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The countdown is on to the Disney+ debut of WandaVision, the first in a long line of new Marvel small-screen series that’ll take their places alongside the movies as full-fledged pieces of the sprawling MCU puzzle.
Buzz is building to seemingly cosmic proportions ahead of the show’s streaming premiere this week, with early reactions pretty much universally praising the show’s smart use of its quirky and unconventional 1950s-style sitcom format. Just as with sitcoms of old, WandaVision’s Season 1 episodes were even taped before a live studio audience — and that’s apparently not the only bygone trait the series is borrowing from its retro small-screen inspiration.
At a media event featuring a sit-down chat with Marvel Studios creative chief Kevin Feige and the WandaVision cast, Feige revealed on Sunday that the show will even be interrupted by commercial breaks. But before you fire off an email to Disney asking why advertisements will be suddenly showing up as part of your premium paid subscription, get this: The commercials are entirely fictional.
In fact, says Feige, the phony ads have been integrated into each episode’s runtime as a clever way to lend authenticity to the whole family sitcom format. On top of that, they’re also the place where Season 1 will be sneaking in some mysterious teases about an evil entity that’s no doubt waiting for the perfect time to disrupt Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) & Vision (Paul Bettany) from their sepia-tinted domestic bliss.
Via Variety, the vintage-style ads carry a “nefarious” tone that offers up “brief hints” at something sinister waiting in the wings. Feige remained tight-lipped on specifics, but said the ads will definitely reward keen-eyed viewers on the lookout for some larger MCU connections.
“Other truths of the show begin to leak out, and commercials was an early idea for that,” Feige explained, via the report. “And if this is the very first Marvel MCU thing you’re watching, it’s just a strange version of a ’50s commercial or a ’60s commercial that you’ll have to keep watching the series to understand. If you have been watching the movies, you might be able to start connecting what those things mean to the past.”
Trapped in a bizarre timeline that yanks them back to the past from their modern-day Avengers: Infinity War fling (a romance that Thanos so tragically cut short), the duo will end up crossing paths with another Marvel character who, in any other series, wouldn’t have a place in the show’s wacky time continuum. Captain Marvel’s Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) turns up in adult form (rather than her childhood self from the 2019 film), and Parris teased that finding out what happened during her lost growing-up years — not to mention being older here than her future 21st-Century self — is all part of the fun.
“Through the course of the show, we find out what she’s been up to what’s happened for her between that gap in the years,” Parris said, with Variety adding that “something more nefarious” may be part of the explanation. “We actually do get to learn, particularly what those things are that Monica has seen and going through and how they have shaped her life,” Parris added.
Here’s hoping nothing fishy happens to our real-world timeline between now and this Friday, because that’s the day when WandaVision finally flickers to old-school TV life. Season 1 begins streaming at Disney+ on Jan. 15.