This is kind of weird. Like, it’s five minutes in and I haven’t decided whether it’s making fun of the 50s-sitcom format featuring a happily married heterosexual although not heterosapien couple who have just moved into a new neighborhood and are variously plotting or forgetting their first anniversary, or making fun of me, the audience, for kind of getting into the story.
It’s been five minutes and the characters are…kind of charming? And the setup is mildly amusing already? And the fact that the camera isn’t in the actors’ faces whilst they mug for their line, which aren’t supposed to be taken seriously anyhow because it’s a comedy (as the laugh track helpfully indicates), helps enormously? Also, I’m a sucker for 1950s fashions?
So, anyhow, our amusing setup is that whilst Wanda is with the aid and abettance of her neighbor to the right plotting out a romantic dinner for two on the occasion of their anniversary, Vision’s boss expects to be treated to a homecooked meal. A predictably hilarious sequence of near-catastrophes later, the actual catastrophe seems to have occurred when Mr. and Mrs. Boss ask our heroes what their wedding was actually like. Or when it was. Or why they don’t actually have rings. Or why they moved to the neighborhood.–a question which neither of them can answer and both struggle mightily with.
Fortunately, Mr. Boss chokes on a chocolate-covered strawberry at this point and the crisis is…averted. Wanda and Vision settle on their song, anniversary, date, and a set of conjured rings….
And the episode ends with someone at an ominous Monitoring Desk of Ominousness, watching their episode’s credits on a Monitor Of Doom.
Episode 2 begins with Wanda and Vision in bed (separate twins, natch) which the cold open arranges to change into a single double. (eheheh) After this is an annoyingly animated credits sequence which I expect I was supposed to be cute.
We then move into Vision practicing his magic act for the talent show. It’s important, Wanda explains, for them to a) participate, b) be authentically fake enough to fit in. But shortly something else happens: Wanda discovers a model helicopter in her rosebushes. What’s more….it’s in color, while everything else in their world is black-and-white.
Agnes, the neighbor on the right, then interrupts. Now, it’s pretty clear that Agnes is being set up to be either an agent of whatever oppressive forces have Done This to Wanda and Vision, but, in the meanwhile, she’s still a kind of funny, charming character who Wanda plays off of perfectly. We then follow Wanda and Agnes-the-neighbor-on-the-right to the neighborhood Stepford Smilers Committee, or whatever it is supposed to be, which is presided over by a Queen Bee lady. Queen Bee lady is immediately coded as a bad person: she’s blonde, snippy, and, worse, is snippy to a plus-but healthy at whatever sized-woman and to our hero. Also, there’s a black woman there who is coded as nice, because she complements Wanda’s slacks. Guys, you’re starting to lose me.
Vision, for his part, is having a much more amusing and less productive time at the local boy’s club. He gets gum stuck in his throat, or somewhere thereabouts.
And at this point, the radio starts talking to Wanda.
We cut to the talent show. Vision is acting as though he’s drunk, which is delightfully funny or was intended to be. Vision starts doing actual magic, which Wanda has to then cover up…using more magic to undo whatever he’s doing (“That was my grandma’s piano”) revealing the “secret.” So….this is actually kind of clever and would have been legitimately funny if it could have gone a little smoother (or higher budget?)
Wanda then discovers she’s about eight months pregnant when she gets home.
And then a guy in a bee suit climbs out of the sewer and looks menacingly at the camera…only for Wanda to rewind time to back to when they were indoors and turn their world into color.
The episode ends with a repetition of the voice from the radio asking Wanda if she knows who is doing this to her. I’m gonna guess “the bad guys.”
Verdict: I’m slightly intrigued, albeit the menacing bee-keeper suit was a lot less menacing and more surreal (read: stupid) than it was probably intended to be–and I honestly can’t see how any context whatsoever is going to make it less stupid in the future. Oh, also, the fact that the episodes are really short (<30 minutes) helps enormously to keep things moving.
I like both the actors and they are portraying their characters with just the right amount of charm and humor. And, while I can’t help but expect to be sucker-punched for watching and enjoying a show that celebrates the 1950s and many of the values which were common to our society and civilization in that day…
I’ma give them the benefit of the doubt, for once.
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