Witchcraft and Television

Not since the 1990s has witchcraft been such a popular subject matter within pop-culture. Wicca and Brujería mingle with more fantasy-oriented versions of witchcraft on the HBO series “True Blood,” while  the CW is set to launch “The Secret Circle” this Fall, a teen-oriented show based on a series of books that focuses on a coven of genetic witches. To top it all off, there seems to be plans for a new take on the 1960s classic television show “Bewitched”.

“In the latest classic TV title getting considered for a reboot, CBS and Sony are developing a script for remake of the classic sitcom Bewitched. This is still in very early stages, but it’s definitely a project worth keeping an eye on.”

Several media critics are skeptical of such a relaunch, but could this be a great opportunity to have a truly subversive show about witchcraft (or capital-W Witchcraft) on television? With the current craze of shows set in the 1960s (ie “Mad Men,” “The Playboy Club,” “Pan Am”) you could even make it a period piece with little trouble, thus avoiding much of the meta-horribleness that was the 2005 movie.

Witchcraft in television and movies has often worked best when it’s a signifier for something else. In the 1958 movie adaptation of “Bell, Book, and Candle” (of which, I have many strong opinions) witchcraft stands in for 1950s-era bohemia, women’s empowerment, and the gay subtext of Jack Lemmon’s Nicky. Much of this subtext was adopted, though further sanitized, when “Bewitched” launched five years later. By this time, real-live Witches of various stripes were making news in England, though it had yet to penetrate the American consciousness. Elizabeth Montgomery’s Samantha seemed to be embodying the bubbling tensions over feminism in the early seasons as she struggled to be the good wife while denying her innate power (much to the chagrin of her liberated mother).  While there’s no trace of religion in the show’s depiction of witchcraft, it did feature a eerily prescient episode in the first season where the witches decide to protest their depiction as ugly old Halloween hags.

“The Witches Are Out” from season one is the first episode where witches are presented as a minority group. They are referred to as such in the episode in which one of Darrin’ clients (portrayed by Shelley Berman) wants his Halloween candy represented by a wart-nosed, broom-riding witch. Meanwhile, Samantha and her witch committee are trying to actively combat the negative images associated with witches during Halloween.

A decade later figures like Laurie Cabot would be making the news for staging similar protests. So “Bewitched,” in a way, set the stage for real-live Witches while using the show’s “witchcraft” as a stand-in for other issues.

Today we exist in a world where Pagan religions and Witches are a reality, not a fantasy. The temptation to bring some of that into a fantasy setting can be overwhelming, though it often just produces confusing mish-mashes as seen in shows like “Charmed” or with characters like Willow in “Buffy”. You also see terribly overwrought metaphors in shows like “Camelot,” where magic=drug abuse. As seen with “True Blood,” such portrayals don’t endear you to those depicted. I think there should be a clear firewall between fantasy witchcraft, and modern Pagan religion. Let Samantha be Samantha (or let Willow be Willow), and let us decide what her magic means to us.

The minute you make a character Wiccan, you’re treading into theological waters that are best left alone. If a television show or movie wants to incorporate Pagans and Wiccans into a script, it should strive to portray them accurately instead of merging them with already well-established fantasy tropes. If you want Wiccans in a television drama, why not adapt The Bast Mysteries, or perhaps the work of MR Sellars? I think they’d work great on the PBS series “Mystery!”.

About Jason Pitzl-Waters
  • http://twitter.com/LWMag LittleWitchMagazine

    I have immensely enjoyed series and movies about witches since I was a little girl. I watched Charmed and Buffy in my teens and never felt insulted by the magickal characters on those shows. Looking back now, I realize that was probably because there was so little truth to those portrayals.

    A couple of days ago I watched an episode of Rizzoli & Isles, a television series about a police detective and a forensic pathologist who solve climes together. In this particular episode, a witch got burned at the stake and her coven mates were, of course, the prime suspects.

    The episode was a disaster area of truth and fiction with highlights being the
    1) human skeleton on the altar
    2) the goth clothes and make-up of the coveners
    3) the male leader of the coven and the sex he has with all of the female members

    What made this episode so terrible were the few things they did get right.

    It’s because of this I’m a bit dubious about a new revival of representation on television. If they manage to do it justice… then yeah, alright, but what we do isn’t exciting enough to portray ‘as is’ so it will be hyped. And when things get hyped, they get distorted.

    Honestly, I prefer my television witches as fictional.

    • Caliban

      “2) the goth clothes and make-up of the coveners
      3) the male leader of the coven and the sex he has with all of the female members”

      Sounds like my coven in college, except that we had a bunch of hippies and punks and a metalhead and some earnest social-sciences types, too, and being gay, I wasn’t sleeping with the women. :D

      but back to the topic:

      I think that Bewitched could actually do very well if instead of campy “wiggle your nose and put the broken vase back together” magic, the show sets up a situation and with magical intervention matters just happen to work out by seeming coincidence.

      I’m not sure that’s “gee-whiz!” enough for the producers, but it would be a nice depiction of how magic works.

      On another hand, I’ll even happily accept a campy Bewitched reboot, as long as they can get someone as astounding as Agnes Moorehead was as Endorra.

      • http://www.wildhunt.org/blog/ Jason Pitzl-Waters

        “…as long as they can get someone as astounding as Agnes Moorehead was as Endorra.”

        I don’t know if that’s possible.

        • Indywiz

          How about Dame Judy Dench (?) for a serious portral or Jamie Lee Curtis for a more perkie fun portral?

      • http://twitter.com/tallicdeth Jason Vajgrt

        OH Hells yes! I am totally with your last thought! But who would they get? I don’t find anyone nearly as aloof and fantastic but at the same time not being myopic.

        I’d put Candace Bergen on that one if I were doing this.

        I’d cast Janeane Garafalo as Samantha…that’d be epic!

    • http://twitter.com/Wolfsbau Onyx_Wolf

      I was so disappointed in that episode of Rizzoli & Isles … I guess I expect that sort of crap from Bones, but I thought R&I wouldn’t feel the need to go there just yet.

  • http://themediawitches.blogspot.com/ Peg

    Great piece! I was just getting ready to blog on The Secret Circle myself. Would like to get a premiere DVD before it starts…

    • http://www.wildhunt.org/blog/ Jason Pitzl-Waters

      You’ll have to let me know if it’s worth the trouble. I’m a little gun-shy after trying to make my way through “Camelot”.

  • Samael Cross

    I agree that we need to strive to separate ourselves from the negative images portrayed in films and other media sources. We need there to be more resources to help people see the reality of who we are and what we believe. But in the end, television shows and big Hollywood movies shouldn’t be looked to as a source of fact. They should be seen as what they are. Fiction.

    I understand that a lot of people (most of whom do not think for themselves already) will use these portrayals as a reference to reality. And I understand and even agree that directors and writers should be informed about the subject matter they are putting into such powerful media. But don’t we hurt ourselves by giving these poor images and incorrect portrayals attention, as if they were something serious? Sometimes, a character is written to intentionally misunderstand and thus misrepresent a philosophical/spiritual/religious ideal. That’s part of the story, not a necessarily a stab at the belief in question.

    It’s certainly worth noting the places in media where fictional characters misrepresent Paganism, or any religion or spirituality for that matter so that it can be addressed if it gets out of hand (and I understand with Paganism, any negative representation is likely to) But I think focusing on it too much could be more harmful them helpful. They are, after all, just entertainment. Not documentaries or news reports.

    Just my two cents.

  • Samael Cross

    I agree that we need to strive to separate ourselves from the negative images portrayed in films and other media sources. We need there to be more resources to help people see the reality of who we are and what we believe. But in the end, television shows and big Hollywood movies shouldn’t be looked to as a source of fact. They should be seen as what they are. Fiction.

    I understand that a lot of people (most of whom do not think for themselves already) will use these portrayals as a reference to reality. And I understand and even agree that directors and writers should be informed about the subject matter they are putting into such powerful media. But don’t we hurt ourselves by giving these poor images and incorrect portrayals attention, as if they were something serious? Sometimes, a character is written to intentionally misunderstand and thus misrepresent a philosophical/spiritual/religious ideal. That’s part of the story, not a necessarily a stab at the belief in question.

    It’s certainly worth noting the places in media where fictional characters misrepresent Paganism, or any religion or spirituality for that matter so that it can be addressed if it gets out of hand (and I understand with Paganism, any negative representation is likely to) But I think focusing on it too much could be more harmful them helpful. They are, after all, just entertainment. Not documentaries or news reports.

    Just my two cents.

  • Drvolcano

    *sigh* “…a great opportunity to have a truly subversive show about witchcraft.” Good luck with that. this’ll be the same old tripe in a retro-shaded bag.

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    First Hawaii 5-0, then Charlie’s Angels and now Bewitched. Gives a new meaning to my past catching up with me.

    But seriously… Why not a TV show with a Wiccan or Pagan primary character who is simply a character? There would be zero waves from an SVU character who thinks she’s on a mission from the Virgin Mary to protect children. Why not one on the same mission from the Goddess? Work it into the chit-chat, don’t mention it every episode, refrain from making it a major plot element until well into the season… OK, that last is just me, I hate it when a good cop show starts making the personal business of a cop into cop business. But you get the idea.

    • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

      Because that can’t happen. If the character is a “minority” they can’t be less than perfect, for fear that someone will scream discrimination. Only girl in an all male show? she’s going to be smarter, faster, better, and flawless, or else people scream discrimination and misogyny. Black person in an all white cast? gotta be able to do everything better than the white people, or its discrimination. black woman in a cast? guess what, gotta be better than the black men and white women, who have to be better than the white men. and so on and so forth. I forget the name of the Trope it falls under, but that’s why you can’t have real characters. Because if you do actually have flawed, human characters, people will scream its racist and misogynistic and/or discriminatory.

      • Baruch Dreamstalker

        Every cop show worth watching, from NYPD Blue to Flashpoint, has flawed human beings as characters.

        • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

          Yes, and for every cop show not worth watching, or any show for that matter, what I said holds true. I’m not making it up, it’s an actual Trope over at TVtropes.com, still trying to re-dig it up.

      • Cigfran

        Oh yes, because the “Magic Negro” is such a great representation of minority superiority.

        Your generalizations are worthless. For every single instance that you could present, I could supply a counter-example.

        Start with the ‘socially relevant’ shows of the 60s and 70s, particularly ‘The Bold Ones.’ Minority characters were often quite flawed. And who was it who had the gambling problem in CSI? Oh yeah, the black guy.

        Stop covering your own racism by trying to reverse it. Own up to it, and decide how you feel about it, rather than letting your pathetic and defensive white guilt lead you down these ridiculous arguments.

      • Pagan Puff Pieces

        Hey, serves them right for waiting forever to only stick in token characters after decades of exclusion. Serves them right for writing in decades of stereotypes for the token characters to prove wrong.

        The only way for token characters to stop being representatives of whatever they happen to be is… to make more of them, so that eventually culture will stop being such a way that, even if there is only one in the cast, that character will not be perceived as a representative of whatever group.

        It’s going to be painful, bumpy, and corny as hell in hindsight, but it’s got to happen, and it’s the establishment’s fault in the first place that this is the case.

      • Anonymous

        Actually, ‘Bones’ is pretty good about having a diverse cast, with all sorts of issues.

        (Not to mention Emily Deschanel…hawt!)

  • Charles Cosimano

    An altar without a human skeleton is not much of an altar.

    • http://twitter.com/LWMag LittleWitchMagazine

      Apparently it’s completely legal if you buy a scientific model on e-bay ;)

      • http://twitter.com/ashareem HR Mitchell

        or any other licensed seller of body parts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1678081929 Bill Wheaton

    You got to pick up every stitch.

  • http://egregores.wordpress.com Apuleius Platonicus

    Nothing is portrayed accurately on television.

    • http://paosirdjhutmosu.wordpress.com Djhutmosu Si-Hathor

      In other news, water is wet and bears do their business in the woods. ;)

      • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

        le gaspe! We must stop those bears, how dare the defecate in the environment! Don’t they know how bad that is?

        • http://paosirdjhutmosu.wordpress.com Djhutmosu Si-Hathor

          Defecate? Ew! I meant that bears trade on the stock market in the woods, you sicko! ;)

          • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

            somehow, that’s even worse O_o

          • Grimmorrigan

            No one likes a bear market!

    • http://castwidethecircle.wordpress.com/ Grimmorrigan

      The pathetic attention whores on reality show are presented pretty well. As are the vapid ignorant nature of American Entertainment.

      • http://twitter.com/tallicdeth Jason Vajgrt

        Oh don’t get me started on that BS!

    • http://kauko-niskala.blogspot.com Kauko

      I beg to differ! I find portrayals of zombies on TV and movies to be quite accurate.

      • Anonymous

        I agree! C-Span has the corner on the most accurate depiction of zombies, however.

        • Crystal Kendrick

          Careful. Watching C-Span will turn you into a zombie. I speak from personal experience.

  • Obsidia

    How about a TV series about Samantha and Darrin’s little girl, Tabatha?!! She could handle modern life and I would be interested to see how she would view her Mom’s “submission” to her Dad’s will. (!)

    BTW, here’s an article I wrote about the movie Bell Book and Candle:

    http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=&c=words&id=13620

    • Oberon Osiris

      There was a show about Tabitha… probably in the ’80s. It was a little popular and also featured Adam, the Stevens’ other child. The actress was somewhat popular at the time, not necessarily because of that show… can’t remember her name…

  • Oberon

    I’m almost 56; I watched Bewitched in its original run, and at age 10, ’65 or so, was already pretty witchy on my own. I was learning astrology, palmistry and interested in most Occult things. I had not problem realizing that Wicca was not Hollywood, when I discovered that at age 12, though sadly many still have this problem.
    I loved that show. It really had a lot of heart (remember the show where Sam, Tabitha and a little AA child taught the class about tolerance and getting over racial discrimination?).
    Sure it was goofy at times, and NOT REAL. But to mind, it was one of the things that

    gave me a new reality.

  • Ccmixologist

    The link you provided to Laurie Cabot is outdated and fabricated.. The Cat, The Crow and The Crown went bankrupt. Jodi Cabot never closed Crow Haven Corner, it was stolen out from under her by the present owner. And just for the record ‘Cabot’ is not their real name. However, the rest of your article is great!

  • http://twitter.com/ashareem HR Mitchell

    Or even remakes of other shows that didn’t get a decent trial, such as Tucker’s Witch, written by Paul Huson.

    • Oberon Osiris

      Yep, I remember that one too, Herb. About 1 season, or less. More of a straight/kinda Detective show. As I recall the Tucker’s Witch was really more of a psychic, but her mom, was portrayed as more of a witch.

  • http://godsrbored.blogspot.com anne johnson

    I am trying to imagine a television show that would accurately depict Wicca without boring mainstream Americans to tears. A bunch of people doing gentle acts that try to save the planet? *YAWN*

    However, I do agree with the commenter who would like to see a Pagan character in a mainstream t.v. show. That could be done easily enough.

    • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

      yeah, that whole “do no harm” thing really cuts out a lot of drama. It would be like watching an Amish or Quaker detective. No gun, no martial arts, etc. “An it please thee, you are under arrest, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law…”

      Now, you put a Heathen on there, with a penchant for drinking, fighting, f***ing, and being all around crazy awesome, then you have a tv show :D “By Tyr you are under arrest! Surrender or face justice at the hands of me and my Heathen gods!”

      • Anonymous

        I would scrape together the money for cable TV, JUST to watch that show. :3

      • Grimmorrigan

        I’m now imagining this premise but with the added bonus of a wacky sidekick….Flava Flav comes to mind as he has the helmet…

      • Merofled Ing

        • “Because that can’t happen. If the character is a “minority” they can’t be less than perfect, for fear that someone will scream discrimination. […] I forget the name of the Trope it falls under, but that’s why you can’t have real characters. Because if you do actually have flawed, human characters, people will scream its racist and misogynistic and/or discriminatory.”

    • http://twitter.com/LWMag LittleWitchMagazine

      I think the only place it could be semi successful is on a teen show. Yes, I really just said that. It would need to be an assembly show where one of the kids discovers Witchcraft (like most of us did) and explores.

      As a lesbian, I follow a lot of LGBT story lines on teen shows and TV is starting to get that one right. I think they could get this right as well. Shows like Pretty Little Liars, Skins and Degrassi all did pretty well and are ‘real’ enough to not fall into the pitfall of sensationalizing our faith and way of life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=518736223 Brendan Myers

    I’m available to act as a consultant to the producers or any of the creative talent on any of these TV shows. :-)

  • Daniel Kestral

    I, for one, would like to see strong roles for male witches and Wiccans. And, for another, other Magical folks, such as Traditional Witches, Strega, Druids, and other forms of folk healing would be wonderful. How about shows that touches upon the traditions of the Pisoega, too?

  • http://queergodsforqueermen.blogspot.com/ Frank Muse

    I was always a big Buffy fan, but would get annoyed when they called Willow a “Wicca.” Were they trying to use the word “Wiccan?” I’m not sure, but I’ve never met a Wicca (or Wiccan) whose eyes turned black and who could summon temples of evil to destroy the world. Maybe I’m just not running in the right circles, but to me Willow was a witch in the folklore/fantasy/myth vein.

    I think the media’s confusion around these terms mirrors our community’s confusion as well. Are we Wiccans, witches, or Wiccan witches? Can we really cast magical spells and curse people, or are we members of a nature-worshiping religion? What, if anything, is our relationship to the witches of history, mythology, and fiction? I think people in our community would have lots of different answers to these questions.

    • No Bod E

      I always got annoyed with Willow calling witchcraft ” the dark arts”. It makes it sound like all who follow this path are involved only in “dark magic”.

    • Robert Mathiesen

      Some early Victorian historical novelists, e.g. Bulwer-Lytton, actually used the word “wicca” to mean a single person (a Witch), not a group of people or a religion. In doing so, they were faithful to the Anglo-Saxon meaning of the word, which also meant a person.

      • deerwoman

        “they were faithful to the Anglo-Saxon meaning of the word, which also meant a person.”

        Correct. Wicca is a male witch, wicce is a female witch. I wonder though if Buffy or said Victorian novelists would have pronounced it correctly (I don’t recall seeing an episode where Willow was called a “wicca” so I do not know if they used the more traditional “tch” pronunciation for the double C or the modern hard K pronunciation.)

  • Oberon Osiris

    For those who need to me (looks at self, shrugs…) Lisa Hartman played Tabitha in the Bewitched spinoff in 1977-78 (also had a major role in Falcon Crest, sings and is married to country star Clint Black)
    Catherine Hicks played “Tucker’s Witch”, which was written and or produced by Paul Huson (Mastering Witchcraft fame or infamy) in 1982-83. Catherine is also pretty unforgettable as the Marine Biologist, Gillian in Star Trek IV, the Voyage Home.

    • Oberon Osiris

      Ummmm, for those who need to *KNOW*, that is. (must have got excited!)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lamyka-L/649965363 Lamyka L.

    For once I disagree with you Jason. I think that at the very least the character witches of Charmed, Buffy, and True Blood tell us more about who we are as Pagans and Witches then some want acknowledge. Why should we pretend that we don’t/won’t have members who, like the sisters from Charmed use their magick to help protect innocent people, or like Willow suffer from addiction to Power and can recover from that addiction, or like the coven of True Blood have it thrown in their faces that what they do is real–and has consequences.

    Fantasy and fantasy creations are self evident, so why do so many Neo-Pagans wring their hands and say we *aren’t* capable of miraculous, amazing, terrifying, horrific things?

    Proclaiming we don’t have power and joining with the general society to mock the images that are out there about us when it’s unnecessary is happily putting a on a muzzle and a monkey hat to dance for a banana.

    • http://sarenth.wordpress.com/ Sarenth

      I am of the opinion that if you don’t think that we have the power to do miraculous things, then why bother with spells, the spirits, or the Gods at all? If all we are doing is reading stories of ancient heroes like Siegfried or Achilles, and not striving to reach for their level of success, why study them beyond leisure reading? If you’re going to cast a protection spell, or bless yourself to find a job, I would hope you’d find enough faith in yourself, let alone what you’re doing, to believe it can work. If you’re going to call on a God/dess, I would hope that at some point you’d like to have an answer. Otherwise, what are you really doing?

      • anon

        “what are you really doing?”
        being an atheist in pagan clothing? no disrespect to atheistic pagans…but i agree with you. this scientific atheism, jungian stuff and western rationalism has influenced modern paganism more than i thought and it doesnt make sense to me, especially when our pagan ancestors did believe that their practices caused something…..and even though we may not strive to be like our pagan ancestors, what is the point of gaining inspiration from this past and calling yourself pagan if you are going to believe that all of it is nothing but coincidence?

      • Anonymous

        Sarenth writes:

        If you’re going to call on a God/dess, I would hope that at some point you’d like to have an answer.

        As strange as this may seem, I’ve never had any of Them _not_ answer…even if its just to say, ‘No.’ Mostly its a matter of asking the right questions (and the right Spirit/s).

        • http://sarenth.wordpress.com/ Sarenth

          No, not strange, just different. Some people just don’t get that direct of an answer.

      • Baruch Dreamstalker

        One flavor of spellcasting is use of ritual to rearrange the furniture in one’s own mind. Rather than try to compel someone else’s love interest, eg, one tries to amend oneself to be more attentive, less of a wallflower, whatever. A Witch in Texas told an interviewer: “A dream is a message from the unconscious to the conscious mind. A ritual is a message going in the other direction.”

        “[...W]hy bother with [...] the Gods at all?”

        Because they bother with me.

        • anon

          that is an interesting method of spellcasting.however, i and others do believe that we can use magic to protect ourselves and even to castigate someone who has hurt a loved one….among other things. that magic is not just something that exists in our minds…but now, i was not raised in western society….

          i hear many pagans believing in prayer but then, when it comes to magic, there is this disbelief and even this shame in admitting to the existence of magic (and sometimes, the Gods)….it is funny, i mean, isnt this saying indirectly that we agree with christians and even people like richard dawkins in that magic and Gods is backwards mentality and silly superstition? just saying….

          i think that being a pagan is more than just a term, it is also thinking like a pagan, and not like a christian or an atheist…
          i hope that the future generations of pagan born into pagan families will possess a stronger pagan identity and thoughtforms that will not be too saturated by judeo-christian and atheistic characteristics…

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            If a Pagan does not believe in literal spellcasting, and Christians do not believe in any kind of Pagan power at all, this does not make that Pagan semi-Christian. That’s an error of association.

          • anon

            obviously, it doesnt make the pagan semi-christian, however, it does mean that the pagan is a product of his or her culture….
            in western society, judeo-christian and scientific atheism thoughtforms prevail… therefore, it is not uncommon that the first modern pagans would retain these judeo-christian or atheistic lenses….

            talk to pagans of western society versus indigenous pagans of societies where judeo-christian and scientific atheism dont dominate….and you will see a big difference in matters of perception….

  • http://whisperingwood.homestead.com Crick

    Actually, there is a misconception amongst Neo Pagans that Wiccans are witches when in fact they are not. Witches do not adhere to the dogma of a religion such as Wiccans do. And Wiccans emulate the practices of Ceremonial magic not true witchcraft. The tendency to use Wicca as a stereotype for witchcraft in particular and paganism in general is a misnomer that defies reality. But then that is the case with Neo Pagans. Always seeking to define themselves through fantasy rather than actual practice. So why not fantasy shows based upon fantasy.

    • G Redford

      It’s not a misconception. Early Wicca was called Witchcraft, the Witch Cult or the Craft. It was not until later the Wicca came be used to refer to the religion. As for it being dogmatic well that depends on the tradition of Wicca.

    • anon

      you should try reading about the early works about the Wica…and talking to old guard practitioners of The Craft….

    • No Bod E

      Doesn’t Wicca actually translate as “Wise Women” ?

      • No Bod E

        That should be “Wise Woman”

        • G Redford

          In the Early Mediaeval period there was a word spelled “wicca (pronounced witch-a) which referred to practitioners of sorcery. The practice itself was known as “wiccecraeft” or “wiccedom”. I should give credit to Arthur Doyle White for his article “The meaning of Wicca: A Study in Etymology, History and Pagan Politics” found in vol 12.2 of The Pomegranate.

  • Root And Rock

    There is absolutely no need to separate ourselves from fictional characters in fictional programming. If we even suggest that we need to remind people we’re not setting up ray-beam barriers around our shops and bringing dead budgies back to life we’ve already lost all credibility – Hecate’s recent “framing” post should tell anyone that much.

    Housewives do not need to say: “Oh, I’m a house-wife, but not like those women on the soap operas. I’ve never had amnesia or cheated on my spouse with his evil, identical, twin!” Because everyone knows that’s not what real life is like.

    We should strive to define ourselves in positives – “I/we DO community service work” not “Gosh, True Blood is just so inaccurate, why last time I tried to invoke a dead witch…”

    In other words: True Blood is a show – just like every other show. And by GOD ain’t it entertaining? Isn’t Marnie a perfect example of every mean-spirited, weak-willed, highly-deluded, “BOS-thumper” out there who gets hinky any time a kid in black shows up to circle? Wouldn’t she be the exact kind of person to launch into “Why I’m a REAL witch! I was afflicted with my gifts and shunned by my fellows. It’s not at all like your silly, offensive, TV shows!”

    Let’s not be like Marnie.

  • Cc Dubois

    M. R. Sellars. And Yes, I agree with you. His novels would make good television!

  • http://www.magickal-media.com Alice C. “A.C.” Fisher Aldag

    Someone needs to remake “I Dream of Jeannie”. Not only was she a magick user, she was hot. And a military wife! And the theme music was cool.

    Dunno if remakes of either “Jeanie” or “Bewitched” will be successful today, as what made ‘em popular was the feminist subtext. Neither Darren nor the Major (later Captain) wanted their womenfolk to be empowered. Both men were ashamed of their wives’ talents, which were socially unacceptable. Neither was willing to acknowledge their wife’s capabilities and disagree with their respective “Establishment” to stand up for her. That might be outmoded in today’s TV Land.

    Both Jeannie and Samantha were homemakers and strong women, which are not mutually exclusive. But how well would that message go over today?

    • Oberon Osiris

      Yes, I loved Jeannie too. I loved most of the ’60s shows as a child. I remember, fondly, the episodes of Bewitched and Jeannie that featured Boyce and Hart, the singer/songwriter duos (wrote many of the Monkee’s tunes) performing “I ‘m gonna blow you a kiss in the wind” (and Serena performed it too!) and (I think) “Out and about” with Jeannie playing the drums – she looked like she was having a BLAST!
      I so miss Liz, but thank goodness Barbara Eden is still around. The ’60s will always live in my heart – its when I grounded my self in Wicca.

  • Pagan Puff Pieces

    And Bewitched, in turn, inspired Mahoutsukai Sally, the first “magical girl” anime!

    Well, TV (particularly advertising) is kind of a distillation of culture. It’s not exactly a reflection of reality, but it’s a good way to look at our own culture and go “WTF?” Like a funhouse mirror. So, what’s the current state on our ugly subconscious these days?

    (The husband in Bewitched in a real jerk.)

    • No Bod E

      As my Husband pointed out to me, it is quite possible that Darren actually was rather small in the pants and therefore was overcompensating.

      • Crystal Kendrick

        I always thought so. He was lucky to get a gal like Samantha.

        • No Bod E

          Maybe he was afraid she would “twitch” up something more satisfying. :)

          • Pagan Puff Pieces

            He should have been afraid the whole family didn’t come after him, with the way he openly disrespected them…

  • Clinton Davis

    I find the True Blood portrayal of a coven to be sensational but grounded in truth. The idea that witches have ways to beat straight white male dominance, or at least aristocratic/plutocratic dominance, is a major theme, as is the sense that a Priestess can bring the powers/spirits/deities through for the furtherance of magick or the edification of the coveners is also pretty important to the storyline. Hell, I even saw the correct ceremonial magical “elemental hexagrams” carefully drawn in a grimoire that a bit character was perusing. Just because the priestess and some of the coveners are on a side of the battle opposite our favorite characters doesn’t mean the whole coven is evil, just misguided by a zealous priestess with her own agenda, and honestly, that’s also a common problem in the real world. I found Charlaine Harris’s portrayal of witchcraft and covens more sympathetic in the books than Alan Ball’s in the show, but also well-done and not too far out for the casual reader to learn a thing or two.

  • http://owlsdaughter.pip.verisignlabs.com/ Beth Owls Daughter

    Ye Gods! Watched the premiere of Secret Circle last night. Abysmal, creepy, teen horror fantasy and profoundly, deeply insulting to Witchcraft. The worst part of this really awful show was the commercial featuring the show’s producer (director? Sorry, not sure of his exact role) discussing all the research he had done on Witchcraft using BING.

    I shudder to think of the bullying and abuse actual teenage Witches and Pagans are now going to get as a result of yet ANOTHER viciously wrong portrayal of our people.


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