Even if we’re still getting an Agn.. Agatha Harkness-centric flashback that might shed some light on both her past and how Wanda retrieved Vision’s body (or did she?), the TV tropes that were so masterfully used to develop the show’s narrative so far should now take a backseat and, in the words of Paul Bettany:
(…)in the end, you end up in full, MCU action movie.
For many, this will be seen as a welcomed pacing shift as WandaVision begins to resemble the MCU theatrical releases more and more, as it approaches the series finale and propels some of its characters into future Phase 4 appearances. There is no way around it, as WandaVision proudly advertised for everyone to see: this is a show that meant to break from the MCU mold and everything about it, either purposeful or not, made it so that a segment of fans would have a bit of trouble adjusting to the way a Marvel Studios project is usually enjoyed.
From the episodic format, something that inherently makes the narrative flow differently than in feature films, to the fact that it’s available on a streaming service, meaning it’s not bound by runtimes associated with shows of this magnitude, and not forgetting the obvious thematic approach that caught many off guard, WandaVision not only proved to not be your regular MCU property, it wasn’t even your regular TV show. But even though it might have been seen as a bit of a gamble by taking some obvious risks, it knew full well it had the MCU label as a safety net that would make audiences stick with it through thick and thin. And that is the right way to approach built-in fanbases, not by continuously giving them what they want, but by giving them what they might need once you have their full attention.
What other way would we get to experience such incredible performances by the show’s amazing leads, as both Olsen and Bettany thrived when asked to move these characters outside of their comfort zones. We also got to recognize and pay tribute to what made the referenced sitcoms so timeless paving the way to the shows we enjoy today, how TV itself has evolved through the years to the point of it being such a meaningful part of everyone’s lives, both past, and present, making us the consumers (not in a bad way) we all are today. Pertaining specifically to the MCU fandom, we’ve seen an incredible increase of engagement throughout the community directly associated with the fact that we’re getting weekly MCU content. The number of theories developed by a single episode rivals the ones surfacing after a theatrical release and even though a week seems like a lot of time to wait before the next episode when you fill that time with all of this content, it’s hard to say it isn’t time well spent.
We still have a couple more episodes until we reach the end of this season of WandaVision, but leaving the sitcoms behind feels like we’ll be indeed returning to our regular MCU programming, which will be followed by The Falcon and The Winter Soldier a month from now. That will also be a good thing, as it is the variety of approaches that’ll be helping the MCU move forward in the coming years. But may WandaVision‘s legacy be the one developed so far, that challenging audiences with interesting content, full of heart and respect towards the source material, is truly the way to go.