Over the course of nine episodes, the Disney Plus Marvel series WandaVision gave us a powerful, character-driven meditation on grief, loss, and love, while also deftly threading the needle in introducing newcomers who will be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
That's a lot of narrative balls to juggle, and whether you’re ultimately satisfied with where the story ended up or not, no fan would be faulted for wanting more. WandaVision pulled off a lot of successful moves, but it also carved out a niche in the superhero genre for weird, wacky and ultimately poignant storytelling.
There might not be another show exactly like WandaVision on television. But if you’re looking for something along similar lines to scratch that very specific itch, check out any one of these shows like WandaVision that tackle many of the same themes, give us phenomenal performances, and share at least one or two loose connections either in story or characters.
Sorry for Your Loss
If WandaVision was a testament to anything, it was the strength of Elizabeth Olsen’s acting — especially when she’s given a wealth of material to play through.
Throughout WandaVision's airing, many people pointed out that this wasn’t the first time the actress tackled the subject of grief and a woman in mourning; in the short-running Facebook Watch web series Sorry for Your Loss, Olsen plays a young widow struggling to cope with the unexpected death of her husband and the relationships she tries to reassess after that loss.
Leigh Shaw was once a writer working on an online advice column, but after her husband passes away, she quits her job and moves in with her mother, Amy (Janet McTeer) and her adopted sister Jules (Kelly Marie Tran).
Over the course of the show, Leigh finds different ways to deal with her own grief, as well as her late husband’s depression, and struggles to reconcile her memories of her marriage with the information she uncovers after her husband’s death. It’s an emotional, poignant series that really emphasizes Olsen’s strengths as an actress much in the way that WandaVision did.
Some of the early reviews of WandaVision made reference to its Lynchian vibes, and in a way, they weren’t far off the mark. It’s the combination of serene small-town vibes and surreal imagery that both shows are known for which makes mystery drama Twin Peaks another must-watch after WandaVision, even if you’re revisiting the story.
When teen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee)’s body is found, it kickstarts an investigation into one of Twin Peaks’ most popular (and most mysterious) figures.
The investigation is led by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), an outsider who comes to the small Washington town. Cooper begins to uncover many secrets linked to not just Laura’s murder, but the interpersonal relationships between the citizens of Twin Peaks.
WandaVision definitely didn’t corner the market on unique approaches to the superhero genre, but it used the device and aesthetic of old-school TV sitcoms in part to tell its narrative.
That blend of older sensibility and modern-day elements, as well as trippy visual distortions, is something that’s all over Noah Hawley’s FX television show Legion. This series aired for three seasons and follows the character of David Haller (Dan Stevens), known as Legion in Marvel Comics.
Haller has been diagnosed with schizophrenia since childhood, which has kept him in a string of hospitals over the years. He discovers he’s actually a mutant, however, and that his powers include telepathy and telekinesis. He also learns that there are other mutants who exist in his world.
Throughout the series, Haller must stay out of the clutches of the government agency known as Division 3, while also uncovering more of the truth about his past and his identity as the son of Charles Xavier.
The Twilight Zone
It feels only fitting to include a predominantly black-and-white TV show on here too, considering how much time WandaVision spent in its monochromatic world before eventually transitioning to color.
The early episodes of WandaVision were thematically in line with much of what made The Twilight Zone so popular and eventually launched it into beloved cult status. The anthology format of the latter also ensured that fans who tuned in would never know quite what to expect week to week.
Created and hosted by Rod Serling, each Twilight Zone episode revolves around science fiction, fantasy or even a horror narrative. Many of these stories center around seemingly regular people, or spotlight events that may not be entirely what they appear to be on the surface.
It’s an unsettling but ultimately thrilling experience — much like those initial episodes of WandaVision when you’re still trying to fill in the blanks about what’s really happening in Westview.
Want to watch a show about superheroes navigating complex issues of grief and trauma? There’s really no better recommendation for that than Doom Patrol.
DC’s unconventional offering for the small screen follows a group of unlikely heroes who become an even more unlikely team, all of whom received their powers unexpectedly and have retreated from the world to live in seclusion under the eye of the Chief (Timothy Dalton).
When the Chief goes missing, the Doom Patrol must work together to try and rescue him from the terrible Mr. Nobody (Alan Tudyk), while also uncovering truths about themselves and each other.
The reason Doom Patrol makes such a great companion watch to WandaVision is in part because it focuses on lesser-known heroes who don’t always get their due, while also delving deep into the circumstances that made them who they are now — even if those situations are emotionally trying and difficult.
If you’re a fan of WandaVision’s quieter character moments rather than its big action set pieces, then you’re definitely going to want to check out Doom Patrol, which really emphasizes the former over the latter to ultimately rewarding effect.