As Seen on TV: The Intersection of WandaVision and the Impact of Family Depictions in Sitcoms
Dissertation--MA; Drexel University, 2022.
Family life has been a staple of the sitcom genre since its inception. Still, the ubiquity of the ideal suburban family that first appeared in the mid-1950s has stayed a part of the genre and continues to impact how viewers perceive the average American family. The increased availability of old sitcoms on streaming services has created a need to better understand the impact of these depictions. The Disney+ limited series WandaVision (2021) provides a perfect basis to understand this role. Through an in-depth analysis of this series, this study examines the evolution of the sitcom family, from the picture-perfect 1950s to the present day, the roles each depiction served for their contemporary audiences, and the effects they have on the viewers of today. Using the concepts of Media Effects and Social Learning Theory to analyze the character of Wanda Maximoff, this study addresses what can happen when sitcoms’ unrealistic idea of normalcy impacts the lives of viewers.