WandaVision: Welcome to Westview



Eleanor Adams and Edy MacKenzie

Surviving the first semester proved difficult, and we all need an escape before Spring Break. Can’t take the pressure anymore? Make a detour on your way to the shore and stop by glorious Westview, New Jersey — you’ll have to evade a few high-level government officials, but who would pass up the opportunity to join WandaVision’s sitcom reality? Along with 3,892 unwilling participants, you can participate in Wanda Maximoff’s suburban sitcom-thriller as she lives her dream life while reanimating her husband’s corpse.

Escape into Westview begins with amnesia. Enter and all worries of the outside world fade into nothing. A small part of your brain may attempt to resist Maximoff’s painful control, but autonomy can be taxing, and relinquishing our freedom for the betterment of one witch’s mental stability is a price we’re willing to pay. The fashion is rewarding enough; your stay in Westview might start with black-and-white dresses of the 1950s, but you’ll eventually make your way to low-rise jeans of the 2000s. Holiday specials and talent shows are included, along with social clubs and cheerful neighbors. Although serving Wanda will be your top priority, relaxation time is available when she and Vision are channeling Marriage Story in the living room. 

Returning to reality, Marvel’s WandaVision has us completely mesmerized even without the mind stone’s manipulating magic. Through the grueling weeks of January and February, with only spring break to look forward to, WandaVision has been our sole motivator. While many may consider wishing away the school week an unhealthy coping mechanism, our countdown to Friday makes each day more bearable. WandaVision allows us to reminisce of weekends when we would race to the couch to catch the latest episode of Liv & Maddie or Victorious. Unlike the popular Netflix format of having one big binge-able release, WandaVision coming out on a weekly basis provokes nostalgia in its own right along with the time period switch. Whether you grew up watching the Dick Van Dyke Show, Bewitched, Family Ties, Malcolm in the Middle, or Modern Family, WandaVision will certainly unearth old memories of fighting over the remote. The intermission between each episode not only increases overall enjoyment but also allotts enough time to extensively theorize and process afterward.  

While our precursory Marvel obsession clearly influences the sheer amount of happiness that WandaVision brings us, it is subjectively a quality television show with first-rate acting. Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda swiftly shifts from a doe-eyed housewife deftly balancing her troublesome twins and inquisitive husband to a red-eyed sorceress parading around her robot soulmate’s corpse, ready to extinguish any threat to her dreamscape suburbia. Starring opposite Olsen, Paul Bettany’s Vision is all you would expect from a robot pretending to be a 9-5 man. He’s easy to laugh at and is often seen sporting a puzzled look after Wanda pulls one over on him yet again. Once in a while, however, Bettany reminds us that Vision is a fearsome android and not just a lovable sitcom character, skillfully performing the switch like Olsen. 

For diehard fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the return of old characters and references to past events is almost too much to handle; after watching WandaVision, theorizing is unavoidable. We won’t spoil, but this show has some jaw-dropping moments that contribute to a greater purpose in the Marvel world. WandaVision is confirmed to lead directly into the events of Doctor Strange’s upcoming movie, Multiverse of Madness, and will incorporate elements of its plot into Spider-Man: No Way Home. The events of Maximoff’s sitcom-reality are leading into an unexplained “multiverse,” a universe in which multiple different (slightly altered) realities exist. Marvel is beginning to confront these possibilities, and the result is beautiful.

After the death of her parents, her brother Pietro, Vision at her own hand, and then Vision again, trauma has flooded Wanda’s life. Coping with her powers proves more and more difficult throughout her journey as a superhero, and WandaVision represents the climax of a years-long struggle for Maximoff. We recommend more than anything joining her journey from Sokovia to Lagos to Wakanda to Westview; you won’t regret becoming emotionally attached to the mental well-being of a fictional witch. 

Although the challenged Suburbia stereotypes might lead you to question if Radnor genuinely exists, WandaVision paints a glorious picture of life, love, and loss. If you had the power to dictate your ideal reality, would you take the opportunity? Wanda is here to remind us that home is where you make it.