I just added the third season of this beloved, timeless television show to my collection and now own the complete set. I can watch these episodes over and over. They are sheer delightful escapism and entertainment. Growing up in the 70's and early 80's, I sat glued to countless reruns of the series, starting from the colour episodes. The early black and white ones were actually unfamiliar to me, as was the actress who first played Mrs Kravitz (I now think I actually prefer her in the role, the second one was a bit snooty and not as funny).
This aside however, I find the third season equally enjoyable as the first two, particularly because my favourite character; dear, sweet, bumbling Aunt Clara appears often. As a child of the colour generation, I really don't think I would enjoy Bewitched as much in B&W, and I thought they did a fine job of colourizing 1 & 2. You'd miss so much, the vibrant colours of the 60's retro settings and costumes, not to mention Endora's shock of orange hair and blue eyemakeup.
In retort to one reviewer's rather harsh comments: I think Elizabeth Montgomery looks equally gorgeous in this season. A truly, and naturally, stunning woman, long before botox and liposuction. She's slimmed down a bit here and has lost some of the earlier softness to her face, but to say she looks 10 years older..hardly. Keeping in mind too, this was moving into the late 60's period and fashions, and the visual style of these episodes is simply a product of the times, suntans, bouffy hairdos and all. I also ,for one, found the presence of baby Tabitha a sheer delight, what a truly exquisite child. There were actually two child actors that played her, I know (I think they were sisters or twins?) both beautiful, but I'm refering particularly to the main one seen in the close ups, talking and nose twitching scenes, who was just an absolute doll.
Along with the Aunt Clara episodes, of which the 'Accidental Twins' would have to be the funniest. The most hilarious situations and precious comedy, are born from where Endora casts her spells on Darrin. The best of this series is undoubtedly 'I remember you... sometimes', that sees Darrin become, thanks to his Mother in Law's usual tricks, a 'know it all' expert on every subject; much to the annoyance of Larry and their client. I think I appreciate Dick York's amazing comic timing a lot more now than when I was growing up, he really was the quintessential Darrin, an empathetic character, but who's male pride and big mouth always land him in trouble with his unusual in -laws. He may not be the Rock Hudson of leading men, true, but he had a lovely chemistry with Montgomery and you truly believed the love they had for each other, as a couple in the show. Also, he had to be your 'Mr Average', otherswise he wouldn't have been such a target for Samantha's family to pick on. It also brings more depth to Samantha's genuine love and devotion for him. Agnes Moorehead as always, is wonderfully theatrical as Endora. In a sense she became a metaphor for the Mother in Law from Hell, not to be messed with. What a fun role that must have been to play. I just can't see anyone else playing Samantha but Elizabeth, she has such warmth, charm and charisma in the role. I couldn't really take Nicole Kidman at all in the remake, I must confess.
This season sees the return of my other favourite, Uncle Arthur, in a couple of episodes where he battles it out with Endora,( Endora Moves in for a Spell and Twitch or Treat),and also introduces the eccentric, Dr Bombay (There's gold in them thar pills), who like Uncle Arthur, actually appeared as a different character in earlier shows. The only one missing is Cousin Serena. As well as the regular witchly visitors, there's an array of historical and famous figures being conjured up throughout season 3, from Benjamin Franklin and Queen Victoria to Sigmund Freud, who incidently does a very convincing and amusing impression in an episode which pokes fun at modern Psychoanalysis in relationships.
The Complete Third Season is a continuation of the vintage quality television sitcom that was Bewitched. They just don't make them like this anymore. Obviously a labour of love for its creators and most innovative for its time, it will be enjoyed for generations to come. Bewitched is a fun, fantasy comedy that captures (and reminds us of) a simpler and more innocent time, and makes us wish we could live in Samantha's world where a wave of the hand and twitch of a nose fixes everything.