WandaVision spent the majority of its season referencing and revering 70 years of sitcom history, including Bewitched, Family Ties, and Full House, among others. But there were other classic TV series considered to serve as inspiration for Wanda’s magical reality—and one wasn’t a sitcom at all.
Siting down with The New York Times, WandaVision creator Jac Schaeffer discussed the show, including Kathryn Hahn’s Agatha as a villainous grief counselor and the back-up plan if they weren’t able to get Evan Peters as Pietro (there wasn’t one, apparently). But Schaeffer also explained why they chose which sitcoms they wanted to use as frameworks for the various episodes, with examples of what got pushed aside and why.
“[O]nce we got in the writers’ room, we stayed with family sitcoms and sitcoms that were on the brighter, optimistic side of the spectrum because it is a fantasy. That meant things like All in the Family and Roseanne got shunted to the side,” Schaeffer said. “I had an episode that was The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and it was about Wanda’s work-life balance. Those are spectacular shows and say so much about our culture and ourselves. But we stayed in the zone of aspirational family sitcoms and that helped us find the focus of the show.”
Seeing as Wanda’s basically a stay-at-home mom in the show—although arguably magically creating and maintaining an entirely different reality is its own full-time job—it’s easy to see why they nixed that one, although a WandaVision version of the show’s theme song would have been a blast. But there’s another show Schaeffer wanted to use which is mindboggling to imagine: CSI.
“In my pitch, the ‘rewind’ episode was a CSI episode,” Schaeffer revealed. “I thought, how interesting to do sitcom, sitcom, sitcom, and then shatter that and be in a different genre.”
I love that idea, but to be fair “Previously On” as an ersatz clip show is thematically stronger with the rest of the series. Still, I can’t get the idea of the silver-haired Pietro stepping (running?) into the silver-haired Ted Danson role as CSI graveyard shift supervisor D.B. Russell out of my head. Maybe the Maximoff twins could have even figured out who killed Sparky before...you know.
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