For many people worldwide, September 17th is just a normal day, but for me it is a day of celebrating and reliving the magic of Bewitched that was first introduced to television screens on this day back in 1964 when a beautiful nose twitching young witch named Samantha married a common ordinary mortal, and lived happily ever after with frequent cataclysmic disturbances from Endora, everyone’s favorite meddling mother in law from hell in this enduring television sitcom that continues to evoke fond memories decades after its initial premiere.
Released in 1964, a time that was dominated by hippie communes, financial hardship and depravity, Bewitched served as an escapist vehicle for many audiences who wanted to elude the struggles of everyday life. After enduring months or sometimes years of personal burden, a plethora of people found television to be the perfect way to escape the daily emotional crises while they became immersed in the idyllic lifestyle that was quite often depicted on screen.
That is exactly watched Bewitched did. Scripted with its own unique brand of comic artistry and wrapped around an illusionary fairy-tale, the entire series made an effort to sway in different directions of humanity instead of focusing on the harsh realities of life. In February 1964, Betty Friedan wrote an essay criticizing the way women were often portrayed on television. She stated that the majority of female characters appeared stupid, unattractive and insecure household drudges. She also detested the fact that most of their time was spent dreaming about love and plotting revenge on their husbands.
“Samantha, I will not stand here and be insulted by something which is 94 percent water.”
“Oh, yeah! Well, what about something which is a hundred percent hot air?”
Seven months later a different type of formula was introduced when Bewitched hit television screens. Friedan who was generally a tough critic when it came to women’s movement and the way it was portrayed on screen was impressed with what she witnessed. Samantha Stephens was not the typical housewife whose existence consisted of menial duties and succumbing to the charms of other men. Samantha was a woman who embodied all the qualities of a perfect house wife. She was compassionate to her husband, and she propelled his success as much as possible. On the other hand there was Endora who despised what household life was doing to her daughter, but instead of addressing the situation in a disturbing manner, Endora used an acidic approach that really encapsulates the affects of household drudgery, and what would happen if Samantha decided to abandon her magic powers altogether.
In addition to all that is the premise of Bewitched. Many people liked the idea of having a story that revolves around a beautiful young witch who plans to abandon her powers for the sake of her mortal husband who wants her to lead a normal life in suburban America. The fact that a witch is willing to do such a thing despite the disapproval and the animosity of mortals that her mother and fellow relatives inhabit is intriguing to a plethora of people.
Bewitched also epitomized the American dream. Along with the colorful array of characters whose flamboyant nature and eccentricities were captivating, people worldwide yearned for the luxurious lifestyle that the Stephens led. They wanted an established house with two cars, but most of all they wanted a richer and fuller land where they could vanquish financial ruin and the struggles of everyday life.
As the years progressed, several notable television productions from the golden era has went into oblivion, but Bewitched has continued to retain its popularity, and even today it still manages to stand in a pivotal position in television history.
Sadly a large majority of people from today’s generation have never seen Bewitched. This is largely due to the fact that the television industry has waned. Almost every sitcom that adorned television screens yesteryear are getting no exposure to today’s audiences.
Like a plethora of other people, I was first introduced to Bewitched when I was a child. My mother was always as equally absorbed in Bewitched as I was, and once I was at the age where I was able to fully comprehend the nature of the series, Mum was eager to treat me to viewings of this wonderful television show that has continued to mesmerize audiences for several years even after it’s last run. This was back in the days when I was still in Primary School, a time that many television channels were repeating a few classic sitcoms. However as the years passed, the television industry sank deeper into atrophy, and almost everything being shown are the over-publicized manufactured programs that seem to warrant a vigorous response from today’s audiences.
If it weren’t for Agnes Moorehead, my passion for Bewitched may have never materialized. With the quality entertainment of yesteryear getting absolutely no exposure today, I generally forgot about Bewitched and the other programs I enjoyed watching on television with mum when I was a child. By the time I reached late primary school, I developed an interest in classic film, but it wasn’t until my adoration for Agnes Moorehead first evolved that I would begin to acquire a craving for Bewitched.
Bewitched is unlike any other television series. While I enjoy a myriad of classic television sitcoms, I wouldn’t classify myself as a TV enthusiast. Most programs I very rarely watch, but Bewitched is something that I have to watch everyday, and no matter how many times I’ve exhausted the entire eight seasons in my complete series box-set, Bewitched will always hold a special place in my heart.
So without further ado, here’s a Bewitched pictorial. Enjoy.