Originally published in December 2019.
Growing up, I loved turning on the retro 1960’s – 1970’s fantasy television show Bewitched about a man who marries a witch. Today, my daughters have become as nostalgic as I was. After getting the chance to meet actress Melissa Joan Hart at Hallmark’s Christmas Con, they started to watch all the old seasons of my favorite 1990’s television show, Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Now, my kids are obsessing over 1990’s style and trends, while I’m enjoying the meaningful life lessons that it imparts.
All Families are Unique
While watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch, it’s clear that all families are unique. Sabrina is raised by two aunts who are witches. Since a recent spell kept her mother and father separated from her, this situation is new to the aunts, who try their best to act as parents for Sabrina. Her aunts come to parent teacher conferences, they help her learn her powers, and ultimately they take new jobs to be near her in college. They adore her, and they become the best family for her to have.
Instead of a typical family pet, Sabrina has a talking black cat named Salem. Originally, Salem was a man who plotted to take over the world. The witch’s council required him to live the rest of his days as a cat. Even though Salem is grumpy and self-centered, he remains a valued member of their family.
Sabrina makes mistakes often, but she always learns from them. She’s a typical kid in this way, but her aunts are always there to remind her of their love for her. Mistakes never define who she is, and they help her become a better person.
Life isn’t easy when you’re half witch. Sabrina has to learn to accept herself. Early in the show, she is trying to overcome the insults of a mean popular girl, but she ends up understanding that even the meanest people are worthy of compassion.
Then, she takes a school field trip to Salem, Massachusetts, where she has to face her own background and accept that she truly is a witch. Later, she goes on a date with a male witch whose father doesn’t like mortals, and she learns to stand up for herself.
When she goes to college, she has to accept her own imperfections. As she struggles to accept getting a C, it’s clear that she works hard to do well and wants to be rewarded for her work. Ultimately she realizes that she would rather earn whatever her grade is, as long as she receives that grade fairly.
Re-watching all the old episodes has reminded me of why I liked this show in the first place. I’m happy to pass these life lessons on to my children. It’s also been fun to spark their interest in the simpler times of the 1990’s!
Most recently, you can catch Melissa Joan Hart on Lifetime in the television movie Christmas Reservations.