Bewitched: The Complete Sixth Season from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Bewitched: The Complete Sixth Season from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Bewitched: The Complete Sixth Season from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Bewitched: The Complete Sixth Season from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (click images to enlarge)

Bewitched: The Complete Sixth Season from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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Description of Bewitched: The Complete Sixth Season from Sony Pictures...

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The magic on Morning Glory Circle continues as Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery), Darrin (Dick Sargent), and Endora (Agnes Moorehead) return in Bewitched - The Complete Sixth Season. Notable for being Dick Sargent's first season as Darrin. Samantha, a powerful member of the society of witches that has lived apart from (and disdained) humanity for many centuries, falls in love with a mortal, Darrin Stephens. Much to the disgust of most of her family, she vows to give up witchcraft and become an ordinary suburban housewife, raising a family (bearing Tabitha and Adam). Never able to give up her heritage completely, the friction between the matriarchal, moneyless society of her birth and the patriarchal, capitalist society of modern advertising drives the comedy over eight seasons and 256 episodes, from 1964 to 1971.

Yes, yes, we’ve heard it before: Bewitched jumped the broom in season six when Dick Sargent replaced Dick York as Darrin Stevens, the most infamous cast switcheroo in TV history. But if you don’t purchase this set, be advised that you will miss what Quentin Tarantino, when he hosted Saturday Night Live, proclaimed to be "the single greatest moment in television history": Serena’s rendition of "I’ll Blow You a Kiss in the Wind" in the episode "Serena Stops the Show." Beyond that, this season shows there was still plenty of magic left in this supernatural series. Over the course of the first five seasons, Bewitched replaced Louise Tates and Gladys Kravitzes, so why not Darrin? Besides, Sargent was originally tapped to star as Darrin (but he was contractually bound elsewhere). However, Marion Lorne, who won an Emmy as endearingly addled Aunt Clara, was irreplaceable. So when she passed away, a new character was introduced this season; Esmeralda (Alice Ghostley), a shy witch whose lack of self confidence caused her to fade when she got nervous, and whose good-intentioned spells invariably backfired. If this season suffers from anything, it’s more a sense of been there, twitched that. There is yet another Halloween episode that battles the "ugly witch" stereotype, and several in which a spell gone awry is explained away as a concept for one of Darrin’s ad campaigns (why else would there be a unicorn in the Stevens’ backyard in the episode, "Samantha’s Yoo-Hoo Maid"). And Endora (Agnes Moorehead) continues to cast embarrassing spells on Darrin, like transforming him into a yes-man in "You’re So Agreeable," or compelling him to speak in nothing but clichés in "The Phrase is Familiar." But the writers did conjure up some fresh situations. In a two-parter, Darrin’s newfound magic powers go to his head. In "Samantha’s Secret is Discovered," Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) finally reveals to her mother-in-law (Mabel Albertson) that she is "a cauldron-stirring, card-carrying" witch. And this season, Samantha gives birth to warlock infant Adam. The adorable Erin Murphy, as daughter Tabitha, gives the show some added kid appeal with her misguided uses of her budding powers. In the season opener, she switches places with Jack (Family Affair’s Johnny Whitaker) to climb the beanstalk and confront the Giant. In another episode, she creates a double of Samantha so she can go to the park. In addition to Montgomery’s groovy dual role as Serena, this season offers the always-welcome return of Paul Lynde as practical joker and insult zinger Uncle Arthur and Bernard Fox as the cantankerous and contemptuous Dr. Bombay. This set’s extras are limited to two random "minisodes" of The Partridge Family and I Dream of Jeannie. --Donald Liebenson

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