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"SAMANTHA'S WEDDING PRESENT"



Fifth season premiere, while inventive enough, lacks the high energy buzz that should surround a season opener but nevertheless is cute and entertaining. This storyline with Darrin being shrunk and having to romp around over-sized props more closely resembles an episode of ABC's "Land of the Giants," but "Bewitched" can't be accused of copying or stealing the idea... "Giants" debuted its first ever episode on Sunday, September 22, 1968 -- only four days before this episode aired!

Sam, sporting a shiny tan and longer/blonder look here, greets a refreshingly jolly Endora who comes bearing a belated wedding gift no "new" wife should be without: A Gold Lame Micro-Mini Dress! In her newfound kinder, gentler manner, Endora even calls Darrin by his correct name! But not to be so easily hoodwinked, Darrin rudely shakes Endora out of her prozac stupor only to find himself shortly (hee! hee!) becoming munchkinized in some very comical scenes.

Although "protesting," Sam actually seems to get a kick out of the whole thing, crackin' jokes all along the way! Liz is wonderfully relaxed here, showing appropriate concern but also showing us that this time even SHE thinks Darrin deserved what he got! Dick Wilson is marvelous as (this time) an IRISH drunk and a favorite moment is when he compliments and tries to imitate the famous nose twitch -- very fun! Aggie is hysterical as she prances around the living room pretending to search for Darrin, actually squealing with delight at the thought of him being eaten by a dog (!) while on a historical note, Sam's "Going to A-Go-Go" dress isn't the only thing that affectionately dates this episode: Endora mentions going off to India to "meditate with the Guru" -- a nod to the highly popular Maharishi who in early 1968 became THE hippest guru of celebrities, most notably Mia Farrow and the Beatles!

OOPS!:Despite marvelous and difficult special effects throughout this challenging episode, the final special f/x with Darrin restoring to normal size on the coffee table is rather primitive (though innovative for its day).

Many prints of this episode (including old syndication edits and Columbia House's new version) have the WRONG closing credits on them from Episode #138, "The No-Harm Charm." The most recent syndication versions and the DVD release use the correct credits chosing to "cloud" out the Chevy logo that the cartoon Samantha and Darrin are perched upon.


© Review Copyright 1997 by SCOTT VIETS


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