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"THE GIRL REPORTER"


Looking like Beaver Cleaver with Ann Margaret's body, Cheryl Holdridge guest stars as Liza, a typical American freckle-faced Junior College femme fatale who attempts to seduce Darrin while interviewing him for her school newspaper.

Like episode #4, "It Shouldn't Happen to a Dog," sexual situations are once again at the forefront. But with a plot revolving around ordinary slice of life situations rather than magic (in this case, school girl/boy crushes) this is another example in the series' early run where plots stand strongly on their own without the gimmick of witchcraft. In fact, magic is almost forgotten as the token twitches that are thrown in aren't integral to the plot but rather gratuitously inserted as if only to fill the episode's fantasy quota.

Witty and mature, this well-written script gives us an early peek into Darrin and Samantha's ticks and tocks. It's a credit to the writers and Montgomery/York for bringing little character nuances to the surface (jealousy, passion, sensitivity and ego!) to further make Darrin and Samantha all the more real. Dick York is indeed "fearless and sexy" as he shows Darrin dutifully trying to steer the man-hungry Liza away... all the while LOVING every minute of it! While even more deliciously, Montgomery gets a subtle glimmer in her eye when Liza's Tower of Muscle boyfriend, "Monster" starts getting gooey over her, slyly suggesting that perhaps even Sam might have a soft spot for a younger man's attention (Coo Coo Ca-choo Mrs. Robinson!) Of course it's all innocent and while it's clear there's never a doubt as to Darrin or Samantha's fidelity, it's still fun nevertheless to see them both briefly smitten by others.

Adding a huge dose of estrogen and testosterone to this extremely cute episode are the extremely cute pairing of Cheryl Holdridge and Roger Ewing, a veritable Barbie and Ken on Viagra. Obviously cast for their head-turning physiques, both shine in their performances as they prove to be excellent actors as well as pretty faces. Many of Liz's scenes seem to be filmed separately as she spends a lot of time in solo one-shots (many of these early episodes were filmed around her pregnancy); the final "tag" scene features a cute surprise with Samantha's "shield"; and introduced here for the first of its many, many, MANY times is the soon-to-be-old gag, "Touch WHAT and go WHERE?!"

FAVE QUOTES: SAM: (referring to baloney and smelly cheese) "My husband's just crazy about that!"

SAM: "You certainly seemed to bring out the woman in her."
DARRIN: "Oh, come on! All young girls are impressed by an older man."
SAM: "Well, you certainly are that!"

LIZA: "I'll call you Darrin, that is if Mrs. Stephens doesn't mind?"
SAM: (smiling sincerely) "Oh no, of course not. He's been called worse than that!"

GUEST STARS: Cheryl Holdridge was a Mouseketeer on "The Mickey Mouse Club" in the late 1950's.

OOPS: About to fight in the hallway, Darrin asks Monster "What is it you intend to do?" As Monster replies "I intend to close your jaw" the shadow of a mike boom can be seen on the wall above him.

© Review Copyright 1999 by SCOTT VIETS

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