Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV is the artist-friendly entertainment news platform that celebrates, discusses, interviews, promotes and reports on the widest range of stars, creators and content through video, audio and article publications.
Wandavision has become the talk of 2021. With only five episodes out, fans have already fallen madly in love with the mysterious world of Westview as well as the people outside of it. One of the most unique things about Wandavision is how much it draws from previous television phenomenons. Each episode takes on a new decade. With that comes a fresh aesthetic, style of humor, and a sinister undertone that nothing is as it seems. It’s clear that Wandavision has taken a ton of inspiration from sitcoms of the past. So, if you need something to tide you over until the next episode here are six sitcoms from different eras that you should check out if you love Wandavision.
The 50’s & 60’s
I Love Lucy
Elizabeth Olsen has mentioned multiple times that she used Lucille Ball’s performance in I Love Lucy as an inspiration for her performance in the earlier episodes of Wandavision. I Love Lucy follows mismatched couple Lucy and Ricky Ricardo as they navigate suburban life. Sound familiar? If you loved the wacky hijinks Wanda and Vision got into during the first episode like entertaining their boss for dinner while hiding their abilities or dealing with a nosy neighbor then I Love Lucy offers that in spades. However, I Love Lucy is much more grounded than Wandavision. Don’t expect to see Lucy Ricardo use telekinesis to clean up a mess or for Ricky to turn into a supercomputer. Despite that, I Love Lucy offers the fun and whimsy of a simple 50s sitcom without the feeling that something is wrong underneath the surface. You can watch I Love Lucy on Hulu, CBS All Access, and Amazon Prime.
If you prefer your sitcoms with a little magic flare, the same kind Vision used during the town showcase in episode two, then look no further than Bewitched. It is about Samantha, a witch who marries an ordinary mortal man, Darrin, and vows to lead the life of a typical suburban housewife. However, Samantha’s family doesn’t approve of the couple’s marriage and makes it their mission to cause as much havoc in the couple’s lives as possible. The pair are often visited by Samantha’s worldly mother and flamboyant Uncle Arthur who strongly discourage Samantha from hiding her powers. The creative uses of magic in the show are definitely an inspiration for Wandavision. Since Wanda is technically the Scarlet Witch, it makes sense that she’d be inspired by those who came before her. Bewitched can be found on Crackle.
The 70’s & 80’s
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Wandavision has officially entered it’s technicolor era, which means we no longer have to look at black and white sitcoms for inspiration. Although The Mary Tyler Moore Show doesn’t take place in an idyllic suburban neighborhood, Wandavision still owes a lot to it. Starring actress and namesake Mary Tyler Moore the workplace sitcom follows her career at the fictional WJM news program in Minneapolis. What makes Mary standout from the crowd is that she was an unmarried and independent woman focused on her career, something that was a rarity on television in the 1970s. The Mary Tyler Moore Show became an instant hit for its complex storylines and portrayal of female characters in comedy. Similarly to Lucille Ball, Elizabeth Olsen was also inspired by the work of Mary Tyler Moore. It is safe to say that without women like Mary paving the way that we wouldn’t get a complex character like Wanda Maximoff. Hulu is the primary streaming host for The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
Want your sitcoms flavored with a little dose of weird? Then look no further than ALF, an 80s sitcom telling the tale of a smart-mouthed creature named ALF (aka Alien Life Form). When ALF crash lands in a suburban garage on Earth he is quickly discovered by a family who adopts him as their own. Those who were fans of the contrast between the supernatural and suburban lifestyles will find a new favorite in watching ALF. Also, it provides a fascinating look on just how far special effects have come in television. You can find ALF on both Amazon Prime and Tubi.
If you’re one of the few people who hasn’t seen Full House then you may not have realized that Wandavision has some very clear homage moments to the family sitcom. In episode five of Wandavision shortly after the birth of their children the couple are seen eating in a park with their family as the camera slowly pans out. This and the montage that came before it are references to the Full House theme song. Full House carries none of the psychological terror that lurks under the surface of Wandavision. Instead it tells the simple tale of recent widower Danny Tanner being the sole caretaker of his three daughters, the youngest Michelle being played by Elizabeth Olsen’s sister duo Mary-Kate and Ashley. Seeing that he needs help, Danny’s brother-in-law Jesse, and his stand-up comic friend, Joey join the household to assist the ailing father. This sitcom proved to be such a beloved classic that it even got a revival series on Netflix, Fuller House. If you want to binge all eight seasons then Hulu will be your new best friend.
This last pick is a personal favorite if you loved the style, aesthetic, and especially the outfits to come out of Wandavision. The Nanny follows Fran Fine, a former cosmetics saleswoman, who finds herself out of a job. She eventually lands in the employment of wealthy widower Maxwell Sheffield and is tasked with caring for his three children. Through her time in the Sheffield household Fran creates massive change using her no-nonsense honesty and sharp sense of humour. Things become even more complicated when Fran falls in love with Mr. Sheffield and finds herself not wanting to leave the family she put back together. The Nanny can be found on Pluto TV.
Kelly Levine is a screenwriting student at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and an intern at AfterBuzz TV. She hopes to one day pursue a career in television writing and production. Kelly loves television, movies, and all things nerdy in pop culture!
Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence
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