Earlier this yr, the MCU radically subverted its viewers’s expectations with WandaVision, a present that was devoid of superhero motion for a months’ price of episodes and whose largest battle (no less than within the early days) was an ill-prepared banquet. In the fashion of an previous black-and-white sitcom, WandaVision chronicled Wanda and Vision’s comical misadventures within the tranquil suburban neighborhood of Westview.
The collection paid homage to a ton of beloved sitcoms from each period of tv, from I Love Lucy to Full House to Modern Family, however arguably the present’s largest affect – no less than in its early 4:3 B&W episodes – was The Dick Van Dyke Show. Wanda is seen watching the present as a toddler within the episode “Previously On,” and Dick Van Dyke himself labored on the collection as a advisor.
The Dick Van Dyke Show is one of many best sitcoms ever made and it’s a bingeable gem that also holds up within the streaming age. It could take a few episodes to get used to the old-timey format, however when you get to know the Petries, you’ll blaze via the present’s 158 half-hour episodes. The cultural references are clearly dated – Danny Thomas is not the world-renowned showman he was in 1963 – however the characters and their relationships and the hilarious conditions they discover themselves in are all timeless.
Created by comedy legend Carl Reiner, The Dick Van Dyke Show stars Dick Van Dyke (clearly) as Rob Petrie, the pinnacle author of the sketch selection collection The Alan Brady Show, and Mary Tyler Moore as his spouse Laura. While most sitcoms deal with marital squabbles, The Dick Van Dyke Show always reinforces the energy of Rob and Laura’s marriage. The collection’ conflicts are extra “us versus the world” than “us versus each other.” Frankly, The Dick Van Dyke Show has a extra progressive view of gender roles than lots of sitcoms on the air as we speak.
Reiner based mostly The Dick Van Dyke Show on his experiences writing for Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows. In addition to drawing comedic hijinks from Rob’s marriage, parenting, and basic buffoonery, it additionally wrings loads of laughs out of his profitable profession as a jokester. A stark distinction to all of the mundane white-collar jobs peddled by sitcoms of the ‘50s and ‘60s, Rob spends his days in the office writing sketches for Alan Brady with his creative partners Buddy Sorrell and Sally Rogers, played with pitch-perfect old-school comic timing by the scene-stealing Morey Amsterdam and Rose Marie. Wisecracking motormouth Buddy was loosely based on Mel Brooks and the hilariously dry Sally was loosely based on Selma Diamond and Lucille Kallen. With its tantalizing promise that young viewers could one day make a living goofing off with their friends like Rob, The Dick Van Dyke Show inspired a generation of comedy writers.
“It May Look Like a Walnut,” the season 2 episode that Wanda and her family watch in WandaVision’s Sokovia flashbacks, is likely one of the best TV episodes ever to hit the airwaves. In 1997, TV Guide ranked it because the fifteenth best episode within the historical past of tv, and in 2009, they bumped it as much as the #13 spot. In the episode, Rob catches a science fiction film on TV about alien invaders and turns into satisfied that the otherworldly walnut-based conspiracy depicted within the movie has spilled out into his actual life. It’s a spot-on spoof of paranoid sci-fi tales like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which have been massively in style within the ‘50s and ‘60s in the wake of McCarthyism.
And that’s simply the tip of the iceberg. “It May Look Like a Walnut” is praised as one in all The Dick Van Dyke Show’s greatest installments, however the collection has no scarcity of nice episodes. In season 3’s “That’s My Boy?,” Rob recounts how he grew to become satisfied that he got here dwelling from the hospital with the improper child. It culminates in a hysterical second that doubles as an ideal visible punchline for the episode and an early instance of depicting racial equality on tv. Season 4’s “Never Bathe on Saturday” is a meticulously crafted farce that builds on the outrageous premise of Laura getting her toe caught in a tub spout with a bunch of hilarious payoffs. In season 5’s “Coast-to-Coast Big Mouth,” Laura by accident reveals on nationwide tv that Alan Brady wears a hairpiece and braces herself for the nuclear fallout.
There are traditional episodes in each season of The Dick Van Dyke Show and there aren’t any really horrible episodes that should be skipped (apart from the unique pilot, Head of the Family, which some streaming platforms cram into the center of the primary season – it’s only a watered-down model of the present it will definitely grew to become with actors who aren’t proper for the roles). Unlike most sitcoms, The Dick Van Dyke Show by no means dipped in high quality all through its whole half-decade-long run. It’s a present that’s very best for binge-watching, regardless that it was created about 50 years earlier than binge-watching was even a factor.