The time has come to talk about . . . “Bewitched.”
If ever a television show made not the slightest amount sense, it is that one. I’m not speaking of people popping in and out and turning into things because those are perfectly logical compared to the idea of a gorgeous witch who could have anything in the world shackling herself to a dull, narrow-minded, imperious twit like Derwood. If I were her mother, I’d be disappointed, too.
Of course, this isn’t anything that hasn’t been endlessly rehashed and debated for forty years. What I’m really concerned with today is the idea that Darrin can be considered an advertising genius, even in the 1960s, when all he does is write insipid jingles to the tunes of “Old MacDonald” and “Pop! Goes the Weasel.” The really funny part is always when Larry and the client du jour come over to the Stephens’ house at the end of every episode and discover Darrin turned into something bizarre, which Samantha invariably explains away by coming up with an entire ad campaign and sales pitch on the spot. And the client invariably loves this more than anything Darrin and Larry came up with earlier.
So isn’t Samantha the real advertising genius in the family? Add that to her other roles of witch, wife, mother, and housekeeper, and why does she need Darrin at all? She should have just had Esmerelda in to watch the kids and opened up her own award-winning agency on Madison Avenue. Instead, she’s worried about her husband coming home to a dusty house. No wonder Darrin wanted to keep her home all the time: if Samantha had ever encountered just one 1960s/1970s Women’s Libber, that would have been all she wrote.
The other thing I wonder about is Larry. How many times did Samantha and Darrin convince him that he was hallucinating when things appeared or disappeared in front of his eyes? And yet, there’s no evidence Larry ever saw a psychiatrist. Mrs. Kravitz was a different story, because everyone knew she was crazy with or without seeing things at the Stephens’ house, but here is Larry, who owns a successful advertising agency and has his run of the town, having hallucinations left and right, and no one has thought to lock him up somewhere for his own good. This is particularly galling when you consider that Larry, with his ruthless greed, was the real villain of the show, not Endora, who was only looking out for her daughter’s well-being.
The funny thing is, thanks to “Bewitched,” if I saw something appear or disappear before my eyes, the first thing I would think is that there was a wise witch around pulling a prank, not that there was something wrong with my brain. But then again, I suppose that is the chief indicator that there is something wrong with my brain.