The Flintstones (1960-1966)
This crossover falls under the same sort of disclaimer that I put on the Simpsons/X-Files crossover. Usually with a crossover I assume the implication that the shows share a common reality with each other and with other shows they have crossed over with. The characters might easily move between each other's shows... except in cases like these. With cartoons I think of it as more of a one way street. When characters from one show pop up in a cartoon show I assume a sort of separate reality for that toon which happens to have their own versions of the visiting characters in question. And that is especially true in this case.
The cast of Bewitched made an appearance on The Flintstones as sort of caveman era versions of themselves. For those without televisions out there, Bewitched was a modern day story of a witch, Samantha, who marries a mortal, Darrin Stephens, and tries to settle down to live a "normal" life. They also had a witch daughter named Tabitha.
The Flintstones on the other hand was a cartoon clone of the show The Honeymooners set in prehistoric times. It was set in the town of Bedrock. They had tons of famous guest stars playing stone age versions of themselves (Tony Curtis playing Stoney Curtis etc etc...).
In this one instance though, instead of celebrities playing themselves, Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York appeared as their Bewitched characters. Sort of appropriate for them to do a cartoon show given Bewitched's famous animated opening. In the episode Samantha and Darrin had just moved to Bedrock and Samantha was happy to make friends with Wilma Flintstone and Betty Rubble. The only ones who discovered Samantha's secret were the Flintstones' and the Rubbles' children Pebbles and Bamm Bamm and they weren't talking. Why would they blow a good deal? Samantha amused them to no end with her magic.
The story had the Flintstones and Rubbles going camping with Samantha tagging along. The men and the women competed to see who was better roughing it in the great outdoors. Samantha used her magic to cheat and make sure the women won. I'm not sure what kind of message that sends about women equality though. I mean, the beauty of Bewitched was the way it played both sides of the fence on women's equality. On the surface it seemed chauvinistic: a woman with amazing powers and abilities dwarfing her husband's hides and doesn't use them because her husband makes her do so. However, getting way too deep now, it played for many feminists as a positive. Yes she promised to never use her abilities. But the truth was she DID have more power and promise or no, come on, she used her powers EVERY episode to make things right. She was no subserviant shackled thing. No way baby. She had power and self confidence. She was girl power before girl power.
Why bring that up? Because like I said this episode, to my mind, got that formula all wrong. They took the idea of Samantha using her power and made it seem... weak. On Bewitched she would use her powers to fix problems, to help people in trouble. She used her powers ethically. In this episode, again as I've said, she used her powers to cheat. It is made quite clear that were it not for her powers the women would be lost when it came to camping. Wilma and Betty were not only made to look weak but they didn't even know that they were doing well due to magical cheating. So they were deceived into thinking they were more able than they were. That's kinda icky too. And Samantha didn't just make things easier for the women. She used her powers to make the guys look bad. She made a sabertooth tiger appear to scare Fred and Barney. Then when the women would see it she would make it a tame little kitty so they would look tough while the men rightly had feared for their lives. To be accurate Fred and Barney played dirty too but comparing cheat to cheat Samantha was much worse. And the guys started cheating only in response to Samantha's cheating.
Am I overreacting? Probably. As a kid watching this episode none of this even occured to me. As an adult though the whole plot does just play as... icky. The guys are treated horribly, the women look stupid and weak... yeah it's just a cartoon but it still weren't right.Other Bewitched Crossover Links
Bewitched and Passions
Bewitched and Tabitha
Other Flintstones Crossover Links
The Flintstones and The Simpsons
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Buy these shows on Amazon.com and support this site at the same time! Check out Bewitched and The Flintstones on DVD! The episode this article talks about is part of The Flintstones Season 6.