My Commons Watch: A Quick Take on WandaVision

Who would’ve thought that a show about superheroes would take the television scene by storm? WandaVision has done just that, with each new episode triggering huge ripples across the internet from comic book fans and new viewers alike. The series ended last week with its ninth episode, and now, looking back on what we got, some people are a little disappointed. This isn’t because the show itself was bad; it just decided not to meet people’s high expectations.

Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame shattered the traditional superhero genre to such an extent that MCU fans now expect future stories to be just as interconnected and mind-bendingly creative. It’s part of the reason why Zack Snyder’s Justice League cut will most likely be underwhelming in comparison. Marvel almost ensured that superhero stories can’t just have a hero defeating a villain in a big fight anymore. So for them to employ that trope in WandaVision feels like a major step back. 

Another problem is that the show just played itself. The premise of a superhero couple stuck in a TV show dimension is so interestingly wacky that it inevitably opens itself up to a lot of potential creative outlets and fan theories. As the show progressed, it continued to introduce wacky concepts, and eventually hinted at the potential for a multiverse and even an X-Men crossover event. This made fans and fan theorists go bonkers. Instead of following through on these elements, however, the show just decided to ignore them and give us a more generic ending. Those hints will probably be relevant in future projects, but as far as WanadaVision goes, they are just teasers.  

WandaVision is also heavily reliant on your investment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. People who haven’t at least watched the Avengers films won’t be able to appreciate a lot of the elements in the show, and might even think it’s not that great. This also means that the show isn’t conducive to rewatches. The fan service and cameos were fun when I first watched the show, but once we know they’re there, they’ve lost their entertainment value. 

There were many things to enjoy beyond those things, however. Just because the show didn’t meet the expectations of fans, it doesn’t mean it still didn’t take some creative direction with its premise. I see WandaVision as a step towards Marvel’s goal to turn everyone into dedicated nerds. They’re slowly introducing more and more niche stories that only comic-book readers appreciated once. They are slowly bridging the gap between the average viewer and Marvel’s full creative potential.  

To sum it all up, manage your expectations, and you’ll have a good time watching WandaVision. It isn’t a full TV show as much as it is just a really long movie. It doesn’t have multiple arcs or complex storylines with broad implications. It’s just a side story meant to flesh out characters we don’t really know and show us what they’re capable of.