Monday, June 25, 2012

The Good Witch Shame

It happened again.  I wasted a few hours of my life I will never, ever get back again.  I watched The Good Witch movies again.  Well, to be fair to myself, I only watched the second half of the third one for about an hour yesterday, and changed the channel before the fourth one came on because I just couldn't take it anymore.

ABC Family is a great channel.  They frequently offer all-day Harry Potter movie marathons, repeat airings of The Parent Trap remake with Lindsay Lohan, and offer up one of my favorite features during the month of October, the 13 Nights of Halloween, where a Halloween-themed movie is on for thirteen nights in a row!  It's usually where I catch my annual viewing of Hocus Pocus.  Well, The Good Witch doesn't air on ABC Family.  The Good Witch is a product of The Hallmark Channel, the next channel up if you have DirecTV.  Yes, Hallmark, as in the greeting card company.  They have a channel.

For those of you unfamiliar with The Good Witch movies, let me break them down for you.  There are currently four of them, yes four.  They star Catherine Bell, best known as the female lead in your grandpa's favorite show JAG.  Catherine Bell plays a woman named Cassandra Nightingale (Oooo...witchy!) who breezes into Small Town, USA and shakes things up!  There is the original movie, The Good Witch, The Good Witch's Garden, The Good Witch's Gift and The Good Witch's Family.  Yes, four.

I was first drawn into The Good Witch for obvious reasons, the witch!  It's no secret that I love me some witches.  I was also drawn in by the settings.  I love Small Towns as depicted on TV and in movies, mostly because they don't exist in real life.  There is the bustling Main Street, the well-kept, crime-free neighborhoods, everyone knows each other, no one seems to have a job unless it's Police Chief, or Shop Owner, or Teacher, or Mayor.  Despite no one working, no one has financial problems either.  And everyone shops locally.  You never see a Target in the middle of town.  Everyone Knows Everyone and Everyone Likes Everyone.  And there is also a haunted house.  Oh, my yes.  The house that the baseball field always happens to be in the shadow of and when the ball is hit over the fence and into the yard, it stays there.  The braver kids in town dare each other to run up and touch the front door, you know the one.  You have one in your town too, don't you?  It's not being used as a meth den, right?

Thus is the hamlet where The Good Witch movies take place.  Everything in this town (called Middleton, natch) is running smoothly.  People are going about their business, not breaking the law and paying their taxes, when suddenly the haunted house is occupied!  Oh, dear! A dark haired woman with black nail polish moved in!  And she is landscaping!  She's a witch!  Burn her at the stake!

The police chief's daughter (oh, the police chief is a widow, of course, with two kids.  His father-in-law also lives with him.  The father-in-law has an Irish accent of varying degrees) is attacked by a dog and Cassandra treats her bite wound with some sort of magic beans or something from her suddenly bursting and vibrant garden.  And, not only that, but when the Mayor's Wife is giving a "heritage" tour of the town and they come across the grand old haunted house Cassandra dare come out and speak to the tour group, even offering them a peek inside!  Why this pisses off the Mayor's Wife so much, I haven't a clue.  She's a very cartoon-y, plump, female made-for-TV-movie villain.  Too much make-up, very prim, you know the type.  This one incidents alone put the Mayor's Wife on the warpath and she "simply insists!" that the police chief go talk to this woman, or arrest her or something.  Okay, fine, move the plot forward.

Jake, the Police Chief goes to Cassandra's house and sees a black cat, a broom, and herbs scattered about the kitchen counters.  He doesn't care though because SHE'S SO PRETTY and nice and took care of his kid when she was hurt.  Oh, he likes her very much and tells her that the Mayor's wife can take a long walk off a short pier for all he cares.

"Oh, BTW Cassie, what are you going to do now that you are here in Middleton for your job?  Here are your career options as indicated in the Game of Life..."

"I am opening a shop on Main Street, of course!  I will sell things that can easily be misinterpreted for drugs and Satan-worshiping tools!"  (I may not be remembering this dialogue correctly.)

Cassie (she's now called Cassie) opens her little witch-y shop and sells crystals and sex drugs to horny housewives (or the character who just can't get pregnant...) Of course, the Mayor's Wife goes to the shop and clucks her tongue at all the goods for sale and Cassie, like a moron, decides to don some ridiculous bedazzled feather mask and sneak up behind the Mayor's Wife, causing the Mayor's Wife to crash into a display.  The Mayor's Wife marches right to the police station and claims that Cassie assaulted her and she is to be arrest right away.

The movie goes on like this, the police chief loves her, his kids love her and think it's kind of fun she's a witch (even though when asked straight out "Are you a witch?"  Cassie says, "I'm not a witch.") and there is even a dumb subplot about some kid whose dad is beating on him and the Police Chief's son uses Cassie's "magic" and invites him over for dinner, blah, blah, blah saves the day.  The movie comes to a head when the Mayor's kids, two teenage boys, decided to vandalize  Cassie's shop on 3:30 in the afternoon and are easily apprehended.  Cassie is ready to leave town and sell her haunted house with a now kick-ass garden to return to her existence of, who-knows-what.  Her life before Middleton is never really discussed.  By the end, everyone learns tolerance (of a pretty white woman!) and Cassie decides to stay and starts knocking boots with Jake.

The next three movies are very similar, just with different backdrops.  The second one revolves around the town's bicentennial and Cassie turning her house into a Bed and Breakfast, but one of her long-lost relatives tries to run her out of the house or something.  The third one is a Christmas themed movie wherein Cassie and Jake are planning their wedding for Christmas Eve, and some bank robber is back in town (this character is just shy of wearing a striped jumpsuit and carrying around a sack with a dollar sign on it) and the fourth one is about another one of Cassie's relatives coming to muck things up.  At the end of the fourth movie Cassie is not only now Mayor of Middleton, she's also preggers.  Awww.

So, what of the witch, you ask?  What makes her so witchy if she even says, "I'm not a witch" in the first movie?  Apparently, to be a witch all you need to do is talk in riddles;  lots of "We all get just what we need" or "you deserve a treat.." and BAM, you run into your son who's mad at you at the coffee shop because Cassie told him to "warm up" on his way home, moments after she told you to do the same, what?!  Whoa?!  Witchcraft!  She also has a black cat, which I don't know about you guys but....that's a sure sign...AND a broom.  Because one never needs a broom for practical reasons, only for flying reasons.  So, no, never do you see Cassie slitting the throat of a dove and squeezing it's blood onto her skyclad body or any of that sort of business.  She's very "I make my own tea and enjoy herbal supplements.  Have some crystals."

Despite not having an actual witch in them, when The Good Witch movies re-air I will again waste a perfectly good afternoon watching all of them and saying to myself, "This is dumb.  All these actors have really thick Canadian accents...." And you should too!  It's always fun to have something that isn't worth your enjoyment that you totally enjoy.  Guilty pleasures, I believe they are called.


  1. Thanks for the synopsis and warning!

  2. I get the impression that you are not a big fan of Catherine Bell's "The Good Witch" movies. I personally find these movies to be very relaxing, magical, entertainment with the enjoyable happy ending. Call me nieve but I get tired of all the violence, sex and death. I think these are a refreshing change. Everyone finds what they need, be it physical or emotional. And as for Martha, the former mayor's wife, she just adds that bit of annoying busy body to the story. So as for my husband and I, we look forward to the airing of "The Good Witch" every Halloween and Christmas! ! And if we aren't able to view the movie during live airings I record them for a more convenient time. I especially love how Cassie can manage to show someone their own worth, or turn a near disaster into a wonderful success, like the night she and her husband, police chief Jake were married. They are definitely more fun to watch than the "Walking Dead" which my husband never misses.