Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Magic in Television

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Okay, so I've been sitting on the idea for this one for six months or so. I really enjoy a bit of magic here and there, and there are a bunch of shows with magic in them, to varying degrees. Of course, there are several out there that I've never seen that I understand contain some magic (like Heroes), but today I focus on some of my favorites. And, that's why I only have six in today's list, instead of my typical ten. While I could include things like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, Powerpuff Girls, and The Wizards of Waverly Place, I've never enjoyed those shows at all, so I can't say I've admired their use of magic... only that i know of it. So I am especially interested to hear what your favorite shows that have magic are, since they may very well be some that I'm not covering!

6. I Dream of Jeannie. I actually find this show to be pretty boring, every time I try to give it another chance. I'm not the biggest fan of Jeannie calling Major Nelson "master" and the ongoing romantic tension bothered me. However, Jeannie crossing her arms, nodding head, and blinking her eyes to make things happen was cool, and I enjoyed her genie costume as well.

5. Jonny Quest. Only one magical character on the show, but I enjoyed watching him when I was a kid! Hadji was an eleven-year-old orphan from India who could levitate things, hypnotize people, and charm snakes, among other abilities. His powers come from being the seventh son of a seventh son (I know, The Dark is Rising much?), and he's normally wearing a jeweled turban... which is what I thought gave him powers when I was little, LoL!

4. The Addams Family. The magical powers in this one are a little different. Gomez can do quick complicated math and some acrobatics, Morticia can light candles with her finger, Uncle Fester is electric, Lurch and Wednesday are super-strong, Pugsley is acrobatic, and Thing can teleport. It's a random assortment of powers, but they're certainly magic... or at least supernatural!

3. Gummi Bears. Zummi was the main "wizard" in this show, but the gummiberry juice itself was rather magical, which was a secret recipe that Sonni and Grammi know. It gives the bears bouncing abilities, but gives humans super strength. Zummi's spells help out as often as they backfire, but he works on gaining a greater understanding of the species' collected knowledge. Sometimes other magical beings showed up, too.

2. Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.  I enjoyed this show as a teenager. It kinda lost me in the later years (I wasn't ready to watch shows about college kids for the most part, though it was uber-mature material or anything), but it definitely added to my Friday nights. I love Melissa Joan Hart, and her work as a witch-in-training was great. Her powers sometimes had amusing consequences, but she definitely honed her skill as time went on. There were some great magical moments from other characters as well.

1. Bewitched. I think that an important part of this show is that we see both "good" and "evil" magic. Samantha primarily uses her powers for the greater good, whether it be helping her husband in his career or cleaning the house. Her mother, Endora, however, usually uses her abilities to make an idiot out of Darrin or sabotage mortals in some way.

So, your picks?
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