TITLE: BEWITCHED - THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON
DVD Release Date: February 3, 2009 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 28
Running Time: approx. 672 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: approx. 45 seconds
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English, Spanish, and Portuguese languages; Spanish & Portuguese subtitles; Closed-Captioned.
Special Features: Original Elizabeth Montgomery Opening/Closing for “Sisters at Heart,” Sony Previews
After a 9-month wait, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment twitches us the Seventh Season on DVD! The Emmy-nominated seventh season stars Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick Sargent, David White, and Agnes Moorehead. This season, Samantha (Montgomery) is summoned to appear at the Witches Convention in Salem and we are in for a Salem experience for the first seven episodes or so! Among the plots this season are, Darrin (Sargent) is taken to jail in Salem when the authorities think he stole a bedpan; and Samantha’s Aunt Esmerelda (Alice Ghostley) takes an original Paul Revere teapot in Salem. Endora (Moorehead) changes Darrin into an old man; Tabitha (Erin Murphy) meets a real live fairy when she loses her first tooth; and Samantha’s wacky cousin Serena is up to no good - again. We also see once again Paul Lynde as Uncle Arthur, Sandra Gould as Gladys Kravitz, Bernard Fox as Dr. Bombay and Kasey Rogers as Louise Tate. So join Elizabeth Montgomery in ... Bewitched! (Now the theme music is stuck in your head, isn’t it?)
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
This season is the season where the season starts off with that huge Salem arc. I loved that. I remember loving watching that in syndication because it was such a long arc. The first two episodes are about them talking about going to Salem. Samantha is summoned to a witch's meeting in Salem, Massachusetts, but she refuses. The third episode, “Salem Saga,” it is their first day in Salem and Samantha is in trouble as an antique bed-warmer starts to follow her around. Then on the fourth episode, “Samantha’s Hot Bed Warmer,” the antique bed warmer turns out to be a rejected suitor of Serena's who must return to 17th century Salem to undo her hex. By the eighth episode of the season, “Samantha’s Old Salem Trip,” Sam and Darrin abruptly return home but Sam is summoned back by the Witches Council. Esmerelda hastily sends Sam back to Salem - seventeenth century Salem, that is! The Christmas episode “Sisters at Heart,” which is actually written by an English class from an elementary school, has Tabitha wanting to be sisters with her black friend Lisa, so she casts a spell and they both end up polka-dotted. Through another misunderstanding Darrin's client wants him off the account because he thinks that Lisa is his daughter. In “The Mother-in-Law of the Year,” upon the suggestion of Endora, the owner of Bobbins Bonbons make her Mother-In-Law of the Year, and she is slated to appear on a TV commercial from ABC, but when she doesn't show up Samantha turns herself into her mother. In the two-part arc of Mary the Good Fairy, an old friend of Samantha's, visits Tabitha, Samantha gives her a bit too much brandy and she has to take her place. Then Samantha must convince Mary to return to her job as the Good Fairy. In “This Little Piggie,” Endora zaps a pig's head on "pig headed" Darrin which helps him with one of his client's accounts. Serena turns Darrin into an ape in “Darrin Goes Ape.” It certainly is a fun season with many other great episodes!
Some famous guests this season include Cesar Romero, Parley Baer, Bert Convy, Charles Lane, Imogene Coca, Vic Tayback, Burt Mustin, Marcia Wallace, and Tom Bosley. Recurring actors include Dick Wilson, Alice Ghostley, Bernard Fox, Paul Lynde, Sandra Gould, Robert F. Simon, Mabel Albertson, Kasey Rogers, Maurice Evans, and George Tobias.
Like the previous sets, we once again get nice slim cases! This set is a four-disc set, like the last few, so we have two slim cases, each holding two discs each. However, before we get to the full slim case details, let’s go back to the box. The cover of the box is a nice blue color scheme. It has the attractive Bewitched logo (saying “Elizabeth Montgomery in” above it) in script with a photo of an animated Samantha on top of that. There is a nice photo of Samantha in the middle, with Endora & Tabitha to the right and Darrin to the left in a nice city type of background with a huge moon, reminiscent of the opening credits. The back of the box has synopsis of the show and the set, with three nice photo stills on the left side, and continuing the night city setting. A yellow box says “Special holiday episodes includes original opening and closing with Elizabeth Montgomery!” We’ll have more on that in audio/video!
Then we twitch our way inside the box to the slim cases. On the front of each slim case, there are pictures of various cast members. Case 1 has Samantha featured, with an image each of Darrin and Serena to the right. Case 2 has another shot of Samantha, with Larry and Endora on top. The blue color scheme is present still. On the back of each case, there is a listing of all of the episodes on the discs contained inside as well as a brief description of those episodes. All of this is similar to previous sets, so no surprises.
Then we open the slim cases. The art contained on the discs is simple, blue in color with the city skyline in the background and pictures of different characters on each disc. Disc 1 has a picture of Samantha, Disc 2 has a picture of Darrin, Disc 3 has a picture of Endora, and Disc 4 has a picture of Tabitha. Disc 1 contain episodes 1-7, Disc 2 contains episodes 8-14, Disc 3 contains episodes 15-21, and Disc 4 contains episodes 22-28 (and the Sony previews crap)). When you take the discs out, you will see nice photos surrounding the slim case inside. Again, a Sony catalog comes with the packaging. Barney Miller Season 3, The Nanny Season 3, Just Shoot Me Season 3 and Dawson’s Creek Complete Series are coming soon.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are simple like the previous sets. Each menu screen on each of the four discs is different. It starts with an animated showcase of Sam (each disc is different) twitching you to the menu screen. Disc one menu is pink, the disc two menu is green, disc three menu is purple, and disc four menu is blue...just as the previous set. They have one thing common; they have an animated Darrin (yes, Sargent version) & Sam. The theme song plays in the background (and it does loop if you stay awhile). The options are... Play All Episodes, Episode Selections, and Languages. The Episode Selections option clouds you to a simple menu where you can choose the episode you want to see (pictures from the episodes are shown in what appears to be picture frames on a wall). Languages allow you to select what Audio and Subtitles you want. Audio is English, Spanish or Portuguese. Subtitles are either Spanish or Portuguese. Hmm, there is no French language this time. Sony Previews options are on disc four. The menus are the same as the previous set.
Video and Audio Quality:
Bewitched has been good in video for previous sets. The previous set was excellent, and this set is just as good! Like the previous set, Sony says in the press release that this set is digitally mastered, but the packaging does not say that, but I think it is...because it once again looks GREAT! All episodes appear to be unedited with run times all over 25 minutes (mostly a bit over 25:20). The audio track is good, in Dolby Digital mono. There are no major problems, and the volume is at a good level. Chapter stops are available at the right places and we have five chapter stops per episode. The new Sony Pictures logo is at the end of each episode running like 5 seconds and we also get the scary Screen Gems logo before that. The FBI warning is available at the start of the first episode on each disc...but this time you can NOT chapter skip it. Damn you Sony! It was skipable last time. The Christmas episode “Sisters at Heart” has the original opening and closing messages from Elizabeth Montgomery telling you about this very special episode.
The introduction is sponsored by Oscar Mayer, and that is intact! It is so cool to see this. The opening message is before the start of the episode and runs about 30 seconds. The closing message is right before the closing credits and runs about 15 seconds. That is not all! We also get a “Bewitched...Back in a Moment” bumper before the tag scene! I am so glad Sony left that in there. That is the only episode that has it, though. Also, the closing credits for that episode, has the instrumental “Jingle Bells” playing! Awesome! At the end of "Mary, the Good Fairy," there is a voice-over from Elizabeth Montgomery saying the conclusion will air next week!
The following are the runtimes for each episode:
1. To Go or Not to Go, That Is the Question 25:22
2. Salem Here We Come 25:21
3. Salem Saga 25:24
4. Samantha’s Hot Bedwarmer 25:23
5. Darrin on a Pedestal 25:23
6. Paul Revere Rides Again 25:25
7. Samantha’s Bad Day in Salem 25:25
8. Samantha’s Old Salem Trip 25:23
9. Samantha’s Pet Warlock 25:24
10. Samantha’s Old Man 25:20
11. The Corsican Cousins 25:21
12. Samantha’s Magic Potion 25:21
13. Sisters at Heart 26:31 * - with opening and closing message from Elizabeth Montgomery
14. The Mother-in-Law of the Year 25:22
15. Mary, the Good Fairy 25:23
16. The Good Fairy Strikes Again 25:22
17. The Return of Darrin the Bold 25:23
18. The House That Uncle Arthur Built 25:23
19. Samantha and the Troll 25:24
20. This Little Piggie 25:24
21. Mixed Doubles 25:22
22. Darrin Goes Ape 25:24
23. Money Happy Returns 25:22
24. Out of the Mouths of Babes 25:23
25. Samantha’s Psychic Pslip 25:22
26. Samantha’s Magic Mirror 25:22
27. Laugh, Clown, Laugh 25:23
28. Samantha and the Antique Doll 25:23
The first two seasons had great extras, but ever since we have not gotten anything at all, just the Sony Previews, and the Sony minisodes on the previous set. We just get previews here and if you want to count the opening/closing message from Elizabeth Mongtomery in the “Sisters at Heart” episode. I don’t think that is an extra per say, since it is included in the episode. There is no special menu or mention of it on the menu. It is just there when the episode plays. I love that Sony included that, but we really should be getting more extras than that! That should be on there regardless.
Boy we are nearing the end! With now seven of the eight seasons complete, we should have this series complete on DVD if all goes well by the end of this year. Come on Sony, let’s release season eight later this year and end it with a bang with many extras! As for this set, it is decent, video quality is as great as it was on the previous set. The opening/closing message from Elizabeth in “Sisters at Heart” was so great to see. So this set is above in quality from seasons 3-6, but can’t compete with the first two seasons because of the extras. Get on board Samantha’s witchcraft on season seven of Bewitched and head on to Salem where witches are among us! Bewitched!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0.5/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 01/28/09
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