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"MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL"


This amusing episode revolves its entire plot around that overused and now laughable teenage mantra "Don't trust anyone over 30," a phrase seen all over bumper stickers and lapel buttons circa 1968.*

Darrin becomes the original "middle aged hippie" as he gets in touch with his considerably sizable feminine side as he prances, dances, swishes and...TEASES! Putting a spell on Darrin which makes him maniacally vain, it would seem Endora's incantation bounced off Liberace first as now Darrin is now not only overly fond of himself but ready for a Broadway revival of "Boys in the Band."

Dick York is an overly-precious delight as he finds yet another nuance to the character of Darrin when put under a spell -- who would've thought that making Darrin vain would also turn him into a big 'ol girl?! Only York's non-threatening demeanor could pull this off without being totally offensive and it's his performance which once again makes the show. One minor gripe would be the unexplained presence of a mirror all of a sudden residing in the Stephens' hallway -- enough to make any fan go "What's THAT all about?!" Though somewhat justified by the demands of this episode, more sense and fun could have been made if we had perhaps seen Darrin replace the painting with the mirror AFTER he'd been placed under the spell.

Endora makes a spooky appearance via car seat in a wonderfully eerie moment; David White as Larry and Herb Voland as the pill-poppin' Hascomb have some funny bits; Meanwhile, Liz has little to do except look smashing (now THAT'S a miniskirt!) and recite queer (!) incantations: "Roses and posies and daisies and weeds. Come flower-power, rip off his beads!"

FAVE QUOTE: Mrs. Hascomb: "Mr. Stephens, may I borrow your beads?"
Darrin: "I don't know...I don't like to break up my ensemble!"

GUEST STARS: Herb Voland and Sara Seegar are reunited as a client/wife team. They both played Mr. and Mrs. Springer (of Springer Pet Foods) in Episode #117, "That Was No Chick, That Was My Wife."

GERALD WATCH: The waiter delivering drinks to Larry and Mr. Hascomb.

* SIGN OF THE TIMES: In 1968, the youth movement was at its apex: Love beads, love-ins, Nehru jackets, miniskirts, long hair, sideburns, flower power, hippies -- for the first time, it was indeed hip to be young. Screen Gems, always aware of their youth market ("Gidget," "Monkees," "Partridge Family," "Jeannie," "Flying Nun" etc.) and like so many other TV shows from the mid-60's, focused often on teenage/hippie/mod plots which incorporated all the fads, fashions and lingo of the youth culture so prevalent at the time. "Bewitched," which usually managed to stay timeless and not "date" itself as much, was no exception to this with episodes like "Mirror, Mirror." Ironically, in their effort to be "now," "hip" and "today" it's these very episodes (mostly from 1968) which today look like relics from another world.

ASHER PULLS A HITCHCOCK: Known as perhaps the only instance in which the Director/Producer/Husband of Liz ever appeared on camera for the show, William Asher makes an incredibly RARE cameo as the non-descript driver impatiently honking his horn at Darrin! A must-see!


©Review Copyright 1998 by SCOTT VIETS

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