TV Review: WandaVision9th March 2021
Consumerism is getting out of hand, and no more obvious is such an issue than with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Slogging through over a decade worth of content, you would be under the false impression that innovation is a possibility. They have the money to take risks, but why switch the conveyer belt off when the shelves are filled with acceptable pieces that the majority faintly enjoy? No need at all, and it is rather horrifying to see this cult-like behaviour grow into something larger and larger. WandaVision will accelerate this practice with stark efficiency, the Disney+ schedule an instantly bleak scenario envisioned by soulless corporations looking to fill the schedule with all things comic.
Under the banner of Marvel, nothing is sacred. Announcing WandaVision as the flagbearer of the fourth phase, heralding in the hopefully final but likely midpoint of this lifespan of products. Spending pockets of time in each decade, WandaVision attempts to capture a wry, tongue-in-cheek sentiment to each period of comedy. Beginning rather amicably, the first two episodes are placid pieces of entertainment that draw from The Dick Van Dyke Show. Quality is not on the mind of director Matt Shakman, though, not at all. He powers through, driving the wedge between Vision (Paul Bettany) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). Fine performers that suffer from a terminal case of brutally simple writing and egregious scriptwriting.
References to other products within the Marvel Cinematic Universe that are not nearly as smart as the writers believe, WandaVision showcases all the issues of the previous three phases. Congealed mediocrity pours from the screen. With the first two episodes entering us into a pastiche of black, white and clippings of red, WandaVision channels the colour scheme of Schindler’s List. Soon turning that into riffs on Malcolm in the Middle, Modern Family and Family Ties. Shows that are far greater than this nine-episode slog, the Marvel rulebook is branded on every scene, never leaving room for growth or natural emotional engagement. It is absent-minded, dull and to top it all off, the various twists and payoffs are either predictable or underwhelming.
I wonder if there was any creative vision to this series. WandaVision is a horrid slog of titan like proportions. No different to the hapless, bland products that made its existence possible, the slight changes to both narrative and direction are bloated and inconsequential. Nothing more should be expected from these creatively bankrupt monsters, an ovation of cheers from the suited producers who know this will hit well with those that cannot handle anything outside of their comfort zone. There is safety in consuming the same product every day, but there is no risk of new flavour breaching the echo chamber. As feeble as the auditorium Scarlet Witch has crafted for herself, the impenetrable nature of the typical Marvel fan’s mind brings forth a worrying, dark period for modern culture. WandaVision is a product through and through and shifts us ever closer to the inevitable death of creativity.