Every TV series comes along with its own set of TV influences. But few shows in recent memory have shouted out their televised inspirations more loudly than Marvel’s WandaVision on Disney+.
Of course, that was all by design as Mind Stone-altered magic user Wanda Maximoff found herself in a world of her own making. Since the Maximoff family really enjoyed their sitcoms back in Sokovia, Wanda’s days in Westview paid homage to the classics like The Dick Van Dyke Show, Bewitched, The Brady Bunch, Family Ties, Malcolm in the Middle, Modern Family, and more.
But according to the series showrunner Jac Schaeffer, her original vision (pardon the pun) for WandaVision wasn’t limited to just sitcoms but rather the whole TV landscape. In an interview with The New York Times, Schaeffer revealed that she had a novel idea for the episode that would explain Wanda’s situation and what was going on in Westview.
“In my pitch, the ‘rewind’ episode was a CSI episode. I thought, how interesting to do sitcom, sitcom, sitcom, and then shatter that and be in a different genre,” Schaeffer told NYT.
That is certainly a creative approach. And it’s interesting to consider what the CSI episode of WandaVision would look like. Granted, Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) may not have needed to change much for it. “Wisecracking lady planted in front of a keyboard” is a pretty crucial element to the CSI franchise.
Schaeffer goes on to explain that once the writers’ room began to meet, they realized it would be wise for WandaVision to stick with sitcoms…and particular sitcoms at that.
“We stayed with family sitcoms and sitcoms that were on the brighter, optimistic side of the spectrum because it is a fantasy,” Schaeffer said. “That meant things like All in the Family and Roseanne got shunted to the side. 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.”
Suddenly the absence of a true ‘90s sitcom homage on WandaVision makes all the more sense. Westview had no room for ‘90s cynicism.
Still, somewhere out in the television multiverse, there’s bound to be a version of WandaVision that pays homage to CSI and other TV dramas of note. One can only imagine how wild a Lost episode would have turned out.