I absolutely loved watching WandaVision. On top of the action and the fantasy, which is why I love all comic book-related content, this show was extra special because you never knew what to expect from week to week. The concept to adapt the formula for sitcoms from each decade was beyond brilliant. It was one of the most smartly made and entertaining shows I think I’ve ever seen.
Marvel Studios presents “WandaVision,” a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) – two super-powered beings living idealized suburban lives – begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems. The new series is directed by Matt Shakman; Jac Schaeffer is head writer.Show Synposis
I had a hard time deciding which episode I liked the most but in thinking about it I came up with some ideas about what each episode says about those that preferred them. I’ll let you know which was my favorite at the end. LOL
“Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience,” the 50s Episode
This episode served to set up the “sitcom homage” route that the show’s episodes would be taking, and it perfectly captured the feel of a chaotic I Love Lucy-esque dinner party, with physical comedy peppered in along the way. These shows were denoted by the general episodic formula of putting normal people in abnormal situations, all rarely leaving the familiar domestic settings that their nuclear family audiences would most identify with. If this was your favorite episode, then you’re probably a sensible person. You’re not necessarily a risk-taker and that serves you well for the most part! You’re appreciated by the people in your life for your dependability, but if things start to veer away from your normal routine, you could totally break down. And you might be a little bit boring. Sorry! This episode was for exposition after all.
“Don’t Touch that Dial,” the 60s Episode
The 60s saw sitcoms adopt the sensibilities of Variety shows. Shows like The Carol Burnett Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and late-night comedy shows took a looser approach to the sitcom format. With such talented central cast members, the comedic driver shifted from putting normal people into funny circumstances to setting up funny circumstances and letting their actors sing, dance, and pantomime their way through the rest of the episode. This was shown through the magic show segment of the episode, an homage to vaudevillian segments of these sitcoms. If this was your favorite episode, you’re probably a little bit of a showoff. You’re a person with lots of talents, and everyone who has been in your vicinity knows it. Whether it’s the song you have in your repertoire for karaoke night… every single karaoke night, or the card trick you pull out for each new person you meet, you’ve got star quality, kid! Remember to take a day to rest before you pull a tendon.
“Now in Color,” the 70s Episode
The sitcoms of this era began to shift back towards the way of the 50s, while still keeping the wackiness and freer feel of the shows of the 60s. As the talents that made 60s sitcoms began to leave the television industry, the formula for creating shows had to adapt to the changes. These new sitcoms were entirely in color, and they made full use of this development with costumes taking on the groovy, psychedelic feel we’ve come to associate with the 70s. The jokes and character archetypes that started to appear grew larger as more televisions were put into homes and a wider range of audiences had to be appealed to. If this was your favorite episode, you’re probably a unique person, though you’re grounded nonetheless. You make funny quips, you dress colorfully, but you aren’t a caricature of quirkiness that you may appear to be from afar, based on the amount of corduroy and floral print in your day-to-day outfits.
“On a Very Special Episode…” the 80s Episode
The 80s saw a rise in ensemble casts, with shows like Golden Girls, Seinfeld, and Cheers centering each episode around different plots related to any of their characters, not a singular central person. This was also when the shows started to breathe in sync with their audiences and make the most of the one-week write-memorize-shoot-edit production process. Seinfeld’s standup segments covered current events in a way that hadn’t been done before on television. The 80s also saw a rise in shows. Writers introduced cliffhangers and continuing plotlines in order to guarantee viewership week after week. We got close to this with the announcement of Sparky’s death by Agatha at the end of this episode. If this was your favorite episode, you’re probably a part of a larger group of friends. You have a unique role based on what you bring to the group dynamic, but what are you on your own?
“All-New Halloween Spooktacular” the 90s Episode
The 90s was all about laying back, kicking your feet up, and vegging out in front of the TV. The shows had a mischievous air to them, born from the anti-establishment trends that dominated pop culture. It came out through the shift in the way that shows were written: there was a return to the central figure, only this time this character was different to the point of being a bombshell to the environment it was dropped into. Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Fran Drescher in The Nanny, and Beavis and Butthead in Beavis and Butthead all encapsulated this charmingly immature quality, brought to Uncle Quicksilver in this episode. If this was your favorite episode, you’re probably a prankster. You love to live out loud through tacky printed shirts and your charming antics. You’re in touch with your inner child. Now stop putting glue on the toilet seat.
“Breaking the Fourth Wall” the 00s Episode
The early aughts completed the circle back to the 50s style of putting normal people into abnormal domestic circumstances, but this time the characters had much more power in navigating everything the writers put them through. Through asides to the camera and dialogue with more bite, they expressed how they truly felt about the world around them in an inside joke with the people watching at home. Shows like Daria, Mom, Gilmore Girls, and The Office brought a level of snark and dry wit to the genre, and while WandaVision didn’t translate that same level of dryness, it adopted the fourth wall breakage to connect Wanda Maximoff with those watching. If this was your favorite episode, you’re probably very in your own head. You’re constantly inner monologuing and as a result, you’re very in touch with your own emotions. Sometimes you can really crack yourself up! But it’s important to remember that other people exist too. Now, pay your friend back for gas money before they leave you on the side of the road the next time you try to bum a ride.
And My Favorite is?
Well, if you’ve been following this blog, then you probably guessed it’s “Don’t Touch that Dial,” the 60s Episode. I’ve always been a fast learner and I pick up things pretty quickly. This has helped me learn various different skills that I’ve used to create all sorts of side hustles and I’m always busy busy busy. I think to some people it does seem like I must be a magician, juggling so many hats. Believe me, it’s not easy and I’ve learned to slow down and prioritize. My to-do list each day gets shorter and shorter as I focus more on my core strengths and what really creates the most value in my life.
So what about you? Which was your favorite episode? Do you agree with my assertions? Tell me what you think in the comments when you’re done.