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"SAMANTHA AND THE LOCH NESS MONSTER"



In "Europe" Darrin & Sam move from England to Inverness, Scotland where in the opening we're treated to some pretty classy stock footage of traditional Scottish culture, complete with fancy title cards and then to a clever and inventive scene involving a "magical postcard" from Sam to Tabitha & Adam via their nursery chalkboard. Sounds good, huh? Yeah, it is... until "Brucie" arrives and you find yourself picking your jaw up off the ground and rubbing your eyes to make sure you haven't by mistake tuned into the "Sid & Marty Krofft Hour!"

The real "monster" here is the prop department for getting paid to make such a below-low-tech clump of construction paper and glue. In fact, this "costume" is so bad it makes Janos Prohaska's silly outfits for "Bobby the Bird" (Episode#118 ) and "Big Blue Troll" (Episode #219) look like candidates for the Smithsonian!

Add to all this the unfortunate "new characterization" Liz has added for Samantha: Rolling her eyes, acting bored, looking annoyed at just about everything, the same Samantha who for seven previous seasons would exclaim her trademark expression "Oh, my stars!" with an exasperated, high pitched, delightful lilt has now reduced it to a flat as a pancake, "I'd rather be making TV Movies" monotone.

But now add an ironic twist: The same Liz who practically sleepwalks through her role as Samantha here suddenly comes to vibrant, in living color life as Serena, who single-handedly saves the entire episode from being a total bomb. Serena is so fun in this, from her dead-pan delivery ("How have you been doing down here, Bruce?") to her (no doubt ad-libbed) dig at the "Bewitched" writers, ("It's so CORNY, I could die!"), it's clearly obvious which role Liz enjoys most.

Watch this episode for Serena, she's worth it, but I'm afraid you'll also have to endure a lame subplot involving Bernie Kopell (doing a stale "Hogan's Heroes"); ridiculous incantations ("This Serena is...a subpeona"); and yet one more tacky prop from the Screen Gems Costume Shop -- Serena's mermaid "tail." Edith Head, eat your heart out!

FAVE QUOTE:Serena: "I'll work up an act. I can swim...I can sit on the rocks and sing the song of "Lorelei"...and for an encore I may mess around with the fishermen!"
Darrin: (with a straight face) "Hey, Serena! I didn't know you could do ALL that!"

LOOK FOR:Liz breaks character and begins to smile when "Bruce" unexpectedly leans a little too close to look into her eyes.
After Darrin covers Serena's tail, she smacks his hand and then is supposed to grimace at him but Liz (as Serena) inadvertently TWITCHES HER NOSE!
Extra credit & bravo to Liz for doing her own swimming stunts!!!!

© Review Copyright 1997 by SCOTT VIETS

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