In the history of television, Bewitched is considered to be among the most memorable sitcoms to ever grace the TV screen. Since it’s inception in 1964 to it’s last season in 1972, millions of people worldwide were tuned in to their daily viewings of this highly celebrated classic that has left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry.
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.
Bewitched was unlike any other television show. In a world that was full of corruption, the idyllic lifestyle that was portrayed in Bewitched was an escape away from the depravity that was largely dominant at the time. Audiences liked nothing more than eluding from the current hardships in life to be immersed in a magical world of witches and warlocks and the difficult but yet comical situation that ensues when a beautiful young witch marries a typical American guy who happens to be a mortal.
Bewitched epitomized the American dream. The series was abounded with colorful characters whose eccentricity was captivating. For many the major highlight was Samantha who possessed beauty with her golden blonde hair, scintillating glare, vivacious spirit and her unforgettable nose wiggle that performed magic every time it tweaked, but for me it was the flamboyant character of Endora, the meddling mother of Samantha whose powers and witticisms I have always marvelled at.
Agnes Moorehead’s character of Endora brings back all the fond memories of watching Bewitched when I was younger. I remember being enthralled by her magical presence and her astute delivery of her wise cracking dialogue that proved the point with each acidic phrase uttered that Endora was nothing more than a mortal loathing witch who always displayed her disapproval of Samantha marrying a mere mortal by casting spells on Darrin and refusing to refer to Darrin by his real name and alternatively calling him an array of other names which include, Durwood, Darwin, What’s his name, and Dumb Dumb.
In addition to the other vivid characters was Samantha’s jovial Aunt Clara whose amiable presence made audiences fall in love with her and feel sorry for her every time her witchcraft failed, causing her to make a mistake which was always challenging to resolve, but despite her innumerable mishaps that were fuelled by her declining magic, Aunt Clara was the only member of Samantha’s family that Darrin appreciated and held in high regard.
Once you combine each character and add them into the series, it is difficult to choose which episode to write about. I immensely enjoy every episode from the entire eight seasons, but after some tough thinking, I decided to select a few favourites of mine.
But before I start, I want to provide a brief analysis of the first episode of Bewitched for those who are unfamiliar with this perennial situation comedy.
SEASON 1. EPISODE 1: SEPTEMBER 17TH, 1964: “I DARRIN, TAKE THIS WITCH, SAMANTHA”.
Bewitched first came to life on the screen on September 17th, 1964 when the narrator opened the first ever episode with a fairytale introductory of “Once upon a time” which is accompanied by the immaculate presence of a beautiful young witch named Samantha ( Elizabeth Montgomery ) walking down the street. Moments later Samantha enters a city building where she keeps bumping into a young American guy. After a series of these brief encounters the two decide to talk it over, and before we know it they are married and on their honeymoon which turns out be turbulent when Samantha’s mother, Endora ( Agnes Moorehead ) gracefully makes her entrance.
Endora despises mortals and immediately shows her antipathy towards Samantha’s new husband, but as much as she tries to break the marriage, Samantha is determined to live a happy fulfilled life with Darrin ( Dick York ) without her mothers interference, but first she must break the news to Darrin that she is a witch.
SEASON 1. EPISODE 9: NOVEMBER 12TH, 1964: “WITCH OR WIFE”
This episode revolves around Samantha and Endora and the loneliness that Samantha endures when Darrin phones from his office to cancel their dinner engagement due to being loaded with extra work while his boss, Larry Tate is in Paris for business. As a result Samantha is forced to stay home to resort to eating TV dinners and playing Solitaire during the day. However she gets to elude her solitary existence when her mother pays her a visit and suggests that they have lunch at a lavish restaurant in Paris. Samantha reluctantly accepts Endora’s invitation and without Darrin’s cognizance they fly to Paris.
Problems arise when Samantha and Endora encounter Larry Tate and his wife Louise at a fashion show in Paris. Samantha tries her hardest to be unnoticed, but unfortunately for Samantha, Larry sees and approaches her and instantly invites Samantha and Endora to have dinner with him and Louise. To add to the already complicated situation, Larry decides to phone Darrin at his office to tell him that he’s with Samantha, but after a few altercations Darrin eventually forgives Samantha and once he discovers that she has returned to Paris he eventually embarks on a vacation to Paris to meet Samantha.
SEASON 2. EPISODE 37: SEPTEMBER 16TH, 1965: “ALIAS DARRIN STEPHENS”
After one full year of being happily married, Darrin and Samantha are off to celebrate their first anniversary when suddenly they hear a large crash in the backyard which happens to be Aunt Clara who after a false attempt at witchcraft has crashed into the gazebo. As it turns out, Aunt Clara has came to wish them a happy anniversary and to give Samantha an apron and Darrin a golf cap as a gift, but once she discovers that the golf cap is too small she decides to fix it by doing a spell. Unfortunately for Darrin, Aunt Clara’s magic has again failed her when in a puff a smoke, Darrin is turned into a chimpanzee.
Fast forward to the next morning. Aunt Clara forgets the spell and is unable to break it and Samantha cannot release Darrin from his current state. This leaves Samantha in a pickle as Darrin is expected at work and Samantha has to phone Larry to say that Darrin isn’t feeling himself and will be absent. To make matters worse, Endora instantaneously shows up and recognizes Darrin which makes Samantha feel that Endora is amused at their situation, but since Endora has arrived she is forced to watch over Darrin while Samantha goes to her appointment where it is revealed that she is pregnant with a daughter that will be named Tabitha.
After the completion of season two, Bewitched would continue for another seven years until the termination of the eighth season. Forty four years since the shows cessation, audiences will forever be Bewitched in the unforgettable series known as “Bewitched”.
Rest In Peace to all the stars of Bewitched, and thank you for the many hours of entertainment.