As the first new MCU material since 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, WandaVision had quite a tough job ahead of it – pleasing the hungry Marvel fans who’d been starved of their cinematic universe for much longer than anticipated, thanks mostly to COVID. The Falcon & The Winter Soldier should have led the Disney Plus charge and Black Widow should also have been out by the time WandaVision hit our screens – which would have given fans a much more traditional continuation of the MCU before delving into the off-kilter, sitcom-based shenanigans we got instead.
I don’t think audiences in general were prepared for just how kooky WandaVision was going to be – and it quickly became a huge event, a puzzle box with a clearly defined ending and goal in mind that put it ahead of similarly structured, far more elongated mystery shows such as Lost and The X-FIles, both of which meandered through multiple seasons and clearly didn’t have planned endings in place, let alone planned touchpoints along the journey.
WandaVision absolutely capitalises on its classic-sitcoms-through-the-decades structure and even though the ending becoming a standard MCU supervillain smackdown became a bit of a disappointment at first (as well as a few fan theories most definitely not coming to pass causing some fans to feel a little betrayed), rewatching the show from beginning to end only reinforces how perfectly constructed it is, much like Wanda’s comforting sitcom reality.
Assembled takes us behind the scenes for a fascinating hour-long look at how the show was put together and it’s glorious. We get the usual talking heads in terms of the stars, writers, producers and directors but the behind the scenes footage, showcase on special effects and even concept art is genuinely insightful. I was incredibly impressed with just how authentic the sitcom filming was, even down to the detail of the seating that audience members sat on – because yes, those episodes were filmed in front of a live studio audience. Period appropriate special effects added to the feeling of these being real, classic sitcoms and each episode’s theme tune (and title sequence) further reinforced that.
If you were a fan of WandaVision – and, let’s face it, who wasn’t – then Assembled is a wonderful peek behind the curtain of the show and it’s a making-of that I can highly recommend. Brilliant stuff – and it’s never a bad thing to be reminded of the utterly touching genius that is the line “What is grief, if not love persevering?”.
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