Bewitched TV Poster Image

Bewitched

(i)

 

Classic sitcom about twitchy-nosed witch still entertains.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Though the series is positive and upbeat and emphasizes the importance of family, it also reflects the values of its time, including now-dated gender roles. That said, there's lso some subtle reflection of the changing social attitudes that took place during the 1960s and early '70s.

Positive role models

Samantha is clever and resourceful -- even though that often means using magic despite her husband's disapproval. Speaking of Darrin, he can exhibit some pretty sexist attitudes (though theyr'e fairly accurate for the show's original time period). Samantha’s relatives disapprove of her "mixed marriage" and often try to create problems between her and Darrin.

Violence & scariness

Some of the gags are physical (falls, etc.), but they're not violent.

Sexy stuff

Samantha and Darrin were one of the first TV couples to sleep together in the same bed. Samantha is pregnant during some seasons. Occasionally the two are shown hugging or lightly kissing each other.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Occasionally men are shown smoking cigars (accurate for the era). Hard liquor and cocktails are sometimes visible. Sometimes magical spells make characters act a little "tipsy."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that classic sitcom Bewitched -- which revolves around a witch trying to live a regular mortal life in American suburbia -- reflects the values of the time, including some now-dated ideas about men and women's roles in society. Witchcraft is often used to both create conflict and resolve problems, and there's occasional cigar smoking and drinking (by adults). The tensions surrounding societal changes in America over the course of the show's run are subtly addressed -- but all of that will probably go over kids' head as they giggle at the nose twitches and silly scenarios.

Parents say

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What's the story?

Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) is a witch who marries mortal Darrin Stephens (played by both Dick York and Dick Sargent) and tries to live a normal life in the suburbs. Despite her promise to Darrin not to use witchcraft, Samantha often finds herself casting spells with a twitch of her nose -- usually to undo the magical chaos created by meddlesome family members like her mother, Endora (Agnes Moorehead), and her Uncle Arthur (Paul Lynde). Their children, Tabitha (Erin Diane Murphy) and Adam (David Greg Lawrence), also inherit some witchy powers -- and further complicating things are Darrin’s overanxious boss, Larry Tate (David White), and the family’s nosy neighbor, Gladys Kravitz (played by both Alice Pearce and Sandra Gould). It gets pretty hectic, but Samantha always manages to work it all out in the end.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

BEWITCHED, which originally aired from 1964 to 1972, mixes supernatural fun with traditional family values and gender roles. But despite its focus on Samantha’s domestic role, the show does reflect some of the cultural changes of the time. Witches and witchcraft became metaphors for discussing contemporary issues like racial discrimination. Meanwhile, Samantha’s clothing -- which changed from classic ‘50s fashions to more hippie-like attire over the years -- offered subtle commentary about the country’s social transformation.

A testament to the show’s popularity is its longevity despite major modifications, including going from black and white to Technicolor and re-casting Darrin halfway through its eight-year run. And despite the fact that some of it now feels very dated, today’s Bewitched fans can still find humor in the show’s running gags. All of these things make the series -- along with Samantha’s unique nose twitch -- a memorable part of American TV culture.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how women's changing role in society has been depicted in the media over the years. How has that portrayal changed in the time since this show originally aired?

  • Why do some TV shows stay popular after major changes (like recasting key roles) while others lose viewers? Do you think it's a matter of luck, or are there other reasons?

  • If you had magical powers, do you think you'd be able to stop yourself from using them? Why or why not?

TV details

Cast:Dick Sargent, Dick York, Elizabeth Montgomery
Network:Syndicated
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Magic and fantasy
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:DVD

This review of Bewitched was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old June 13, 2011

Has the wife as the slave and the Husband as the ruler

A lot of kissing and a lot of alchohol. But very charming and easy-going.
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old November 28, 2010

Awesome show for kids that understand that drinking is bad!

I really love this show! It's almost as good as Gilligan's Island. However, it isn't the best for really little kids because of drinking influence, and they may not understand all the jokes (I still don't!)
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written bymediaiscool January 22, 2014

BE Watching BE-Witched!!

Bewitched is my absolute favorite show in the entire universe. It's sad that not too many people know about or watch Bewitched anymore. The show is about a witch (Elizabeth Montgomery) trying to adjust mortal life as a suburban house wife. However, relatives including her mother Endora meddle with her and disapprove of her not using witchcraft after marrying Darrin. Plots are funny and clever, characters are so fun and likable, (I like Uncle Arthur), show is classic. Show will get plenty of laughs. There should be no concerns with children watching this...
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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