The Good Witch is a series on the Hallmark channel based on several made for TV movies. The movies are so sugary that you risk getting a toothache. A total guilty pleasure, if I do say so myself. When Hallmark aired a movie, I would grab a pint of ice cream and some wine and settle in for a fun evening in. When it was announced there would be a series I was excited. So, excited that I binge watched the first season then hopped over to Amazon to work my way through season 2.
The Premise: Cassy is a pillar of the Middleton community. A quintessential small town in anywhere, America. She is the owner of the bed and breakfast named Grey House and a shop called Bell, Book, and Candle is a single mom raising her teenage daughter along with being there for her two adult step children. Oh, and in case you didn’t get it from the title, she’s a witch. I love that Cassy, who has different religious beliefs, is a relied upon member of the community. She is the modern representation of the old school wise woman.
However, I think the show has given me a huge toothache. You see, my problem stems from Tara. Poor, poor Tara. This character and her storyline have so much potential but it
falls horrendously short of what it could be. It is what pushes me over the edge and makes
me wonder if it’s time to break up with this television franchise. In Season 1 Tara, the wife of Cassy’s stepson is about to start a Ph.D. program. What the program is no one knows. Is she in a teaching program? Is she an astrophysicist student? Is she studying ancient Greek? Your guess is as good as mine. All we know is that she is accepted to Oxford which leads to the central conflict. She must choose between staying with her husband and going to a program here or divorcing her husband and taking off to Cambridge (because how can you possibly stay married to someone overseas-asks the Army wife??). Guess which option she chooses.
Fast forward to season 2 and baby fever. Tara has determined that she wants to get pregnant but it has yet to happen. Here is a fantastic opportunity for the writers to give us viewers a wonderful feel good storyline about infertility (and maybe adoption) with the trademark Cassy Nightengale hopeful advice. But what do we get instead? Tara goes baby crazy to the point where she guts her husband’s study and buys a baby changing table for the baby who has yet to even exist. I can see buying clothes or knitting stuff and stashing it away but isn’t the whole let’s gut a room in the house and buy furniture for someone that doesn’t exist yet a bit much? Many women craft baby clothes and pick up a onesie or two at Target to stash away for future use (or gifts). I have never seen a sane, rational woman buy baby furniture so far ahead of the game.
That was irksome enough but the piece de resistance is that she quits her mysterious Ph.D. program. And her reasoning: It just feels right and I want something flexible and stress-free for when the baby comes.
Maybe it’s me. Maybe I am around too many women who have careers and families. Women who have lives outside of their little-predetermined boxes. They are wonderful mothers and wives who are *gasp* happy. This Tara storyline made me re-evaluate every other female character in the show and what I found was that any woman who had a non-domestic centered career was an anti-hero. The town mayor is a woman but she is an annoying busy body that is barely tolerable. Then there is Cassy’s love interest’s ex-wife. She is a high-powered executive of something or other but can’t seem to define herself outside of the men in her life and is only a nurturing mother when it suits her. And even though the show has forgotten about Laura in season two, I can’t. Cassy’s stepdaughter just vanishes and it’s not until towards the end of season two that we learn, in passing that she has gone to LA on assignment. With all this taken into consideration, I can’t take this show anymore. I just can’t.
So, The Good Witch, it’s not you, it’s me. Wait, no, that’s not right, it is you. In a modern world where women can lean in and have a career and families, I don’t have time for your brand of 1950’s nostalgia. I want a show that has women who are willing defy expectations and at the end of the day are happy. Because these women exist and it’s time that we see more of them on television.