I’ll be honest with you. I’m not a huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I’ve seen most of the films, save a couple of Ant-Mans. I’ve participated in the general discourse. I have my favorites (ahem, Thor) who transcend what I largely consider to be a series often void of realistic human character development. But I was always pretty interested in WandaVision. Elizabeth Olsen wowed me in Martha Marcy May Marlene. A film I consider to be one of the great cinematic debuts for a young actress. And Paul Bettany is a superb actor. Both felt underutilized in the larger MCU, so I was excited to see them get a chance to grow into their characters.
But you know what really grabbed me? Kathryn Hahn. Queen of my universe. One of my favorite actors of all time. Sure, she already had a small Marvel part in Into the Spider-Verse. (The best comic-book movie ever, by the way.) But hearing that she was stepping into the MCU? I was very ready to engage after that. Whatever Kathryn Hahn is selling, I’m buying. And friends, she is selling us plenty in WandaVision.
Spoilers for episode seven, “Breaking the Fourth Wall,” of WandaVision.
Since the premiere of WandaVision, Kathryn Hahn has been killing it. She brilliantly occupied the role of a ’50s/’60s housewife in the pilot. (Begone, Ralph, no one cares about you. And if you happen to matter eventually—guess what, I extra don’t care.) She fit seamlessly into the series as it’s shifted into new timelines and styles of comedy. But if anyone could inhabit the role of a sitcom character, it was always going to be Hahn. The actress stole the show in TV comedies like Girls, Parks and Recreation, Children’s Hospital, Bob’s Burgers, Transparent, and more. (Here’s where I also tell you to quit everything you’re doing and watch I Love Dick, one of my favorite shows ever. Oh, and hello my fellow Crossing Jordan fans, we’ve been here from the beginning.)
That’s not to mention her filmic contributions. Anchorman, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Our Idiot Brother, We’re the Millers, Bad Moms? As well as brilliant dramatic work in Captain Fantastic and Private Life? Hahn knows what the hell she’s doing. Let’s take a minute to appreciate this iconic scene from Step Brothers, for instance.
If anything, we should be grateful she took the time to gift us with a nuanced MCU maybe-villain. Although it sucks that it takes decades-worth of hard work for someone to finally be appreciated because of their mainstream contributions. But that’s endemic of a larger problem. I don’t blame Kathryn Hahn for utilizing this space, And for making it extremely witchy and hilarious in the process, using all of her best quirks.
Agatha Harkness is the key to this whole thing
My brilliant co-workers speculated that Hahn might factor into the larger WandaVision scheme for a while now. And guess what? They were right! “Agnes,” Hahn’s character until this point, is actually Agatha Harkness. The most-recent episode of WandaVision even leads us to believe she’s the show’s main villain. Who knows if that’s true, but it did gift us with this absolutely perfect tribute to The Munsters and also Bewitched. “Agatha All Along” rules. And it gives us a taste of another Kathryn Hahn skill: singing!
Even if she did kill a puppy.
Further viewing (and listening)
If you really want to appreciate Kathryn Hahn for the amazing actress she’s always been, I have a few suggestions. First of all, listen to her on Dax Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert where she is so beautifully transparent about her life. Also, watch a lot of the things I previously mentioned. Namely, I Love Dick and Private Life. As well as the lovely Afternoon Delight and This Is Where I Leave You. Also, check out her HBO series Mrs. Fletcher. Another show that digs into all of Hahn’s skills as both a skilled comedienne and a terrific dramatic actress.
And please, just continue to appreciate her amazing comedy work in the MCU while you play catch up. It’s only going to get more fun from here now that she’s in full witch mode.
I think we can all agree Kathryn Hahn is a national treasure. I can’t wait to see what she brings to WandaVision next.