Winnie was the cute blond housekeeper to the Harper family: lawyer pop Thomas and his three children. She was also a witch, and often resorted to magic to get the Harper kids out of--and into--trouble.Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
This series -- and particularly Corinne Bohrer -- left an indelible mark on my memory. For eons now, every time I've seen Bohrer on commercials (unfortunately that seems to be her career nowadays) or in films/TV, I smile and say, "Winnie." I've revisited other fondly remembered shows from my childhood and found that they were pretty awful, so I figured that this one surely must be too. So when I found most of the episodes for download on an Alyson Hannigan page, I was simultaneously excited and apprehensive about tainting my memory of the show. This is one of those cases where my memory didn't lie.
Bohrer is truly delightful as witch Winnie Goodwin, who (rather derivatively) finds herself living with the Harper family, where the kids know that she's a witch, but the widower Dad doesn't. Just as I'd remembered, she's essentially a witch version of Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow) from "Friends" -- Phoebe even seems to have ripped off Winnie's wardrobe. Franc Luz, who plays father T.J., seems to be a Bob Saget doppleganger, but he was still very good in the role (sadly he now works as a tour guide). All three of the children were charming in their roles (Hannigan was obviously destined for great things, but it's fun to see her in this very early performance).
From my perspective now, I figured that the show's shortcoming would be the writing, but was pleasantly surprised to discover that the writing's pretty solid. Yes, it has the obligatory '80s sappy sitcom moments, but the dialog was generally above average -- and the cast could make even the corniest of jokes fly with their fantastic delivery. Some of the story lines were a bit cliché, but not in a bad way...
I'm really not sure why this show vanished as quickly as it appeared. Another commenter said that it was up against "The Simpsons," but only two of the last episodes of this show aired up against the long-running hit. The show certainly hasn't aged as badly as others in the same genre, such as "Small Wonder," "Down to Earth" or "Out of This World" (not that I'm knocking those shows -- they just really show their age).
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