The Wonders of WandaVision (1)

Like everyone, I’m awed by WandaVision. The story’s longing-for-a-happy-home might explain the series’ success to some degree, as Jac Shaeffer mentions. Holms discusses how the theme of grief and trauma attracted audiences.  Andrew notes the effect of the pandemic on the popularity of the show.  Most reviews acknowledge that WandaVision on Disney+ is exceptional, but few identify the kinds of writing choices that contributed to the success. 

As its first stroke of genius, Shaeffer’s writing team reinvents The False World.

The audience watching the sitcom, “WandaVision”, understands more about the false world than Wanda herself. While the dramatic irony here is sophisticated, it isn’t new.  Just as we learned about The Matrix through Neo and about The Truman Show through Truman, we learn about WandaVision through Wanda.  Unlike the evil robots in The Matrix and the misguided producer in The Truman Show, the creator of Wanda’s illusive surroundings resides inside the house, so to speak, in Wanda’s own mind.

WandaVision puts a new spin on an old idea by having Wanda take the (proverbial) red pill and by making her – the protagonist, also an antagonist as the creator of the delusion. (Can anyone else think of a story where a false world revolves around a man-versus-self conflict?) Shaeffer’s writing team further impresses when it associates Wanda’s self-delusion with the deception of others (the town), which reflects recent studies on self-deception.

The writers explore the theme of escapism in WandaVision, warning against using fantasy to avoid grief. Portraying Wanda as a victim of trauma and as responsible for her delusional state presents the thought-provoking notion that people are their own worst enemies. The writing of WandaVision provides audiences with a new look at the false world – as well as a reinterpretation of the nested plot, which I discuss in my next post.

WandaVision gets an “A+” for Acing an Artistic Accomplishment: Originality: 6/5 , Engagement: 6/5, Clarity: 4/5, Production 4.5/5 = 20.5/20

Read the follow-up discussions on WandaVision’s false world on reddit.

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