‘WandaVision’: See Which Classic Sitcoms the Marvel Series is Spoofing
Marvel and Disney+ unveiled their first look at three upcoming titles during the Super Bowl, one of which is sure to garner plenty of double-takes from TV enthusiasts.
WandaVision is described as blending the style of classic sitcoms with the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) — a.k.a. Scarlet Witch — and Vision (Paul Bettany) are living their perfect and ideal suburban life.
There’s a catch though: When they suspect not everything’s as it seems, viewers will tag along for a wild ride. Directed by Matt Shakman, Jac Schaeffer is head writer on the project which is set to debut sometime this year on Disney+.
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As the name Scarlet Witch implies, Wanda is a human with super abilities and the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of the comic book character holds telekinetic and telepathic powers. In the film’s history, Wanda acquired her magic powers through exposure to the Mind Stone, one of six Infinity Stones.
Meanwhile, the MCU’s Vision was an android first constructed by the villain Ultron (James Spader) which included a synthetic vibranium body that was brought to life by the Mind Stone. When Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) uploaded the A.I. known as J.A.R.V.I.S. to the android’s system, he became the Avenger fans know and love.
Unlike its fellow Marvel series The Falcon and the Winter Solder and Loki, which were previewed alongside WandaVision, the sitcom-themed series showcased some familiar-looking settings and styles. We’re talking about full homages to some of TV’s most popular shows of yesteryear.
“Wanda, welcome home,” Vision says in the teaser as the pair are seen in black and white and donning ’50s getups reminiscent of the beloved sitcom I Love Lucy. There’s also a little bit of Leave it to Beaver‘s June Cleaver there in Wanda’s button-down dress. And upon inspecting the living room setting, it’s clear there are also references to The Dick Van Dyke Show.
Meanwhile, late ’60s and ’70s hit The Brady Bunch earns some representation with Wanda in a bright peasant-style top, those signature floating steps and brick wall behind her. In this snippet she appears confused, and pregnant which is likely a nod to her comic book history with Vision in which she conceives twins — Tommy and Billy — through manifestation of her magic powers.
Then there’s a stance and styling so similar to Roseanne it’s almost eerie as Wanda stands with hands on her hips against a floral wallpapered kitchen. While it seems unlikely Disney would directly riff off of the comedy which they originally revived on ABC back in 2018, the company still produces the spinoff series, The Conners.
And then there’s Family Ties, which can be seen in a brief flash where Wanda and Vision watch over their children comically spitting out pacifiers against stairs that include a recognizable stain glass window. The scrunchie tied in Wanda’s hair also is a dead giveaway on the time period.
Disney also proved the show’s sense of humor by having Wanda don her costume mirrored after the Scarlet Witch Marvel Comics — although which sitcom it’s mirroring remains unclear. One thing’s for sure, her strategically placed hands imply there’s something missing from the scene — perhaps a candy bowl for Halloween? The holiday often features in sitcom favorites.
But why are Wanda and Vision living in sitcoms? As a poor child growing up in the fictional nation of Sokovia, it’s likely Wanda’s idea of a perfect life is modeled after American TV re-runs she would have been exposed to. And as MCU fans will recall from Avengers: Infinity War, Vision didn’t make it out of the film alive after Thanos removed the Mind Stone from his body. Is this idealistic reflection of life with her love merely a figment of Wanda’s imagination, like some kind of coping mechanism?
It’s certainly possible in this trippy looking series, but only time will tell whether this idealistic world is a farce of Wanda’s making or someone else. It wouldn’t be the first time Marvel and Disney have thrown viewers through such loops. Stay tuned for more details as they arise and let us know what you think about the TV titles that appear to have inspired WandaVision.
WandaVision, Series Premiere, 2020, Disney+