“Do you believe in magic, in a young girls’ heart? How the music can free her whenever it starts?” This song was written November 1965, by John Sebastian. In 1964, America met a gorgeous anything-but-Halloween witch, on Bewitched. A comedy sitcom for eight years, it showed a world of mortals turned upside down. Samantha, a witch, married a mortal, Darrin, (poor man), and his life was never the same. We wondered if the neighbors Gladys and Abner would ever catch on to the world of wizardry.
Maybe, it is the time of year when according to legend, mystical things happen. We celebrate All Hallows Eve or Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, Fall Harvest Festivals, or just plain Autumn. Leaves, flowers and plants die, the fields are bare, and evening comes quickly. Hot tea, coffee, and hot chocolate call my name. The other night I got into a long heavy cotton nightgown.
I put the kettle on, and Bill said, “What are you doing?”
“I’m going to bed, it’s dark.”
“Jo, it’s six-thirty.”
I took my cup of lemon ginger tea off to bed.
When I got in there, I found all seven years of a TV show called Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. It is soooo cute. Sabrina lives with two witchy aunts, Zelda and Hilda, and a black cat, Salem. Punished by getting turned into a cat, Salem was trying to take over the world. A combination of a real and puppet cat, Salem is the hit of the show.
Sabrina goes to regular high school with all its problems while she learns magic. How many times in my teaching career did I wish I could blink my eyes or point my finger at students and, “Poof,” they disappear. But then those same kids would come rumbling in, at this time of year, with goofy masks, face make up like they were dying, glitter on everything, happily sharing candy and telling me about Harry Potter’s latest magic school. And I start believing in magic.
After a binge of Sabrina, I found the most wonderful magic show from all the way down under. Australia has a new comedy with only one season up now, but another to begin this month, called The Bureau of Magical Things. It is on Netflix, and had been on Nickelodeon. It is a step above Sabrina because of special effects. It combines elves, fairies, mortals and school for the Department of Magical Intervention. In their world all these used to be together, but as time went on magic had to go underground. It has a school in a library (which is a bookstore for people of non-magic skills). Characters include Kyra, a tri-ling (elf, fairy and mortal), her friend Lilly, (fairy), and siblings Imogen and Darra, (who really are brother and sister). It is a typical happy, light, comedy.
Kyra, the main character, attends regular high school and Magic School. So, does it lean toward Sabrina or Bewitched? It is both and more. The 50s had westerns, the 60s, the doctors, the 70s, Sesame Street, the 80s, family shows and Cheers. In the 90s we got aliens, Alf and Third Rock. So, what is on for the 21st century? Magic! If there is a problem with mortals and magic, should we be working on coming together this fall? I think so. It is definitely too soon for the ultimate magic, Christmas and winter holidays, so let’s get happy while we can.
Even Bill will watch The Bureau of Magical Things. He likes the elves. I lied and told him they had a ring! This show has no new, exciting plots. We know how it will end, but for those who watched the Three Stooges and laughed so hard the pop came out your nose, this could be for you. Roaring Mouse, blinking at the cat. Out.