WandaVision Wants to Be a 'Love Letter' to the Golden Age of Television

The Scarlet Witch and the Vision, in 50's marital bliss.
The Scarlet Witch and the Vision, in 50's marital bliss.
Image: Marvel Studios

Though we may be living through a renaissance (and glut, if we’re being honest) of prestige television, both WandaVision showrunner Jac Schaeffer and Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige envisioned something a little more classic for one of the studio’s first live-action stories set after the events of Avengers: Endgame.

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In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly both Schaeffer and Feige danced around specific details about WandaVision’s six-hour plot. But in teasing the show’s tone, they both waxed nostalgic about all of the classic sitcoms like I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched that came to define WandaVision’s unique styles and narrative approach. In order to capture some of that old school TV energy, WandaVision’s first episode was filmed in front of a live studio audience, but as the series progresses, the look and feel of the series, as glimpsed in the trailers, morphs to reflect how the medium changed over the decades.

“The show is a love letter to the golden age of television,” Schaeffer said. “We’re paying tribute and honoring all of these incredible shows and people who came before us, [but] we’re also trying to blaze new territory.”

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To Feige, the appeal to modeling WandaVision this way stemmed both from the characters’ arcs within Marvel’s comics, and also from his own relationship with older television series that all had a magical way of working through their plots in a way designed to divorce viewers from reality.

Wanda gets witchy in the kitchen.
Wanda gets witchy in the kitchen.
Image: Marvel Studios/Entertainment Weekly

“I would get ready for the day and watch some old sitcom because I couldn’t take the news anymore,” Feige said. “Getting ready to go to set over the last few years, I kept thinking of how influential these programs were on our society and on myself, and how certainly I was using it as an escape from reality where things could be tied up in a nice bow in 30 minutes.”

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Following Endgame, WandaVision sees Wanda and a seemingly alive Vision move to the town Westview where the pair attempt to hide their powers in order to live as a “normal” married couple. Kathryn Hahn’s character, a woman named Agnes, factors into the normality of Wanda and Vision’s new lives in Westview, but while they all may initially believe that nothing’s out of the ordinary in their small town, it’s clear to audiences that’s more than far from the case. Between Hahn’s Agnes (who increasingly sounds like an analogue to Agatha Harkness, a powerful witch and mentor figure to Wanda in the comics) and Teyonah Parris’ Monica Rambeau, WandaVision includes enough of Marvel’s power players that make the series’ connection to Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness make sense. But Feige also insists that WandaVision will be an accessible show regardless of how familiar you are with any of the MCU’s characters.

“If you haven’t seen any of them and just want to step into this weird thing because you love The Dick Van Dyke Show, it’s going to work,” Feige says. “But if you’ve been tracking the 23 movies we’ve made and following along the stories into Phase 4, there’ll be a wealth of rewards waiting for you as it all unfolds.”

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WandaVision still doesn’t have an exact release date, but the series is meant to launch at some point during this winter.

Correction 11/10/2020, 11:15 a.m. ET: A previous version of this post identified WandaVision as the first live-action MCU project set after the events of Endgame when in reality Spider-Man: Far From Home was the first. The post has been updated.

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DISCUSSION

noreallybutwait
NoReallyButWait

Wouldn’t the first live action story set after Endgame be Far From Home?