Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Bewitching, bothering or just bewildering?

I was a huge fan of the old Bewitched show, which I watched all through my childhood. I'm somewhat interested, therefore, in the upcoming motion picture of Bewitched, which is opening next week. Interested -- and worried. Thinking back, Bewitched's greatness as a great show was not just because of the silly comedy and the magic-to-the-ruin, magic-to-the-rescue moments. It was also a great show because Samantha, played by the lovely Elizabeth Montgomery, was the show's moral center. She was a completely ethical character. She struggled to maintain her commitment to being a mere mortal, although her anarchic family often made that commitment impossible to maintain. And when she failed, she struggled equally hard to remedy the situation and end each episode by having achieved a rather fragile status quo. I have a suspicion, which may be totally wrong, that the new movie will just be played for laughs. And if that's the case, they'll have missed the original show's central charm, and have turned the story into nothing more than another generic summer comedy. In the same way, I'm ambivalent about the upcoming Narnia movie. As I've mentioned, I'm a huge fan of the Narnia books, in part again because of the strong moral center -- a moral center grounded this time in Lewis' deep Christian beliefs. A Narnia movie using modern special effects could be a joy to watch. I've also heard that Disney promises to respect the manifest Christian content of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe -- but I wonder if a movie coming out of corporate Hollywood can do that. For many of the people in the industry, mainstream religious belief is a foreign language, and I wonder if they'll be able to capture the subtleties. Well, we have until December to find out.