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Archive for July 7th, 2017

by Lucille Juliano

                                    “Once upon a time, there was a typical American girl

                                     who happened to bump into a typical red-blooded

                                     American boy…And she bumped into him…And

                                     bumped into him…And bumped into him. So they

                                     decided they’d better sit down and talk this over

                                     before they had an accident. They became good

                                     friends.  They found they had a lot of interests in

                                     common…Movies…Television…Radio…Bridges

                                     Trains…And when the boy found the girl attractive,

                                     desirable, irresistible…he did what any red-blooded

                                     American boy would do. He asked her to marry him.

                                     They had a typical wedding…Went on a typical

                                     Honeymoon…In a typical bridal suite…EXCEPT

                                    It so happens that this girl is a witch!”

(Opening narration, pilot episode, I, Darrin, Take This Witch, Samantha, aired Sept. 17, 1964)

Though Bewitched was primarily designed to amuse its audience and deliver laughter, it was also at heart a love story about two very different people, Samantha and Darrin.  The show actually addressed inter-racial marriage and prejudice right from the start.  During the pilot episode, Endora, Samantha’s mother pops in the bedroom of the bridal suite while Samantha is changing.  When Samantha tells her that she is married, Endora assumes it is to a warlock.  Samantha cautiously announces that she married a mortal.  As the conversation continues, Endora states that mortals are prejudice against witches because they think that all witches are ugly, evil, wear black, and ride brooms on Halloween.  Samantha assures her that Darrin is not like that and is a good person.  Endora prods her to tell Darrin that she is a witch.  Endora leaves and Samantha proceeds to tell Darrin.  His immediate reaction after Samantha provides proof that she has magical powers is to ask about wearing black and flying a broom on Halloween.  During the episode, Darrin decides that he will not tell his family and friends about Samantha being a witch.  Darrin tells Samantha that he accepts her as she is and loves her very much.  Samantha promises to comply with Darrin’s wishes to not use witchcraft and to do things herself because she loves him very much. This marked the beginning of what would be an eight season run on ABC.

The moral of every episode is the same: No matter how much one tries to conceal one’s innate attributes in order to fit into the society at large, it will fail.  Spirituality must always triumph over matters of commerce.  Love conquers all.  While Samantha adapts to Darrin’s wishes for her to become a traditional suburban housewife, her magical family opposes the very idea of this mixed marriage and regularly intrudes in the couple’s lives.  Episodes often commence with Darrin becoming the pawn of a family member who casts a spell on him.  The results of these incantations often cause mayhem amongst mortals such as his boss, clients, parents, and neighbors.  By the conclusion of every episode, however, Darrin and Samantha usually hug each other having beaten the shrewd elements that failed to split them up. (more…)

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by Sam Juliano

Note:  No essay was ever claimed nor promised at a later time for this very rare Rainer Warner Fassbinder television work from the early 70’s.  Allan Fish himself coveted it, and hoped it would see the light of day from an enterprising DVD/blu ray company.  Of course that company turned out to be Arrow, and the release is set for later this summer.  The reason why it made this countdown is clearly on reputation, though two of our group claim they did see it in part when it was one time free to access on You Tube.  Alas, it is very difficult now to sort out a way to watch it.  It accumulated enough points to make the countdown, in good measure on the matter of reputation alone.  This is the only such instance on this countdown where such an event has played out.  The English title, “Eight Hours Don’t Make A Day” will be reviewed by Yours Truly right after I view the Arrow set I ordered.  Hence I will simply fill in the gap here, which will be well before this countdown concludes.

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