Tabitha And Adam And The Clown Family
Posted: November 27, 2002
I haven't seen this since the '70s, but I saw it every time it aired back then (at least three times), so my memories are pretty clear. This
"Bewitched" spinoff featured the two Stephens kids at ages about 13 and 9 respectively. Unlike the later "Tabitha" prime-time series (but like the unsold "Tabitha" pilot that preceded it), both were full-fledged witches. The story had them spending their vacation with Darrin's cousins, a married couple who owned the circus where they worked as clowns. Their kids were blatant clones of the Partridge family: a teenaged hunk, pretty sister, money-grubbing kid brother, and a couple of cutesy tots, who had formed their own rock group, the Clowns. Their repertoire consisted of a single sappy pop song called "Sing a Happy Tune", which they somehow managed to sing and play while bouncing on a trampoline! Tabitha and Adam teamed up with these cousins and their sideshow friends to solve the mysterious events plaguing the circus, such as the performing lion suddenly acting "mean and rotten" and the kid drummer losing all his talent whenever he performed. The culprit was an evil but silly hypnotist named Count Krumbly, who hoped to drive Mom and Dad Clown bankrupt and take over the circus. Needless to say, teamwork, friendship and some traditional "Bewitched"-style magic foiled his schemes.
I have to wonder if this was meant as a pilot for TWO potential series - one with the Stephens kids, one with the pop-singing, mystery-solving Partridge clones. Was it a good story? Well, it obviously fell into an awfully familiar 70s-TV formula, and you could hardly call the characters original. And I can buy witchcraft more easily than the idea of someone hypnotizing a lion! But somehow these corny characters were likable - a loving Mom and Dad, loyal friends who accepted each other for who they were (you have to give bonus points to a show that treats circus freaks as real people). And that silly song was almost annoyingly catchy; I can still remember it after 30 years! Maybe it's just nostalgia, but if they aired this today - and why DOESN'T Cartoon Network show these Superstar Movies? - I would definitely watch it again.
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