Episode 4 of Marvel’s WANDAVISION is streaming now. Here’s a sneak peek of the episode!
In case you have yet to discover Marvel’s first foray into episodic TV programming, this is what it’s all about.
Marvel Studios’ “WandaVision” is a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff and Vision—two super-powered beings living idealized suburban lives—begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems.
“WandaVision,” the first Marvel Studios series created exclusively for Disney+, stars Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff, Paul Bettany as Vision, Kathryn Hahn as Agnes, and Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau, who was introduced to audiences in “Captain Marvel.” Kat Dennings will reprise her role as Darcy from “Thor” and “Thor: The Dark World,” and Randall Park will reprise his role as Jimmy Woo from “Ant-Man and The Wasp.” The series is directed by Matt Shakman with Jac Schaeffer as head writer.
Marvel‘s WANDAVISION is streaming now on Disney+, new episodes to arrive weekly.
January 2021 is so loaded with content to watch, we had to create a second volume of recommendations! See our thoughts on some things you might find interesting to stream!
HUMOUR RESOURCES (CBC)
I first got my introduction to charismatic Jon Dore when he was a correspondent on Canadian Idol. We’re going wayyyy back. Since then, he’s continued to tour, had a show on The Comedy Network and appeared on Sitcoms like How I Met Your Mother.
He’s back with a new Just for Laughs-produced Series, HUMOUR RESOURCES, which has him taking on the role of the Human Resources Manager of Comedy where he interviews fellow Comedians under the context of a virtual chat to discuss their “performance”, effectively doubling the Series as a mock talk show. This, while he navigates fictional situations in his life with his stepdaughter Emma and partner Christina at home. Interestingly, this was created just recently amidst the pandemic.
The talent featured is actually quite impressive including chats with the likes of Sarah Silverman, Tom Green, Nikki Glaser, Scott Thompson, Ronny Chieng, Debra DiGiovanni and several more. Episodes are 30 minutes and there are six for you to enjoy.
We felt he could’ve played-up the deadpan HR Manager bit even more, as the subjects sometimes feel unsure of the context. It might’ve been even funnier that these Comedians get grilled with more sternness. Regardless, Dore has a good idea and this is a quick, fun watch. You can stream now on CBC Gem here.
THE HISTORY OF SWEAR WORDS (NETFLIX)
We can’t get enough Nicolas Cage! The History of Swear Words is a six-episode Docu-Series hosted by the Oscar winner, tracing the etymology of curse words like “fuck”, “shit”, “pussy”, “dick” , “bitch” and “damn”. With the help of a panel of Comedians including Nick Offerman, Sarah Silverman, Nikki Glaser, London Hughes and more, we get a briefing of how these words have evolved over time. In some instances taking on negative connotations, but in some instances we see how words like “bitch” and “shit” have been reclaimed as terms with positive connotations. While we feel the deep dive could’ve been even deeper, this is entertaining enough a watch and insightful enough as a conversation piece. The History of Swear Words streams now on Netflix.
We haven’t been so excited for a new Series in quite some time! This nine-episode Series transports Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) in the world of classic television Sitcoms as we explore their chemistry over their course of the Series as they try to be a normal American family. Olsen particularly is a standout just absolutely nailing the diction, tone and speech of the eras she’s placed in. While we struggled to understand how exactly this all ties in with Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it all becomes clearer piece by piece with small connections scattered. We’ve never seen anything quite like this and we’re certain this will be back for more! Can’t wait for you to discover it. First two episodes stream on Disney+ Friday, January 15, 2021.
COBRA KAI (NETFLIX)
If you’re like me, you adored The Karate Kid franchise as a kid, but I’m not sure why I was so reluctant to give Cobra Kai a try. In fact, I let three seasons pass by before finally giving it a shot. The Series reunites rivals Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) and Daniel Larusso (Ralph Macchio) whom 30+ years later find their feud ignited as adults. Daniel is a successful car dealership owner with a great home and family. Johnny has a bit of a drinking problem, coming out of a failed marriage with a strained relationship with his son Robby (Tanner Buchanan). He is hoping to revive Cobra Kai, but is struggling financially and winds up mentoring a bullied and frail teen named Miguel (Xolo Maridueña). Johnny hasn’t forgotten how Daniel got in the way of his dream girl Ali (Elisabeth Shue) and he is out to avenge his loss in their last match back in 1984. Daniel also hasn’t forgotten some of the ill philosophies that Cobra Kai stands for and this awakens his passion again for Martial Arts. Things get complicated when Daniel’s daughter Samantha (Mary Mouser) and Miguel fall for one another, but then Robby seeks Daniel’s guidance as a fighting mentor. And this is enough to fuel three seasons worth of ass-kicking drama.
While the dialogue is shockingly a slap in the face at progressiveness at times, its Writers are fully aware what they are doing and it is little wonder why Cobra Kai is connecting with audiences right now in need of catharsis and a release of aggression during this pandemic. Aside from this, it feels nostalgic and its Soundtrack which often nods to the original era of the franchise help take us back there. Its decision to see this from the side of Johnny Lawrence is an inspired and ballsy move which has paid dividends. All three seasons of COBRA KAI are available now on Netflix.
This two-part Documentary by Co-Directors Matthew Hamachek and Matthew Heineman about golf icon Tiger Woods, documents his rise from a very age under the guidance of his father Earl. Though archived footage we see first-hand how his father had prophesied his son’s greatness into existence. The Film isn’t afraid to examine their estrangement from one another as Woods‘ star rose and also some of the problems in their family life. Following the death of his father, the second-half of the Documentary details Woods‘ public downfall around 2009 when he found himself at the center of a scandal where it was exposed he had been involved in multiple extra-marital affairs, losing his wife and several sponsorship deals. One of the women he had been involved with, Rachel Uchitel who had felt her side of the story on the matter had yet to be told, agrees to sign-on to speak in the Documentary. From here we witness his rise again. TIGER examines cause and consequence in Wood’s life and also the relationships that came to define him. The first half is available now on Crave with the HBO add-on, with the second half arriving January 18, 2021.
BLING EMPIRE (NETFLIX)
If you loved Crazy Rich Asians, these characters are actually the real deal! Set in glamorous L.A., we follow the lives of a circle of friends. This eight-episode series is none short of juicy as we see dueling Queen Bees Christine (founder of Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery Inc and wife of Dr. Gabriel Chu) and the mysterious Anna (heiress to an arms empire) fire friendly shots at one another. Kevin (a model) is our eyes into this world as he tries to grapple with his wealthy friends’ excess, while at once trying to make sense of his own Korean-American identity. He was adopted by an American family at a young age, not knowing his biological parents and their story. He is best friends with the flamboyant Singaporean fashionista Kane, who sits in the chair of the judgy onlooker who also helps give us insight into this world. Kelly is in a bit of a toxic relationship which her friends disapprove of, though sometimes she doesn’t know what’s best for her. Kim is a world-renowned DJ on a search for her estranged father. Cherie is expecting a second child, but her partner is stalling on the marriage proposal still. There’s a bit of betrayal that keeps the show moving along, but none detrimental that these characters sever ties – just the way we want it. We’re thrilled for you to discover this fun escape which never loses sight beneath the gloss of its deeper meaning about finding one’s identity.
There has to be a Season Two!
BLING EMPIRE arrives Friday, January 15, 2021 on Netflix.
NIGHT STALKER: THE HUNT FOR A SERIAL KILLER (NETFLIX)
This honestly was so horrifying I had to take breaks and turn on the lights. This four-part Series documenting a serial killer who tormented Los Angeles one summer in the mid-80s. He was random about who he preyed on – neither children nor the elderly were safe from this sinister predator who sent detectives on a restless chase before he ultimately was captured. We learn about the roadblocks and obstacles the two lead detectives faced trying to keep clues classified, as media threatened to destroy their case divulging too much information to the public.
This is outstanding storytelling which gave me major anxiety, but also beneath this is a story about how the investigation tore one detective apart from his family as the Night Stalker‘s crimes circled closer and closer to their home. We also get first-hand accounts from some victims and family who made the grizzly discovery of his victim’s bodies. We felt an overwhelming feeling of grief for these victims and their families, whose lives were altered forever after the summer of ’85. Definitely not for the faint of heart, but if true crime is your thing, this was done very well.
LOCKED DOWN (HBO MAX/CRAVE)
While originally intended to be a much larger production when it was announced September 2020, the ongoing Pandemic had forced this to alter its course and we wonder what would’ve came of it otherwise. This Heist-Comedy from Director Doug Liman (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Edge of Tomorrow) clocks-in at two hours but truly could’ve been told in a fraction of that as it spends much of its time exploring the work lives and romantic falling-out between its two central characters Linda (Anne Hathaway) and Paxton (Chiwetel Ejiofor). The couple are on the verge of separation but the lockdown forces them to remain together longer and they devise a plan to steal a jewel valued at £6 million at Harrod‘s. Only in its Final Act do things pick-up outside of what feels like a lot of video conference calls and time spent within the confines of their shared flat, and they venture to Harrod’s to carry out the heist. And this is where LOCKED DOWN goes from okay to great, with Hathaway shining yet again, this time taking a bit more of an active role in a crime than her posh prima donna in Ocean’s Eight. This is smart and witty, but admittedly feels a bit long. If you’re willing to sit through it, you’ll be rewarded. LOCKED DOWN streams now on Crave with HBO add-on.
In case you missed our last volume of recommendations, you can catch them here.
Marvel make their official foray into the Television Sitcom realm with WANDAVISION. The Series infuses classic television together with their Cinematic Universe, which over three phases since 2008 have brought us acclaimed films like TheAvengers, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Black Panther franchises and more.
Two characters found in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) have their moment in WANDAVISION, a nine-episode series set after the events of Avengers: Endgame. These two superheroes find themselves living in the suburbs when very soon they begin seeing that things aren’t as ideal as they seem. At the same time, they must conceal their identities. Over the course of the Series and its mock commercials, Marvel fans can begin to draw its clever connection of the Series to the rest of the MCU.
See the Trailer:
We had the opportunity to attend an international virtual Press Junket for WANDAVISION and in attendance were:
Elizabeth Olsen …Wanda
Paul Bettany …Vision
Teyonah Parris …Monica Rambeau
Kathryn Hahn …Agnes
Matt Shakman …Director/Producer Jac Schaeffer …Writer/Producer Kevin Feige …Producer
Star Jaleel White (Family Matters) who has been good friends with Shakman since childhood, was invited to moderate the panel. Shakman goes onto explain how they met.
Shakman: “We were unceremoniously fired on this show called Good Morning Miss Bliss with Hayley Mills that got reconceived from middle school to high school as Saved by the Bell! I was supposed to be Mario Lopez! We both went on to better things!”.
We learned the first episode of WANDAVISION was shot before a live studio audience. Elizabeth Olsen comments on how this impacted her performance.
Olsen: “It was the first thing we shot. It was so nerve-wrecking and there was a lot of adrenaline, quick changes and it totally confused my brain. It really messed with my brain, the idea of now playing to an audience, feeding off an audience and having a camera. And I was really grateful when we added a Fourth Wall first!”.
Olsen who delivers a standout performance as Wanda is asked where she pulled her inspiration fromin this role.
Olsen: “I felt like it was an amalgamation of Mary Tyler Moore and Elizabeth Montgomery and I think I accidentally threw-in some Lucy (Lucille Ball) in the ’70s because there was so much Physical Comedy.”.
She comments also on exploring Wanda‘s power in a Sitcom form.
Olsen: “Well, I can’t wiggle my nose, so we had to figure out something that was period-appropriate. This was our translation and to our watch our Special Effects team that usually blows things up, sets things on fire, create wind, create smoke – these guys become puppeteers of things floating in the sky, like magnets to make things spin a certain way. It was so special seeing the them adapt to the era in ways to create these practical effects or research what they did on Bewitched. I’d have to do something like hold still, trying to do a quick change and remembering the way my body was for the camera. There was just a lot of silly things we got to do that I’m normally used to it all coming together through CGI. It was really fun to have the practical effects there.”.
What is it about Vision that holds true regardless his surroundings?
Bettany: “I was worried initially this feels so different as I read the Script and I realized he’s always been becoming something else. He’s J.A.R.V.I.S., part-Ultron, he’s part Tony Stark and he’s omnipotent. But he’s also this naive ingenue and I thought maybe I’ll throw in just a little Dick Van Dyke in there and a little bit of Hugh Laurie. As long he remains decent and honourable and exists for Wanda, then you’re safe.”.
What does Vision need to blend into his community?
Bettany: “Oh, a lot of wigs!”
Teyonah Parris(Dear White People, The Photograph) tells us a bit about her involvement with WANDAVISION and also the Captain Marvel franchise.
Parris: “We met her in Captain Marvel as a little girl and in WANDAVISION we see who she now is as a grown woman. Through the course of the show, we find out where she’s been, what’s happened to her between that gap and how she’s evolved – or not – and we just follow her along.”.
“She will be joining along Carol Danvers and Miss Marvel in Captain Marvel2 in November 2022.”.
With WANDAVISION being set within the idealistic Sitcom world, Director Shakman tells us about this “Sitcom Bootcamp” he helped create with the Cast and Crew.
Shakman: “We wanted to be as authentic as possible, so everything from Production Design to Cinematography to Costume Design, everything was about going on this deep dive. The Actors all wanted to do the same thing. So we watched a ton of old television episodes and talked about how Comedy changes because the approach to Comedy is really different in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. Doing it in front of a live studio audience was weird quasi-Theatre/TV. It really adds to it and you can feel that energy of a theatrical performance working with an audience. When you get to ’60s, shows like Bewitched and I Dream of Jeanie, all the sudden there is the Fourth Wall and it’s more like doing a movie these days and that laugh track is canned and that changes the energy, the approach, the style, everything.”.
“We also worked with a fabulous dialect coach to work on how the people would sound in the era and move. We did everything we could to make it as authentic as possible.”.
At the heart of WANDAVISION is a love story. Writer/Producer Jac Schaeffer tells us more.
Schaeffer: “I think Wanda and Vision are tragic and also kind of warm and intimate. We’ve seen them in these really beautiful stolen moments in the Marvel universe. It’s actually been a small amount of screen time, but very powerful and very soulful. With WANDAVISION, we open up the space and the stage for them in this domestic sphere and we get to see them doing dishes in the kitchen and being cute. And all this homebody stuff that you’d never get to see a superhero participate in.”.
“We really go from enormous, dramatic moments in the MCU and in WANDAVISION, it’s a lot of cute-cute… until it’s not!”.
Kevin Feige has really found an incredible amount of success with the MCU in recent years, guiding Black Panther to an Oscar nomination – a first ever for a superhero movie. He also produced AVENGERS: ENDGAME, which became the highest grossing film of all time. He talks to this being Marvel‘s first crack at the Sitcom genre, which has been aided by the arrival of streaming service Disney+.
Feige: “This was our test run, Marvel’s first foray with a cast of characters we’ve seen in movies coming onto Television. The idea always was to do something that could not be done as a feature. There were a lot of meetings before people understood what it is we were trying to go for. We were able to turn a whacky idea into a spectacular show. I’m really happy that this worked out as it did for a debut on Disney+ for the MCU.”.
As the Series travels through different eras, Bettany, Olsen and Hahn, who plays intrusive neighbour Agnes, are asked how they adjust their physicality around this.
Bettany: “I think it’s a better question for Elizabeth, Teyonah and Kathyrn. I think there’s a lot more Slapstick Comedy early on, but by the ’90s they’ve made me look so ridiculous that I don’t have to work so hard for the laughs.”.
Olsen: “I think the way women move throughout the decades changes so much with what society wants from them. So Jac did write-in quite a few nods to how women evolved as we get to the ’60s. Wanda gets to wear some pants and that would adjust how someone moves through their space. Manners were a big part of it where we talk to vocal work, speech and cadence, and manners were a huge part of every decade and we would get this book of manners for the time as well. We’re not depicting an honest reality of the ’60s and ’70s, we’re depicting a Sitcom Reality, which has its own set of rules. “.
Hahn: “The Sitcom has always represented an aspirational view, a comfortable ideal. The trick was not only were we trying to live within each decade, but try to present this comfortable ideal. The structure of Sitcom – the set-up, misunderstanding and resolution is such a comfortable little structure. That’s something we had baked-in as kids of the ’80s. The trick is not to satirize it but get inside of each one. I think tonally this was such a trick to pull off.”.
WANDAVISION will kick-off Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, although this wasn’t always the original plan prior to the Pandemic.
Feige: “Disney+ has allowed us to expand creatively what we do. The Falcon and the Winter Solider was supposed to debut first, followed soon behind by WANDAVISION, so creatively, it didn’t reshuffle. Part of having a long-range plan was having the ability to shuffle as the need arises. I’m not saying we were prepped for global pandemic because we were not, but we’ve always over the past 12-15 years at Marvel Studios been able to shuffle around. This required no shuffling around in terms of the creative. The unexpected has always served Marvel Studios well and it has served us well. I love how bold this is and as I said before, it is something you could only see on Disney+.”.
Feige is asked about his inspiration behind WANDAVISION.
Feige: “My grandfather worked for Procter & Gamble, which was a sponsor and producer behind mainly soap operas. In the early ’50s and ’60s, they did some primetime. So he was in the one of the companies behind The Dick Van Dyke Show. That might’ve been a little of it but it more is that I watched too much TV as a kid and I found a lot of comfort in television families. This is not a Parody or direct Satire. We love them and they meant a lot to us. As dated and silly as they might seem, there is a comfort factor there.”.
The first two episodes of WandaVision arrive on Disney+ Friday, January 15, 2021 with new episodes to come weekly.
WANDAVISION is arriving on Disney+ later this year and here’s the brand-new Trailer unveiled during tonight’s Primetime Emmys!
Marvel Studios’ captivating new series “WandaVision,” which premieres in late 2020 on Disney+, just unveiled its first trailer on ABC’s broadcast of the 72nd Primetime Emmy® Awards. Starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, “WandaVision” marks the first series from Marvel Studios streaming exclusively on Disney+. The series is a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff and Vision—two super-powered beings living idealized suburban lives—begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems.
Some exciting stuff coming out of Comic-Con this weekend in San Diego! A Series of announcements have been made as to the next set of Films to come out in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of them features our v. own Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience) in the titual role of Shang-Chi in Shang-Chi and the Legend of The Ten Rings!
Feige kicked off with an overview of the feature film “The Eternals,” an exciting new team of Super Heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Feige introduced the director, Chloé Zhao, followed by stars from the film, including, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Don Lee as Gilgamesh and Angelina Jolie as Thena.
“The Eternals” will make their Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in theatres on November 6, 2020.
THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER
Feige brought news on the Disney+ original series “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier,” which pairs up two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most popular heroes—Sam Wilson aka The Falcon and Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier—in a series of action-filled adventures as they fight together against evil after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.”
Anthony Mackie (The Falcon) and Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier) came on stage to greet the fans, and it was revealed that Daniel Brühl will return as the villain, Baron Zemo.
“The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” is set to debut on Disney+ in the fall of 2020.
SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS
Feige spoke about the feature film “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and detailed how the legend has been hinted at in the MCU films since the first “Iron Man.”
In an unanticipated surprise for all, Kevin Feige then announced the confirmed casting of Simu Liu in the title role of Shang-Chi and both the actor and the director, Destin Daniel Cretton, came on stage to greet the audience. Kevin also shared with the audience the casting of Awkwafina in a yet-to-be-disclosed role. Then, Kevin revealed to the Hall H audience that the real Mandarin will be played by celebrated Chinese actor Tony Leung.
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” will be in theatres on February 12, 2021.
Next, Feige offered the latest on “WandaVision,” a Disney+ original series where Paul Bettany reprises the role of Vision and Elizabeth Olsen returns to her role of Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch.
Bettany and Olsen were joined on stage by MCU newcomer Teyonah Parris, and Feige announced that Parris will be playing the grown-up version of Monica Rambeau, who was introduced to audiences in “Captain Marvel.”
“WandaVision” premieres on Disney+ in the spring of 2021.
Feige offered news on “Loki,” a Marvel Studios original series streaming on Disney+ in the spring of 2021. Tom Hiddleston—back in his role of the mercurial Loki, the god of mischief and everyone’s favorite villain—received a huge welcome from fans when Feige brought him out on stage.
Then to the delight of the audience, Hiddleston answered the biggest question from “Avengers: Endgame”: “Where did Loki go when he took the Space Stone?”
DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS
Feige introduced the second film in the “Doctor Strange” franchise, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,”and called the director, Scott Derrickson, and star Benedict Cumberbatch to the stage to a rousing welcome.
In a surprise twist, Feige brought out Elizabeth Olsen, who also stars in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” and they talked about how “WandaVision”—the Disney+ series that Olsen will star in as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch—connects directly to the feature-film storyline.
“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” hits theatres on May 7, 2021.
Feige offered new information on “What If…?,” the first animated series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “What If…?” is being created exclusively for Disney+ and features stories that present alternate realities in the Marvel universe.
Feige mentioned that many actors from across the Marvel Cinematic Universe will reprise their roles as voice talent in the series. He then surprised the audience by bringing Jeffrey Wright to the stage and introducing him as the voice of the popular character The Watcher in the new series.
“What If…?” joins the Disney+ lineup in the summer of 2021.
Jeremy Renner came on stage and revealed the previously undisclosed title of the Hawkeye Disney+ original series. He joined Kevin Feige to give exciting news about “Hawkeye,” including details about Kate Bishop, a character well-known in Marvel comics, who will be an integral part of the series.
“Hawkeye” launches on Disney+ in the fall of 2021.
THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER
Feige talked about the next Thor film, “Thor: Love and Thunder,” which will be the fourth feature film in the “Thor” franchise. It was revealed that Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman, will become the Mighty Thor, the goddess of Thunder.
Director Taika Waititi, Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson and Natalie Portman all came on stage for the presentation, eliciting a wild response from the Hall H audience who are looking forward to the film’s November 5, 2021 debut in theatres.
Feige officially announced the feature film “Black Widow,” which is slated for a May 1, 2020 release in theatres, making it the first film of Phase Four to hit the big screen.
Feige surprised the audience with the first footage from “Black Widow,” which is currently in production. The film is directed by Cate Shortland who was on hand to greet the Hall H audience along with Scarlett Johansson, reprising her role of Natasha Romanoff, as well as newcomers to the Marvel Cinematic Universe David Harbour as Alexei aka The Red Guardian, Florence Pugh as Yelena, O-T Fagbenle as Mason and Rachel Weisz as Melina.
Following the “Black Widow” presentation, Feige had another big surprise up his sleeve for the enthusiastic Hall H crowd. He was joined on stage by actor Mahershala Ali and then announced the new Marvel Studios feature film “Blade” that Ali will star in.