"ALIAS, DARRIN STEPHENS"
Second season opener aims to prove that last season's biggest TV hit ("Bewitched" was the second most watched show of all TV programs in its first season) was not a fluke. It succeeds, but unlike the flash-bang-wallop sharpness of the pilot episode from Season #1, here Season #2 coasts by with a smooth, almost laid-back attitude.
Opening appropriately with Darrin & Samantha celebrating their 1 year anniversary, lovely Aunt Clara pops in with her usual ineptness, bearing anniversary gifts of a frilly apron for Sam (how 1965!) and a golf cap for Darrin. Seeing that the cap is obviously too small for his head, Clara decides to magically re-size it to fit. Of course the spell goes wrong so what do you expect to happen...the cap to disappear?...the cap to change colors?...Darrin to turn into a cap?...No, you silly thing -- isn't it OBVIOUS that Darrin would turn into a CHIMP?!?! Unlike later episodes when it's always clear as to how and where Clara made her mistake, the only hint here as to how she got a chimp instead of a cap is vaguely in her incantation that seems to have been inspired from the song, "Abba Dabba Honeymoon ("said the monkey to the chimp")...but even that's a stretch!
The most important aspect of this episode (and a "Bewitched milestone) occurs halfway through with the news of Sam's pregnancy, which apparently is a surprise to Clara, Darrin and even Sam herself... though to the audience it's obvious she's as BIG AS A HOUSE from the very beginning! Oops.
The magic is getting tighter but the sound effects are still lacking a certain energy; Endora and Gladys show exceptionally sweet sides in this with Endora's solicitations to Darrin, "Come on, precious, try it on" and "Mother Endora will comb you!" bordering deliciously on both caring and creepy! Look for Liz ad-libbing a "thank you" to the chimp who has unexpectedly handed her the pencil after writing "Black Coffee" -- very cute! Happy Anniversary, Sam & Darwin!
© Review Copyright 1997 by SCOTT VIETS
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