Why WandaVision Works As A Sitcom Series

WandaVision as a sitcom Marvel series
Credit: Marvel Studios

WandaVision as a sitcom Marvel series
Credit: Marvel Studios

From its first episode, there was absolutely no doubt that WandaVision would be different from any MCU project that came before it. There was a ton of expectation for the Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany starrer considering it's the billion-dollar franchise's first-ever mini-series.

WandaVision didn’t have your typical Marvel trope out in the open, at least not until the sitcom aspect was eliminated and characters like Monica Rambeau and Agatha Harkness got to expose who they truly were.

So, really, why does WandaVision work as a sitcom series despite being part of the billion-dollar franchise?

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Why is WandaVision a Sitcom? The Exploration of Wanda’s Grief

WandaVision not in color
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Credit: Marvel Studios

The events of WandaVision are what happened right after the end of Avengers: Endgame, which means Wanda has returned from the Blip along with half of the universe’s population.

The first thing that came to her mind after defeating Thanos was to visit SWORD’s headquarters, where she found Vision being dissected in the lab since his Vibranium-made body was under government property.

To the world, Vision was but an android invention of Tony Stark. But to Wanda, Vision is everything she could’ve asked for in building her own family. And the gist is nobody understood her.

The government immediately viewed her as a criminal going against the Sokovia Accords, a threat, rather than as a human being grieving over the corpse of her partner.

WandaVision showrunner Jac Schaeffer previously shared why she wanted to evoke Wanda’s grief through the Sitcom genre of the series:

‘Let’s understand what it means to be the Scarlet Witch.’ That was the box that we needed to check. This was always going to be an exploration of Wanda’s grief. And so let’s do that in the most elegant and moving way that we can. With the sitcoms, it was all, ‘How do we do that and not have it all be a big mess?’

Sitcom series, or any form of a TV show for that matter, is always a depiction of a fake perfect life of the characters within the confinements of episodic series.

Any problems the characters may face can be solved within 20-30 minutes of the running episodes, which makes the perfect template for WandaVision.

As Schaeffer mentioned, they needed to explore Wanda’s grief, and what could be the complete opposite of grief if not denial and burying the subconscious desire for the negative emotion? Comedy.

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The Sitcom Effect: Wanda’s Five Stages of Grief

Wanda grieving over Vision in WandaVision
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Credit: Marvel Studios

Every episode of WandaVision presented a different era of Sitcom series, which showcases two things: Easter eggs of the genre and Wanda going through the five stages of grief.

The first is denial that Vision has gone kaput from the world, which triggered Wanda to unconsciously imprison Westview and its people inside her own illusionary fantasy of living in a suburban neighborhood.

The early episodes showed just how much love Wanda and Vision had together if they weren’t a part of the Avengers and the tragedy of Thanos’ snap. The honeymoon phase, if you will.

Unfortunately, not all illusions last long. In this case, the anger stemmed from when Vision started getting more evident clues that something was wrong with Westview. Not to mention, Vision has no memories of his past.

Vision confronts Wanda about outside of Westview
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Credit: Marvel Studios

Upon confrontation with Wanda, she straight out told Vision she’d be handling it on her own, as she would rewrite the episode how she wants it to happen, instead.

The series even managed to play a gag despite the rising tension in the scene, when Wanda tried dismissing Vision by the use of the rolling credits when the episode has obviously not yet ended.

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Of course, the bargaining happened when she tried keeping things together, which was much more difficult since the recast Pietro Maximoff even came into the picture out of the blue.

However, Wanda could only hold it in for so long. The ‘Depression’ stage started settling in when Vision was no longer spending time at home and was found helping Darcy in figuring out the mechanics behind Wanda’s manipulation of Westview, instead.

Out of guilt and the feeling of shame, she knew deep down she had to let this family go. Wanda knew she had to be strong for her family, whether or not they had been fake.

Her acceptance, however, led to a darker conclusion, one which led her to become the villain, Scarlet Witch, in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

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The Wonders That WandaVision Brought To The MCU

WandaVision recast Pietro Maximoff
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WandaVision remains to be one of the best hit series Marvel has ever brought to the MCU and Disney Plus, thanks to the Sitcom factor.

But as for the Marvel-esque side that the series brought to the MCU, the show held a preview of what the Multiverse would be like in the MCU, given that X-Men’s Quicksilver (Evan Peters) debuted in a similar role.

Even though Peters’ role was being ‘fake’ Pietro, the possibilities are endless, especially with Deadpool 3 coming into the picture soon enough.

Let’s not forget that WandaVision was also the root behind how Wanda became the Scarlet Witch manipulating chaos magic, making her canon self come to fruition on the small screen.

Additionally, earning an Agatha spinoff, Agatha: Coven of Chaos, would not only put young MCU heroes such as Billy and Tommy in the spotlight but even Wanda and Vision’s legacy beyond their graves in the MCU.

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