Spoiler Warning! This post discusses the Disney+ series WandaVision, and includes spoilers! So unless you are up to date with episodes or just don’t care, don’t scroll any further!
Okay…so you’ve watched all of the episodes?
Or you just don’t care about spoilers.
Growing up I watched a lot of Nick at Nite and TV Land, this meant I was fed a steady diet of I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, The Munsters, and The Brady Bunch to name a few. Little did I know that love would come back around in the form of a Marvel comic adapted for TV. While not a hard core comic book nerd in the most traditional sense of superheroes, (I’ve even recommended my favorite comics that bust from the stereotype of superheroes) I still have flocked to the cinema to see the latest Marvel flicks. However, by the time Avengers: Endgame was released I was burnt out. Like soooooo burnt out. I was happy to never watch anything Marvel ever again.
Then Disney announced they were going to be expanding the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) even more with television shows for their new streaming service, Disney+. I groaned. No, please, no. One of the first shows they announced was WandaVision. A fan of the comics, Patrick was really excited. Over Marvel and not even a fan of the characters Wanda or Vision I rolled my eyes at the notion. Then, the trailer dropped. What is happening!? I saw homages to all of my favorite childhood shows. Ok, I’m in. And we’ve watched each episode the second they became available on Disney+, with each episode taking us to a different decade, including a different opening for each episode, and a plethora of easter eggs for those who love vintage TV shows, and I want to highlight a few of them.
The first episode is the 1950s, but it pays a lot of homage to a 1960s show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, most notably with its opening and set.
The episode also deals with forgetting the importance of a date, which is the plot of an I Love Lucy episode.
The next episode moves into the 1960s and takes cues from Bewitched. What I loved about this episode is that it starts out black and white, turning to color at the end, and the first two seasons of Bewitched were in black and white, with its remaining seasons in color.
We enter the groovy 1970s in the third episode, with much inspiration from The Brady Bunch.
The fourth episode takes us out of Wanda’s fanciful sitcom world and into the real world, but by the fifth episode we are in the 1980s, which honestly I pretty much was ready to hate this episode as I’m not the biggest fan of the 1980s. However I ended up absolutely loving it. The show’s opening pulls from Family Ties, Growing Pains, and Full House, while the set is mostly Family Ties. And at the end we get a twist ending when Wanda’s dead brother Pietro came back to life, but played by, one of my favorite actors, Even Peters, instead of Aaron Taylor-Johnson who previous portrayed Pietro in the MCU.
It is a weird, fun twist with an interesting backstory. In 1993 Fox bought the rights to X-Men, a group of characters from Marvel comics, which included the brother-sister duo of Scarlet Witch (aka Wanda) and Quicksilver (aka Pietro) and began making X-Men movies including X-Men: Days of Future Past in 2014 which starred Evan Peters as Quicksilver. However a year later in 2015 Disney released Avengers: Age of Ultron with Aaron Taylor-Johnson playing the same comic book character, even though the terms of the deal with Fox said they couldn’t call him “Quicksilver” or allude to X-Men. When Disney bought Fox, and with it X-Men, in 2019 fans couldn’t stop talking about how Marvel was going to introduce X-Men characters into future productions, so when Even Peters shows up playing his character from the Fox franchise it was a great moment. And, yeah, I might have screamed.
Also, Peters’ Quicksilver’s arrival and look reminded me of Uncle Jesse from Full House. In the episode that follows, the 90s with many parallels to Malcom in the Middle, Quicksilver begins to expose the weird nature of the show’s sitcom reality of the show, falling into the role of “special guest star” making quips like “Where were you hiding all these kids?…No need to traumatize them beyond the occasional holiday episode cameo am I right?” and “I’m just trying to do my part okay? Come to town unexpectedly, create tension with the brother-in-law, stir up trouble with the rug rats and ultimately give you grief, I mean it’s what you wanted, right?” The 90s episode, which I also planned in disliking also ended up being another favorite, as it is a Halloween episode and features the characters wearing their original comic book costumes.
Having been an even Peters fan since his work on American Horror Story, my favorite being James Patrick March in Hotel. But I couldn’t get his outfit from the 80s episode out of my head and with the finale of the show Friday, I decided to make throw together a quick genderbent cosplay of it for a future con. But I am thinking I need a long silver wig…
Later episodes, while more contemporary in time period, still have some great retro easter eggs, including the Bewitched house and The Munsters opening.
I would recommend watching WandaVision if you are at all a fan of classic sitcoms as there are some great references. If you don’t feel up to speed on all the Marvel movies there is a summary in the Disney+ series Marvel Legends that covers the backstories of both Wanda and Vision in two short 8 and 7 minute episodes. WandaVision is currently available on Disney+ along with the other movies in the MCU.
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