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There’s a ‘Bewitched’ Remake in the Works From Kenya Barris of ‘Black-ish’ and ABC

Bewtiched has the best premise of any sitcom in the history of television, and it was massively wasted through a lack of vision, a star with severe back problems and a painkiller addiction, and just the realities of television in the 1960s. Samantha Stevens is a witch with near omnipotent powers and a mischievous family who could always be counted on to show up and cause trouble. But most episodes involved her trying to hide the fact that she un-burned the roast from her nosey neighbor or something.

When I say the series failed to live up to its potential, here’s a description of a typical episode from Wikipedia: “The mayor, ignoring his constituents’ request to have a traffic light installed at a busy intersection, needs some of Samantha’s witchcraft to convince him otherwise.” This is a show that, through its premise, could go anywhere and do anything, and the place it decided to go was the same place every other sitcom went. It’s like doing an episode of Doctor Who where The Doctor and his companion take the TARDIS to C&A for a new pair of khakis.

Well, there’s good news. According to Deadline, ABC is developing a reboot of Bewitched from Black-ish creator Kenya Barris. I’m sure it’ll explore all the weird and wacky plots that a premise so large deserves and not just cram a few visual effects into plotlines that could be done on literally any other show on television.

In Bewitched, written by Barris and Taylor, Samantha, a hardworking black single mom who happens to be a witch, marries Darren, a white mortal who happens to be a bit of a slacker. They struggle to navigate their differences as she discovers that even when a black girl is literally magic, she’s still not as powerful as a decently tall white man with a full head of hair in America.

Or not. Look, race relations is an important thing, and the original Bewitched dealt with themes of bigotry fairly often. But you don’t have to have magic powers to do a show about race relations. Bewitched is a show that can have Uncle Arthur come over for dinner and accidentally send himself, Samantha and Darren to the Mesozoic era where they get chased by a dinosaur. That’s the reason to do a show like Bewitched. Samantha is a witch, do the things that only a witch can do, not just the things a second Black-ish spin-off could do.

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