Bewitched: Marvel Takes Viewers to the Golden Age with ‘WandaVision’

Who said the Marvel Cinematic Universe is afraid to take risks? That take is utter codswallop. However, while the franchise has treated viewers to everything from space operas to political thrillers since its inception, WandaVision is something else entirely.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the show’s stars and creators revealed that the upcoming Disney+ series will see Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) head to the suburbs for their very own sitcom. That’s right – a sitcom about a witch and a robot. Expect all kinds of funny hijinx to ensue.

WandaVision was inspired by the 1950s “golden age” of comedic television. In an effort to recreate that spirit, the first episode was shot in back and white with a live audience providing the laugh track. Period lenses and lighting were used to create a sense of a bygone era. The special effects, meanwhile, were inspired by the techniques employed on shows such as Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie. The Marvel franchise is known for using state of the art technology, but WandaVision will embrace the charming methods of yesteryear as well.

According to head writer Jac Schaeffer, the goal of the six-part miniseries is to “[pay] tribute and honour all of these incredible shows and people who came before us, [but] we’re also trying to blaze new territory.” I like the cut of his jib. And this show certainly will be a change of pace for the franchise.

In addition to being the first MCU property to hit screens since Spider-Man: Far from Home, WandaVision is the first show to be produced by Marvel Studios for Disney+. The House of Mouse wants more superhero adventures for its streaming service. The folks at Marvel don’t want to share their characters with outside parties. It’s a win-win situation for both parties.

Unlike Daredevil, Jessica Jones and other recent programs that were produced by other studios, WandaVision is the product of Marvel having full creative control and boasting a willingness to experiment more so than ever before. Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, has promised to “throw the rules out the window in terms of structure and format.”

I like it when Feige decides it’s time to break the rules. When the Thor franchise seemed destined to become an afterthought, he hired Taika Waititi to helm Thor: Ragnarok, a Flash Gordon-esque comedy that injected new life into the Norse god. Rumour has it that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be horror-centric. The comics are littered with experimental stories, and it’s great to see the multi-million dollar cinematic franchise throw caution to the wind.

The franchise has married many genres with action and spectacle. This has allowed each entry to stand out from the pack while still being quintessentially Marvel. As weird as WandaVision seems on paper, it’s just another example of the franchise weaving another genre into its creative tapestry. And with Disney+ likely to afford the creators more freedom, future Marvel shows could go to some truly wild places. That’s exciting.

WandaVision‘s irreverent take on a superhero property is exactly what the world needs right now. Some lighthearted entertainment that combines superhero action with television’s most comforting genre is bound to bring some smiles to people’s faces while the coronavirus pandemic and political divides continue to wreak havoc. In Marvel we trust.

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