7 revelations made while watching "Teen Witch" as a grown up
If you are anything like me, an unabashed product of ’80s and ’90s pop culture, then you likely did a blissful dance (probably that looked like the running man) when you saw that the supernatural cult classic Teen Witch, had returned to Netflix. Having not watched this film since childhood (and then maybe ironically as a teen), I had forgotten how cuckoo bananas and fabulous it is. Of course I recalled some of the memorable musical numbers, but most of it seemed brand new and truly bizarre. Watching it through the eyes of a 30 something, armed with Google and years of common sense, definitely led me to make some startling revelations about the beloved movie and its cast.
1. Louise attends a pretty misogynistic performing arts school.
In addition to the apparent strong theater program, there is talent oozing out of every locker at that school. Clearly the staff is not cracking down on the rap crew that breaks out into impromptu verse in the halls and when the kid spits some rad rhymes in sex ed class, the teacher seems pretty unfazed. And that’s ignoring the synchronized routines that spontaneously erupt at the school dances. How is it possible that everyone is such a flawless dancer?
So why the misogyny assessment? Well after the popular girls say they have been working out a new cheer, they proceed to dance around the locker room in leotards to a song called “I like boys!” A cheer all about putting on lipstick and mini skirts to bring the boys to the yard. This chant seems like a strange way to encourage the sports program, but I guess whatever works.
2. Mr. Weaver should likely be investigated by the authorities.
Sure, harsh teachers are a mainstay in teen cinema, but none are as sketchy (and possibly needing to be fired) as Louise’s senior English teacher, Mr. Weaver. Not only does he single her out to read excerpts from her personal diary, but he later goes through her purse’s spilled contents to ask about her birth control pills!!! And even though he was under a spell at the time, let’s not forget that he stripped down to his underwear in a classroom full of minors. Frankly, I feel like he deserves more than a voodoo doll made in his likeness; he needs a school board investigation for harassment.
3. No one is as worried about Randa’s creepy cousin as they probably should be.
When Louise gets set up with the popular girl’s cousin, David, and he gets incredibly handsy, she summons her teen witch powers to vaporize him when she shouts “I wish you’d leave me alone!” True, he was behaving anything but gentlemanly, but after she makes him disappear — she ditches his car in an alley and never mentions it to anyone again. In fact, Randa doesn’t even bring it up at school and they cross paths all the time. We can only assume that they are not super close. Am I the only one worried about pervy David!?!
4. Brad takes Louise to what looks like a murder scene to get hot and heavy.
True: Teens sometimes have a stilted view of chivalry and romance…but in what parallel universe is it appropriate to take a paramour to a dilapidated building? This place was straight out of a Criminal Minds episode: Windows boarded over, ripped up wallpaper, and blocked almost entirely from potential witnesses by an overgrowth of sunflowers. Perhaps I just watch one too many crime dramas, but my gut reaction is: No matter how hot the guy is and how long you have dedicated your diary entries to him, if you barely know him —DO NOT FOLLOW HIM TO A POTENTIAL CRIME SCENE!
5. Zelda Rubenstein is a national treasure.
The 4 foot 3 dynamo was a huge part of scaring the bejesus out of me as a child in the Poltergeist movies. Just thinking about her saying “Carol Ann…Carol Ann” makes me twitch. In Teen Witch, even though she was once again playing a mystic, I definitely found her incredibly fun and lovable. Who doesn’t love Serena and Louise’s friendship in this movie? I immediately googled her to see if she was still alive, and was saddened to see she passed away in 2010.
6. Robyn Lively, aka Teen Witch, is Blake Lively’s sister and has the best Instagram.
While we are on the subject of Google, I regularly watch a movie with IMDB pulled up on my phone to answer the nagging question of “what have I seen this person in before?” Seriously, how did I maintain sanity before smart phones? When answering where Robyn Lively, aka Louise aka Teen Witch, is now, I realized not only has she guest starred on nearly every series ever, but she is the half-sister of Blake Lively! Naturally, this led me to find her Instagram account, which is loaded with hilarious TBTs of them as kids and current snaps of them hanging out doing normal sisterly things…like visiting the Ellen show or going to see her bro-in-law promote Deadpool. Y’know, sister stuff.
7. Louise’s final look at the dance looks awfully familiar.
Perhaps the most iconic scene in the movie is when Louise comes to the final dance in full fierceness to win over Brad without any sorcery. (Sorry if that’s a spoiler, but this movie has been out for 27 years so I can’t be held accountable for ruining the premise!) Well, as soon as she burst through the gym doors, I felt like her big ’80s auburn mane and blue dress seemed familiar. As I scrolled through my nostalgia Rolodex, it became clear I was thinking of Zack Morris in his best lady ensemble. Of course, in a “who wore it best scenario” — Louise comes out on top!
Guys, I could go on forever (I haven’t even delved into her brother Richie’s eating habits!). I would highly recommend re-watching this childhood favorite, streaming now on Netflix, so you can make your own discoveries.