Bewitched Season 8?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by David*P, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Messages:
    3,581
    Likes Received:
    346
    I agree with everything both Gary and Jeff are trying to say. I think we all agree that alcohol consumption can lead to tragic consequences. But if you don't mind, I'm still gonna laugh my head off every time I watch the scene where Imogene Coca discovers the delights of brandy...It's all forgiveable. Alcohol was still wearing the mask of Comedy for the most part when Bewitched aired. I don't think I've seen many "funny drunk" scenes on television since its day, but Bewitched certainly wasn't alone. Even Lucy had her Vitameatavegimin. And don't tell me that wasn't funny. I suppose Hollywood has matured enough to responsibly show the effects and negative results of alcohol, but it's not fair to compare today's television to the thoughts and morals of 1966. Funny alcohol usage was grist for the comedy mill, and had been all the way as far as you want to look. If they did things like that now, I'd have a problem with it.
    But as previous posters alluded to (way back in the Spring of 2010), Bewitched would go back and forth on expressing liberal views. But using the term "liberal" in the context of the 1960s or early 1970s almost meant that you were openly discussing issues that people had previously absolutely. The only thing "liberal" about Bewitched is that it was one of the shows that set the ball in motion. In the 1950s, nobody was discussing things like "open marriages," or Women's Lib, or Civil Rights. Those things simply did not exist on television and you'd be called a pinko Commie scum if you even tried. But the mood in the country was sour enough that television by the late 60s had to react to what was happening in the real world. And I don't think the things on Bewitched were so much pushing a "liberal agenda" as they were pushing the envelope on the kinds of topics that could and should have been discussed on television. When I think of "Sisters at Heart," I don't see it as liberal. I see it as forward-thinking, as it introduces the concept of racial prejudice to children in a gentle and comedic way. TV should have been doing that kind of thing all along, but the 50s frankly sucked and fear ruled the day. That's the truth about the 50s. All the shows that aired prior to say, 1965 seem ignorant today simply because they had no choice but to play it safe. And Bewitched was reacting to the mood of the country as it aired, but still did so in a sweetly innocent way; they knew full well that a huge percentage of their audience were children.
    It took Norman Lear to push the dialogue open all the way. And he wasn't a liberal radical either...he was simply discussing the kinds of things that were by then being discussed openly in the news and on college campuses of the time. And what, I ask you, is the harm of open debate? I don't look at Norman Lear's shows and think that he had some specific agendas to push. It was more like he was a moderator and allowed both sides of an argument to be discussed, on television in a comedic fashion. Sit back and look at All in the Family again...the viewpoints on that show were always very well-balanced. If anyone watches that show and simply agrees with Archie and thinks Meathead is a radical terror, then they're missing half the point. Or vice versa: those who side with Meathead and don't listen to Archie's equally valid points of view are also missing out on half of the experience. But that show was never about who "won" the day. It was always about the discussion--the argument and getting these viewpoints across to the people who were already openly discussing them at home in the first place. It was a show about learning to listen. That was the value of that show.
    Lear did pave the way for open dialogue on primetime television. Other producers go that route, or continue to play it safe. Most choose to play it safe. But at least television remains (at its best) a open forum for public debate, as it should be. That's the world I want to live in; I don't know about the rest of you.
     
  2. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    Messages:
    3,387
    Likes Received:
    244
    Location:
    Dallas TX
    I have my own opinion about tv history and comparisons :) but what Gary, Steve, and I were saying here was that the poster in post #375 included the condescending remark of "if you have a problem with it..." etc. As I posted earlier, this poster omitted the point that Gary was using to explain his response. He chose to ignore that part and focus on what appears to us to be a problem with Gary's post that was posted about a year earlier.

    If that remark hadn't been posted, we wouldn't be discussing diverse pov's regarding tv history, a topic which we probably all have our own opinions that will differ with other members here.
     
  3. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Messages:
    3,581
    Likes Received:
    346
    It was a rude thing for him to say. But he needs to read my post above if he's too ignorant to understand the historic portrayals of drinking on television over the years, and the differences between then and now. Or if he still doesn't get it, I can do some research over the weekend and deliver him a complete investigative report on the subject. But what a bore that would be for all of us. I won't criticize Neville further except to say that while it can be argued that the drinking on "Bewitched" was relatively innocent, it is not so on other shows. I do feel, however, that today's television is responsible enough to balance portrayals of alcoholics with the repercussions of their actions, (eventually). They did not deal with it responsibly on "Bewitched," but it was portrayed in an innocent fashion, as far as it could be carried in its time. Gary is right if he thinks that balance isn't there. You never really saw the negative consequences of drinking on that show (just some comedic annoyances caused by drinking).
    If you read into my clumsy defense of All in the Family above, you'd probably realize that I favor open debate in society (and by extension, on the internet). I think Neville is perhaps a big Bewitched fan and wished to defend it against any negative criticism, and got in over his head. But I freely admit that I'm using his pseudo-antipathetic comment in order to open up an interesting debate on the subject of alcohol on television--then and now. I do wish others would tell us what they thought of the drinking on Bewitched, because it's the white (pink?) elephant in the room that rarely comes up when discussing classic television.
     
  4. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2005
    Messages:
    2,138
    Likes Received:
    257
    Real Name:
    Joe
    We live in a seriously flawed world, and there's nothing we can do about it.
    I LOVE LUCY is my favorite show of all time, and how does it make me feel to see cigarette smoking on it, when I know both the two stars died of cigarette-smoking illnesses (cancer and heart disease)?
    If you look for things to upset you in this world, you'll always be upset. So I try as hard as I can to concentrate on the positive and not let the negative get to me too much.
    The worst thing about BEWITCHED where those lame scripts!
     
  5. Garysb

    Garysb Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2003
    Messages:
    1,730
    Likes Received:
    162
    I think Bewitched ran out of ideas after the 5th season and just became tired.and repetitive . The show no longer was a romantic comedy. It became more a children's show. In fact Darren and Sam didn't seem to show much affection for each other. Compare the 5th season 'Samantha Goes South For a Spell " with its semi remake about Henry the 8th. In both Samantha is sent back to the past with no memory and has to kiss Darren in order to get back. to the present. The later episode just goes for cheap laughs while the earlier episode has warmth. You can say it was because one Darren was better than the other but I think it had more to do with poor writing. The show had run its course long before it ended. I didn't buy the later seasons because I didn't think they were good, not because I disagreed with its politics, which I don't believe it had. I think anyone who says Bewitched had a liberal agenda is just feeding their conservative need to see liberal 'witches" in anything from Hollywood. I would hardly think Boyce and Hart was anyone's idea of a hip rock band in the 1960's. Probably the most liberal episode it did was "Sisters At Heart" where Tabitha gave herself and her black friend polka dots so they would look like and be sisters. I don't see the conservatives complaining about that episode as it probably wouldn't be politically correct to do so today.
     
  6. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    Messages:
    2,355
    Likes Received:
    1,115
    Location:
    Mid-South
    Real Name:
    Howie
    Frankly, I felt your comments were very pertinent, especially considering the context in which you made them. You were simply expressing an opinion and made some very valid comments about the series in general. Life experiences alter your perspective of what is, and is not, funny or offensive. It's when people share theirs, like you did, that others can understand and hopefully become more sensitive to possible offensive behavior. I'd never really noticed how much drinking takes place at the Stevens's until you mentioned it.I was never bothered by the witchcraft in the series as I saw it all as pure fantasy. Even though I grew up in a *very* conservative Christian household Bewitched was not considered offensive. As far as the drinking, my recollections are this was fairly "normal" for TV and films of the era. In the 60s it seemed that someone was *always* lighting up and/or getting a drink in almost every TV show and film. As Ethan indictes, the "funny drunk" was farily common in 50s/60s TV, although I rarely found these skits funny (Vitameatavegimin being a rare exception mainly because it was an unintended consequence). I was not then, nor now, bothered by the drinking in Bewitched but I very much understand circumstances can change that view and make it offensive, especially those in your situation.Keep on sharing Gary. I always enjoy your comments/reflections.
     
  7. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Messages:
    4,744
    Likes Received:
    1,452
    Real Name:
    Gary
    Thanks for all the replies - both pro and con. I wanted to clarify my position in hopes that if people disagree with me, they at least understand where I'm really coming from as opposed to some distorted caricature of what I really believe (which is what I felt Neville's post was doing).


    Thanks a lot, Howie. I appreciate the kind words. It's not that I'm blind to the fact that drinking was often a mainstay in 50's and 60's TV. Heck, I love westerns and there's plenty of scenes involving alcohol in those. Look at The Andy Griffith Show and Otis. I laugh like everyone else in those instances. No problems at all with the occasional reference/scene involving drinking. I just thought with Bewitched in particular it seemed like an overdone thing. And that's really all there is to it. Nothing more and nothing less. I wasn't then, nor am I now, telling other people what should or shouldn't influence how they watch a TV show or what they do or don't enjoy about it. Not at all.

    I hope this has helped explain where I was coming from.



    Gary "take care, everyone" O.
     
  8. ClassicTVMan1981X

    ClassicTVMan1981X Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    72
    Location:
    Milwaukie, OR, US
    Real Name:
    Benjamin
    This would be an appropriate addition to the Sony Pictures "Choice Collection" series:

    Tabitha and Adam and the Clown Family - a feature-length animated TV special produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions that originally aired on ABC December 2, 1972. It is notable for at least one thing: a Scooby-Doo stock music track called "Love the World," originally heard in the 1970 episode "The Haunted House Hang-Up."

    ~Ben
     

Share This Page