Screens: Screen Gems

Battle Of The Bewitched Dicks

Two Dicks enter, but only one casts a spell.

Being married to a witch is not easy. The perks seem okay, I guess -- trips to the netherworld, a son who's a warlock, access to potions -- but it's not for everybody. It might even make a husband act like a dick. In fact, it's a more of a burden than one man should be expected to handle! Sometimes, it takes two Dicks to play a Darrin, but in the hotly contested debate over Who's The Bigger Dick, York or Sargent, there can be only one.

Who swung the bigger dick at work?

If Mad Men has taught us anything, it's that life at an ad agency is fraught with peril. But was any ad man in history under more pressure than Darrin Stephens of McMann and Tate? Setting aside the daily struggle -- waiting for genius to strike -- he had to deal with more unusual stuff like, I don't know, his wife's identical witch cousin Serena coming in and wreaking sexual mayhem among his clients. But nothing was harder to deal with than his high-strung squirrel of a boss, Larry.

Dick York practically lived and breathed nervous energy in the workplace, two steps away from a panic attack, leaping with fright every other minute...granted, sometimes it was because Dr. Bombay turned him into a dog.

Sargent, however, held himself together, perhaps benefitting from his late-stage Darrin-ness, or maybe due to the fact that he just had better ideas. I mean, look, it was 1970. He wasn't about to take shit from some jerks in skinny black ties. He was going to wear a checked sportcoat to work every day and grow his sideburns out however he damn well pleased. Sam, take the slipcovers off the sofa tonight. The oatmeal campaign can wait.

Winner: Sargent.

Who was the biggest dick in the neighborhood?

The psychological torment endured by Mrs. Kravitz at the hands of the Stephens family is television's dark secret. The poor woman knew shit was going down, was blowing whistles all damn day, was repeatedly magicked upon against her will and...it's played for laughs. Is it right? Not for me to say, but where York valiantly attempts to sidestep the ol' curtain twitcher as much as possible, Sargent could be downright gleeful in his Gladys subterfuge.

Winner: Sargent.

Who could go dick to dick (ew!) with his mother-in-law?

Some people have mothers-in-law who are busybodies, sure. They come over at Thanksgiving and try to take over in the kitchen. They make unreasonable demands about family vacations. They move your furniture around and try to interfere with how you raise your kids. They can fly and put a spell on you that makes you speak only in clichés. What?

Yeah, if anyone would be justified committing in-law matricide, it's Darrin Stephens. But which would be more likely to do it? By the time Sargent slid into place, "Derwood" and Endora had reached something of a truce. I mean, not totally, don't be crazy, but he handled her occasional attacks with a far more mellow approach.

York, on the other hand, took none of it lying down. "If that mother of yours ever pulls a stunt like that again, I'm gonna use a little magic of my own! Make a few of her teeth disappear!"

Winner: York.

Verdict

Poor Sargent, replacing Dick York late in the game, was no doubt feeling the heat from fans of the show who loved York. Though he came in to portray an already-established character, he sort of refused to play the game, opting to bring a far more subtle, mature tone to the role. Widely blamed for the show's drop in ratings and eventual cancellation, his defenders attributed it to the changing culture of the early 1970s. Could have been that, sure, but maybe it was also because...he was sort of a dick?

Winner: Sargent.

Discussion

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