BUY IT AT AMAZON: CLICK HERE
STUDIO: Sony Pictures
RATED: Not rated
RUNNING TIME: 677 minutes
A hot witch is content to be bossed around in her idyllic suburban life by her prick mortal husband. Hijinks ensue.
Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick Sargent, Agnes Moorehead, David White, Erin Murphy.
Bewitched is one of the few shows that I remember loving from from earliest childhood and still finding enjoyable to watch well into my decrepitude. The show was full if fun and managed to survive one of the most controversial cast changes in TV history when Sargent replaced Dick York as Darrin. Even though the show was populated by zany goings-on and fun, weird characters, ultimately it was the loving relationship between Sam and Darrin that was the driving force of the show. Although it’s hard to imagine a woman today bending over backwards so much to accommodate her man: giving up the life of a witch as much as possible and catering to meet his demands as a loyal housewife. It was their strong marriage that saw them through every supernatural and mortal obstacle that was placed in front of them.
Although Montgomery as Sam had chemistry with both of her TV husbands, she was the real draw of the show: sexy yet refined and possessing good comic timing with those she worked with. Plus there was the nose twitching thing. She’d no doubt be the M to Barbara Eden’s F to Melissa Joan Hart’s K in a round of F-Marry-Kill. Sam was different than Barbara Eden’s Jeannie because she wasn’t the naive creature that Jeannie was. Sam knew all about the modern world and made the decision to live in it as a mortal. And it was frequently her family that got her into trouble rather than her impulsiveness. There haven’t been too many celebrity deaths that really grabbed me but I remember being touched by Montgomery’s passing because I enjoyed her work so much in this role.
Bewitched was also populated by outrageous supporting characters such as Paul Lynde as Uncle Arthur, Bernard Fox as Dr. Bombay and even Montgomery pulling double duty as her mischievous cousin, Serena. But it was Agnes Moorehead as Endora who was the acerbic heart of the show. She set the standard for sarcastic and caustic mothers-in-law for TV. As for Sargent as Darrin, he was fine, but he definitely lacked the manic energy that was York’s signature on the show. I’m surprised York’s Darrin never keeled over from an aneurysm. Sargent’s Darrin was much more blase about everything bad that happened to him and Sam.
Season 8 found the Stephens dealing with such mishaps as Sam getting sent back to the 16th Century by a jealous witch wheein she has to deal with a lustful Henry VIII with no memory of Darrin in the two-part season premiere, “How Not to Lose Your Head To King Henry VIII.” “Samantha and the Loch Ness Monster” had Sam and Darrin, who were on vacation in various locales for part of the season, encountering the Loch Ness monster, who was really a guy turned into the monster by Serena. “A Plague on Maurice and Samantha” has Sam and her father, Maurice (Maurice evans) losing their powers temporarily, and Maurice having to live life as a mortal until his powers return. And in the final episode, “The Truth, Nothing But the Truth, So Help Me Sam,” Darrin gets the Liar, Liar treatment courtesy of a pen from Endora that makes him tell the truth.
Bewitched still holds up well today, although it is dated by a lot of the pop culture references of the day and the fashions. The show did manage to get a lot of mileage out of the one-note premise of Sam and Darrin almost being found out by the mortal world. Still, it was a well made show that did a lot with a little and had memorable and fun characters and situations.
There are 26 episodes that for the most part look pretty good, although occasionally do show their age. Audio is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese with Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. No special features.