Witches have been a presence on the small screen since the 1960s, but their popularity is currently at a zenith. That fact may go hand-in-hand with the abundance of supernatural themed shows on TV. While every show has their own mythology when it comes to these magical characters, one fact is indisputable. TV witches have become much darker and malignant throughout the years. The days of the sweet, blonde haired, blue eyed, nose twitching Samantha Stephens (Elizabeth Montgomery) on Bewitched
are gone. This is indicative of cultural and societal changes that have desensitized viewers to violence. It also reflects the current popularity of shows with dark protagonists and subject matter.
The latest installment of American Horror Story
, always shockingly graphic, has introduced viewers to a coven of witches. It contains by far the least nurturing and most malevolent incarnation of the popular supernatural go-to character. AHS: Coven
focuses strictly on witches trying to survive in contemporary society as their numbers dwindle. The show distinguishes itself from other supernatural/horror dramas due to the lack of redeeming characteristics of its primary characters.