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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > Bewitched - The Complete Seventh Season (Sony DVD)

Bewitched - The Complete Seventh Season (Sony DVD)

 

Picture: B-†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: D†††† Episodes: B

 

 

Living in Watertown, Massachusetts, I vividly recall the publicity surrounding the Bewitched cast and crew's visit to Salem in 1970.Our local TV guides took full advantage of their arrival.  A local restaurant in Salem took photographs of the cast which I had the pleasure of obtaining copies a few years ago.The location filming came about when a fire destroyed part of the series' set and shooting elsewhere became necessary.  The result was a big breath of fresh air for the series as actual witch history (The Salem Witch Trials) were woven into episode plots for Bewitched - The Complete Seventh Season.

 

Guest stars for the season include Jane Connell, as High Priestess Hepzibah, Cesar Romero, Bert Convey as Paul Revere, and Jonathan Harris were among those featured in these Salem based episodes.Once the Salem episodes were completed, new stories were mixed in with re-workings of previous episodes.  Some fans have stated this series should have ended when Dick York had to leave due to illness in 1969.  Bewitched, at this time, was still ABC's Number 1 rated comedy series and the network wasn't ready to let it go.  Instead ABC gave both Elizabeth Montgomery and her then-husband, William Asher, a huge financial benefit to stick around for four more seasons.  With the extra money somebody should have thought of hiring more writers. My personal opinion is the series should have called it quits after this season.

 

Memorable episodes during the seventh season include the delightful two-part episode featuring Imogene Coca as Mary the Good Fairy (Mary the Good Fairy and Mary The Good Fairy Strikes Again), Bob Cummings as Serena's target of affection, Mr. Berkley (Samantha and The Troll),  John McGiver as the head of Bobbins Candy Company (Mother-In-Law of the Year), Darrin being zapped into old age by Endora (Samantha's Old Man, which won an Emmy award for make up in 1971), Uncle Arthur turning Sam's home into a fun house full of practical jokes (The House That Uncle Arthur Built) and Elizabeth Montgomery's favorite episode written by the 10th grade class of Jefferson High School dealing with racial prejudice (Sisters at Heart).  This episode was awarded the Governor's award at the Emmys in 1971.The episode, on DVD, features Elizabeth's opening and closing commentary not seen since airing on the ABC network.

 

Though done slightly in season six, this season features a fair amount of refurbished scripts; Samantha's Pet Warlock (from an episode from season 2), Samantha's Magic Potion (from an episode from season 1), Out of the Mouths of Babes (from an episode from season 2), Samantha's Magic Mirror (from an episode from season 2) and Samantha and the Antique Doll (from an episode from season 1).  To each of these episodes credit, the energy level of the entire cast (unlike the season to follow) remained high and their was enough originality in each to entertain the viewer.

 

There has never been an explanation why this was the last season viewers would see George Tobias and Sandra Gould as Mr. and Mrs. Abner Kravitz.The pair was featured in memorable episodes in season seven including the two-part episode with Mary the Good Fairy, Samantha's Pet Warlock, Darrin Goes Ape and Laugh and Clown Laugh.  It has been revealed Elizabeth Montgomery didn't care for Sandra Gould's portrayal of the character originated by Alice Pearce. One can't help but wonder if this had something to do with the couple's disappearance.  Many history books have stated both performers played these roles until 1972.  This information is false as it was 1971.

 

Paul Lynde made his final appearance as Uncle Arthur as did the hysterical Mabel Anderson as Darrin's Mother.  Robert F. Simon, who played Frank Stephens when the series began, returned to the role in Samantha and the Antique Doll.Erin Murphy was charming in episodes revolving around Tabitha or where she was allowed screen time but David Lawrence as Adam, though cute, didnít contribute much as his character was mortal.

 

On the rating's end, Bewitched was no longer a top twenty program by this time.  It was once finished in 60th place during the 1970-71 being the network's highest rated episode on this particular Thursday night.  It was renewed for an 8th season (and a 9th was planned) because of the network's contract with the series. The video and audio transfers are excellent and all scenes appear to be intact.  For Bewitched fans this is must have for your DVD collection.  For those who share an acquaintance with the series rent it instead.

 

 

-†† Fred Grandinetti


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