By Walter Metz
The vintage state of affairs comedy Bewitched chronicled the standard lives of Samantha, a witch, and Darrin Stephens, her mortal husband, dramatizing the often-humorous issues as a result of their "mixed marriage." for a lot of its eight-year run, Bewitched loved powerful recognition due to its extensive attraction. A parade of magical characters, animals, lighting tricks, and gimmickry used to painting witchcraft ensured that the sequence appealed strongly to young ones, whereas its household tensions, feminist undertones, and tricks at homosexual and lesbian culture grabbed the eye of grownup audience. Bewitched additionally participated in business concepts, just like the shift from black-and-white to paint tv construction, and located itself stuck within the political shift from Lyndon Johnson's nice Society to Richard Nixon's staunch conservatism. With all of those elements in brain, Walter Metz considers the sequence a major touchstone in Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies culture.
prior educational feedback on Bewitched simply considers a handful of episodes. This publication considers the Bewitched sequence as an entire, demonstrating that the express can glance very diversified based upon which of its episodes are being tested. Metz attracts a number of interlocking subject matters from the sequence, together with the political identification conflicts that come up from the Stephenses' marriage, the importance of heritage raised by means of characters popping out and in of the prior, the postwar surveillance tradition represented by means of the phobia of discovery of Samantha's mystery, and the show's self-reflexive stance towards tv itself. moreover, Metz situates Bewitched in tv background, reading the ways in which its creation innovations, storylines, and characters either borrowed from the previous and contributed their very own recommendations to the medium.
A cult favourite that keeps to air on a regular basis greater than 40 years after it first premiered, Bewitched has claimed a fashionable position in tv historical past. students of movie and tv experiences, in addition to enthusiasts of the exhibit, will savour Metz's cautious examine the show's attraction and the intense concerns raised through this liked and deceptively easy sitcom.
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Extra resources for Bewitched
While Endora again shows up in the episode as an invisible “back seat driver” to pressure Samantha into returning to her witch life, the biggest threat to the marriage in this instance appears to be Darrin himself. The next episode changes gears again (so to speak), returning to the threat posed by Samantha’s relatives in exposing her secret. In “There’s No Witch like an Old Witch” (#27, 4/1/65), kindly Aunt Clara offers to babysit for Darrin’s client’s children, an ill-conceived idea that nearly exposes Samantha’s identity; the elderly Aunt Clara’s magic is only intermittently effective, and often uncontrollable.
In the popular criticism of the day, as in much of the academic criticism that was to follow, Bewitched was predictable formula, through and through. 39 Bewitched 40 method for establishing the variances of series television. Here I examine a string of episodes from the middle of the first season, whose nuanced shifting of the show’s basic structure demonstrates the elegant possibilities of television textuality. While these episodes certainly represent a continuation of the narrative begun in the pilot, they also each engage a different set of questions posed by the show’s initial premise, often contradicting other episodes in terms of the key features of the narrative universe.
Bewitched similarly relies on portraits and photographs as markers of the past’s impingement on the present. In the episode “Eye of the Beholder” (#22, 2/25/65), Sam, Darrin, and Endora browse in an antique shop. Once again angry that Sam is rejecting her witch heritage, Endora causes trouble by zapping Sam’s visage into a painting, “The Maid of Salem” from 1682. Darrin spots the painting and, thinking that Sam really was a maid of Salem, buys it, hides it in his closet, and spirals into despair.
Bewitched by Walter Metz