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Oh Darrin.
~ Samantha

Samantha Stevens is the central protagonist of the sitcom TV show Bewitched. She is a witch who has married a mortal man, Darrin Stevens. The show mostly revolves around Samantha trying to adapt to functioning as a normal mortal home-maker despite having many powers and a vast view of the world at her disposal.

Premises

Sam faces two major conflicts in the series, the more elaborate being her witch family and heritage, which very often threaten to consume her attempts at a mundane personal life. Sam's mother, Endora, in particular is a major antagonist, though not by intent towards her daughter, but rather Darrin. Endora dislikes the prospect of Sam marrying a mortal and giving up the shear amount of power she has to live a dull life of servitude. Sam has many other relatives including her cousin Serena - who has inherited the same likeness, though brunette instead of blonde. Sam must also deal with her well meaning but often clumsy Aunt Clara - who frequently forgets how to undo spells and suffers from random episodes of short-term memory lose.


The second conflict Sam most often faces is from her husband's life. Sam has to deal with many easily solvable problems such as helping Darrin make a good impression on his boss Larry Tate or doing house-hold chores without resorting to magic. Sam sees getting by without her powers as a challenge and good habit to have so as not to be overly reliant on them, but Sam in particular tries to accomplish this so as not to undermine Darrin as bread-winner. Sam has two children, the longer running one was Tabatha. Tabatha has had on and off training in magic and though Darrin and Sam tried to keep her living as a mortal at first eventually both agreed that doing so would lead to more trouble than was necessary trying to find an outlet for her powers if never used. To this end Tabatha receives most of her magical training from her great-aunt Clara. Though Clara was often forgetful and with waning magic, she was a very qualified care-giver and knew just enough magic by heart to provide Tabatha with a constructive outlet for her powers. Adams Stevens was born much later in the show but showed a massive talent for magic, so much so Endora took to training him.

The Metaphor of Magic/Witchcraft

Based on the timing of the show, Magic/Witchcraft is largely considered to be a metaphor for female empowerment. Samantha is capable of much power, she is seen as a deviant by 1950s society and has access to a vast world of possibilities - however indulging in it scares her husband at first and puts him at unease even later in the series. Giving up magic causes her very liberal mother to despise Darrin for weighing her down. And Sam often feels trapped by the modernity of life as a home-maker yet does her best to adapt to it despite the world of possibilities open to her. Using magic threatens to make Darrin feel useless and while he prefers to avoid it he wants his wife to be happy. Darrin sees Endora as obnoxious for insisting magic is the answer to all life's problems yet sympathizes with his aunt Clara for having largely had access to magic but being too old fashion to use it effectively. Both Sam and Darrin want their children to be able to have normal lives but still have every opportunity and so encourage open-mindedness in philosophy but conservative values in practice.

Personality

Sam is naturally helpful and true. While Sam tries to be polite and non-intrusive she will stand-up for those she sees ostracized or abused, including herself. Sam is prepared to give Darrin as much support as she can unless he specifically tells her not to in order to stand on his own two feet. Sam still has a firm limit to what she will and won't indulge and when Darrin or any other mortal starts treating her like a tool to comply with their sensibilities instead of a person she is quite willing to fight back, either with magic or every-day psychology. Sam cares deeply for her family but is often exasperated by them.

Trivia

  • Sam was portrayed by actress Elizabeth Montgomery.
  • Elizabeth Montgomery portrayed both Sam and Serena.
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