Bewitched: The Complete First Season

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) is a beautiful woman with charms beyond belief, the kind of charms that seem like real magic. In fact, her charms are real magic, as Samantha is a powerful witch and as part of a society of the same, she lives a life unlike that of mortals. Most of the witches even disapprove of mortals, especially when it comes to mixing with their kind. But Samantha does the unthinkable and falls in love with a mortal man named Darrin (Dick York). Although her fellow witches, especially her mother Endora (Agnes Moorehead), try to talk her out of her romantic plans, she soon marries Darrin. She vows to leave behind the world of magic and begin a normal life for herself. When Darrin learns of her powers, he makes her promise not to use them, but of course, she does sneak in a spell or two. But will the marriage last, or is Endora right when she tells Samantha that witches and mortals just don’t go together?

As the television on home video boom continues, I wait for the shows I love to be released and now, I can mark one off the list. Bewitched is one of the shows I adore, perhaps due to the supernatural element, but also because the show is just fun to watch. I’m too young to have seen the original run, but Nick at Nite allowed me to follow the show’s run from start to finish. I think we’re all familiar with the nose twitch, the two Darrins, and the magical parts of the series, but there’s so much more to Bewitched. At the core, this is a basic sitcom, but like the best always do, Bewitched has a few tricks that make it stand out. The magic angle was cool then and continues to be used even now, with Charmed as a perfect example. The humor is brisk and enjoyable, though as with most sitcoms, some plots were recycled over the course of the run. Elizabeth Montgomery is irresistible as Samantha, while the rest of the cast is also terrific. I cannot recommend Bewitched enough to fans of classic television, as the show continues to be as good now as it was then. A note however, is that Sony has released the first season in the original black & white format, as well as a colorized version. I can’t fathom that anyone would prefer the colorized version, but in any case, make sure you select the correct version for yourself.

Video: How does it look?

The episodes are presented in full frame, as intended. This review covers the original black & white visual scheme, though as noted earlier, a colorized release is also available. I was a little worried, as I wasn’t sure how well the materials had held up, but those doubts were unfounded. These episodes look superb and not only put the reruns to shame, I bet these transfers keep pace with the original broadcasts. The prints have light grain at times, but debris is minimal. This allows for a crisper, more natural visual presence, so fans will be quite pleased in that respect. No problems on the contrast front either, as black levels are consistently stable and show no signs of softness in the least.

Audio: How does it sound?

Aside from the beloved Bewitched theme, the audio in this show is reserved and follows a simple comedic system. The audio is mono, which means depth is limited and such, but with this kind of material, dynamic sound isn’t needed. The music sounds clean, while the assorted sound effects, such as magic twinkles, come across in fine fashion. No worries in terms of dialogue either, as all the one-liners and other vocals are well handled. So no dialogue is washed out or muffled, which means given the materials, we couldn’t ask for much more. This release also includes English subtitles.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The Magic Unveiled is a two part featurette that only runs about fifteen minutes, but has some worthwhile interviews. This is more about production details, trivia kind of information, as opposed to technical data, but for the show, this was an appropriate inclusion. You can also watch about eight minutes of production mistakes in the featurette Magic and Mishaps.

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