I am, thus far, a bit frustrated with WandaVision. We are now three episodes in and the central conceit—Wanda and Vision are settling down in suburbia, but Something Is Wrong—has not advanced since episode one. Sure, things happen, but the things that happen are just reinforcing the central conceit we learned within the first 20 minutes of the show. The slow start continues. But! This week we’re not here to pick apart what is and isn’t working in WandaVision, we’re here to celebrate one pure, utterly enjoyable element of the show: the kitchen set. Kitchens are a core component of most sitcom sets, and WandaVision is no different. In the first two episodes, Wanda and Vision’s new home has a gleaming, cutting-edge kitchen with a fridge/freezer, a wall-mounted oven, countertop range, and under-cabinet dishwasher. These would all be the latest and greatest appliances in the 1950s/60s, and I, for one, am DEEPLY JEALOUS of Wanda’s kitchen.
Modeled after the kitchen in The Dick Van Dyke Show—Dick Van Dyke himself consulted on WandaVision—Wanda’s kitchen has a similar open shelving display for dishes and a radio. There is a center island, and a shuttered pass-through. This kitchen is GREAT, even in black and white. But the behind-the-scenes images from the making of WandaVision reveal this kitchen’s true power: the tone-on-tone powder blue cabinets and appliances. How I love colorful kitchen appliances! When I remodeled my kitchen a couple years ago, I desperately wanted some colorful, mid-century appliances, but my space was too big for the vintage “apartment” size appliances, and too small for the full-sized stuff, so I forewent my desire for classic appliances. But Wanda’s kitchen is EXACTLY what I was looking for. Look at that oven with the analog, sunburst-style timer!
The change to technicolor at the end of episode two teased us with a barely-there glimpse of a powder blue kitchen, but I was crushed when episode three, “Now In Color”, revealed a hideous 1970s kitchen of avocado and mustard, with laminate countertops and no charming mid-century appliances. I get it, the show is evolving with the period-accurate sitcom styles, but nothing will drive home the aesthetic drought in home goods during the 1970s like going from Wanda’s beautiful blue 1960s kitchen to the hideous laminate eyesore of The Brady Bunch. We barely spend any time at all in the 1970s kitchen, and no wonder. It is puke. It is puke colored, and it makes me want to puke. There has been a major resurgence in mid-century home style, but NO ONE is asking to revisit the 1970s FOR A REASON. The only cool thing in that kitchen is the spiral-cut pineapple.
No matter what comes in future episodes of WandaVision, no kitchen set will be as great as the 1960s set. It is perfection, it is the stuff of fevered Pinterest dreams. Wanda’s blue kitchen is aspirational, it is inspirational, she should be using her magic to, and I know how weird this sounds, stay in that kitchen forever. That kitchen is timeless. It was cutting-edge then, it is a vintage dream now. Even the PLATES are amazing, with what looks like a classic “atomic” china pattern (Etsy is full of the stuff, in porcelain and melamine, if you’re into it). Whatever happens, however this show turns out, it will be worth it because for two whole episodes WandaVision gave us a mid-century kitchen that I will dream about forever.