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IN PHOTOS: Wanda Vision Takes Its Audience Through Decades Of Middle-American Suburban Life

Awarded for Best Production Design at the 73rd Emmy Awards, Mark Worthington had a field day working with period furniture sourced from vintage shops, Craigslist and 1st Dibs

Besting four other shows in its category, Outstanding Production Design For A Narrative Program (Half-Hour) - 2021, Disney +’s Wanda Vision is a trip down memory lane.  Specifically, middle class suburban America through the decades.  

Taking inspiration from various sitcoms through the decades, from I Love Lucy (1951-1957), to I Dream Of Genie (1957-1960) , to The Brady Bunch (1969-1974), Full House (1987-1995) , Family Ties (1982-1989) and Modern Family (2009-2020), the show, which can be thought of as a sequel to Avengers: Endgame (Marvel, 2019), was designed by Mark Worthington whose credentials include American Horror Story and The Umbrella Academy.  Known as the Hollywood small screen’s “Mr. Retro,” Worthington recounts the experience designing this Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany starrer.  “Period work is something I enjoy.  I do a fair amount of it.  Part of it comes from my background in theater.   I always start with story and character,” he told Architectural Digest.  

All The Grit Behind Glitz And The Glamor Of The 93rd Academy Awards’ Set Design


All The Grit Behind Glitz And The Glamor Of The 93rd Academy Awards’ Set Design

Wanda Vision illustrates Worthington’s expertise with its rooms exhibiting each time period with a masterful balance of furniture and decor in order to deliver just the right amount of fantasy and surrealism without driving the focus away from the plot and the action carried out in the series. This was achieved with a combination of sourcing vintage shops in Atlanta, Craigslist and 1st Dibs.  When needed, customized pieces were created for the show.  Careful to portray middle class American life, Worthington stuck to non-designer pieces that felt appropriate for the time period they portrayed.  You won’t see designer pieces here.  Bertoias and Breuer furniture, for example, did not belong to suburban middle-class American homes.  Instead, he stuck with retro Americana, easy on the eyes and appealing on-screen.

“Sets have their own personality.  There’s a period aspect to it.  It’s stylized by an approach to character, story and tone… A lot of it is good design no matter what the era.  People are attracted to good design,” he concludes with Architectural Digest.

He also talks about his work in Wanda Vision in this Indie Wire video:

The four other nominees in this category at the 73rd Emmy Awards were Emily In Paris, Hacks, Ted Lasso, and United States Of Al.