The Cautionary Tale of WandaVision

WandaVision is an ambitious offering from the Marvel Industrial Complex, but it falls short of its potential. I reviewed the show for Mere Orthodoxy (in a way I hope was comprehensible even to non-watchers!). The show is ultimately about the consequences of the stories we tell about our lives.

The show uses the heightened style of a superhero story — as well as the genre conventions of sitcoms — to tell a big story about the quiet, internal work of mourning. Fantasy stories let us blow up our lives to heroic scale, to give small moments gravity.

Wanda plunges herself into American sitcom structures as a way of keeping grief at bay. In a sitcom, the world is safe— no trouble is allowed to be big enough to disrupt the show’s premise.

As the show unfolds, she must fend off internal and external attempts to take down the walls she’s built. Outside the town, a squadron of military types are preparing to engage her as a threat. Other bit players from the Marvel Cinematic Universe show up, and, in their attempts to dismantle Wanda’s enchantments, they’re also making a claim about what kind of story she belongs to — one full of gadgets, weapons, and standoffs.

Read the whole thing at Mere Orthodoxy