Can a Reboot of ‘Bewitched’ Work in the 21st Century?

Coming Soon reports that an attempt will be made to bring a reboot of the 1960s television sitcom “Bewitched” back to the small screen. Previously, a movie version starring Nicole Kidman had been made with mixed results.

The original “Bewitched” starred Elizabeth Montgomery as the beauteous Samantha Stevens, a witch with a great deal of magical powers who married a mortal, Darrin, played first by Dick York, then by Dick Sargent.

The comedy in “Bewitched,” which lasted eight seasons, centered around the complications that resulted in this decidedly mixed marriage. For one thing, some of Samantha’s relatives, particularly her mother Endora, played by Agnes Moorehead, did not approve of her marrying outside the magicing world, as J.K. Rowling would say. Other wacky relations included Uncle Arthur (Paul Lynde), Aunt Clara (Marion Lorne), and twin sister Serena (Elizabeth Montgomery.)

One aspect of the marriage that would likely change for 21st century sensibilities was Darrin’s insistence that his bride not use her magical powers except in emergencies. Darrin, a New York ad man, was very much a product of his time, albeit a little more goofy and a lot nicer than “Mad Men’s” Don Draper. The fact that his wife was superior to him in every way did not alter his insistence of being the man of the house.

One cannot doubt that a modern version of the Stevens’ marriage would have a different arrangement. Sam will likely have a career of her own, perhaps something relating to the magicing world. And one suspects that Darrin is not going to lay down the law about not using magic. One suspects Sam will be able to clean house, cook dinner, and fix that after-work martini by wrinkling her nose, so long as discretion is observed.

The question arises: If this reboot goes into production, can someone be found to play Sam with the same beauty and charm exuded by Elizabeth Montgomery? All-powerful witch that she was, Montgomery’s Sam was a woman any man would love to have as his bride. The magic of the original show did not just consist of levitation spells and transformations.

Sources: Bewitched Returning to Television? Coming Soon, August 9, 2011

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