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WandaVision first two episodes are out: Here's how to watch and what to know

Looking for WandaVision's first episode date? Here's everything you need to know about the retro-themed show, including early reactions.

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Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) enjoy their own show on Disney Plus.

Marvel Studios

Welcome to WandaVision, a new Marvel TV series now available on Disney Plus  that combines superhero action with 1950s sitcom style. It could be the weirdest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far, and we're totally here for it. Here's everything we know so far.

The series stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany reprising their roles from the Avengers movies as superpowered romantic partners Wanda Maximoff (aka Scarlet Witch) and Vision. WandaVision, geddit?

No big spoilers ahead, but plenty of detail.

Trailers

"It's gonna get weird," Olsen said at Comic-Con. Numerous trailers and TV spots reveal what she means. The first two episodes Wanda and Vision as happy suburban newlyweds living in what appears to be a 1950s sitcom, but time travel takes them into the bell-bottomed 1970s and other decades. Buckle up, this show isn't going to follow a traditional timeline.

Early reactions 

Official reviews are out, and critics seem to enjoy the quirky show.

Talk about timely

CNET critic Richard Trenholm thinks it's a fitting show for a very weird time in history, writing, "As many viewers remain stuck indoors, it's fitting WandaVision explores what happens when Marvel heroes go home, only to find that weirdness and danger lurk behind even the most ordinary front door."

Not your grandfather's superhero series

Joshua Rivera of The Verge notes that this isn't your traditional way to tell a superhero story. "(T)he way it is precisely the opposite of what we know Marvel movies to be ... makes it a perfect return," he writes. "It'll be intriguing for super fans curious about what the point is and how it might connect to the larger franchise, and it will be intriguing to those who might feel a little burned out on superheroes.

Works on two levels

And as smartly as the show delivers its homage to retro sitcoms, it's apparent something darker is lurking. "It's effective, this dedication to the tone, look and feel of the sitcom genre," writes NPR's Glen Weldon. "How else to explain why, despite knowing it's all an illusion, we find ourselves truly invested in the frippery of a given episode's ostensible plot -- Will Vision's boss be impressed when he comes to dinner? Will their powers get revealed? Will they win the town's talent contest? Etc."

Characters and plot

Wanda

Wanda Maximoff, aka Scarlet Witch, first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1964 and has a complex history -- and a twin brother, Pietro/Quicksilver. In most comic stories, they were considered mutants, born with superhuman powers, and their parentage is complicated and ever-changing. Powerful X-Men foe Magneto first was said to be their father, but later plot lines juggled the family tree. The series reportedly will reveal why Wanda is also called "Scarlet Witch."  No word on whether her twin will show up.

Vision

Vision has a very different background from his wife. He's obviously an android, but a very special one, with human emotions, and he's thus able to carry on a romantic relationship with Wanda and later marry her. While he's obviously an android in most depictions, one of the trailers shows him whirling round and his features settling in to a more human look, losing his red skin and acquiring human hair -- presumably so the neighbors aren't alarmed. (In what appears to be a Halloween scene, he gets to go out in his original appearance, fooling everyone into thinking it's just a great costume.)

Kids?

At one point in the comics, the couple has twin boys, but WandaVision looks more inspired by a 2016 suburban-set comic series in which Vision is married to someone else and has a son and a daughter. Although the show doesn't start off showing Wanda and Vision with children, they're likely in the offing.

Till death do us part

Vision has a sad ending in the Marvel big-screen movies, but he's obviously a major part of WandaVision -- viewers just don't know how. Some are speculating the sitcom-style perfection portrayed in WandaVision is all a dream she has to resurrect her husband and live a normal life. And in one preview scene, Kathryn Hahn's character, dressed as a witch, tells a shocked Vision he's dead. But comic books love alternate realities and different universes, so there's no real way to know.

Time traveling

Get ready for all kinds of retro sitcom cliches, as the show appears to jump around from decade to decade. 1950s scenes dominate the previews, with Wanda in a satin gown and pearls doing housework, while Vision suits up and heads off to work. But there are also 1960s hippie threads, 1970s wild colors and hair, and even 1980s aerobics. If you know your classic sitcoms well, you'll be sure to pick up numerous homages -- one scene shows a home interior that looks a lot like the Brady Bunch house, and in another, Vision and Wanda have twin beds à la I Love Lucy, which they quickly push together.

Ads and other Marvel Easter eggs

About halfway through each episode, you'll see a retro-styled commercial for a fictional product. Pay attention -- these ads aren't just to keep the theme going. The products hint at a darker storyline and remind longtime Marvel viewers of Wanda's troubled past. The show is also packed with other Easter eggs nodding to Marvel's lengthy comics history, with the good news being, you don't need to be a Marvel scholar to enjoy the show as it is.

Weekly episode drops

The show is now streaming on Disney Plus, the $7-a-month streaming service that features a vast catalog of new and legacy shows and movies.  It premiered with two episodes at once, with the third episode airing a week later on Jan. 22. It will run for nine episodes total. 


Phase Four

WandaVision takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame, and its plot will lead directly to Wanda's appearance in the film Doctor Strange: In The Multiverse of Madness, set to hit theaters in March 2022. The series is the first title in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which also includes Disney Plus TV shows starring The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk -- although the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted production.

Music

The first episode features a Brady Bunch/Patty Duke Show-style sitcom theme song, the kind that explains the plot each episode in case you just woke up from a Thanos-style snap and need to know who these people are. Sound catchy? It should -- it's written by Oscar-winning Frozen songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who also wrote unique songs for several episodes, spanning from the 1950s to the early 2000s. 

Lopez says in a press release that director Matt Shakman is a college friend and that the couple was thrilled and challenged to mix "the bright feeling of American sitcoms" with "the deep sense of unease" found in WandaVision. Do Wanda and Vision want to build a snowman? It doesn't have to be a snowman.

Cast

The studio shared more details during Disney convention D23, including more cast and crew membersGame of Thrones director Matt Shakman directs the series.