When I first started watching WandaVision on Disney+, I was confused and a bit disappointed with how bland it was. Maybe it was a combination of the fact that it was in black and white and the first few episodes moved along a bit too slow for me.
I stuck with it because it was a Marvel show — I mean you can’t go wrong right? I continued the journey to figure out what the hype was about. I waited a few weeks until I had time to binge-watch a few episodes at a time in hopes the show would make more sense if I did that.
That seemed to be a good decision as I was able to put together the pieces of what felt like a very confusing puzzle at the beginning. My optimism started to grow. I was fully invested.
As I continued to diligently watch the new episodes every second week, I started to wonder how others felt about it. And as always social media helped me find the answers.
When I was in search of opinions from others, I realized that I could just ask my fellow geeks in “The Geek Strikes Back” Facebook group. And the answers started to pour.
Mark Domeier, a group member shared his point of view. “From a storytelling perspective, it hit all the right beats. Even though a canny viewer knew something was off in the early episodes, one wasn’t quite sure where the story was leading, which made the payoff special. The nods to various sitcoms allowed viewers of all ages to bask in nostalgia while wondering just what was up in Westview.”
His answer left me wondering if I was not a canny viewer, since I was totally confused with the first few episodes. But I also appreciated the way they portrayed many of the shows that I have enjoyed throughout the years.
Some of the comments were deeper, which is exactly what I was hoping for since I thought the show touched on so many aspects of dealing with grief.
Libby Morse, another group member brings up something I can relate to. “I loved it, it was a great example of how hard loss is, and the various ways people manage it. I mean if I were Wanda, can’t say I wouldn’t have done similar after losing the love of my life.”
I remember imagining having similar powers when I was a teenager and lost my grandmother. I imagined the many ways I wish I was able to bring her back. I imagined a world where she was always there, a way to make her live forever.
Aaron Taylor, University of Lethbridge Drama associate professor, with a specialty in film studies, acting, and comics said WandaVision was quite moving, creative, and thoughtful.
“I found this show’s interest in thinking about what Marvel is in relation to television quite interesting. The way that it connected those two concerns like its thematic concerns with grief and trauma and recovery, with thinking about the medium in which it was operating was very clever and very well executed.”
In conclusion, I think WandaVision did a great job in exploring the concept of grief and mental health in general. Those are difficult concepts to explore in a way that avoids stigmatization and I believe this show nailed it.
We all go through the stages of grief at one point or another in our lives, so to see it portrayed in such a creative way, may help the process feel lighter and easier to get through for many.