WandaVision and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist feature two different women processing their pain, creating powerful television.
WandaVision, the popular Disney + MCU show, is taking a chance with storytelling that has really paid off. But despite its unique design and format, it finds its match in Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, The NBC music drama currently in its second season. While these shows are very different in theme and tone, they both have one great unifying feature: they show the pain of women.
As viewers learn more and more about Westview’s origins and workings, it becomes more difficult to sympathize with Wanda. His pain from the loss of Vision is immense, yet his process of coping with it (or hiding from it) causes inexcusable pain to the citizens he captured. However, while the story behind Westview is still partially obscure, it is clear that Wanda and her grief are at the center of it.
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Zoey’s pain may be more mundane, but no less powerful. The entire first season followed her processing the decline and inevitable death of her father, with each episode showing how her emotional pain played into her daily actions. Distracted by her pain, she makes mistakes at work and in her relationships, and has trouble balancing her life and moving on, having the desire to hold on to the past.
Wanda and Zoey share a lot in common, even beyond the superficial similarities of their red hair. You both lost a romantic or family love too soon and are working through the consequences. But they are also women in the male-dominated fields of the tech industry or in the world of superheroes. Too often women in those fields are told to hide their emotions in order to fit in and not rock the boat. Wanda and Zoey show that there can be a place for these emotions and highlight the fact that perhaps everyone would be better off if there were healthier ways to channel and process pain than if they were told to hide it.
Highlighting the pain of women is an important way to recognize that the emotionality of processing these tragedies still has a place in modern, high-budget storytelling. Too often these reactions are dismissed as uninteresting, or at least not worth focusing on. WandaVision Y Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist show that this pain can create compelling stories filled with characters able to win the sympathy of viewers while causing harm and being imperfect.
These shows also highlight the pain experienced by other women in the cast. Monica Rambeau returned after the Blip to find that her mother had died, while Zoey’s mother has to process the loss of her husband. Smaller moments of pain are visible in Zoey’s boss working through her divorce or her coworkers dealing with prejudice and hazing. There are countless ways that women fuel these programs with their complicated reactions to pain.
WandaVision Y Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist they are very different shows, with a unique aesthetic and audience. However, both stories show the power of women’s pain in a nuanced way, eliciting sympathy for these women while also showing the damage they can cause. It’s a powerful move in modern storytelling that has resulted in two really compelling shows.
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