You would be hard pressed to find a better deal than $40 for Bewitched The Complete Series. This is what Amazon and Amazon Canada is asking for it these days. Almost fifty years later (the series ran for 8 seasons from 1964 to 1972) this situation comedy is still funny and aside from fashions and how the role of women is sometimes painted has aged very well. This DVD set features 256 episodes on 33 DVD which comes to 16 cents per episode if you watch each one only once. Bewitched The Complete Series would also make a great Christmas gift for anyone familiar with or new to the show.
Bewitched opens on Samantha and Darrin's honeymoon. Samantha is about to tell Darrin she is a witch when Samantha's mother Endora (the great, great Agnes Moorehead) decides to get involved. This creates a few comic situations before the big reveal. Darrin makes Samantha promise not to use witchcraft but she cannot resist giving Darrin's old flame a bit of a well-deserved comeuppance.
Season 1 introduces most of the regular secondary characters to the show: Darrin's boss Larry Tate, Gladys Kravitz the nosy neighbor nobody believes, the very weird Aunt Clara (first played by Marion Lorne who really had a doorknob collection), and a few others. Paul Lynde shows up as Harold Harold the driving instructor (DVD 3 Episode 26, a very good show) but it is only in season 2 that he becomes the very enjoyable Uncle Arthur. Special features include rather lame bloopers and the more interesting feature on how some of the tricks were pulled off.
Our review for Bewitched Season 2 (includes the first Uncle Arthur episode and the birth of Tabatha).
Seasons 1 and 2 are offered in the colorized version in this set. The episodes look great but I still prefer the original Black and White version available in individual season sets.
The first to be filmed in color, season 3 has 33 episodes and includes classics such as Endora Moves In with the appearing and disappearing house across the street, and the episode where Endora throws a Halloween party and Willie Mays has a cameo. DVD 2 has Oedipus Hex where magically spiked popcorn gets Darrin to relax for a bit. It is one of Endora's kinder spells. What is most entertaining in this season are the Aunt Clara episodes including one involving a pink (on TV purplish) elephant with polka dots. The episode where the Stevens are afraid Tabatha will use here powers while Darren's parents are visiting is a bit disappointing.
In the first of thirty-three Season 4 episodes Samantha becomes queen of the witches. Viewers find out what would have happened if Darrin had never met Samantha, Endora and Clara's powers get switched, Aunt Clara makes aliens visit the Stevens home, the seasonal shows have Thanksgiving with the original pilgrims, Halloween with real goblins, and a visit to the North Pole. Season 4 is also when the Serena character appears for the second time and gets really interesting. Gladys and Abner Kravitz are also in top form.
Season five opens with an episode where Endora shrinks Darrin. It is not bad but it is also one of the few episodes where the special effects are really obvious and cheesy. Episode 2 transport Samantha to 1868s New Orleans and an encounter with a pre-Jefferson Isabel Sanford. The episode (on DVD 4) where Samantha tries to get a rich man to contribute to Unicef has Bernie Kopell (The Love Boat) as a psychiatrist. It also features a very early example of product placement when all the local housewives drive Mustangs SS.
The best episode in Season 5 is the one where Samantha loses her power and the powerless Uncle Arthur and Serena end up working at an ice-cream shack in a repeat of the Lucy and the chocolate factory gag.
Special features are thin in this set. Seasons one and two have a blooper reel and season one has a feature on how the magic was created.
Check out our next review for Seasons 6 to 8.
An earlier review for season 8