I used to watch “Bewitched” every single day. Maybe not enough to know that they switched Darrens half way through, but enough to be able to discuss it intelligently. Every day Darren came home from work and his hot Wiccan wife greeted the guy with a martini. Now to me, probably unaware of any sexual reason they might be together, being married to Samantha is a pretty sweet deal. She’s a witch and can get you anything your heart desires, and the only thing Darren ever seemed to require from her was a martini. I’m thinking, martinis must be like the greatest tasting thing on the planet, better than non-addictive heroin. I had to wait maybe twelve more years to get the chance to order a martini. I figured I’ve finally made it, I’m chilling with the homies, and we have martinis. Nothing could be better than this, and I have to say it was probably the worst tasting drink I could ever imagine. I just don’t get it. Maybe Darren was a more highly evolved being, like Rip Torn in “Defending Your Life,” and food and drink tasted differently to him.
The other thing I don’t understand is that for a guy, who has a gorgeous magical witch at home to fend for his survival, Darren sure is worried about losing his job. It seems to me that almost every episode was either about Gladys Kravitz almost outing Samantha as a witch, or the funky things that happen around the house threaten one of MacMahon and Tate’s accounts. Where was MacMahon? You always saw Larry Tate, but where was MacMahon hanging? I mean, why is this guy working in the first place? HE POSSESSES A WITCH!! What is he a woman who needs to get out of the house? He has a witch!
There have been only two guys that lucky: Darren Stevens, (well three if you count both of them), and Tony Nelson, and both chose to continue to work. What were the odds of that happening? I sometimes consider jail because I figure it’s a good way to avoid needing a job; and both these guys fly the straight and narrow. You’d think they were rock stars or something. Now Tony Nelson is a little understandable, the guy is an astronaut and back then there were maybe like 12 people in the world who could make that claim. But Darren works for a guy so stupid he makes you wonder how he ever could start an agency in advertising. Witchcraft bad – advertising good? That is the subtle message TV was selling back then. Witchcraft bad – advertising good.
Hugh Hefner probably doesn’t have a genie or a witch at his disposal, but look how much fun that guy has had. I mean, it’s bad enough they have to work. Darren seems in danger of losing the account that puts the whole firm under in every episode. He lives his entire life in utter horror at the notion that his wacked out home life might bring down Larry Tate’s kingdom, leaving him out on the streets with the reputation as the worst ad man in history. He is married to a witch and he seems two weeks from living in the streets. I mean, if he were worried about money he should have just had Sam work and he could stay home. Hell, every one of MacMahon and Tate’s ad campaigns was the quickest thing Sam could think of to explain all the funky stuff that would go down in their house. If those were good, imagine how cool the ones she would think up at the office would be. They would be much better off.
So there are two guys in history with the enviable position of having special help in the world, and they both choose to not let themselves be helped at all; like life was a contest that had to be won within some wholesome rules that prohibited them from benefiting from said magic.
Side note – There was an episode where they revealed that Hank Aaron was a warlock. Henry’s only other sitcom appearance was in “Happy Days,” where no one noticed that the Hank Aaron of Happy Day’s 1956 looks like he’s 50 years old.
It’s almost as if it would be bad form to actually use your witch or genie out from time to time, even when you are in a huge jam! What a sick message, that it is better to enslave your wife with housework and cooking than it is to utilize her greatest natural skill. What was Darren Steven’s vision of the perfect world? Working at MacMahon and Tate as an underling? It must have been because he had everything else at his disposal. What a huge need to be normal that guy had. It was almost as if the show was saying, He is so normal, we could substitute him with another normal guy and no one would ever notice.
At least Tony let Genie lounge around all day. But you have to either dock him huge points for taking years to finally have sex with her, or give him more rock star kudos for having the balls to have a Genie and then talking her into letting him date other chicks.
Maybe the true lesson is that Larry Hagman was the coolest man alive. He lives in Cocoa Beach, Florida. That sounds like the Garden of Eden, coming from Ohio. Life to him is some cool sport. He was so happening that he could have a sexy genie at his disposal and choose not to use her. Like he only kept her around to make Roger Healy jealous. How rocking is that?
I should make my own show where Roger Healy finds the bottle instead of Tony. Oh wait they had that show; it was called “Playboy after Dark.”