"MOTHER-IN-LAW OF THE YEAR"
Sit back, relax, and watch Endora nominate herself for Mother-in-Law of the Year as you dip into a box of Bobbins Buttery Bon Bons -- "IF you can afford the ridiculously high price!"
This otherwise routine "Bewitched"storyline (Endora interfering with Darrin's work) is masterfully turned into an original classic based almost solely on hysterical one-liners and great performances by all, proving that the sum of the parts, if good enough, can make up an incredible whole.
Everyone has a moment to shine here from principals to guest stars but it's Agnes who makes every word she utters an absolute pearl. God love her, who else could utter insanely absurd dialogue like "spiders and bunnies that hippity-hop, when my name is mentioned, Bobbins' heart will flippity-flop" and say it with such conviction and fun? Whether taking pot shots at Darrin's presence ("one dimensional objects tend to disappear into the background") or being flustered at her "nomination," ("Little Me? I don't know what to say!") Aggie is a total delight.
Most delightful of all is the "Bobbins Commercial" sequence, a wonderfully inventive scene which not only has some great witchcraft but gives us the chance to see Liz playing Endora playing Sam (get it?) and Agnes playing Sam playing Endora (got it?!) Both actresses are obviously relishing this unique twist on their characters with Agnes especially excellent at impersonating Liz's Samantha, acting flustered and nervous, softening her facial expressions and voice and even looking lovingly at Darrin when she gets flowers at the studio, she doesn't miss a detail!
Other highlights that still make me smile or laugh no matter how many times I see this: Sam and Darrin's expressions when Bobbins begins falling under Endora's spell; Endora's hysterical look to Larry as he tries to horn in on her ride home with Bobbins; and special kudos to Liz for coming up with one of my favorite disappearing gestures -- kissing her hand and flicking back her leg!
Go on and "piggy it up" -- it's worth multiple viewings!
FAVE QUOTES: Sam (as Endora): "If you honor your mother in law this one day..."
Endora (as Sam): "...you can forget about her the rest of the year!"
Bobbins: "What's your wife doing there?"
Larry: "And what's she SAYING?!"
Bobbins: "I'll be happy to personally drive you to the ends of the Earth."
Darrin: "I'll be glad to drive her even farther if necessary."
GUEST STARS: Robert Q. Lewis appeared as the similarly maniacal Diego Fenman, Tabitha's photographer in #75.
John McGiver was one of Hollywood's leading character men, appearing in "Breakfast at Tiffanys," "The Manchurian Candidate" and the William Asher/Liz Montgomery vehicle, "Johnny Cool."
LOOK FOR: ABC gets its advertising in by making sure their cameras were seen loud and clear!
The ugly pastel blue door that's in the all-wood paneled monitor room raises that ever popular design question: just what WERE they thinking in the 70's?!
MELODY WATCH: There she is in the control room with Robert Q. Lewis.
OOPS!: The "studio audience" that seems to be enjoying the antics of "Sam & Endora" during the commercial seem to be stuck in a 1950's time warp -- the mismatching film is obviously stock footage from at least a decade earlier than 1971!
©Review Copyright 1998 by SCOTT VIETS
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