WandaVision is going to be one of the first Marvel Studios series to hit Disney Plus. While the plot of the show has yet to be revealed, we do know the style will be part-sitcom, part-typical MCU-adventure. From the brief snippets we’ve seen so far and the information we have about the characters, The Direct has some ideas as to which sitcoms of the past will influence the show. Here are 10 sitcoms that we predict WandaVision may pay homage to...
1. I Love Lucy
I Love Lucy is one of the first sitcoms that springs to mind when thinking of the 1950’s. The show ran from 1951-1957, aired entirely in black-and-white, and centered on the daily lives of blissfully married couple Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. WandaVision’s black-and-white scenes fit right in with this vibe. We also know Kathryn Hahn will be playing a “nosy neighbor” character on the show, and I Love Lucy’s landlady character, Ethel Mertz, is one of the most famous sitcom neighbors of all time. While Lucy and Ethel are on friendlier terms than the typical relationship between a sitcom protagonist and an annoying neighbor character, it’s possible that Wanda and Kathryn Hahn’s character will start off on friendly terms before suspicions arise and things begin to unravel.
2. Leave It to Beaver
Leave it to Beaver is another show that aired in black-and-white, beginning the year I Love Lucy ended in 1957 and running until 1963. This one is much more focused on the adventures of its titular child character than the antics of the show’s main married couple. While no kids are visible in the black-and-white WandaVision snippets shown in the first Disney+-Marvel teaser, there does seem to be some inspiration drawn from this show in the form of Wanda’s 1950’s-esque look in the concept art and trailer. Wanda's overall style is very similar to that of June Cleaver, the mom in Leave It to Beaver, particularly her hairdo and the style of her collared shirt and skirt.
3. The Dick Van Dyke Show
Of all the shows on this list, this is the one we have the most clues for so far. In fact, its inclusion was pretty much confirmed at last year’s D23 Expo. Filming on WandaVision hadn’t yet started at the time of the big Disney+ presentation in August 2019, so a short sizzle reel was presented in order to showcase the vibe of the series. This mini teaser featured a mix of scenes of Wanda and Vision from past MCU movies and retro clips from The Dick Van Dyke Show.
This show is yet another black-and-white domestic sitcom that falls under the same sort of style and era categories as I Love Lucy and Leave It to Beaver (although this one falls squarely in the 1960’s, originally airing from 1961-1966). We can probably expect to see some marital conflict akin to the clips of Rob and Laura Petrie - the main married couple in the series - that were part of the D23 sizzle reel.
Another show from the 1960’s (1964-1972, to be precise) that it looks like WandaVision may be inspired by is Bewitched. And thinking it over, it only seems like a natural fit; Wanda is the Scarlet Witch, and this series is about a witch trying to live a typical suburban life with her family. While the possible clues pointing towards elements of Bewitched being incorporated into WandaVision are less obvious or concrete than those from certain other shows, one shot in the Disney+ Super Bowl teaser had a potential hint or two.
The staircase behind Wanda when she is dressed in what appears to be a scaled-down, possibly novelty costume version of her iconic Scarlet Witch outfit from the comics looks quite similar to the staircase of Samantha and Darrin’s house on Bewitched. Plus, there aren’t many nosy sitcom neighbors as notorious as Gladys Kravitz, who was always suspicious of Samantha’s witchy powers.
The idea of Wanda living in a house akin to Bewitched while dressed up as a witch and dealing with a prying neighbor seems like the perfect homage to the show, and it could give WandaVision a nice bridge to close the gap between the era of black-and-white sitcoms and the one largely defined by shows like the next one on our list...
5. The Brady Bunch
It’s looking like WandaVision will journey through several decades of sitcom-dom, and based on the Super Bowl spot it’s pretty obvious which show they’ll be heavily drawing from for the 1970’s portion of the series. The two biggest allusions to The Brady Bunch (which aired from 1969-1974) are Wanda’s Marcia Brady-esque outfit with the colorful stripes and similar hairstyle to the character and the house that looks very similar to the one on the show, from the color of the walls to the placement and style of the staircase.
As it’s looking like the show might be paying homage to multiple sitcoms in each decade, The Brady Bunch probably won’t be the only one representing the 1970’s, but it’s the only one from that era that’s been prominent in the material we’ve gotten so far. It’s worth noting that Wanda is visibly pregnant in one of these clips, so this is probably the era in which we’ll start to see a transition in focus over to family antics rather than simply Wanda and Vision as a couple, and the shows selected may reflect that.
6. Family Ties
Another show from which WandaVision seems to have taken inspiration in interior design, Family Ties is about two ex-hippies raising - and often being at odds with - their more conservative children from 1982-1989. In one clip, Wanda and Vision are shown in a house with striking similarities to that of Family Ties and are dressed in a manner one might expect former hippies to, and the latter is notably rocking a look similar to that of Steven Keaton (the show’s father character).
The only children even implied here are represented by two cribs in the middle of the room and the pacifiers sent flying into the air, so we probably won’t be seeing any worldview discussions between generations here. Still, we’re sure to get some classic family shenanigans with the new parents and their children.
7. Full House
Full House one of the biggest hit sitcoms of its time (it ran from 1987-1995) and starred two sets of twins. It appears Wanda and Vision will have a pair of twins at some point in the series if the cribs in the 1980’s-looking house are any indication. Coincidentally, the set of twins in Full House were played by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, the older sisters of Scarlet Witch actress Elizabeth Olsen. Plus, this show has Kimmy Gibbler, one of the nosiest of sitcom neighbors who could be a perfect character for Kathryn Hahn’s to emulate.
With all of this considered, it’d be quite surprising if some sort of nod to Full House were to not happen on WandaVision.
Wanda’s suspenders, short-sleeved flannel shirt, and somewhat big hair would have her fit right in with several sitcom moms of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, but it's the color of the wallpaper that emulates Roseanne in particular. Plus, Wanda’s hands-on-hips stance briefly seen in the teaser closely imitates that of the title character of the blue-collar family sitcom. Roseanne originally ran from 1988-1997 with a revival in 2018 and a spin-off beginning later that year, but based on the aforementioned clip in the trailer, WandaVision is likely going to be basking in the 1990’s feel of the original run.
Roseanne was all about the title character raising her family, and looking at the art on the refrigerator in the clip it can probably be assumed Wanda and Vision’s babies will have grown into young children by this point in the series. It’s also noteworthy that Roseanne was generally less idealistic of a show than the likes of Leave It to Beaver, The Brady Bunch, or Full House, which could indicate things starting to unravel by the time WandaVision reaches this part of its story.
9. Family Matters
Visually speaking, we haven’t seen much to indicate that the vibe of Family Matters - which ran from 1989-1998 - will play a role in WandaVision other than a close imitation of the show’s living room staircase as seen in the 1980’s-style shot in the teaser. But where this show may have its spirit injected into WandaVision goes back to Kathryn Hahn’s “nosy neighbor” character. Uber-nerd Steve Urkel is one of the best-remembered sitcom characters of the 1990’s, and he was the neighbor of the Winslows in Family Matters who would always wreck havoc at the family’s house with some sort of wacky science-based shenanigans.
There are so many ways WandaVision could play with this concept, especially considering the show is part-sitcom, part-MCU action adventure. Steve Urkel created all sorts of scientific inventions that caused trouble for the Winslows over the course of Family Matters, and having Kathryn Hahn’s neighbor character mess around with some kind of contraption with the ability to do something like bend reality would offer a way for the two aspects of the series to merge and things to get absolutely nuts.
10. The Simpsons
This one is admittedly a pretty big long-shot - the biggest on our list, we’d say - but it’s worth pondering briefly, especially looking at the possibility of the perfect sitcom life falling apart as the series goes on. The Simpsons has been running since 1989 and stars a famously dysfunctional family. Emulating an animated sitcom would provide an interesting contrast from the other homages, and the sitcom world in WandaVision going so wild as to turn into an animated one and reaching its breaking point there would be an unexpected and wild route for the show to take. This inclusion could also be a great tie-in for Disney+, as The Simpsons is available to watch on the streaming service just as WandaVision will be when it comes out.