TITLE: BEWITCHED - THE COMPLETE EIGHTH & FINAL SEASON
DVD Release Date: July 14, 2009 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: approx. 677 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: N/A
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English, Spanish, and Portuguese languages; Spanish & Portuguese subtitles; Closed-Captioned.
Special Features: Sony Previews
After a brief 5-month wait, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment twitches us the Eighth & Final Season on DVD! Now we have them all! The final season stars Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick Sargent, David White, and Agnes Moorehead. We also see once again Alice Ghostley as Esmeralda, Maurice Evans as Maurice, Erin Murphy as Tabitha, 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?)
The final magic season with the Stephens family! This season, the family takes a tour of Europe, where Samantha's head is in danger after she catches the eye and ire of Henry VIII, and she reveals the Loch Ness Monster is really a former warlock. Esmeralda claims she made the tower in Pisa lean, Darrin is zapped to the top of the Eiffel Tower, Tabitha zaps herself into the Punch and Judy TV show to chastise Punch, Adam begins to show he has powers, plus more magical misadventures for the last time on Morning Glory Circle!
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
Last season the season started off with that huge Salem arc, this season we get a trip to Europe! The first seven episodes of the season the Stephens head to England, Paris, Rome, Pisa, Scotland and more! The two-part season premiere “How Not To Lose Your Head To King Henry VIII,” while on a business/pleasure trip to Europe, Darrin and Sam visit an art gallery in England where Samantha notices a nobleman waving at her from a portrait. In "Samantha's Not So-Leaning Tower of Pisa,” while visiting Italy, Esmeralda reveals to Samantha that it was she who caused the now-famous leaning Tower of Pisa. In "Paris, Witches' Style," while in Paris, Samantha fears her father's anger when he discovers his daughter has been traveling Europe without seeing him. In “The Eight-Year Witch," Endora changes a black cat into a statuesque model for an ad campaign for which Larry and Darrin are both assigned. In “Serena’s Youth Pill,” while babysitting for Samantha, Serena decides to liven things up a bit when Larry Tate visits and Serena slips him a "youth pill" - the pill does make Larry younger, but then it keeps on working till Larry is a young teenager, and then a little boy. In “Tabitha’s First Day of School,” Samantha is forced to enroll Tabitha in school, after authorities discover that she is of school age. And in the series finale, "The Truth, Nothing But The Truth, So Help Me, Sam," Endora tests Darrin's devotion to Samantha one last time, as she places a spell on a unicorn pin that will cause mortals to tell the absolute truth.
Some famous guests this season include Ronald Long, Steve Franken, Bernie Kopell, Al Molinaro, Richard Slattery, Parley Baer, Julie Newmar, Charles Lane, Scatman Crothers, John Fielder, Allan Oppenheimer, Reta Shaw, Melissa Sue Anderson and J. Edward McKinley. Recurring actors include Erin Murphy, David Lawrence, Alice Ghostley, Bernard Fox, Kasey Rogers, and Maurice Evans.
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 purple 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 that long season eight hair), with Endora to the right and Darrin & the kids 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 “contains all 26 episodes on 4 discs!”
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 Tabitha to the right. Case 2 has a shot of Serena, with Endora and Adam on top. The purple 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, purple 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 Tabitha, and Disc 4 has a picture of Adam. Disc 1 contain episodes 1-7, Disc 2 contains episodes 8-14, Disc 3 contains episodes 15-20, and Disc 4 contains episodes 21-26 (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, inserted inside the box. You know it is outdated since it says “Bewitched Season 6 coming soon.” Hello Sony?!
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. There is no French language again, as with season seven. Sony Previews options are on disc four with trailers for Blue-ray, Norman Lear Collection, Three Stooges, and many movies. The menus are the same as the previous set.
Video and Audio Quality:
Bewitched has been good in video for previous sets. The previous sets were excellent, and this set is just as good! I don’t think they are digitally mastered, but it still looks GREAT! All episodes appear to be unedited with run times all close to 26 minutes. 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 in a yellow background before that. The FBI warning is available at the start of the first episode on each disc...but you can NOT chapter skip it. Each episode has a quick opening message from Elizabeth Montgomery inviting you to stay tuned for Bewitched. How cool is that? That is not all! We also get the “Bewitched...Back in a Moment” bumper before the tag scene for every episode! If you all recall, on the last set, we had that in the “Sisters at Heart” episode, where we also had the opening/closing messages from Montgomery. Good job by Sony to include the bumper on all episodes for season eight. One other tidbit, we have two 2-part episodes and at the end of part one for both we have a voiceover saying stay tuned next week for the conclusion. And on part two for both two-part episodes, we have a pretty long recap voiceover recapping the previous part.
The following are the runtimes for each episode (counting the opening message from Montgomery & 5 second bumper before the tag scene):
1. How Not to Lose Your Head to Henry VIII: Part 1 25:58
2. How Not to Lose Your Head to Henry VIII:Part 1 25:54
3. Samantha and the Loch Ness Monster 26:05
4. Samantha’s Not So Leaning Tower of Pisa 25:52
5. Bewitched, Bothered and Baldoni 26:05
6. Paris, Witches Style 26:06
7. The Ghost Who Made a Spectre of Himself 26:05
8. TV Or Not TV 25:34
9. A Plague on Maurice and Samantha 26:05
10. Hansel and Gretel in Samanthaland 26:04
11. The Warlock in the Gray Flannel Suit 26:03
12. The Eight Year Itch Witch 26:04
13. Three Men and a Witch on a Horse 26:01
14. Adam, Warlock or Washout 26:00
15. Samantha's Magic Sitter 26:03
16. Samantha Is Earthbound 25:54
17. Serena's Richcraft 26:03
18. Samantha on Thin Ice 26:03
19. Serena's Youth Pill 26:06
20. Tabitha's First Day at School 26:02
21. George Washington Zapped Here: Part 1 26:02
22. George Washington Zapped Here: Part 2 26:03
23. School Days, School Daze 26:04
24. A Good Turn Never Goes Unpunished 26:04
25. Sam's Witchcraft Blows a Fuse 26:04
26. The Truth, Nothing But the Truth, So Help Me, Sam 26:05
I keep saying, 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 last set the opening/closing message from Elizabeth Montgomery in the “Sisters at Heart” episode was listed as an “extra.” I don’t think that was an extra per say, since it was included in the episode. There was no special menu or mention of it on the menu. It was just there when the episode played. I loved that Sony included that last time, but we really should be getting more extras than that! That should be on there regardless. The same goes true for this set, season eight; we get the opening messages on each episode this time along with a bumper before the tag scene on each episode. This is the final season of the show on DVD; we needed something new or archival here, like bloopers! Come on Sony!
That’s a wrap! We have magically finished this series on DVD! This is something rare for Sony, as still most of their classic TV sets are still not finished. This set is decent with the video quality is as great as it was on the previous set. The opening message on each episode was a surprise, as was the bumper on each episode. So this set is above in quality from seasons 3-6 and maybe on par with season 7, but still this can’t compete with the first two seasons because of the extras. Maybe a complete series set with all seasons is next? If that is the case, I wonder if Sony will have new extras on that ripping off the buyers for these seasons DVDs. Well, anyway get on board Samantha’s broom on season eight of Bewitched and head on to Europe and then back home for the final stretch. And I’ll say it for one final time... 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 07/04/09
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