Marvel's 'WandaVision' a 'bananas' must-see for sitcom lovers

NEW YORK -- A new show premiering Friday on Disney+ is being called "one of the strangest additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe," and for folks who grew up on TV sitcoms, "WandaVision" is also among the most entertaining.

Vision is the android next door, while Wanda is known as Scarlet Witch due to her magical powers.

They're a couple "just trying to pass as normal as possible and hope that no one discovers their secret of being superheroes," star Elizabeth Olsen said.

Wanda and Vision find themselves within classic TV sitcoms, in a different show each week, in a different decade.

"You see how different they are from when you begin in the 50s to where we end in the aughts," star Paul Bettany said. "We start with 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' and 'Bewitched,' and we end up with 'Malcolm in the Middle' and 'Modern Family.'"

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The guy directing all this is a former child star named Matt Shakman.

"I grew up as an actor on sitcoms," he said. "I was on backlots and soundstages my entire childhood."

For those too young to remember watching these classic shows as kids, episodes were screened for the cast.

"Trying to tell these stories authentically through sitcoms, so we're trying to recreate a real sitcom show that could've been filmed with the style and the tone," Olsen said.

And it's a blast from the past for all involved.

"A deep dive into sitcom television history," Shakman said. "Those who made the original shows were consulted, and the first episode was filmed in front of a live audience just as they were done 60 years ago."

And great efforts were taken for accuracy.

"There's so much detail that went into what you see," Olsen said.

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The idea behind "WandaVision" and other series to come on Disney+ is to feature Marvel characters that don't get much screen time in the Marvel movies.

"I play Monica Rambeau, who were introduced to in Captain Marvel where she was a little girl," said Teyonah Parris, who refuses to explain how and why her character lands in this series. "There's a lot to cling onto, so just hold on for this ride, guys."

Marvel and Disney+ are both owned by the parent company of ABC 7.

The new series is, to quote Bettany, "bananas and brilliant."

It's wild and wacky with a whole lot of heart, thanks to the charming relationship between Wanda and Vision.

For those of us who grew up on sitcoms, the show is a delight. You don't have to know anything about the MCU, but for those fans who do, the new show will have its own rewards -- unusual as the concept might sound.

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