TV TATTLE

WandaVision is a Marvel show for people who don't like Marvel

  • "I’m not a Marvel-head," says Willa Paskin. "I read their comics as a kid and I’ve seen a handful of the movies, but I find myself transforming into an unbearable Poindexter when confronted with four fifths of their output (think 'Hulk Smash,' just snobbier). Nevertheless, I liked WandaVision. Through the first three episodes, the Marvel mythology recedes even as it provides enough stakes and structure to keep the old-timey sitcom riffs from having to shoulder the series. Over the years there have been all sorts of attempts to bring back the laugh-track sitcom, but WandaVision is more successful than most of them (I know, knock me over with a feather) because it’s all icing on the cake—the cake actually being the grim and complex Marvel mythology and backstory. Even as many of the show’s details are doing double duty as hints and feints—Kathryn Hahn’s nosy neighbor isn’t just a brash character cracking endless jokes at her husband’s expense, she’s probably someone else; the commercials that talk so much about being in and out of time are presumably hinting at some big themes—but it’s more interested in the sitcom as a sitcom than it has to be. Its sendup of the way sitcoms have historically hidden real pregnancies or the way they characterize Black neighbors are observations unto themselves, and just not there to further the master plot. Like Clark Kent though, a superhero from a dueling intellectual property empire, WandaVision is a show in disguise. Lurking underneath the sitcom surface is something less delightful. This starts to get teased out in earnest in the second episode, a riff on Bewitched, in which Vision and Wanda put on a magic show. There’s a sweet homage to that series’ opening credits and a great corny gag in which Vision swallows a piece of gum that gums up his works, rendering him, more or less, drunk, but there are also eerie moments that hint at future menace and snatches of color that call to mind Pleasantville, the Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon film in which they get zapped into their favorite old sitcom, introducing color and complexity, and learn nothing is perfect. Even as the show continues to make its way through the decades, one sitcom at a time (Family Ties has been promised), it seems inevitable that WandaVision—for Wanda and Vision and us—is not going to offer the light escape a sweet old sitcom promises to, but something closer to a stranger, more distressing, delusional The Truman Show."

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    • WandaVision is at its best when it gets weird: "The best parts of the first three episodes are when WandaVision unapologetically leans into its weirdness — like a very strange scene featuring a bird in episode three," says Alex Abad-Santos. "Perhaps that’s because I feel like all live-action television could be improved with more avian creatures. But the more unexplained moments the show throws at us, and the more it pushes up against what feels like horror, the more it allows the sitcom device to really hammer home its uncanny artificiality. The result is that the sitcom beats feel even stranger, maybe even more menacing — in a way that goes beyond “these characters sure are acting unnaturally.” It makes you realize the intense desperation for these characters to be “normal,” and the tragedy that “normal” is the one thing they’ll never be able to be. When the characters sink back into their comedic shtick, then, it feels even more unnerving."
    • WandaVision demonstrates just how elastic the Marvel brand can be: "The sheer oddity of WandaVision (as a superhero-adjacent project, at least, since sitcom parodies have been around forever, in forms ranging from Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s short-lived White House comedy That’s My Bush! to Adult Swim’s 2014 earworm Too Many Cooks) makes sense as a statement of its own," says Alan Sepinwall. "Even though we’re still waiting for shows featuring Falcon, Winter Soldier, Loki, and other faces from the movies, it’s not hard to imagine what they will look and feel like, because we’ve seen nearly two dozen movies shepherded by Feige, and have grown used to the rhythms, the tone, and, roughly, the level of execution of them. Some MCU films are uniquely good (Black Panther) or uniquely not-good (Thor: the Dark World), but they’re all built on the same assembly line, within fairly strict parameters and consistent degrees of oversight. A season of television isn’t just a long movie, nor should it try to be, but Marvel landing on Disney+ with a slightly TV-ified version of a Thor or Captain America film wouldn’t feel like much of a thrilling accomplishment. By instead kicking things off with our heroes’  adventures in TV Land (or perhaps Nick at Nite), WandaVision gets to demonstrate just how elastic the Marvel brand can be. And after Endgame may have taken the original MCU formula as far as it can go, demonstrating that these characters are more versatile than they appeared seems like a very clever idea. When that versatility is wrapped in a meta love letter to the medium in which Feige and company now get to operate, all the better."
    • WandaVision's lazy nostalgia isn't as smart as it thinks it is: "The period details and shooting style are impeccable — even the theme music within the sitcom is spot-on — but pretty quickly, I was getting restless, for two reasons," says Tim Grierson. "First, the problem with watching a faux-sitcom that’s not supposed to be funny is that… well, it’s not funny, leaving you watching a program that keeps reminding you how consciously lame it’s trying to be. (WandaVision isn’t meta in the form of, say, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, where the deconstruction of TV tropes is entirely the point.) Second, we quickly get hints that all is not as it appears. The pilot involves a very sitcom-y premise — My gruff boss and his wife are coming over for dinner, and Wanda and I aren’t prepared! — but within that straight-faced story is a strange wrinkle in which it seems like the very fabric of the show, for a moment, gets gummed up. Disney made the first three episodes available to critics, and I can report that similar glitches in this particular Matrix happen a few more times. Clearly, we’re not being presented with the whole picture of Westview (or the sitcom realty within WandaVision). So what’s going on? It’s hardly a groundbreaking thesis that seemingly innocent small-town America contains its share of moral rot and weird happenings — David Lynch has made an entire career out of this notion — and, thus far, WandaVision doesn’t have much new to say about suburban life or the sitcoms that tried to romanticize it. Likewise, if you’ve seen Far From Heaven or The Truman Show or The Stepford Wives, you’ve basically got the gist of this show’s insights into conformity, consumerism, sexism and casual bigotry."
    • WandaVision has a clever premise that puts it into several categories at once: "A comedy and a mystery, a superhero story and a period-piece spoof," says Jen Chaney. "It’s Pleasantville. It’s a Marvel movie. It’s very much a TV show. And, somehow, it all works. Series creator and head writer Jac Schaeffer and director Matt Shakman, who handles all nine episodes (three of which were provided for review), gear shift between tones and genres without seeming like they ever need to tap the clutch."
    • There's something creatively courageous about handing a postmodern exploration of sitcom conventions to an audience expecting snazzy suits and explosions: "Expect a merited mixture of confusion and TV-nerd joy from viewers in response to a show that has picked a distinctive lane and commits to it," says Daniel Fienberg. He adds: "Even with its slow-building sense of menace, WandaVision has more in common with a meta-sitcom like Get a Life or That's My Bush — half-hours built around tweaking the conventions of the format — than a comic book show. It's like Marvel's Too Many Cooks, in reference to the 2014 viral short in which the credits for an ultra-sunny TGIF-style sitcom begin to fold in on themselves and become a postmodern nightmare. Did I find this delightful? Often! Is there a core demo this will flummox? To be sure!"
    • WandaVision is hampered by its laugh track: "WandaVision director Matt Shakman and head writer Jac Schaeffer go whole hog with the TV sitcom tropes, to the point of utilizing a laugh track in some cases, a live studio audience for the premiere and an aura of strained unreality throughout," says Michael Phillips. "It’s theoretically fascinating and, in practice, as one-third of a first season, strained in the extreme. Live or canned, the laughter all sounds canned and deadly, and it practically suffocates all three of the initial episodes. Bettany and Olsen have their charms, but their comic ease is AWOL, and the banter and interplay is never truly funny, or funny/scary, or funny/ironic, or ironic/scary/funny. It’s a premise stretched, like gum, across three episodes that should’ve been two, or even one."
    • WandaVision delivers flawless sitcom magic, but it quickly wears out its welcome: "While Disney+’s strategy in dropping the first two episodes of WandaVision on its premiere day is clever, some of the show’s charm has already worn off by the time the credits roll on episode two," says Alexis Nedd. "Both episodes are short, with the longest clocking in at just over 30 minutes, but they are nearly identical to each other: Wanda and Vision are stock characters in a black and white sitcom for some reason, predictable Bewitched-style hijinks ensue, and the episode ends with a hint that something is rotten in their town of Westview. Those hints don’t build to anything significant by episode three, at which point the need for something, anything to happen is overwhelming. Part of the reason WandaVision’s slow detour through television history inspires such impatience is the fact that anyone who has paid attention to the trailers already knows to expect a big reveal. Fans have seen clips of Wanda and Vision in their comic book costumes and using their powers in this show; no one needs three or more episodes to catch on to the idea that something funky is going on here. At some point, the cute sitcom plots begin to feel like a gag gift, one where a big, beautifully wrapped box contains a smaller, equally beautiful box and so on until the fun of unwrapping is usurped by annoyance. It’s been a year, WandaVision, what did you get us?"
    • WandaVision is a weird and wonderful ode to television history: "What’s clear from the instant that the red Marvel logo fades into warm grays is that WandaVision is not just the next Marvel thing in a never-ending line of Marvel things," says Brett White. "WandaVision is its own thing and, judging by the first three episodes given to press ahead of its debut, it’s potentially the one piece of the entire MCU canon that not only stands alone, but deserves to be analyzed completely independent of the larger conversation around superhero properties. WandaVision isn’t just another story about superheroes; WandaVision is a love letter to the history of sitcoms, one that sharply dissects how and why the format endures and why it remains culturally significant. Yep—WandaVision is a superhero show (a genre that’s frequently dismissed by critics) that analyzes sitcoms (a format frequently overlooked by critics)."
    • WandaVision is funny yet frustrating: "WandaVision blurs the lines between TV show, overlong film and corporate cheerleader: It has the responsibility to bridge the gap to the mainstream films and kick off a long run of Marvel projects for Disney+ as part of Disney's overall march toward a streaming-first future," says Kelly Lawler. "It feels simultaneously wildly experimental and weighed down by its high concept. But one thing is certain after viewing three episodes made available for review: More are needed to figure out what WandaVision actually is." Lawler adds: "It's too attuned to its corporate responsibility to tie into the films and other TV shows to focus on being its own TV show. TV writers often hype their shows as '10-hour movies,' admitting from the word go that they believe the cinema to be the higher form of art. But there are beautiful, transcendent stories to be told on television that celebrate the medium. For a series that purports to be a love letter to one of TV's most classic genres, the sitcom, it struggles to claim an identity as a TV show at all."
    • The weekly rollout may hurt WandaVision: "Disney+ has stuck firmly to the week-to-week model, and while that has proven to be a good strategy for other Disney+ shows like The Mandalorian, it may do WandaVision a disservice," says Megan Vick. "The Mandalorian takes place in a well-established universe and the series' first season was mostly comprised of standalone adventures that made it feel like a space cowboy procedural. With each episode of Mando being its own adventure, the week-to-week deployment felt satisfying. While Wanda and Vision are established characters, the world of WandaVision is a new corner of the MCU that doesn't have set rules or parameters and those are not clear even after the first third of the nine-episode season. The Star Wars series was also pretty straightforward in its premise: protect Baby Yoda at all costs. WandaVision is a slow burn when it comes to revealing the bigger picture of the series, and the first three episodes make it clear that answering burning questions from the films, like how Vision is apparently alive after Thanos (Josh Brolin) ripped the Soul stone from his head at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, is not an urgent priority. Plus, WandaVision's episodes are much more interconnected than The Mandalorian's first outing."
    • WandaVision penalizes casual Marvel viewers: "This is the paradox of WandaVision," says Judy Berman. "Though it gets off to a slow start, the show has plenty going for it, from gorgeous, extremely expensive-looking production design and breathtaking special effects to punchy performances, a trippy mood and a plot that does eventually become quite absorbing. More meta-comedy than action spectacle, it’s the rare superhero story that could potentially appeal to viewers, like me, whose eyes glaze over when battle scenes run longer than a few minutes. Which makes it especially unfortunate that it’s one of the hardest Marvel series to follow if you haven’t visited the MCU since Black Panther."
    • WandaVision unleashes the weird, untapped power of the MCU: "With two episodes that are fun sitcom parodies and a third that ends as a vaguely horror-flavored take on a Marvel movie, WandaVision has the makings of what could be a riveting entry in the MCU canon," says Sam Barsanti. "After all, where does a TV show go when it has already been madcap black-and-white sitcom, a slightly saucier high-concept comedy, and a super-powered mystery with possibly enormous repercussions for the wider universe? It’s hard to say, because such a feat’s never really been done before, and it only makes sense now because of the seemingly bottomless—yet often sparingly utilized—storytelling potential of the MCU. WandaVision is tapping into a power that the MCU has been sitting on for a decade, and like Wanda ripping Thanos apart in Endgame, it’s about time we see what this thing can really do."
    • WandaVision finds a fun way to tackle time-period sexism: "Most of the 1960s was filled with strange 'seduction' techniques, even though couples didn’t sleep in the same beds on television," says Rachel Leishman. "I do not know how real-life situations worked; I was not alive. My idea of this era, like many others, is completely reliant on shows like I Love Lucy and The Dick Van Dyke Show, and trust me, childhood-me was very confused by the two-bed situation. WandaVision has somehow mastered the art of playing in the sitcom space while still calling out the sexism that very much existed at the time and in these shows we hold so dear. Under the guise of Wanda and Vision being an 'unusual' couple, the show lets their dynamic thrive by placing those sexist aspects on other couples or in the 'commercials' that litter the episodes."
    • WandaVision is an odd duck, a high-concept combination of paranoiac mystery and nostalgic pop-culture burlesque: "Odd does not, by itself, equal good, and on the evidence of the three episodes made available for review, the eccentricities of WandaVision are mostly just weighing it down," says Mike Hale. "It feels as if we’re still waiting for the real show to get started, and even with half-hour episodes (reminiscent of the hit Disney+ sci-fi serial, The Mandalorian) that’s a long time to wait. The Mandalorian had the good sense to introduce Baby Yoda in Episode 1." He adds: "On the term-paper plane where a certain portion of comics-fan love plays out, WandaVision has a lot to offer. The situation comedy meets the science-fiction conspiracy thriller on the common ground of manufactured reality. Characters with exceptional powers and histories are forced to efface their identities in a simulacrum of mid-20th-century suburban conformity. The Brady Bunch! Moment by moment, though, the show’s execution of its premise is less fun for the viewer than it evidently was for the creative team, which was led by the director Matt Shakman and the head writer, Jac Schaeffer. The classic-comedy pastiche is skillful, affectionate and well-performed, but it’s not terribly imaginative — if anything, it’s a little too true to its antiquated sources. It’s also not very funny, which is a continuing disappointment even if it’s at least partly intentional."
    • WandaVision has yet to engage with nostalgia in a meaningful way: "If WandaVision was just this — a throwback sitcom starring Olsen and Bettany — it would be glorious, like an episodic take on Down With Love, relishing the beloved structures of classic TV rom-coms while updating their outdated attitudes toward gender and race," says Ben Travers. "But WandaVision has yet to engage with nostalgia in a meaningful way, nor does it fully embrace TV’s storytelling attributes. The first MCU series may be about television, but it still plays like an overinflated movie. That’s because WandaVision isn’t just a sitcom; it’s the launch of MCU Phase Four and remains very much tied to executive producer Kevin Feige’s master plan. Knowing fans are well aware of this, the show never even sets up its peculiar premise."
    • Marvel has proven, perhaps surprisingly, that it can nail a different format entirely: the classic sitcom: "In fact, the first three episodes that I’ve seen contain none of the usual Marvel trappings — no fight sequences, no CGI villains — and the result is an intriguing, fresh, genuinely delightful deviation from what we’ve come to expect," says Rebecca Iannucci, adding: "It’s rare to encounter a TV show that remains enjoyable in spite of how little information it gives the audience. The first three episodes offer only hints of what’s behind Wanda and Vision’s bizarro universe, yet it remains compelling in the meantime. WandaVision so perfectly encapsulates the retro sitcoms it’s honoring that even as you’re desperate to know what’s really going on, you can’t help but delight in its main characters’ earnest, old-timey antics. (That said, I have to wonder if the show would have been better suited for a binge release, rather than a weekly one — though it’s obvious why Marvel and Disney+ would want to wring weeks’ worth of discourse out of this show.)"
    • It’s all deliciously, confidently, stylishly done: "The parodies are fantastic fun, the jokes are great, the performances (especially from Olsen and Bettany, whose chemistry is a joy in itself) are wonderful, and it has the glorious air of something shaped by people who know exactly what they’re doing, where they want to go and how they’re going to get there," says Lucy Mangan. "The grimmer undertones give it heft and texture and invite you deeper in with every episode. The light and the dark are woven seamlessly together, and the parodic element is never just a gimmick. Instead, all sorts of established television tropes are deployed to thicken the plot – the traditional unrelenting perkiness of the neighbour designed as extra-comic relief becomes the desperate brittleness of a woman with something awful to hide, and the mean-girl vibe of the neighbourhood’s apex housewife Dotty (Emma Caulfield) becomes the fearful hostility of the genuinely rather than merely socially threatened. The most welcome quality, however, is perhaps that there is not a trace of cynicism to be found in it. Knowingness, yes, nods and winks to our shared screen language and understanding of its conventions, sure, plus a generous scattering of Easter eggs for MCU devotees but on which lesser fans’ pleasure does not rest – but the series has a generous heart animating everything. As well as a delight, WandaVision feels like a gift."
    • The miraculous season premiere of WandaVision a real feat of chaos magic: "WandaVision casts a spell with its rigid dedication to the throwback conceit," says Darren Franich. "The first episode focuses on an old-fashioned misunderstanding: Guess who's coming to dinner! As chatterbox-next-door Agnes, Kathryn Hahn keeps pouring herself into the house. Agnes has a habit of mentioning her unseen husband, and Hahn somehow turns the name "Ralph" into a hilarious catchphrase and an eerie threat. You feel you're watching an actual legendary sitcom character — and then Debra Jo Rupp, an actual sitcom legend, shows up as the tetchy wife of Vision's boss (Fred Melamed). Director Matt Shakman honors the rigidity of '50s multicam, only breaking from that format for an unsettling scene near the end of the premiere. Somehow, the artifice sets the lead actors free. Shorn of whatever emo thing she wasn't nailing in the movies, Olsen pinpoints a particular strain of daffy exasperation. There are wheels turning within wheels behind Wanda's domestic pirouetting. Her internal struggle is sort of a plot thing, but it's also a sincere homage to how Laura Petrie always looked streets ahead of Rob. Meanwhile, Bettany dials up his English as a desperate-to-please goofball husband. And WandaVision cleverly keeps shifting the landscape under their feet. Clothes, furniture, and even camerawork evolve forward a decade per episode. Part 2 is suddenly the '60s: Wanda in pants, scenes shot outside, the historical invention of sex. By episode 3, the opening title sequence advertises 'WandaVision in Color!' and Vision's got sideburns."
    • The Marvel Cinematic Universe's most daring experiment yet could end up being its best: "There have been other TV shows technically set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Disney+'s first original MCU series (and notably the first major Phase 4 narrative to premiere, thanks to Covid) is a surprising deviation — for one thing, it makes a point of setting you back on your heels right from the beginning," says Liz Shannon Miller. "Rather than coddle new viewers, the first episode introduces us to loving newlyweds Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) searching for suburban monochromatic bliss. As we quickly learn, she has 'magical' powers and he's an artificial creation who doesn't eat, but beyond that they're just like any other young couple trying to fit in and find happiness... right? The answer is of course not, and the trickiest magic act series creator Jac Schaeffer manages to pull off is exactly how much to reveal about how 'all is not what it seems.'"
    • WandaVision is more interesting for its place within the Marvel behemoth than an immediately great show in and of itself: "A pre-pandemic world might have seen something more straightforwardly of a piece with the MCU, like Falcon and the Winter Soldier, premiere first. But whether accidentally or on purpose, WandaVision is an admirably weird introduction to the new age of Marvel TV," says Caroline Framke "Yes, this show and every one of the roughly ten thousand other ones on the way will inevitably have to connect back to the blockbuster movies. After all, the first priority for Marvel will still be getting every possible fan invested in everything the studio has to offer. At the very least, though, Marvel and Disney’s aggressive campaign to flood the market with #content might be a bit less annoying if some of its shows can get strange without worrying too hard about losing its biggest possible audience. From a pure aesthetic standpoint, it’s surprising and undeniably effective to see WandaVision twist the established Marvel brand to fit a very specific, entirely different mode."
    • The trouble with WandaVision is that as early as halfway through the first episode, we’ve pretty much gotten the joke in its entirety: "Stretched out into three (and likely more) episodes, the stuck-in-a-TV-show premise starts to seem like a better idea for an interlude within something larger, rather than a whole thing unto itself," says Richard Lawson. "The surprise of seeing Olsen and Bettany—or, rather, Wanda and Vision—playing out these creaky roles, eyes gleaming with the beginnings of confusion and worry, wears off quickly. I found myself getting impatient—rather than intrigued—for the series to hurry up and tell us what’s going on. Perhaps this is because I suspect, or expect, that eventually there will be some regular old superhero action to come—Wanda’s red glowing magic and the Vision’s omnipotence shining at full bore. That assumption could be me missing the whole point of WandaVision, which is meant to show us some of the different sizes and shapes Marvel content can (and, presumably, will) take. While I can appreciate the effort to switch things up, the company has so thoroughly hooked us on its main product that their determination to get us hepped up on something new can come across grating, and as yet unsatisfying. There’s an itch in watching WandaVision, a restlessness that says as much about the limits of my conception of Marvel content as it does about Marvel’s careful micromanaging of its own intellectual property. What works so well about Disney+’s other marquee series, The Mandalorian, is not that it reinvents the Star Wars wheel but hones it, distilling the scrappy amazement of the first run of films into manageable TV scope, while keeping the form mostly intact and cozily recognizable. WandaVision might end up doing the same thing for Marvel, but at present it feels too much like a mere riff—a winky little fugue that can only act as supplement to the larger universe rather than a standalone entity."
    • WandaVision allows Marvel to finally make Paul Bettany look hot: "Bettany, restored to having such admirable features as hair, eyebrows, and skin, looks great, and especially in the retro outfits that lend WandaVision a lot of its pop," says Karen Han. "He looks like a bit of a dad, sure, and the dopey sitcom kind at that, but that’s part of his appeal—the new Vision, a robot with more room to explore the ups and downs of being humanoid, is channeling a kind of himbo energy that feels like a geekier alternative to Chris Hemsworth’s Thor. It’s a perfect combination of the hunkiness Bettany delivered in Wimbledon and A Knight’s Tale and the nerdier allure he exhibited in Master and Commander. His looks in WandaVision’s second episode sum up Vision’s newfound appeal perfectly: In the episode’s first half, he’s Mr. Rogers, but sexy, and in the second, the hit-and-miss appeal of a magician’s top hat and tailcoat is offset by the fun of watching him get sozzled on chewing gum."
    • Elizabeth Olsen went through a sitcom bootcamp to prepare for her role: "We really tried to make everything very era specific," she says. "For me (it was about) just trusting the hair; the makeup; the costumes; Jess Hall, our (director of photography), with his lenses and his lighting. I was responsible for my voice, my diction, my posture and moving through space. It’s all the geeky things like, what part of your voice are women speaking from? What is the rhythm and the pattern and the diction of the language of speech? It’s getting into that mode, which isn’t specific to the time it’s specific to the sitcoms of the time. Which was really fun, because it’s not a grounded thing. It’s something that you’re kind of allowing yourself to send up, which you feels wrong as an actor, but feel so good."
    • Paul Bettany says keeping himself in shape during quarantine was tough: "I had my trainer with me, which was great. Even during COVID, when we went back to shoot, I had my trainer with me, and we were doing garage workouts," says Bettany. "The thing I found really tough was...there’s a whole suit you have to wear, but the game’s up if you... (laughs) There’s nothing on your stomach, right? So the game’s up if they can see that there’s a portly cheese and beer belly. And I don’t know about you, but when we all went into lockdown, all I wanted to do was eat cheese and drink beer. And yet I was always thinking I was about to go back to work. Because we were all told “Well, this is going to be a month, a month and a half, maybe two months,” and then it was three months. And the whole time, having to maintain the level of fitness and preparedness. It did happen, that when they called us back to work, we had less than two weeks notice. So that would’ve been a bummer if I’d put on 20 pounds. Keeping yourself motivated during all of that was tough, but I was lucky enough to have a trainer who, during the quarantine, we could Zoom and I could go out on the deck and he could take me through a workout."
    • Kathryn Hahn was "thrilled" to have such a cool role: “Wanda Maximoff’s backstory in the comics is so dark and so traumatic. There’s so much there. And I knew that opening that up over a longer period of time than had been afforded in the films was going to be very exciting in this format,” she says. “So, to know that it was going to be something that the MCU has never done before — and that I was going to enter this world through a 1950s sitcom — all of those reasons together made it irresistible. I couldn’t have dreamt a cooler part, honestly. I was thrilled.”
    • How much should viewers read into the vintage commercials?: “It started as wanting to have fun with that idea and that format," says Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige. "But it quickly ties in on another level to what’s going on. Something beeping with a Stark Industries logo on it is mysterious and intriguing if you don’t know anything about it and where that takes you. If you know the world and the universe and the backstory — of Wanda, in particular — you might have a clue as to what that is.”
    • Feige wanted to honor complexity of the title characters while having a tribute to sitcom history: "I feel like I’ve justified all the time I spent playing with action figures in my backyard,” he says. “All the time I spent watching Nick at Nite and old TV shows, I haven’t justified yet. This show is helping me do that.”
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    • Being a cast member on Growing Pains spinoff Just the Ten of Us helped director Matt Shakman: "I mean, this is definitely a trip down memory lane for me," he says. "But, I have to say, having done sitcoms and understanding the rhythms of them, it’s been very helpful. But, more than that, we shot a chunk of WandaVision at the Warner Bros. ranch on Blondie Street. Which is this amazing little row of sitcom houses: Bewitched and The Partridge Family and I Dream of Jeannie. And that’s where we shot Just the Ten of Us. I used to go on my lunch break and skateboard around Blondie Street. So, it was very strange to find yourself directing the show about the history of sitcoms while standing on the street that you skateboarded on when you were a sitcom actor many years before. The whole thing just feels like it’s surrounded by the ghosts of my past."

    TOPICS: WandaVision, Disney+, Elizabeth Olsen, Fred Melamed, Jac Schaeffer, Kathryn Hahn, Kevin Feige, Matt Shakman, Paul Bettany, Marvel




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