That Wandavision Style

Originally published at: That Wandavision Style - The Happiest Pod on Earth

#16: Stef and Ariel are avid retro and vintage fans, and in this episode, they share these passions through the medium of Wandavision, the first Disney+ Marvel show to kick off the second phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They dive into the clothing, the music, the special effects, and other nodes to the vintage and retro eras explored in the show.

Read the blog post for this episode for additional references and resources.

Transcription

Ariel Landrum 0:10
Hello, everybody, welcome to The Happiest Pod on Earth. I’m Ariel.

Stefanie Bautista 0:15
And I’m Stef. And we’re Disney fans. But we’re really so much more than that.

Ariel Landrum 0:19
Like I’m a licensed therapist, and I use my clients passions and fandoms to help them grow and heal from trauma and mental unwellness.

Stefanie Bautista 0:26
And I’m an educator who uses passions and fandoms to help my students grow and learn about themselves and the world around them.

Ariel Landrum 0:32
Happiest Pod is a place where we dissect Disney mediums with a critical lens. Why? Because just like we are more than just fans, we expect more from the mediums we consume.

Stefanie Bautista 0:42
And so today Ariel what Disney media or experience are we dissecting and sharing on this episode?

Ariel Landrum 0:49
So we’re gonna take it back a similar to what we’re dissecting we are going to dissect Wandavision

Stefanie Bautista 0:58
Wandavision lately got so many Emmy nominations, did you know that?

Ariel Landrum 1:04
Hey yes. Worth it.

Stefanie Bautista 1:06
Worth it. I don’t know exactly how many maybe we can get that number by the end of the episode. But I think it’s super awesome that these, The Academy or whoever is recognizing the work of Disney, not just Disney, but the work of comic book material, because I’ve always felt that comic books themselves as readable mediums have; their storytelling is so much more advanced than people take them for face value.

Ariel Landrum 1:36
Absolutely. Absolutely. And the appreciation that it’s becoming more than I think, I think we consider comic books and comic mediums very childlike or immature. There, there seems to be a stigma about the culture of people who consume comics and and even Disney media. Right?

Stefanie Bautista 2:02
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 2:03
So I think that now it’s, we’re gaining more recognition, it shows that it’s become very mainstream. It’s becoming a part of the general populace’s palette, but also that were given the way that Wandavision is created in regards to both honoring the comics and old sitcoms. It’s showing that that that projection and growth and evolution in regards to how we consume medium, but also the things that are still classic and timeless, and how that molding together is, I would say worthy of praise and are worthy of an award. But just something that we’ve known all along as as the audience; the consumers.

Stefanie Bautista 2:50
Yeah, absolutely. And I think in the time where I guess not a lot of people are so focused on getting those awards. I know, there’s so much controversy around like Emmys and the Oscars and the Grammys, I just think the recognition from a wider audience not just you know, our geeky audience and people who consume that media, it means a little bit and I think it just shows that the people running these shows are true professionals and the people who are producing the episodes and who are writing these scripts, they’re really taking the time to elevate the storytelling that we’re we’re used to seeing in our previous Marvel movies. So I do have the statistics, Wandavision earned 23 nominations, including outstanding limited series at the next Emmy Awards. They also get a nomination for “Agatha All Along,” the song…

Ariel Landrum 3:48
Heyyy!

Stefanie Bautista 3:48
For outstanding music and lyrics because you know that was an earworm for everybody who listened to it. It was like everwhere.

Ariel Landrum 3:55
Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 3:57
And Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany have Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress nods as well. So I think everybody from I think also the, the cinematography maybe. There’s definitely directing, Outstanding Supporting lead actress in Kathryn Hahn as Agatha because she was crazy good in the show. Outstanding production design outstanding period and our character hairstyling which they fully deserve. I hope he wins. I do say here they have outstanding sound editing and sound mixing. Yes. That was the even got the the crackling of the old timey TV down. Yeah. And the visual effects. I’m talking about that were fantastic. They really got that old bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie style animation in the beginning of the episodes so perfect. But yeah, that just leads into what we’re going to talk about. And like we mentioned whenever we talk about a TV or movie. It’s full spoilers. So if you haven’t seen one division, pause and listen to any of our other podcasts or any other Geek Therapy podcasts and come back to us because we are going to be diving into the very nitty gritty details of wandavision and pulling all of our pop reference cultures and knowledge to make connections and how we can use that to further our practices.

Ariel Landrum 5:25
And if you have already seen one division after listening to this episode, I would encourage you to go to GT Radio and listen to their review on Wandavision and its notes to grief and loss.

Stefanie Bautista 5:38
Yes, yes. So where are we going to start with this Ariel? It’s a lot.

Ariel Landrum 5:43
So there are so many ways we could have taken really talking about and dissecting this medium and something that Stef and I have an affinity for is definitely retro vintage and and things that are stylistic. We, we like we like to have a nice aesthetic. Even with our straws like you know, no more, you can get your paper straw, but if you use a reusable straw, obviously way better. So for us, we were thinking very much artistic visual design, the sound of really much of the consumption of this medium, a little bit in the story arc of Wanda, but really more in its nods to other other shows other mediums and sitcoms, and very how it was so retro, but now it’s considered very avant garde. So I think umm starting off with obviously, the classic episode one, which if you remember watching it the first time was like “What is going on? Why is black and white? Why? This? I don’t I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel. Is this where it’s gonna be at?”

Stefanie Bautista 7:00
Normally when we watch any sort of Marvel beginning, it’s like a flashback, there’s a child, things are happening. We’re going to follow this child and they’re gonna discover something or, you know, Peter Parker’s gonna get bit by spider. I know that didn’t happen that way. But that’s just what we’re expecting. So we’re expecting to follow a character and a journey, but it totally threw a wrench in our expectations where it started off exactly like how the not Dick Van Dyke we’re going way, way way further. We’re going like, I Love Lucy, black and white opening sitcom like animation…

Ariel Landrum 7:37
And they definitely did in the first episode.

Stefanie Bautista 7:39
Yeah…

Ariel Landrum 7:40
Some Dick Van Dyke Show. Yeah, tropes. Yeah, so definitely, but but even had, you know, some a little bit of Bewitched in there. Yeah. Especially in the the special effects.

Stefanie Bautista 7:52
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 7:53
And I was, we were used to fast pace.

Stefanie Bautista 7:58
Yeah. And we were used to like, not just, I don’t even know how to explain it. Like, I know, we mentioned Michael Bay, and like, the whole Transformers trope I like blows everything up. But we’re so used to action Marvel movies that were just like, okay, there’s gonna be some sort of Chase, or we’re gonna just like follows a movie, some crazy cinematography. And it completely grounded us and took us back to an era of TV viewing that we don’t see anymore. Where it is, you see credits first. You see an animation, you see something silly. And then you see a hard opening of a show where they open the door, and you see a set. And even in modern sitcoms, you don’t see that anymore. It’s it’s a totally different way of storytelling. So you find it’s more of a linear, I guess….

Ariel Landrum 8:50
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 8:51
Way of viewing it, especially because it’s, it’s an open set in clearly what looks like a stage, you know, homes that look like that. And yeah, it was, it was like what is happening. And I do want to mention, before we go on that not only are we lovers of retro style, and going to Dapper Day and everything, but Ariel here knows a lot more about art than I do, because she is an art therapist. And so she definitely engages in this medium and this visual medium so much more than I do. So it’s gonna be really fun to see your take on just visually consuming what they put on the screen in this very different way.

Ariel Landrum 9:32
Yeah, not so much in one division. But I never saw Knives Out when it came out. And I watched it on streaming with my roommate. And in the opening scene pne of the main characters is holding a mug that says, “My house my rules,” and I was like, “Oh, I wonder if this person’s like very controlling.” And I read it out loud. And I was like, I was like “That’s probably an important mug,” and the mug makes it in the end and has a very specific meaning in regards to |My house, my rules.” And it and he was like, “How do you just notice something like that?” But I’m like, “How do you not notice something like that?” Again? props, the props. I’m very into zooming in on props.

Stefanie Bautista 10:10
Yeah. And it’s great to to have that perspective. And this is one of those mediums or this is one of those shows that because everything was so retro, we didn’t use we weren’t used to finding Easter Eggs in small props like that. Back in the day.

Ariel Landrum 10:27
Yeah, like the commercials they had, right like, the very first like, it was it was a toaster commercial. I was like, “Oh, look, that’s Vision.” Like it’s like there’s it has a red dot says it says it says a Stark on there somewhere. And everyone’s like, “What are you talking about?” But if you freeze frame it like it’s a robot toaster, like made by Stark Industries and as a red dot in it’s head.

Stefanie Bautista 10:50
And we’re used to trying to find these Easter Eggs at this point, because we have seen so many different Marvel movies that inject these either just like playful props or playful visuals, but also some of them are foreshadowing. So they did a little bit of both in Wandavision and using those commercials, as vehicles to to show how scary the world she was, you know, weaving together was because in the later commercials, they were featuring the same people. And you know, those people were actually townspeople of Westview. And they were trapped. Because this was all just her orchestration, spoiler alert. Super spoiler alert. But yeah, we’re now seeing a 30 minute format write of a Marvel show. And we had feelings around that.

Ariel Landrum 11:46
Yes, so something we’re not used to, right? We I mean, not only before the pandemic, we were used to just seeing Marvel movies, and obviously, a movie format is a lot longer than a TV format. But additionally, because of the pandemic, we’ve been given more and more movies that are even longer because they can stream longer. And even with TV shows, we’re given the entire series. Like you can binge it all up front. But with these series, I mean, we didn’t see this until the Mandalorian. And now I think is going to be more common on Disney+ where it’s just like watching TV back in our day where you had to wait, you had to wait a week for the next episode. And it it’s not as easy to find those continuity errors what like now is with bingeing. And so it it force it, you mentioned being grounded, it forces us to have to really consider what we were consuming, it forces us to have to pause, and it gave a lot of opportunity to try and predict, right? Like “What who do we what do we think this Easter Egg means or what do we think is going to come in next?” And if you weren’t going on IMDb, then you were doing a lot of just your own guesswork and your own fact finding and weaving things together. And I think that builds excitement and anticipation that we don’t have to necessarily feel when we can consume an entire series in essentially a weekend.

Stefanie Bautista 13:16
Yeah, absolutely. And I think it keeps the the mysterious things that Marvel likes to keep under wraps, because you know, all of their cast all of their crew is tight lipped on anything that they’re doing. And I’m feeling that if I was a Marvel Disney executive, they were already doing that in the larger sense with their movies, they had to wait months on end for Avengers Age of Ultron Avengers Endgame so why not do that in a smaller scale format? And in not releasing everything all at once? They know the fans are going to wait for them. I’m gonna wait for them. And I’m gonna wait and maybe not all the time. But I know some of you will wait till midnight 12 pm or 12 am on the dot to, press play and see it over everybody else’s so that the next day when you’re at work or at school, or wherever you are, you can talk about oh my gosh, did you watch this? Like I watched that this morning and so many of our friends and in our group chat said “Oh my gosh, I just watched it,” it’s like freaking three in the morning.

Ariel Landrum 14:16
Like what you guys doing?

Stefanie Bautista 14:18
But that’s that’s the hype that they that they’re really good at, at projecting and, and coming up with because they know that we’re going to wait for it. So might as well keep keep people guessing, keep articles coming keep the buzz, like at the top of everybody’s feeds, because even when we were talking about Loki, we were guessing every single week what was going on because we didn’t know how it was going to end. So I think with Wandavision it being so far out of what we’re used to seeing. I think people were just either stumped; mad that they didn’t know what was going on…

Ariel Landrum 14:56
Straight up upset.

Stefanie Bautista 14:58
Totally like turned off to the series because it’s not what they were expecting. Definitely a lot of the action heads in our communities were just like, “What the is this? Like? I didn’t tune in to like see some old timey whatever blah blah.”

Ariel Landrum 15:15
Black and white what?

Stefanie Bautista 15:16
Yeah, if you weren’t invested in the storytelling of Wandavision, you probably were totally turned off by it and didn’t tune in again until the Malcolm in the Middle episode maybe where the cosplay happens.

Ariel Landrum 15:30
Yeah, I think that like you mentioned you know, some execs they took a risk with this they took a huge risks because you know, in watching Falcon and The Winter Soldier and in watching Loki those felt like, quote unquote, traditional Marvel media that we’ve been consuming. This was very unique and different. And I think you know, because of its uniqueness stands out in regards to to these other series. Give it to the girls.

Stefanie Bautista 16:05
Give it to the girls to make it stylistic, classic and also smart. I think Wandavision was very smart. You really had to think about what was going on and like, detach yourself because they didn’t detach themselves from the Wandavision world until Episode Two right where we see Monica.

Ariel Landrum 16:26
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. until until then we’re, we’re not really sure what’s going on. And I think that that eeriness, that confusion… I really liked it I liked not being able to to predict and guess what was going on it made it more exciting and I think is pretty much the ambivalence we feel about Wanda or the because it’s… Is she a good guy or she a bad guy? That is how she’s been introduced in the series very back and forth, and her journey in regards to that, that decision, we need to decide at some point whether this character is going to be villainous or not. And I think I think this series answered that and it answered it in the in very much the way that we felt her which was, we would see, we would see her against the Avengers. We’d see her with the Avengers, we’d see her split up with the Avengers like it, we’d see her alone it that that common theme is represented in all these episodes in regards to her story arc.

Stefanie Bautista 17:31
Yeah, absolutely. And I think what you mentioned about it being creepy. I think that’s a sentiment that you can feel for a lot of retro TV and a lot of retro movies. Because you see this world portrayed so perfectly, and so well thought out, everybody has hair is coifed clothes are totally iron, like all the way everyone’s dressed to the nines all the time. In our reality that’s just not true. We wake up out of bed not looking cute, no makeup on, like, “I woke up like this,” is like a real thing. You know, there’s something creepy about everything being so perfect like The Stepford Wives and that trope of being the perfect wife and being the perfect mother and being the perfect house, house woman caregiver to everybody. Having it all together just waiting for your husband to come home and have everything perfect than laid out there’s something creepy about that. And I think that was definitely translated in the way that Wanda wanted to make everything so perfect. So she can shield herself from the world around her and shield the sadness and the loss and the pain that she’s still actively going through. Because it was the only way that she could cope.

Ariel Landrum 18:49
And and very dreamlike, right like when we’re talking about using it as as a coping mechanism living sort of in a fantasy a full on fantasy that she was able to create with her powers. Those beginning episodes are dreamlike because everything is perfect. And then we find out that the mishaps that do happen they’re from Agatha not from her. So

Stefanie Bautista 19:09
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 19:10
Agatha had not noticed her powers and not inserted herself in Wanda’s world. I’m I would think that it would be even eerier than like looking back at old sitcoms because there probably would be no plot and there probably would be no quote unquote struggles. I don’t even know if we would have moved past you know, like the 1950s….

Stefanie Bautista 19:33
Oh probaly note.

Ariel Landrum 19:33
In her in her timeline, I think that she would have still been very curled hair coifed and even the costuming they had it forced her to sit up right. They they talked about in assembled if you watch that series on Disney Plus, the costumes definitely had a course that type feel to force everybody to sit up straight and just that very like 90 degrees. You’re sort of like her correct angle kind of gives you the sense that this world isn’t supposed to be off balance. And how is that possible? And then it isn’t until near the end of the episode, when we get very much they use the Twilight Zone effect of tilting the camera zooming and changing the music that we were like, no, yeah, this this world’s off.

Stefanie Bautista 20:22
Yeah. Let’s talk a little bit about what it takes to recreate something so accurate, right? In order for them to really capture the feel of these sitcoms in their respective areas. They had to do the same things that those exact shows did. And a couple of those things is that episode one was taped in front of a live studio audience. And that is something that is very rarely done nowadays, especially COVID, because you don’t have live studio audiences anymore. And you won’t have a laugh track, right? And can we explain a little bit about what a laugh track is, and like using that in, in TV shows? I think I can definitely speak to that, because I’ve seen a lot of old old old sitcoms, and the laugh track was used as a break for the script, basically.

Ariel Landrum 21:13
Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 21:13
And they use that for the people who are acting to play off of and use that to kind of project and move their emotions forward. So they would pause, they would know when the audience was going to laugh because it was put in the script. And there was a little light in the audience that turned on that says “laugh” or “audience.” And then the audience was then laugh because they are part of the experience, and they are part of the taping. So in order to create that field, they did that in the first episode. And I would have loved to have been one of those people.

Ariel Landrum 21:48
Yes, I wish I’d known there was a call for that to be part of this live studio audience taping. I think even when you’re thinking of the the laugh tracks, the other thing is it’s training the audience to know what’s funny.

Stefanie Bautista 22:01
Yes.

Ariel Landrum 22:01
And the and for me in regards to thinking of the the Marvel Universe, like we’ve seen them shifting more and more towards jokes and humor. But it’s hard to tell when something’s supposed to be funny. Given that, you know, like, everybody has very different humor styles and kind of laugh at different things. That the again, these these beginning episodes are telling you, “You are only allowed to react this way. Or you’re only supposed to.” That again…

Stefanie Bautista 22:29
It’s so limiting.

Ariel Landrum 22:30
Yes. So limiting. It shows you not only how limiting those errors were in regards to just emotional depth and the ability to be expressive. It also, again, gets that eerie vibe of like, “Wait, why is this funny? Why is that funny? And why is everything funny?”

Stefanie Bautista 22:49
Yeah. And even when vision is like, I’m going to work doing the computer things…

Ariel Landrum 22:54
Oh hello kitty.

Stefanie Bautista 22:55
Hello kitty. When he’s typing and doing the computer thing, he’s not even 100% sure of what he is doing. So I mean, he and I think that that’s really interesting that we’re going through this world through Vision’s mind? Vision himself is kind of like the audience in where he’s not sure what’s going on. So the only person that we can relate to his Vision because he’s been dropped into this place. Without knowing what happened to him previously, or what is going to happen to him in the future. Everybody else seems to know what’s going on. Especially his um, his desk mate at work is just like, “Oh, you know, we’re doing these things and computing the stuff,| and he’s just like, Oh computers. What is what is this?” And you’re just like, “Wait, what the heck is going on?” Even he doesn’t know what’s like happening. And then he doesn’t know if it’s their anniversary, or if they’re celebrating something. And then when, like, that is scary in itself. Imagine waking up and not knowing what day it was what your agenda was for the day. We’re so used to planning things out digitally and in our minds and months, weeks in advance, that being present, which is a very common thing in retro TV and also just in the world of our past being present and just going through your day. And letting it unfold like that is something so foreign to us and scary.

Ariel Landrum 24:20
So foreign.

Stefanie Bautista 24:22
But yeah, I think seeing the world through Vision’s eyes really made at least me feel a little bit comfortable because it was starting to get really creepy and not exactly knowing what was real and what was not. And in a world where everything was so obviously fake. It was kind of like a mind trip to go on because the lobster that pure old and clearly fake. They could have made that really really

Ariel Landrum 24:46
Clearly fake. Yeah, I think that was the other thing is they decided to not only shoot in the frame that TVs were back in those days. So that so they had to they had to find very specific type camera framing and cameras to shoot at that format. They use special effects until it was an era where visual effects were created. So they match that era. And the special effects and props artists were, some of them had worked on Bewitched, so they were able to recreate, you know, those those recipe cards floating on a string. But looking at it from our perspective, we clearly know this, this is fake. Like “I can tell that this is not she’s not really using her magic.” So what exactly is going on that they are, you know, really stepping back in the way that they’re visually creating things? And it was because they were replicating that experience of sitcom. The, I mean, and even being acknowledging some of the, I guess, tropes of those sitcoms and like Agatha coming in and she was like, “You know what modern life nowadays wouldn’t have a full like dinner ready on hand?” That was an expectation back then that that women, very again, Stepford Wives that you have a specific role and your role is to feed the familym you roll is to keep this house clean, your role is to look cute. Somehow, make that lobster in your heels.

Stefanie Bautista 26:18
Yeah. And you know that Wanda is sort of a foreigner still. And we know that Wanda herself. Her character is a foreigner. She’s from a Sokovia, Eastern European made up nation. And you see that there’s an element of if you’re an immigrant, or migrant, or child of an immigrant, you know that these things are familiar, but still foreign. So the idea of having dinner on the table having like a spread and all of those fixings together for this dinner with the boss is still sort of a not so familiar concept. And she’s just like, “Wait, I need help with this. Because I don’t exactly know how I’m supposed to do this.” And you you then see, “Oh, my gosh, Wanda is still trying to figure out what this exactly looks like.” Because as real as it seems. And as like onpoint as we see it to be, there’s still something quite off about it. And as you were talking Ariel, I was thinking there was definitely some Disney Magic involved in this show.

Ariel Landrum 27:21
Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 27:21
Because we know going to the parks and we know with very old, old, old Disney movies, animated and live action, there’s a certain style that comes with it. There’s a certain like Disney Magic that I don’t know, can’t really explain. But when you’re watching old movies like the old Parent Trap, and you’re watching old movies, like I think the one that they shot at Disneyland, I don’t know if the Disney movie, but they shot it at Disneyland. I forget the name. But I know a lot of you Disney fans know about it. It’s there’s just this feel to it. That is a little bit magical. And I think they really captured that in one division. Because they got it so right. But like a little too, right?

Ariel Landrum 28:04
Yeah, yeah, they did just they turned it all the way up. So that’s how you knew something was wrong. But it I mean, if I hadn’t known this was Wandavision, and someone had just shown me like some 1950 shows and then that I again, I would have assumed.

Stefanie Bautista 28:20
Wouldn’t have known.

Ariel Landrum 28:20
And even the rest of the areas; when we got to the 70s. And when we got to the 90’s. Like if you had shown me some sitcoms there and then this they matched. And they match not just in special effects not just in wardrobe, not just the set and propping but they matched in music. The two writers of all the songs they picked a specific melody to input in all every episodes’ theme song, but they only use instruments that were very common in those areas. And they only used a sort of songwriting and beats that you would expect in those areas. So it was a completely immersive experience.

Stefanie Bautista 29:01
You’re not hearing no trap beats 808 music in these early episodes and you totally see that and it became really evident to me during the Malcolm in the Middle Halloween spectacular episode because it felt super 90’s to me. The graphics that they were using in the beginning, the iconic like stretching of the background behind the the text title was so iconic of Malcolm in the Middle. Like the the fisheye lens where everybody’s just kind of getting in the camera. It was very early 90’s. Such a such a big step, I think from the previous episode, which was still kind of Brady Bunch inspired. I feel like it was like a…

Ariel Landrum 29:47
Definietly Full House and I’m trying to think… Umm.. Ah was it there’s one more? I’ve gone blank, but that happens. But yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 30:05
Are you thinking like of another?

Ariel Landrum 30:07
Oh, Good Times good times.

Stefanie Bautista 30:08
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 30:08
Yeah. Good. Yeah. It was very Good Times and Full House and a little bit of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Stefanie Bautista 30:15
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 30:16
But…

Stefanie Bautista 30:17
I think there was just over that period. And…

Ariel Landrum 30:19
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 30:19
I was surprised. I was really surprised because when we think of 90’s sitcoms, yes, of course, I do think Malcolm in the Middle, but that’s why I’m like 99 almost like borderline millenia area millenia era. Because I think a Full House, I think of Family Matters, I think of Step By Step. I think of all of the TGIF; Sister, Sister. Like…

Ariel Landrum 30:39
Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 30:40
Those are the things that I remember, from 90’s sitcoms, and I’m wondering, and I don’t have the answer to this, why they decided to kind of skip that, like, stylistically.

Ariel Landrum 30:52
Yeah. I feel like maybe because it’s not as stylistic as like, like, iconic. Like we’re shifting from vintage to retro, right.

Stefanie Bautista 31:01
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 31:01
And now we’re, we’re, when it comes to sort of like 90’s, that has become at least some of the 90’s styles has become more present and modern now. It’s being sort of reclaimed. And not the the shirts over jeans. No, it’s like the crop tops. So like, the glowing part of the 90’s.

Stefanie Bautista 31:21
Seriously, I know.

Ariel Landrum 31:23
Y2K era.

Stefanie Bautista 31:25
We’re gonna we’re gonna digress a little bit because I know we’ve been having conversations of as women. I struggled in the 90’s to find any sort of, well, I mean, I was like, what, 11 right? So that kind of shows our age a little bit, but I was not feeling cute in the 90’s. I was so frumpy, like, I think I could barely afford going to Limited Too at the time. End like you would shop from a catalog remember Delia’s?

Ariel Landrum 31:52
Yes, yes.

Stefanie Bautista 31:52
Yeah, everything was like, but then everything then was harkening back to the 60s, because everything was like very flowery and tie dye and like block colorings.

Ariel Landrum 32:02
And they did have bell bottoms.

Stefanie Bautista 32:04
Yeah, bell bottoms. So it’s like, do I stick with my cargo baggy jeans, cargo baggy khakis with the super crop top that like I A. feel comfortable in and B. would probably get a dress code violation at school for. Or do I just stay looking like a tomboy, and I just stayed looking like a tomboy. Because that was just easier for me.

Ariel Landrum 32:26
Not only was it easier, but I for me, I was raised by a single dad and I had a brother. So at a certain point, we were all going to kind of dress the same.

Stefanie Bautista 32:36
And I mean, I come from… Excuse me, from a migrant household. So I didn’t really have the money to keep up with trends. And I thought about that, actually. Before we filmed this episode, I knew so many of these sitcoms, because I didn’t have cable. I don’t know if you didn’t grow up without cable. But I was…

Ariel Landrum 32:59
Oh there was no cable on the military base.

Stefanie Bautista 33:02
Really, they don’t pamper you for you know serving our country and laying your life on the line for the goodness of our borders?

Ariel Landrum 33:11
Nah fam. I had like six channels. Disney Channel was one of them thank goodness.

Stefanie Bautista 33:15
See and I didn’t even have Disney Channel, so I was living in 13 channels. For those of you in LA know, 2 a CBS, 4 was NBC. 5 was KTLA but then they always showed reruns, so if you were sick at home, you would watch things like The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The Brady Bunch. I loved and I think that’s why I have such an affinity for retro TV. And vintage TV is because I, that was the only thing that I watched. Being, you know, working class and not being able to afford cable not to like way way at like later on in life. I could only consume media that was limited in what they showed in the mornings and in the evenings. And I think tying back to the way Wanda was viewing American culture in another country and that is a… That’s a journey that a lot of immigrants and migrants and foreigners consume American media. Some is going on in my voice. But they only see what VHS shows them. They only see what their family in America sends to them. And they only see what is pirated and sold for pennies on the street. So many of my cousin’s in the Philippines only know American culture through the Brady Bunch and through I Love Lucy. I Love Lucy is so popular in other countries because of the way that it’s connected different people in different countries to what the American dream was.

Ariel Landrum 34:54
Yes. Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 34:54
And if your journey is to get out of your country and go to America, that is the ideal. You want to be in a nuclear household with a loving, you know, male and female relationship. And that is what’s portrayed. And that is what you you aim for. And anything outside of that is considered out of the norm. And so I think that’s really, I really like the episode where we see Wanda and her DVDs, and her holding onto her DVDs for dear life because that is what her hobby is. That is what her love is. And that is what she connects to. Because she’s so, so so wants to get out of her situation. And you see that is it’s not a good situation.

Ariel Landrum 35:38
Yeah, and in regards to like talking about that medium we consume like that, that was what she was consuming in regards to an ideal life. So of course, if she has the actual powers and ability to recreate that she’s going to recreate that. There was there were levels of safety. I think the the other thing in regards to just how her experience was growing up with with this, this imagery in these films, I was… I noticed that a good chunk of them had, you know what she was emulating really like male leads. And it wasn’t until she sort of created literally, her own episode that we then became the Scarlet Witch that we saw her actually claim her show, right? Like, like, actually claimed this world as her own. She was letting things even unfold for herself, despite the fact having the control. And I think that that very much shows her her shift of how control and chaos are a fine line. People think that they are binary in that they are worlds apart from each other. And their next door neighbors.

Stefanie Bautista 37:02
Yep, they’re so close. They could be sharing a wall.

Ariel Landrum 37:05
Sharing a wall. I, I always relate it to you when I’m talking to clients about like integration, like integrating different parts of ourselves. My dad has OCD. And he has OCD where he has to check things. And so you can say that’s very controlled, he has to you know, check the locks at least 20 times. That’s it’s a high number, right? And that’s very chaotic to have to go back and check something 20 times and not trust or what your what you saw what you touched what you felt. Your mind telling you, you know, essentially gaslighting you and saying like, “No, you need to check it again.” So that’s that, that fine line. And I feel like because she’s essentially she has chaos magic, like we’ve already identified it cah…, as actual chaos. It really shows how controlled she’s actually been this whole time.

Stefanie Bautista 37:59
Yeah. The whole time, in not in just what we see her in Westview. But also, when you’re looking back at that scene with like her parents, she only had a limited amount of DVDs that she could take and only a limited amount of choices that she had. And also she had to be told when and where to watch it. They had to you know, she wanted to wait for her family, obviously. But they were so limited in what they could see when they could watch it, that every single step was calculated for her. And you see that already in the beginning. And then when everything gets blown out of the water, and they’re left to just her and Pietro, she then becomes the decision maker. But she doesn’t quite know how to do that. So she somehow and we don’t see this part. But I know in the comic books, she finds herself in her brother in certain situations where she has to kind of attach herself to larger male figures in order to go on and survive in her life. And also in the comic booksm she’s seen as Magneto’s daughter. So that way is a little bit and very much different from the way that they decided to portray her in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also it it draws parallels from there is a higher purpose and she is just kind of like a pawn in that. And that is how she is used in the original story. But you also see that when she’s introduced in the MCU, as somebody who’s just used to following directions.

Ariel Landrum 39:32
Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 39:32
And really looking out for her younger brother, and that’s a very older sister, sort of sentiment that I can relate to. I’m an older sister, and I see a lot of that.

Ariel Landrum 39:46
And common even in twins. People forget that there’s still an older and a younger and they vehemently know it. And so for her like she and then to lose her younger sibling… So so the amount of grief and loss she can tell us experience right we’ve got we’ve lost parents we’ve lost an entire country so so no no actual home to sort of go back to. And you know now is essentially losing her life partner… It it’s it’s very much understandable why she would want to escape to these mediums and even going back into her childhood. There was war going on and Sokovia and that the people were having to try and like ignore what’s going on in their outside walls to keep themselves safe and essentially emotionally safe. Right? We we fully divulge or digest our mediums. We we fully immerse ourselves because that’s the only way that you can ignore sort of like these bombs going off. I know. For me, I lived in the safety of a military base. But, you know, depending on how close you are to the armory, like you, you heard those things all the time, you sort of started to get jaded and and not not be able to tell the difference between what was considered unsafe and what was considered safe. Or even like, when my dad retired in Kansas, you know, we had an alarm that went off at noon to tell us, it was our tornado watch alarm, and it’s just just the test it. But after a while he got so used to it that when there was actual tornado coming, it was hard to tell the difference. And when we should go underground, which anyone can tell you in Kansas, they still don’t go under the ground. Everybody wants to see it. But that’s neither here nor there. In talking in regards to just knowing what’s considered safe, detaching ourselves from the moment is, is a is a level of safety. It’s a coping skill that we that we need when when things are out of our control. And for Wanda, her grief was literally out of her control, there was there was no way that she was going to be able to summon up enough magic to even recreate Vision that that was Vision because he was very autonomous. And her Vision was not. It took them a while to get there.

Stefanie Bautista 42:06
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 42:09
But I think, yeah…

Stefanie Bautista 42:10
it took them a while to get there. But we, we still see him as vision, the amalgam of Tony Stark’s AI, you know, just him being frankly, a robot. And I mean, for me, I always wonder like, “Wow, like she found love in somebody who isn’t fully human.” Like it really takes a special person to find a life and a heart in, in something that we see as just a creation of technology. Right? So we already know that there’s something special there that something that we don’t see in quite understand, but we still see it as very beautiful. But Vision himself he as he’s discovering himself through this series, he’s stuck in the middle of “Am I supposed to act like a human? Or am I supposed to act like what I’m feeling, which is more of Vision, as you know, AI Vision fully, you know, realized.” But I do want to go a little bit backwards in what you were saying when you were in Kansas and living on a military base. I feel like being a teacher in pretty much downtown Los Angeles, like we’re downtown Los Angeles adjacent. We’re always hearing sirens, helicopters, we’re always going into lockdown. That is just like a normal thing for us. We’re we’re, you know, used to hearing people on the street kind of yelling. Transients. We’re used to seeing, you know, people who are displaced, just like not knowing where they are. We’re used to that sort of chaos in and around our schools. And so our kids are jaded to some extent into just focusing on school. Us as teachers, we put on media, we do all sorts of things in the classroom to distract ourselves from letting them know, Hey, we’re in a lockdown based police activity just right across the street, probably either a domestic dispute, somebody has like a gun. Those things are normal to us. And I think that is very relatable in the way that Wanda as a child decides to cover herself and shield herself from all the chaos around her. Because that’s what children are really good at doing; their imaginations are so large, and they’re so eager to find comfort in anything. Whether it be in storytime and closing the blinds and putting on a short film or closing the blinds, listening to storytime just like totally detaching yourself because you just want to feel safe.

Ariel Landrum 44:33
Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 44:33
And in some ways, I feel like switching gears we did that during the pandemic.

Ariel Landrum 44:38
Yeah we did.

Stefanie Bautista 44:38
I remember during the protests and during civil unrest here in an I’m in the valley, so I was far away from where I work downtown, but Van Nuys was like one of the places that was really hit with the looting and a lot of protests and just people just like fed up and upset and just like going through all of the businesses and destroying them. So at one point, I was just hearing explosions, maybe like, every 30 minutes. I didn’t know what they were.

Ariel Landrum 45:09
Yeah. Yup.

Stefanie Bautista 45:09
And at that time, my son was about four months old. So I was trying to shield him as a parent as well, from hearing all of these sounds. He doesn’t know yet if they’re scary, or real, or whatever, but I didn’t want him to feel my fear. So we would distract ourselves. We would put on Disney+, we would watch things and try to just make sure that they felt safe in any way, shape, or form. So we I definitely can relate to what you were saying. But I know that we talked a lot about not just grief, but creating this world that is your safe space, right? Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 45:55
Yeah, I think in therapy, we ask clients to create comfort corners, either like in the real world or in their mind. Safety corners, safe spaces that you can go to in your mind’s eye when you are feeling anxious. And for for Wanda, she was able to do that with these sitcoms. And again, because I think sitcoms were a smart choice. They’re formulaic, they’re predictable.

Stefanie Bautista 46:21
They so comforting.

Ariel Landrum 46:22
They’re so comforting. And then even thinking about the way the comedy is, it’s very slapstick. Right, like if we think of Queen of Slapstick, I Love Lucy. Like we saw some of that in Wandavision in the the way that she was, you know, moving the ingredients around. Yeah, it was very Nick at Night.

Stefanie Bautista 46:43
Very Bewitched.

Ariel Landrum 46:44
Very Bewitched.

Stefanie Bautista 46:45
And I Dream of Jeannie so cute.

Ariel Landrum 46:48
It was a good respite. Because a lot of the humor is often very sarcastic, snarky, right?

Stefanie Bautista 46:57
Dry.

Ariel Landrum 46:57
We don’t get that…. Dry. We don’t get that until we get to like the 90’s. Yeah, the the Malcolm in the Middle sort of inspired episode. And we we start to see her, let her guard down there. And that’s why the humor changes. And I think that that’s also when we start to see her world unravel.

Stefanie Bautista 47:24
Yeah, in the classroom as well. We have a piece corner in every classroom for kids to just take a break because sometimes learning is really stressful. And you know, you you can feel some emotions that you just need to learn how to self regulate. And Wanda was the Queen of Self Regulation because she was creating all this magic to create her piece corner. But yeah, definitely the the humor and the comfort that we find in just the sitcom structure where we know it was every Friday, at 7 pm. We knew that there was gonna be one story that we followed, and that we are going to laugh and we’re going to find a little twist at the end. We’re going to end the episode resolving whatever problem that was presented in the beginning of the episode. And then we get to rest and then look forward to the next one. There wasn’t too much of an underlying like, larger story arc in many of these sitcoms. It was just very… Problem. Resolve. Happiness. Let’s have dinner. You know? Not Not until we see the interweaving of storylines in Modern Family, which they touch upon in the later episodes. And I have to shout out Elizabeth Olsen for her Claire Dunphy impression, I am such a huge Modern Family fan and the way she looks at the camera and does that like mom stare? Like, “Are you freaking kidding me?” I love that. That was like the best and I was just like, “She freaking nailed it.” Like, I love it. So we didn’t see those interlocking story lines until then. And there was there was no, there was no comfort there anymore, because now you have the kids who are grown. And they’re kind of thinking of their mom. And we’re not quite sure if they’re figments of her imagination yet at that point when they’re introduced, because the weird way that they aged, and that kind of creeped me out. Did it creep you out? It creeped me out.

Ariel Landrum 49:31
Which it also made me think of sitcoms when they were like replace younger kids and siblings and all of a sudden they’re just older but everybody else isn’t as older because they’re not like kids aging. That rapid aging thing is something we’ve seen usually doesn’t happen in that episode.

Stefanie Bautista 49:46
No. It happens over seasons.

Ariel Landrum 49:48
Next season, they’ve replaced this person with someone who’s like way older that somehow supposed to play younger. I think that also the like the knowingness that they knew that they were aging like I’m going to make a decision to be 10. Because I want a dog.

Stefanie Bautista 50:03
That self-awareness so weird. But speaking of kids, the way she gave birth, let me just say, if I could give birth that easily, I’d have a ton of kids at this. Because I was like, how are they going to show this and then I, as a mother, who had just given birth, was like, I’ve seen so many different ways that sitcoms portray this. Mainly, the one that sticks out to me is the one in The Office or a Pam is. She, her water breaks, and then she she gets, you know, sent to the hospital with Jim and it’s just like total chaos, because like, Michael’s tried to record it, but then when she’s in the delivery room, you hear her screaming, and you hear her just like in pain. And then Michael steps in and he’s just like, “Oh, God, that baby’s gonna have a lot of hair.” And that is the first time that that kind of grossness of of childbirth in a sitcom was, you know, portrayed to me. But back then we didn’t we never saw Lucy give birth to Little Ricky we never…

Ariel Landrum 51:04
Well so in The Mary Tyler Moore Show…

Stefanie Bautista 51:07
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 51:08
Georgette gives birth at Mary’s apartment. So yeah, that’s sort of what they were harking to.

Stefanie Bautista 51:13
I think so too…

Ariel Landrum 51:13
Because it is the 1970s.

Stefanie Bautista 51:15
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 51:16
And just as a as hilariously goofy as that.

Stefanie Bautista 51:20
Yes just as hilariously goofy, and anyone knows any woman any real like 21st century being knows that, childbirth is not like that. It is not cute. It’s very messy. And that’s all I gotta say about that. And to keep this prestene world it would not have happened.

Ariel Landrum 51:39
And the only mess they sorta had was her magic sort of like being in and out, right? But yeah, babies were came out clean.

Stefanie Bautista 51:48
Like fully grown almost like?

Ariel Landrum 51:50
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 51:51
They look like they had lived a couple weeks at least. Because we all know in creating a perfect sitcom, babies are not going to follow your stage directions. They’re not going to know their cues. So whenever we saw babies in sitcoms, they were fully grown.

Ariel Landrum 52:07
They are fully grown. Or they’re plastic.

Stefanie Bautista 52:10
Yes. Or they’re plastic. Oh my gosh, the plastic baby. It’s always fun to see and point out “Oh my god that baby’s fake!”

Ariel Landrum 52:15
“Fake baby!”

Stefanie Bautista 52:16
Fake baby. But we touch there’s so many things I think in one division to to tackle stylistically. Emotionally with Wanda’s female, female, I guess gaze, you can say in somebody as an outsider looking in. But at the same time creating her world she’s kind of laying out the tracks that she goes. And how I feel like many women do that in their everyday lives, especially as mothers and as wives and just caregivers, we’re kind of laying out the tracks as we go. Because if we don’t know what’s going to happen, chaos can ensue. I feel like every mother and wife has a little bit of or any head of household, that’s a woman really, you don’t have to be a wife or a mother to know that. If you’re keeping the house together, there’s little chaos magic that has to happen in order for it to make it to the next day.

Ariel Landrum 53:10
Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 53:10
So I think there’s there’s a lot of things to be said about that, that we can, you know, tackle in a whole other episode. But I guess with every medium, maybe we can talk about what we loved and what we didn’t love, I guess because we really loved Wandavision.

Ariel Landrum 53:27
Yeah, I did. I really loved Wandavision in regards to the evolution of her hair.

Stefanie Bautista 53:37
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 53:39
So we know that it represents different areas of television, but it’s also very symbolic of her mental state throughout the series and that be wanting to control her identity and forcing a very specific presentation of self, and the unraveling of it. And literally the unraveling of her hair showing that. Because in the 1950s episode, again, we mentioned it was curled and coifed and had, you know, Stepford Wives vibes shorter pressed towards her head. And if I think of, you know, The Hex it was smaller at the time, it was still sort of being crafted. It was pressed close to her. There wasn’t other narrative being that we were aware of. But still, there wasn’t other narrative being brought in at least on Vision’s part, right? Eventually we see him sort of go off on his own. And then her hair continues to lengthen as her powers in The Hex grows.

Stefanie Bautista 54:35
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 54:36
And once sort of the town mirage comes undone her hair is shaggy, it’s loose, it’s messy, it’s uncapped.

Stefanie Bautista 54:45
It look like I’m done braids. Like when youdo your braids.

Ariel Landrum 54:49
Undone braids? Yes. Like I I need to let this out. I need to breathe. Yes, until it became a main once she was fully Scarlet Witch, it was red. It was. It was wavy, it was…

Stefanie Bautista 55:01
Big.

Ariel Landrum 55:01
Eluding fire was huge. It was a huge main. It was her chaos magic coming off of her. And a part of it was her embracing her full self. If we think of tight like coifed curls, you’re you’re not embracing really your full self, what you’re doing is you’re creating a presentation of self you want others to digest. In this case, it was like “To hell what you think,” right? ” Will literally sennd you there.”

Stefanie Bautista 55:28
“I’mma be me.”

Ariel Landrum 55:28
“I’mma be me.”

Stefanie Bautista 55:29
And it takes time to do hair like that. So you already know that there’s, oh my gosh, if anybody’s done pin curls, it takes for ever in a day to get them right.

Ariel Landrum 55:38
For-ev-ver.

Stefanie Bautista 55:38
And it takes practice, you got to do it every single day until you get them right. And I think that is something that it’s a very vintage personality trait of women back in the day to get themselves ready in order to be presentable for the males and for everybody else in the world that they’re going to go out and see when they go to the grocery store. So I mean, her being her full self just shows that you know what, “I don’t care what anybody else thinks I’m not living for anybody else. I’m living for me and what makes me happy.” Which she’s still trying to figure out.

Ariel Landrum 56:10
Yeah. Yeah, I I know that this is probably a moving towards her being a villain. So I’m wondering how her hair will change in that sense because there’s no way it’s going to stay even with with this because this embracing yourself that’s her embracing her power and and that it may actually also be just naturally an innate to her, not just given to her by the mind stone, but I also think that as she starts to become more villainous, it’ll probably become like those tendrils like we saw in Agatha, right? Like, these sort of like, has has its own arms and legs even. Could reach out and grab you. The other thing I really liked, obviously, I loved the music choices. And in the in the 90’s episode for the what was like the Malcolm in the Middle, the singer of that theme song is Kathleen Hanna from Bikini Kill. From the Riot Grrl music era. For those who don’t know, the Riot Grrl music era happened in 1990’s, and it was an underground feminist punk movement. In this subculture had music that was for feminism and politics. And at the concerts, what Riot Grrl bands like Bikini Kill would do is they would tell the women, “Come to the front. Men you go to the back. We’re going to make space a safe space for women, they’re going to be able to mosh they’re going to be able to be themselves and you’re going to cheer them on, you’re not going to make noise at them, you’re going to make noise for them, you’re going to lift them up.” And it was interesting because in this episode, we see her at the end like really assert herself in regards to Pietro her her fake Pietro.

Stefanie Bautista 57:55
Her fake Pietro. Which we could talk so much more about fake Pietro and… I was like “That’s not Aaron Taylor Rogers.”

Ariel Landrum 58:03
“The goofy uncle err.” Yeah. I think that that was that was really reminiscent of her saying like, “I am not just a mom. I am not just the wife.” This is an even in her costuming. right this is this is symbolizing that, “I am going to be the Scarlet Witch.”

Stefanie Bautista 58:19
Oh, yeah, absolutely. And I totally got that right girl vibes. I grew up in music discovery, listening to Sleater-Kinney and Le Tigre and like thinking, “Oh, I can totally be a tomboy still, but I could be a girl while doing that. And, and it’s okay to be a girl and be a badass.” And that was totally something in the 90s that a lot of girls went through where they were just kind of tired of being pop princess. And the dichotomy of seeing Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera at the time, but also knowing that there were these girls who could rock out and be punk rock badass. Totally his maybe it shows a dichotomy of what Wanda wanted to be and who she was before. I feel like every girl has a bit of a transformation when they grow up. When they go through those formative years. I know I had many stylistic choices that were very, very different and still are changing to this day. But I think that that was really fun to see. And also really touching to see that she was going through these real life emotions, even though she is somebody that has a lot of power to control her own universe. She’s still going through these things. And that really made her way, way more human and way more relatable, especially to women.

Ariel Landrum 59:38
Yeah, so I would say that those were some of the things that I really loved. And then certainly the episode where the beds get combined for like a foreshadowing of them having kids.

Stefanie Bautista 59:48
Babies yeah.

Ariel Landrum 59:49
I thought that was that was very clever and again that moving of the eras because we did only see couples sleep in separate beds. And then apparently, Mary Kay and Johnny was the first show to feature a couple in a bed together and be pregnant.

Stefanie Bautista 1:00:04
I never saw that.

Ariel Landrum 1:00:06
I’ve never seen it either. But there you go. There’s some history for ya’ll to put in your trivia night. Yeah, I think the thing that bothered me, which I don’t know if it quite bothers anybody else the same is that Scarlet Witch is, is that character is inspired off of the Romani people. But it does not really show the honoring of them. In fact, Romani people are presented as being chaotic, as being emotional, as being uncontrolled. And even in her having her classic Scarlet Witch costume in the Halloween episode, even though she is saying that this is, you know, Sokovia fortune teller, they didn’t have to sort of insert that sort of type of language. She could have just said that she was a made up comic book character. But the more that they kept hinting towards her Romani pass, or or at least what is inspired by the Romani people, the more it was the stereotype of, of these individuals and not so much their their actual heritage.

Stefanie Bautista 1:01:15
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 1:01:16
And so I wished that we hadn’t gotten that close to it, I felt like we could have pushed the narrative slightly different in in regards to her past, especially because she’s already not Magneto’s kid.

Stefanie Bautista 1:01:27
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 1:01:28
And now, I would say that was the only thing that bothered me because even her sort of exploding and her grief, Romani people have experienced a lot of grief because they, they’ve been removed from their lands, they, they have had a lot of harm and trauma to their people. But that’s being made fun of as, like, “You just don’t know how to control yourself, you just don’t know how to be controlled.” So that’s where the history of the like the chaos magic comes from inspiration wise. And I feel like if we kept it in with the mind stone, and I feel like if we had not inserted that line about a fortune teller, I think I would have liked that liked it even more, it would have been a full nine. It’s like an 8.7 for me.

Stefanie Bautista 1:02:11
Yeah, I totally, I totally understand that. And like they portray them as such outlandish, kind of almost comical type of people, but it really is part of their culture and something to, you know, be respected and honored. So I totally see that. For myself. I love Wandavision. I love the mystery of it. I love the unknowingness and kind of like, “How are they going to? How are they going to immerse me in classic television, but also make it creepy and mysterious, like the Twilight Zone.” And I love the Twilight Zone. I actually probably watch more retro TV than I would like to just because I was so used to it. And it’s comforting to me. So I I really liked the way that just the the style choices and the way that they were so they were so true to the era. They like took things from the Brady Bunch like you saw staircases that look like the one in the Brady Bunch house. You saw, like you said, I mean like the the set for the first episode was almost exactly like I Love Lucy set where the kitchen was on the right, the dining room and the dining room and the living room are in the middle. And then they had their bed somewhere else. I think that that was really smart of them to present it in that way that was familiar, but also foreign. And I think whenever they played with that all throughout the series was really fun to kind of just like go back and forth. Because I like watching something but also having a hidden agenda of like, like, “How is the production thinking about this every single time?” And that’s why watching Assembled really, really helped because I saw like what they were thinking of and I was like, “If I were to recreate a whole scene,” kind of like how sometimes we do theater in the classroom, like “how would I wow can I make this real?” Like what do I tell like my students, the actors, what mindset do they have to be to make this feel tangible and make this feel like how it’s supposed to? I love the breaks the commercial breaks as creepy as they were. I love that they brought back Randall Park as Jimmy Woo because I love Jimmy Woo in Ant Man and The Wasp. I think he’s hilarious. I love Randall Park. He himself was on a sitcom Fresh Off the Boat, which was based off of Eddie Wong’s life who is a chef and entrepreneur and that sitcom was so important to me because it was the first time since I think Margaret Cho’s sitcom where you saw an Asian family going through their life in America. So I really love Fresh Off the Boat. So I’m pretty sure that Randall Park was really excited to be part of Wandavision being that he was also in a sitcom himself. even talking about a Darcy who is from the Thor movies. She…What is her anem?

Ariel Landrum 1:05:06
The ultimate Sass Queen.

Stefanie Bautista 1:05:07
The ultimate Sass Queen.

Ariel Landrum 1:05:08
Kat Dennings.

Stefanie Bautista 1:05:09
Kat Dennings is also in a sitcom Two Broke Girls on CBS.

Ariel Landrum 1:05:14
And..

Stefanie Bautista 1:05:14
She.. Yeah, and she’s also

Ariel Landrum 1:05:16
The dolls one?

Stefanie Bautista 1:05:18
Yes. Dollface.

Ariel Landrum 1:05:20
Yes. Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 1:05:20
It was yeah fun show on Hulu and has a fantastic set of girls that are just so weird. Quirky. And is part of everybody’s girl group I guess girl group of friends of anyway watch Dollface it’s hilarious.

Ariel Landrum 1:05:36
It’s hilarious. Particularly the brunch episode.

Stefanie Bautista 1:05:41
That whole series is just so funny. So she brings a little bit of her snarkiness and sassiness from Two Broke Girls and Dollface into the MCU as Darcy and she did Darcy before she did those sitcoms. And and being in Thor and seeing the comedic style in Thor change from the first Thor to Ragnarok. I think she brought a little bit of that too. So that was really cool to see because it’s familiar. Seeing those two characters pulled from a Marvel Universe into now Wanda’s world and introducing Monica Rambeau who is from the Captain Marvel movies, who is played by Teyonah Paris who is beautiful by the way. She…

Ariel Landrum 1:06:25
Grog. Gorgeous.

Stefanie Bautista 1:06:26
A gorgeous human being. Everything looked fantastic on her. And…

Ariel Landrum 1:06:31
Yes, it was it didn’t matter what outfit home girl was wearing grog.

Stefanie Bautista 1:06:35
I mean, everybody looked amazing. But she so gorgeous Teyonah Paris, shout out to you. Did an amazing job becoming Photon. Who will we will probably see in the later movies. But yeah, there’s just like, overall the feel the vibe, the the tone of Wandavision and the unknowing and mystery of it I loved. What I would have liked to see was more episodes because I feel like they were so honed into the Bewitched and the I Love Lucy and the I Dream of Jeannie eras, that they didn’t give that due diligence to other eras. And I think it could have maybe she could have used those 80’s 90’s sitcoms to interact with the townspeople more.

Ariel Landrum 1:07:25
Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 1:07:25
And I would have liked to see what their perspective was because as they were sort of becoming self realized that they were in a world that wasn’t theirs. And they were you know, trapped essentially, I think those instances would have really made it difficult for Wanda to want to continue, because she was juggling, “Do I do this for my family? Do I save these people because they also have families that they are missing. And you know, I’m changing their world in order to make my world better.” I think that would have given a lot more depth to her dilemma. And not just throwing Agatha in there right away. But also I wanted to see more Agatha and Wanda interactions.

Ariel Landrum 1:08:05
Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 1:08:05
It was so electric seeing them on screen. And Kathryn Hahn, who has been in so many different sitcoms, the first time I saw her was on Parks and Recreation as the no nonsense lawyer that is funily on enough representing Bobby Newport who is Paul Rudd, who is Ant Man. So all of these all of these fun connections that I was making, in my mind, being an avid consumer of pop culture.

Ariel Landrum 1:08:31
Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 1:08:32
Seeing her step into Agatha and being really scary and just like controlling and that that ultimate portrayal of a witch who is just out there to just destroy. She played that really well. And I think that witch versus witch. “Who is good who is bad are they both bad? Are they both just gonna destroy this earth?” I wanted to see more depth in that so more episodes would have been greatly appreciated. I hear that they’re not doing as season 2 is that correct?

Ariel Landrum 1:09:01
That’s what I hear as well. Hopefully that’s just a rumor and that there or or that it’s gonna be titled something different right? Like Falcon and Winter Soldier who is no longer the Falcon is Cap.

Stefanie Bautista 1:09:14
Captain America.

Ariel Landrum 1:09:15
Uhh I don’t know.

Stefanie Bautista 1:09:16
Scarlet Witch Vision?

Ariel Landrum 1:09:18
Scarlet Vision.

Stefanie Bautista 1:09:21
Hey, you know what? That could be a play on her seeing red, and that symbolism of her’s. She’s just now we see her in her remote village somewhere is it probably there’s the Sokovia I don’t know where it is…

Ariel Landrum 1:09:33
Some kind of Eastern Europe area yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 1:09:35
She’s in the Himalaya somewhere. She has red eyes. She’s controlling her projecting of herself in front of the house and she’s trying to get her babies back. So you can see that she is fully seeing scarlet because she is just laser focused on getting her family back. So Disney if you’re listening… Marvel if you’re listening… We have an idea for you, which is probably an idea that you probably thought of already.

Ariel Landrum 1:10:04
Yes. Probably an idea. We will we will only take 2%.

Yes we will only take 2%. Hey, but that’s a big chunk though. I’ll take it. take what I can get.

Stefanie Bautista 1:10:16
But yeah, is there anything else you want to say about one division? Oh, I didn’t get my rating, right?

Ariel Landrum 1:10:21
Yeah, what’s your rating?

Stefanie Bautista 1:10:23
Man. I think just this is my favorite. Did I did I say Loki was my favorites. I love Loki so much. But Wandavision. It just speaks to my vintage retro heart and all of the things that I love about pop culture growing up. So if I gave Loki… Did I give it an 8.5?

Ariel Landrum 1:10:47
I think you were in the middle between Rachel and I.

Stefanie Bautista 1:10:51
Yeah, I was in the middle. I put it at an 8.5 to maybe even an 8.6. Just because the styles were just so true in the beginning, and they really got the costume down. And it really pissed a lot of people off, which I loved. I love that I got the the Neck Beards shaking. It’s always fun to see that and it’s always fun to see the fandom shock because if the fandom shock, then you know you did a good job, because you really. You are really onto something, and it’s usually a hit with Marvel. Sometimes it’s a miss, but we haven’t seen a mess since I think the Incredible Hulk?

Ariel Landrum 1:11:37
What? There was no Incredible Hulk movie that doesn’t exist.

Stefanie Bautista 1:11:40
Edward Norton that wasn’t Oh, that was Fight Club. That’s right. It was all it was all a figment of his imagination.

Ariel Landrum 1:11:46
Yes, yes.

Stefanie Bautista 1:11:47
That’s right. That was part of Fight Club. Yeah, it was really good to see that.

Ariel Landrum 1:11:54
I think for me, the only thing is, again, in regards to the music, and I really loved the scene where they had “elped Me Rhonda playing to then all of a sudden Help Me Wanda.

Stefanie Bautista 1:12:06
Yeah. So good.

Ariel Landrum 1:12:07
I think that was a good sort of like narrative shift.

Stefanie Bautista 1:12:12
So good. Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 1:12:14
But yeah, I think that I don’t know if we’ll get something similar to this again. In regards to any of the the Marvel movies or shows. I think we’re gonna get very traditional back to the Marvel Marvel formula. And so I I’m okay with that. I’m okay with this being it’s it’s you it’s unique thing, I think that there’s no way to recreate this and have it just be as magical.

Stefanie Bautista 1:12:43
The timing was so right, we were coming out of the pandemic, sort of, right, we weren’t out of it, we’re kind of back in it. But everybody was still at home. We were still consuming media, mainly through our television screens and our computer screens. And I think the timing was just right to reintroduce the Marvel Cinematic Universe in this way, because we haven’t seen anything since everything shut down. So, it was a perfect way to launch Disney+ Marvel media.

Ariel Landrum 1:13:12
Yeah, yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 1:13:14
Because they saw how successful like you said the Mandalorian was. And because they knew it was successful for Star Wars, they’re like, “Hey, we have a whole new phase to introduce. And it’s gonna take a lot of details.” So now knowing that they’re using this in tandem with the movies, it really kind of conditioned us to consume this sort of media in this grand world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And get ready to dive in and analyze alongside each other with movies and TV.

Ariel Landrum 1:13:49
So Stef, the Happiest Pod on Earth universe. What will be up on our docket next? What do we have coming up?

Stefanie Bautista 1:13:58
What do we have on our docket next? I know that we are done with Well, we’re not done with talking about all the shows. Right? We still have to talk about Falcon and Winter Soldier which I loved so many things about.

Ariel Landrum 1:14:11
Yeah

Stefanie Bautista 1:14:12
I love Sam. I love Sam and I love Bucky and they’re they’re like, they’re like the boyband that exists in my Marvel heart.

Ariel Landrum 1:14:26
The bromance.

Stefanie Bautista 1:14:27
The bromance, and you guys will come to see how much I love buddy cop comedies.

Ariel Landrum 1:14:33
Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 1:14:34
I have so many favorites, but I’ll talk about that later. So we are going to be talking about Falcon and Winter Soldier pretty soon. But I know that we’re gonna have some special guests, right?

Ariel Landrum 1:14:44
Yeah. So yeah, yeah, we’re gonna have a guest tell us their experience on webslinger. We we have a friend who got in.

Stefanie Bautista 1:14:53
He did it.

Ariel Landrum 1:14:53
He did it. I also know that we’re going to talk about AIA combining our music passion with our passion Disney karaoke.

Stefanie Bautista 1:15:04
Yes. Disney karaoke which is the thing, guys. So don’t don’t believe the memes.

Ariel Landrum 1:15:09
Don’t believe the memes. It’s real. It’s real.

Stefanie Bautista 1:15:10
Yeah, we’re gonna talk about karaoke. And the ways that we use karaoke to connect and the ways that we’re going to use karaoke and music, especially Disney music, to, to relate to other people, other fans and the way that the uniqueness of Disney music connects us and our kids too. Yep, so a lot of things to look forward to. I will be going to the parks hopefully soon.

Ariel Landrum 1:15:38
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 1:15:39
So you’ll see that in an episode. Hopefully, I have a good experience. Fingers crossed.

Ariel Landrum 1:15:44
Fingers crossed.

Stefanie Bautista 1:15:44
Because I want to have at least experience that you had Ariel because you had a really good experience.

Ariel Landrum 1:15:50
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 1:15:51
Yeah, okay. But once again, thank you for listening to the Happiest Pod on Earth. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter at happiest, @happiestpodGT, and on Instagram @hoppiestpodGT, where we will be updating you on all things happening in the Disney Marvel Star Wars universe.

Ariel Landrum 1:16:11
Absolutely. Bye, everybody.

Stefanie Bautista 1:16:13
Bye.

Media / Characters Mentioned
  • Wandavision
  • Wanda Maximoff
  • Vision
  • Pietro Maximoff
  • Monica Rambeau
  • I Love Lucy
  • I Dream of Jeannie
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show
  • Malcolm in the Middle
  • Bikini Kill
  • Riot Grrl
Topics/Themes Mentioned
  • Style
  • Identity
  • Grief
  • Trauma
  • Safety
  • Safety corner
  • Presentation
  • Caregiver
  • Chaos
  • Control

Questions? Comments? Discuss this episode on the GT Forum.

Questions? Comments? Discuss this episode on the GT Forum.

Find us at happy.geektherapy.com | On Instagram: @HappiestPodGT | Stef: @stefa_knee | Ariel: @airyell3000

Episode Shout Outs | Billy The Movie Grader: @TheMovieGrader |

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