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Series / Free Spirit (1989)
aka: Free Spirit

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Something about your smile has a touch of magic in it...note 

Winnie Goodwin has the Harper family under her spell.
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A short-lived Fantastic Comedy that premiered on ABC in, well, 1989.

Every 100 years, a witch must provide assistance to a mortal in need. When the time comes for the fun-loving Cute Witch Winnie Goodwin (Corinne Bohrer) to perform "public service" in this manner, she finds herself becoming a Magical Nanny and new friend to young Gene Harper and his two older siblings, Robb and Jessie. The kids' father, divorced lawyer Thomas "TJ" Harper, remains unaware that Winnie can perform magic. Hilarity Ensues.

Due to poor ratings and reviews, this series was canceled after 14 episodes, the last of which never aired in America, being pre-empted by a Full House rerun (it did air in Australia).


Free Spirit provides examples of:

  • '80s Hair: All the main characters except Jessie have this.
  • Blithe Spirit: Winnie.
  • Brought Down to Normal: A thunderstorm causes Winnie to temporarily lose her powers.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Robb.
  • Catchphrase:
    Winnie: Not necessarily.
  • Costume-Test Montage: Gene has one when Winnie helps him try on different outfits for a party.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Gene.
  • Deliberately Monochrome:
    • The intro has some black and white scenes that change to full color as Winnie poofs in.
    • One episode has Winnie perform some Imagine Spots about living in a black and white sitcom from The '50s.
  • Engagement Challenge: Winnie's fiancee (a warlock played by Dave Coulier of Full House fame) shows up after a courtship that spans 150 years. He had to cross the Atlantic in a day, and capture a girl's smile without using magic. Modern tech helps him beat most of her father's challenges.
  • Advertisement:
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: The Pilot ends with Winnie and the Harper kids ridiculing TJ's pajamas in this manner.
  • Evil Twin: In one episode, Winnie accidentally separates Robb's good and evil personas into two different people.
  • Flying Broomsticks: Winnie and Jessie ride these at the end of the Halloween Episode. Winnie considers this the only fun part of celebrating Halloween.
  • Halloween Episode: And a Epunymous Title for it: "Hallowinnie".
  • I Choose to Stay: Winnie could have left the Harpers after helping Gene win the bowling tournament he signed up for in the Pilot, but she had so much fun with those kids that she decided to live with them.
  • Literal-Minded: Winnie at times. For instance, after Jessie accuses her date of being an "animal", Winnie turns him into a monkey.
  • Love Potion: Winnie doesn't brew a potion to spread romance, but after she hears about Robb failing to win over a girl at school, she tries to zap her into loving him. Unfortunately, she zaps her for too long, making her never want to leave Robb's side.
  • Magic Misfire: Winnie does this sometimes.
  • Magicians Are Wizards: Winnie and Jessie try to impress a group of students by performing a magic trick in which Winnie would make Jessie disappear. Unfortunately, Winnie's powers malfunction on Halloween (she blames all the mortals performing Stage Magic), complicating the process of making her re-appear.
  • Make a Wish: Winnie first appears in the Harper household right after Gene wishes for someone with time to help him practice for a bowling tournament.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Winnie and TJ would have had one if the romantic tension (see Uptight Loves Wild below) actually paid off. Additionally, the Missing Episode that aired in Australia and not in the US has Winnie's sister, Cassandra, fall in love with Robb, with his lack of immortality complicating things between them.
  • Missing Mom: The Harper kids' parents are divorced, as mentioned above.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: For starters, Gene asks Winnie to demonstrate some witchcraft for Robb and Jessie by fetching him some eggs. Winnie fulfills this task by filling the kitchen cupboard with live chickens, proceeding to take two eggs from one of them.
  • Oh, Cisco!
  • Really 700 Years Old: Winnie looks and acts like a young adult, but was actually born in 1665, making her 324 when she meets Gene.
  • Rhyming with Itself: The theme song rhymes "it" and "it".
  • Secret Keepers: No mortals other than the Harper children know about Winnie performing witchcraft.
  • Shout-Out: The episode title "Love That Winnie" is a reference to the 50's sitcom Love That Bob (officially titled The Bob Cummings Show).
  • The Smurfette Principle: TJ has two sons, but only one daughter.
  • Spinning Out of Here: The pilot and the full intro show Winnie spinning her way to Earth.
  • Straight Man: TJ.
  • Stop Trick
  • Thematic Theme Tune: The Title Theme Tune emphasizes how much joy Winnie brings into the Harpers' lives while only subtly referencing her mystical nature.
  • Theme Tune Extended: Two versions of the intro exist: one that runs about 30 seconds, and one that lasts a minute.
  • Uptight Loves Wild: Winnie and TJ constantly play Will They or Won't They?, with the show ending before they could officially become a couple.
  • Welcome Episode: The Pilot details how Winnie came to live with the Harpers.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Winnie's superiors demand that witches return to their own realm right after finishing their public service, since spending too much time among mortals can cause a witch to develop such emotions as love and compassion. Winnie doesn't take long to get these.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Winnie calls out TJ for not spending enough time with the kids.
  • Willfully Weak: After Winnie refuses to leave the mortal realm, her supervisor challenges her to spend one week without using her powers, in exchange for the right to live with the Harpers.

Alternative Title(s): Free Spirit