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Monday, January 18, 2021

WandaVision: Inspiration for Episode 1

I’ve watched the first two episodes of the new Marvel Cinematic Universe TV series on Disney+, WandaVision. Not sure yet if I will do a review of that yet, although that would be a ways down the road. Need to watch a few more episodes.

But some friends and I were having a discussion: Which sitcom is closest to the first episode?

Without getting into spoilers, the first two episodes of WandaVision are designed to look like classic TV sitcoms. The second episode is obviously patterned after Bewitched, and not just because of the animated opening. The layout of the house is practically identical: staircase facing the front door, living room to the right, sliding glass doors on far wall of living room, dining room behind the stairs to the left with door to kitchen. Wanda’s clothes match Samantha’s '60s style, and even the theme of that episode reflects typical themes in Bewitched.

The first episode has a very different style. Some people have compared it to The Dick Van Dyke Show, but I think that’s a very poor fit for a couple reasons:

  • House layout is missing the infamous ottoman that Dick trips over in the opening credits.
  • Also, there’s a window opposite the “fourth wall”.
  • Wanda wears a '50s style dress, not Laura’s '60s style capri pants and top.
  • Theme doesn’t feel like DVD, which is usually not about miscommunication between wife and husband.

I’d almost compare it to I Love Lucy, but again that show has a very different feel because of Ricky’s job at the club and Lucy’s obsession with being in show business. Also, the front door in Lucy is directly opposite the “fourth wall”, with windows on the left, while WV episode 1 has the front door on the left and windows opposite the “fourth wall”.

What it reminds me of are '50s sitcoms about childless newlywed couples, where the plots revolve around a husband trying to get used to his quirky bride. But I’ve only seen clips of shows like I Married Joan, Life With Elizabeth, or The Donna Reed Show, and only have vague knowledge of Lucille Ball’s pre-ILL show My Favorite Husband, so I don’t know how well those match.

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  1. I thought I remembered Vision walking right through the ottoman in the opener? It was a clear Dick Van Dyke vibe.

    1. Looks like a chair to me, not an ottoman (it has a back.) A lot of people have compared his passing through the chair to Dick Van Dyke tripping over the ottoman, though.

      That might be because they didn't want to duplicate things shot for shot, but given that the vibe I get is '50s, not '60s, I'd say it's meant to resemble something else.