Inpatient fans might already have an inkling of knowledge about what will happen in the first episode of WandaVision and learned what Darcy Lewis has been up to since Thor: The Dark World, but some critics and outlets have already seen the first three episodes of Marvel Studios' first streaming show.
On Thursday, Steven Weintraub, the editor-in-chief at Collider, let slip that interviews with the cast and crew from outlets would be released over the course of this weekend.
More importantly, the social media embargo for the first three episodes lift this Saturday, with the review embargo lifting on Thursday, January 14, at 9:00 am PST. The first impressions have begun pouring in for WandaVision and they all seem quite promising.
Steven Weintraub expresses his love for the first three episodes of WandaVision and how it takes risks.
Have seen the first 3 episodes of #Wandavision and *LOVE* how big of a swing @MarvelStudios is taking with the series. The reason the #MCU is king of the hill is @Kevfeige’s amazing leadership and willingness to take risks like what you'll see in 'Wandavision'. pic.twitter.com/EgUUUxXudh— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) January 9, 2021
James Viscardi of ComicBook.com shares his own thoughts, saying that WandaVision shows “restraint” while still offering so much for fans.
#WandaVision offers humor, drama and suspense all in its half-hour chunks. I will say it is good the first two episodes are being offered up front as they really set up what the show is about. Marvel fans have been waiting, their patience will be rewarded.— James Viscardi (@JimViscardi) January 9, 2021
Erik Davis, the managing editor of Fandango, says that WandaVision is “truly unlike anything Marvel Studios has done.” Davis also says that fans will “need to adjust their expectations" at the lack of big action scenes typically seen in Marvel Studios productions.
I’ve watched THREE episodes of #WandaVision and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Truly unlike anything Marvel Studios has done — it’s light, funny & fully committed to its retro sitcom inspirations, but it also carefully sprinkles in enough mystery & intrigue to keep you guessing pic.twitter.com/8dqegsg5By— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) January 9, 2021
Fans wanting BIG action scenes may need to adjust their expectations, at least early on, but the beauty of this format is it allows room to hang out w/ characters & revel in the weirdness on display without a story that’s relying too heavily on rushing to its next major battle. pic.twitter.com/N451h2KcwO— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) January 9, 2021
Eric Goldman, the managing editor of Fandom, presses that this show is a big change of pace for Marvel Studios and other superhero stories. Goldman also mentions that the runtime for these three episodes was around 30 minutes each.
I’ve seen the first three episodes of #WandaVision and man is it my jam. If you fret that all superhero stories can feel the same, here is big proof otherwise. I found it delightfully trippy and intriguing. I love what I’ve seen so far and can’t wait to see the entire season.— Eric Goldman (@TheEricGoldman) January 9, 2021
The entire cast of #WandaVision is great and fully commited to the stylized approach but Elizabeth Olsen’s performance is truly outstanding and one of those “Man, if awards shows weren't snobby about superhero stuff, she would likely get an Emmy nomination” situations.— Eric Goldman (@TheEricGoldman) January 9, 2021
#WandaVision is a weird way to return to the MCU (remember, it was MEANT to be the fourth project of of Phase 4) and will take some adjustment for those seeking a traditional superhero story, but I think it will grab people more and more if they accept it’s doing its own thing.— Eric Goldman (@TheEricGoldman) January 9, 2021
Charles Murphy, of Murphy's Multiverse, gives a very in-depth impression, going over the performance of the actors, and more. Here are some excerpts from his reaction to the first three episodes of WandaVision.
Feige, Shakman and Schaeffer deserve a ton of credit here. They don’t just pay lip service to trip through the decades, they make every effort to ground them in that time period: the audience reactions, the camera work and lighting and even the cultural sensibilities are on point— Charles Murphy (@_CharlesMurphy) January 9, 2021
Olsen’s range as an actress is on full display. Like Bettany she’s essentially playing a different character in each episode, but it’s her ability to relay the feeling that there’s another part of her, just out of her own reach, that sells her performance.— Charles Murphy (@_CharlesMurphy) January 9, 2021
#WandaVision IS something you’ve never seen before but it accomplishes that by taking you places you’ve been before and playing with your notions of what should happen there. If this is what Marvel Studios TV is headed, we’re all going to be very happy for a long, long time.— Charles Murphy (@_CharlesMurphy) January 9, 2021
Dorian Parks, who owns and runs Geeks of Color, describes WandaVision as “weird as hell,” but in a good way and that Parks can't wait to see how Monica Rambeau showing up will affect the plot.
Watched 3 episodes of #WandaVision and the show is weird as hell (in a good way).— Dorian Parks (@DorianParksnRec) January 9, 2021
Two things are clear. 1) Marvel is dedicated to parodying classic sitcoms and 2) the MCU is finally back!
Can’t wait to see how this show sets up Doctor Strange 2 and Spider-Man 3 👀 pic.twitter.com/nR6rTShfOY
My biggest takeaway, it seems like the cast had a blast filming the series. Lots of joy on screen.— Dorian Parks (@DorianParksnRec) January 9, 2021
I can’t say much but I’m excited to see how #Wanda and her powers play into the plot and what the arrival of #MonicaRambeau means. pic.twitter.com/q8UeVhARwF
Jill Pantozzi, deputy editor of io9 at Gizmodo, says that the show is “magical and hysterical.”
Kristen Lopez, TV editor for IndieWire, describes the two stars as “adorable and hilarious.”
Three episodes into #WandaVision and I. Am. Hooked. Not only is the series a loving recreation of classic television shows (everything beautiful), but the story is so compelling. Elizabeth Olsen & Paul Bettany are adorable and hilarious. My most anticipated didn't disappoint! pic.twitter.com/jZVE6zIlQB— Kristen Lopez (@Journeys_Film) January 9, 2021
Rodrigo Perez, editor-in-chief of The Playlist, had a less than favorable impression of WandaVision, disliking the sitcom setting as a “kinda slog.”
#Wandavision: hard to discuss, review & social review becuz only 3 eps given of a *very* incomplete story. Please see full thread**— Rodrigo Perez 📽🎞📺 (@YrOnlyHope) January 9, 2021
Just cause it’s unique to MCU doesn’t mean it’s good. It’s fully committed to resembling a bad cheesy ‘50 sitcoma#—purposefully—& boy, kinda slog.
I believe it will get good—there are some small but powerful hints of major emotional trauma/grief*— but the first 3 eps are just goofing around w/sitcom tropes and laugh tracks to stuff not very funny or compelling.— Rodrigo Perez 📽🎞📺 (@YrOnlyHope) January 9, 2021
The problem is, if I were able to see the entire thing, or experience it all in context,I bet I would like it cause I could see full story, but man it’s going to be trying for some audiences to sit through the sitcom silliness for weeks waiting for the actual story to start.— Rodrigo Perez 📽🎞📺 (@YrOnlyHope) January 9, 2021
WHAT THIS MEANS
The consensus among critics is that Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany shine in their performances, actually able to stretch their acting muscles with Olsen “essentially playing a different character each episode,” and Bettany allowed to showcase his talent as a comedic actor. It is good to know that the trailers weren't just for show and that Marvel Studios is committed to the sitcom setting, with one critic even warning fans that they shouldn't be expecting much action.
It certainly sounds like a big difference from anything Marvel Studios has done before or anything other studios have done with the superhero genre. It even seems like the earlier episodes will be restricted to 30 minutes, falling in line with Kevin Feige replicating the sitcom experience. At this point, it seems evident that the first six episodes for each sitcom era will be 30 minutes long, with the last three episodes being an hour-long, which would line up to six hours in total.