Autumn has arrived. The leaves are turning colors, the nights are growing longer and cooler, and for many of us the spooky season has begun. In honor of the time of year, the next few Throwback Thursday posts will relate to Halloween in some way. This week’s Throwback is to a half-hour television sitcom from the 1960s and 70s that deals with a common symbol of the Halloween season: witches.
Bewitched is the story of Darrin and Samantha; two people who fall in love and get married in the first episode. No spoilers there. What Darrin doesn’t know until after they exchange vows is that Samantha is not like other women. Samantha is the daughter of the witch Endora and the warlock Maurice. Along with her parents, her extended family consists of Uncle Arthur, Aunt Clara, and Samantha’s look-alike cousin Serena (Elizabeth Montgomery played both Samantha and Serena). Samantha and all her relatives have magical powers.
For me, the real fun began when Darrin and Samantha had kids: Tabitha and Adam. Both kids turn out to have powers and, being kids, they used those powers whenever they wanted something. For this reason, I adored Bewitched. The idea of being able to make almost anything happen seemed, well, magical. Especially since the kids tended to conjure up things I would have wanted like making their toys come to life. A few episodes find Tabitha bringing the characters from one of her books into the real world. One of these occasions is a Halloween-themed episode where the characters end up Trick-or-Treating with Tabitha and Samantha. She later pulls Jack out of Jack and the Beanstalk.
The show lasted eight seasons and spanned a very formative part of my life. I identified with Tabitha because the two of us were very close in age. In some ways, Samantha and Darrin reminded me of my own parents, too. Despite the show revolving around witches, they felt like a very normal family. That’s why I could so easily imagine some of the outrageous situations happening in my own life. With this kind of influence on my developing imagination, it’s no wonder I became interested in writing.
Now I just need to figure out how to inject some of Samantha’s magic in my words.