WandaVision’s Series Premiere “Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience” Review

We are an unusual couple, ya know.

Marvel’s WandaVision via Facebook

Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany), once Avengers, are now newlyweds moving into their first home. They have everything; a lovely house in a lovely neighborhood, Visions job and career prospects, helpful neighbor Agnes (Kathryn Hahn), and of course Wanda’s magic. Everything a charming 1950’s sitcom household could need. 

The only thing missing is their past, but more importantly, what special occasion marks the day. While Wanda spends time with Agnes preparing for what she believes to be their anniversary of… something, Vision is hard at work calculating numbers to increase the productivity of their input and output of… something. Vision begins to panic when he learns that they’d forgotten about having dinner with Vision’s boss, Mr. Hart and his wife (Debra Jo Rupp). 

In a classic mixup, Vision and Wanda try to salvage the dinner as best they can with some help from their special abilities, and Agnes. When dinner conversation turns towards Wanda and Vision’s past, who they were, when they were married, where they came from, the situation becomes strange as Mr. and Mrs. Hart are temporarily stuck in a loop. Once passed it, they act as if nothing had happened and Mr. Hart awards Vision on his new promotion. After a wacky day of close calls, Wanda and Vision settle in for the night, deciding that this day will mark their anniversary. 

WandaVision’s series premiere “Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience” has all of the trademarks of classic sitcoms like Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie. A loving yet quirky family in a normal suburb, striving to live a normal life while hiding their secrets through fun and mischievous scenarios. 

Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany are delightful and fun to watch in their unique performances as they take on the characteristics of these sitcom characters. Particularly Bettany, who has most recently been seen as the stoic Vision. Seeing him simply as the charming and funny Bettany is a reminder of his range as an actor. Kathryn Hahn’s Agnes also offers her own brand of comedy as the borderline raunchy neighbor. 

Despite being filmed with the advantages of today’s production and CGI, many of the effects of Wanda’s magic and Visions powers look authentically 1950’s with flying pans held up by strings and magic costume changes done with quick editing. It stays delightful until it takes a turn for the weird and moves from Bewitched to Twilight Zone. 

This is already proving to be a fun, weird, and unique take on classic sitcoms and the superhero genre.

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