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WandaVision Episode One – Review

Mike Peters

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Golden ‘Vision’ or TV dog’s dinner?

WandaVision Episode One Image
Marvel Studios

Episode one of the long-awaited WandaVision series from Marvel is here, streaming now on Disney Plus, but is it any good, here’s our review.

SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.

WandaVision is the first new Marvel material since Avengers: Endgame and Spiderman: Far From Home in 2019. It’s also the first element of Phase 4 of the MCU. It was originally scheduled for release midway through 2020 but, needless to say, COVID delayed production.

Given the delay and the lack of new MCU material, anticipation around this series has inevitably been heightened. I’m sure that the episodes will be gobbled up by Marvel obsessives like Vision gobbles up…well, nothing because he’s an android.

The nine-episode series fuses the MCU with homages to iconic sitcoms from the 1950 to the present day. With Wanda Maximoff aka The Scarlet Witch and Vision playing the classic sitcom couple.

Needless to say, the couple gets themselves into the usual scrapes you’d expect from a mainstream sitcom. But this all happens as the reality around them starts to crack. Consequently, Wanda becomes increasingly edgy as she realises their idyllic sitcom existence isn’t real. These cracks become bigger & bigger as the series progresses. Although the series appears to take place in the 1950s, the date on their calendar is 23 August. That would suggest it takes place immediately after the events of Avengers: Endgame in August 2023.

Easter egg hunting

Half the fun of watching the MCU canon is looking for the references to other films and TV shows. The same goes when writing this review of WandaVision episode one. The powers that be have given us plenty of Easter Eggs in this series as well. Without making this article the length of War and Peace, or more appropriately, ‘Infinity War and Peace’, we can’t cover every single one, and that would ruin the fun for viewers looking for them. But there are some whoppers in there so let’s talk about those!

As the show ends, the credits roll and we pull back to reveal that someone is watching it like an old TV show in the present. We discover that the ‘episode’ was directed by Abe Brown, who is the name of one of Peter Parker’s classmates.

The person watching the show, although we don’t see their face, is almost certainly Darcy Lewis from the Thor films, played by Kat Dennings. Formerly the star of a sitcom herself, it wouldn’t be a surprise if there was a reference to 2 Broke Girls later in the series.

The person is monitoring the show and making notes in a S.W.O.R.D. notebook. S.W.O.R.D. is the sister organisation of S.H.I.E.L.D., with specific responsibility for dealing with extraterrestrial threats. The makers of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wanted to incorporate S.W.O.R.D. in that show but were refused permission. It looks like now is the time Marvel has decided to bring S.W.O.R.D. into the MCU.

American TV cultural references

As regards the production itself, it is a love letter to classic sitcoms like Leave It To Beaver, I Love Lucy and The Dick Van Dyke Show. There are also references to Bewitched, although the references to that are even more pronounced in Episode 2. The decision to shoot in 4:3 rather than the modern standard of 16:9 to lend authenticity as sitcoms of that era pre-date widescreen.

There is a deliberate obvious canned laughter track, as has been used in sitcoms since time immemorial. This is despite the fact that there was apparently a studio audience watching filming in Georgia. I guess escaping reality to watch an alternate one is understandable in Georgia these days.

TV tropes

The commitment to the classic sitcom and TV tropes of the time is admirable. The 50’s style advert made for the ‘commercial break’ of the show featured the ToastMate 2000 made by Stark Industries. Stark Industries is Tony Stark’s company, created by his father Howard. The light on the appliance blinks red, which is the only thing in colour in the episode. This is a reference to the bomb that killed Wanda’s parents in Sokovia, which was also made by Stark Industries. The ToastMate, like the bomb and Iron Man’s suit, makes the repulsor sound as it starts up.

There is a wine bottle used at the dinner where Vision and Wanda are trying to impress his boss. The bottle is from ‘Maison du Mepris’, which is translated as ‘House of Contempt’. That is a reference to the House of M comics in which The Scarlet Witch creates an alternate reality for herself, which is the premise for WandaVision.

The show has a great supporting cast including Debra Jo Rupp, steeped in roles in hugely successful sitcoms Friends and That 70’s Show, and Kathryn Hahn. She plays Wanda and Vision’s neighbour Agnes, in another classic sitcom role of the slightly nosy, neighbourhood busybody. She is making constant jokes about her, as yet unseen, husband Ralf. Her name is an amalgamation of Agatha Harkness, who is a sorceress from the Marvel comics who assists The Scarlet Witch, Wanda’s alter ego. As the series progresses and the false reality splinters further, we may well see Agnes take on her true identity.

Sitcom or drama?

Is this supposed to work as a sitcom in its own right, or is it simply an amuse-bouche for the avalanche of MCU material coming this year? If it is the former, then I hope the scripts improve, as this was spectacularly unfunny. Although this is supposed to be a 50’s sitcom, the comedy in classic shows of that era still stands up as being funny today. Surely there was a way that some stronger jokes could have been written that would work in a contemporary sitcom, despite it being set over 60 years ago.

But for the millions of MCU fans around the world, this is manna from heaven for those starved of Marvel action. They will lap it up, no matter how deliberately hammy the acting or how weak the comedy is. It is immaculately produced, with a clear love & respect for the characters, fans and legendary comedy shows. A review of the first episode of WandaVision is tough if you’re not well versed in the world of the MCU, but we can assume that more will be revealed in the coming weeks.


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 6/10


Thank you for reading our review of WandaVision episode one. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


Read more about the MCU phase four HERE.

Read IMDB information about WandaVision HERE.

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Movie News

The Good, The Bad And The Classic

Sarah Casserley

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Star From Disney Plus

Disney Plus Star image
Disney Plus

Disney Plus introduced Star to the service a little while ago now with loads of highlights. We’re sure, like us, you’ve had a good old delve into the catalogue and watched some of your faves. But, just in case you’ve missed anything, we have put together a little guide on what’s good to get stuck into. Also what’s bad and could do with being swiped past, and the classic must-see TV series and films that you probably didn’t even realise were there.

So, when you find yourself looking for something to watch on a Friday evening or binge for a couple of weeks, don’t scroll endlessly, just take a look at our guide of Disney Plus Star recommendations.


The Good

These are the films and series that have been released within the last 10 years, which you need to watch or should at least be on your ‘to watch’ list.

Series on Disney Plus Star

Atlanta (2016 – Present)

If you haven’t watched this series yet, why not? The creative and talented Donald Glover heads up the show as the main character ‘Earn’, and on the writing credits too (among 6 others, including his brother Stephen Glover), in this funny, gritty and realistic series which follows a rapper ‘Paper Boy’ and his manager Earn (Glover) as they navigate the rap business. If you have watched the show before, you may want to re-watch for a recap as season 3 has been promised to us very soon.

9-1-1 (2018 – Present)

This isn’t just any emergency service drama, this series covers the lives of several Los Angeles first responders: police officers, paramedics, firefighters, and dispatchers. It also has some big names involved, including Angela Bassett and, later in the series, Jennifer Love Hewitt. For some reason though, there’s only two of the four seasons of 9-1-1 on Disney Plus Star so far, but it’s well worth a watch and we’re sure the other two seasons should be along soon.

Doll Face (2019 – Present)

By the title alone, and the fact that it’s a weekly release, it initially looked like this series was set around a stereotypical break up and was destined for the bad list. However, the witty script, amazing female actors and relatable storyline made me put this series firmly within the good pile as I can’t wait to watch more. Kat Dennings takes the lead in the series and really brings to life upcoming writer Jordan Weiss’ story of female friendships after a breakup.

Films on Disney Plus Star

The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

This beautiful coming of age story, based on a book with the same name, is a great watch for all ages, not just teens. Be ready for oodles of romance, as well as teary and heart-warming moments, as you follow two teens affected by cancer as they set off on a journey of discovery.

The Favourite (2018)

We love a period drama, and this quirky look at the reign of Queen Anne is no exception. With starring roles from Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone and Nicholas Hoult, it’s no wonder The Favourite had 336 nominations in award season and 182 wins. It’s definitely one of the best films from the last 5 years on Disney Plus Star.

Deadpool 2 (2018)

There are some examples coming up in these lists that give sequels a bad name, however, Deadpool 2 isn’t one of them. If you were putting off watching this one because of the sequel curse, don’t, it’s just as good – if not better – than the first. Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is back as the foul-mouthed superhero and, this time, he brings some new friends: Domino (Zazie Beetz), Fire Fist (Julian Dennison) and Weasel (T.J. Miller) among others.


The Bad

There’s not as many on this ‘bad’ list as Star has done a pretty good job with their chosen titles. However, like any service, there are always a few bad eggs in our opinion… This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch these, it’s more of a warning that there may be better things to press play on.

Series on Disney Plus Star

Lost (2004 – 2010)

To be completely honest here, the first two seasons of Lost are very entertaining and interesting to watch, as you follow several people who try to survive a plane crash and have to adapt to life on a strange island. But, by the middle of season three, things start to get a little confusing and we found ourselves getting lost (pun intended) in the plot until the final sixth season, only to be hit with a heavily reported disappointing end… even worse than some people’s feelings about Game Of Thrones. So, we recommendation delving into some of the other series rather than this one.

24: Legacy (2017)

Trying to build another series from an established series can be very hit or miss – and this one was a huge miss. So much so that Fox axed it just after one series.

It takes on the same format as the original 24 series, where one season is just one day, however, this time they are trying to stop a terrorist attack. The format just doesn’t work with this storyline and you lose a lot of momentum and excitement, plus the acting just isn’t the best.

Films on Disney Plus Star

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

Just like building another series off a series, sequels can also be tricky beasts… some are good, some are bad and, when it follows an absolute classic like ‘Independence Day’, it needs to be amazing. Unfortunately, this one didn’t quite live up to the legacy of the first film; I mean, not even ‘Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth couldn’t get this to match up with the original. But it is still entertaining, so if you do decide to watch this one, just do so with caution.


The Classic

As you have probably already noticed there are some absolute classics on Disney Plus Star, so this is going to be the longest list, full of series that you can binge from start to finish and films that stand the test of time and can be re-watched repeatedly. Most of these titles don’t need much explanation as you’ll have already watched or heard about them, but you might not have spotted them yet on Disney Plus Star as some were buried deep in the archives.

Series on Disney Plus Star

X Files (1993 – 2001)

If you were born in the 90s or 00s, this one may have gone under your radar; however, once you watch the first season full of aliens, wired going ons and the brilliantly disjointed relationship of FBI agents, conspiracy theorist Fox Mulder and realist Dana Scully, you won’t want to stop watching. Granted some of the special effects are a little dated and unbelievable, but you will soon forget about that as you get sucked into the narrative.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2002)

I know, I know, it’s hard to think there are people out there that haven’t watched a single vampire slaying, kick-ass, sci-fi loaded episode… but there is. If you are one of those people, what are you waiting for? Every single episode is here wating for you to binge. If you don’t fancy delving into the full thing, I would recommend at least taking a peek at the seventh episode of the sixth series (Once More, with Feeling: Buffy the Musical).

24 (2001 – 2014)

Before Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) burst on our screens in 2001, this kind of format for a series had never been attempted before and it just worked, so much so it ran for 9 seasons. It may seem odd at first, as each series is just one day, but you really do get sucked in.

Grey’s Anatomy (2005 – 2018)

Within its almost 13 years of being on air, this series has offered every heart-warming and breath-holding moment you need from a hospital-based drama. This would be a perfect series to start if you want something that will last you a while.

Sons of Anarchy (2008 – 2014)

Bikes, leather and action: what’s not to like? This series ran for a glorious 7 seasons, and within these episodes, there is storyline upon storyline that will keep you hooked and wanting to know more about the motorcycle club that straddles the line between legal and illegal.

Films on Disney Plus Star

(We’re pretty sure you will have watched most of these films, but they are well worth a re-watch)

Planet of the Apes (1968)

The film that started them all. Since the release of this film in 1968, there have been seven more sequels and remakes of the original sci-fi movie, two of which you can also watch on Disney Plus Star: Planet Of the Apes (2001) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014).

Jewel of the Nile (1985)

It could possibly be that the countless TV showings over the have passed you by, but if you’ve not seen Jewel of the Nile, you should definitely give it a go. Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito are fantastic in this pure 80s romantic action comedy.

Cocktail (1988)

Sticking within the 80s romantic comedy realm, you’ve also got Cocktail, which is full of love ultimatums, with a dash of cheese. Come on, you know you want to watch a young Tom Cruise at work.

The Fly (1986)

One name – Jeff Goldblum. Watch it.

Pretty Woman (1990)

We were just as excited as the first time we watched it when we saw this classic on the service. To not watch this again would be a big mistake. HUGE.

Toys (1992)

This wonderfully wacky story by Valerie Curtin and Barry Levinson comes alive with the help of one of the best comedic actors of all time, Robin Williams, alongside the wonderful Joan Cusack and, bizarrely, LL Cool J.

What’s Love Got To Do With It (1993)

Whether you love Tina Turner’s music or not, it does not matter. This is one of the most interesting and inspirational biographical movies that you will ever watch. Word of warning, the incredible Angela Bassett and Lawrence Fishburne are so great at their roles that some of the more sensitive scenes are very realistic.

Braveheart (1995)

With any new service, there are glitches, and we found one! Whilst watching this absolute classic a few weeks ago, about two and a half hours into the film the screen when to the small screen format as if the credits had come up, making it difficult to watch the last part of the film. However, when we went to finish the film off a week later the glitch had been fixed and you can now watch the whole film without interruption… FREEDOM!

William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (1996)

We all know that when it comes to film, Baz Luhrmann is a genius and he doesn’t disappoint with this abstract take on the story. It’s worth watching for the soundtrack alone.

Independence Day (1996)

90s Will Smith doing what he did best: lots of running, fighting and shouting – need I say more? Oh yes, you can also watch another one of his masterpieces, Enemy of the State (1998) on this service too.

Con Air (1997)

‘Put the bunny back in the box’ and sit down and watch this classic… we all know Nicholas Cage films can be a little unpredictable, but this film is definitely a hit, especially as he is joined by other legends of the screen, including John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, John Cusack and Ving Rhames.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Well if it’s at our fingertips, why not watch this film for the 56th time… this year.


So, there you have it, these are some of our highlights and must-miss titles from Disney Plus Star. Are there any that we missed? If so, comment below and let us know what category they belong in.


Check out the top 10 hidden gems in the other Disney Plus feeds HERE.

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