The Marvel Cinematic Universe returns after more than a year with their mini-series, ‘WandaVision,’ that premiered on Disney+ on January 15, 2021. ‘WandaVision’ sees former Avengers Wanda Maximoff and Vision living a happily married life in a suburban town that exists in a strange black and white utopia. Wanda and Vision do not seem to have any idea of how they got where they are, or even that something is greatly amiss. Going by the first two episodes, they especially don’t seem to recall the harrowing events leading up to Thanos’ snap in ‘Avengers: Infinity War.’
The first two episodes play like vintage sitcoms from the 1950s and 1960s (taking inspiration from classics like ‘I Love Lucy,’ ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show,’ and ‘Bewitched.’) But as Wanda and Vision play the blissfully unaware newly-weds attempting to fit into the middle-class Westview neighborhood by keeping their superpowers secret, the viewers catch on to a few subtle hints that make it clear that something is very wrong, and Wanda and Vision are possibly trapped in an alternate reality of some kind. There are certain allusions to the fact that a much darker reality exists on the periphery of this perfect sitcom life in monotone, but our heroes are not yet aware of it. So the question that comes to mind is, why is ‘WandaVision’ in black and white? Let’s find out. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Why is WandaVision in Black and White?
The most direct answer to this question is that the show’s makers wanted to pay tribute to the old-timey mid-century TV shows and the golden age of Hollywood. That’s why they shot the first couple of episodes in black and white, in front of a live studio audience. It’s an inventive new way of capturing the audience’s interest by titillating their curiosity. Also, keeping things black and white lends the premise an air of authenticity.
Coming to the premise, the show’s black and white sitcom setting is particularly important because it indicates that not all is as it seems. This becomes especially apparent when Wanda finds a toy helicopter in full technicolor, lying on her front lawn. The juxtaposition of the bright red toy helicopter against the grayscale of the scene seems to affirm the notion that this helicopter does not belong in Westview (meaning it’s not a part of this weird reality) and must have come from elsewhere. Based on the head-scratching ending of episode 2, where Wanda literally rewinds the scene to a few minutes before, there’s a theory that the sitcom reality is created by Wanda herself.
For some reason that’s yet unknown, she has locked herself and Vision in a fake world and is altering the very fabric of their reality. But there are holes in the story, like when did they get married, or what is it that Vision does at work – details that both of them cannot remember because they don’t really exist. Comicbook fans believe that the show is borrowing from the ‘House of M’ storyline in which Wanda loses her children with Vision, suffers a mental breakdown, and creates her own alternate reality. Guess we’ll have to wait and see how the upcoming episodes unfurl.
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