Streaming highlights January 22-28: WandaVision & Tiger

TUNING IN: Paul Bettany as Vision and Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in WandaVision. Below, Tiger provides an intriguing profile of the flawed golfing genius.
TUNING IN: Paul Bettany as Vision and Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in WandaVision. Below, Tiger provides an intriguing profile of the flawed golfing genius.

WANDAVISION

Disney+

IF you've purposely avoided the ever-expanding Marvel Universe (as this writer has) in recent years, you'd be forgiven for initially thinking that WandaVision is a quirky homage to 1950s and 1960s American sitcoms.

You know the kind we've seen re-run constantly across the decades like I Love Lucy, Bewitched and I Dream Of Jeannie. The black and white aesthetic, safe and irrelevant humour, canned laughter and old-fashioned gender stereotypes make WandaVision look and feel like a thoroughly nostalgic ride back through time, much like the 1998 film Pleasantville.

WandaVision would succeed if it were happy to remain pure homage. However, there's a more mysterious story unfolding.

The main characters are Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and her android husband Vision (Paul Bettany). Olsen has previously portrayed Wanda, also known as the Scarlet Witch, in four Marvel films and possesses the abilities of telekinesis, telepathy and energy manipulation.

Vision was killed off in 2018 film Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and has the ability to become human-like to blend in.

Why the two are seemingly trapped in '50s America is unknown, both to the viewer and the couple, but slowly it's revealed as WandaVision receives a literal injection of colour.

For pure comedic value you can't beat Kathyrn Hahn (Bad Moms) as the nosy neighbour Agnes, who dominates when on screen.

ON PAR: Tiger provides an intriguing profile of the flawed golfing genius.

ON PAR: Tiger provides an intriguing profile of the flawed golfing genius.

TIGER

Binge

EPISODE one of the two-part HBO documentary Tiger is essentially a story of a father and son and how their relationship forged one of the greatest competitors of all time.

It's how fathers can both shape their children for success, and for failure.

When it comes to the classic flawed sportsman, they don't come any bigger than Tiger Woods.

He is arguably one of the greatest athletes of all time, a man who transcended the elite and very-white image of golf to become a cultural and commercial juggernaut from the late '90s until his fall from grace in 2009 due to a raft of extramarital affairs.

Tiger begins with Woods' father Earl telling an audience in front of his awkward amateur son that he would become a unifying figure and "the world will be a better place to live in by virtue of his existence and presence."

This footage from 1996 is interspersed with vision of Woods following his 2017 arrest for driving under the influence alcohol and drugs.

Overall Tiger presents a sympathetic image of the tarnished superstar. It shows a two-year-old Woods hitting golf balls on The Mike Douglas Show, his father pushing him with endless training drills before he could even talk and denying his requests to play other school sports.

Interviews with his first girlfriend Dina Parr describe how Woods often sought refuge to have fun like normal teenagers during their three-year relationship. But eventually his parents forced Woods to end the relationship via a cold hand-written letter as they believed it risked derailing their plans for his golf career.

One of the most telling interviews comes from club pro and family friend, Joe Grohman. "He's not gonna like this shit at all," says Grohman, before he explains how he and Earl would frequently cheat on their wives in front of the teenage Woods, normalising the behaviour.

This story WandaVision not all it appears - is it homage or fantasy? first appeared on Newcastle Herald.