"BEWITCHED, BOTHERED AND BALDONI"
A quick quiz: Darrin and Samantha remain in Pisa for a second episode for the following reason....A) To show off the spectacular and extensive on-location footage? B) To offer Americans an inside peek at some of the greatest museums ever built? C) To offer a virtual tour among some of the rarest works of art ever? or D) To show how well Screen Gems can disguise tired old sets and call it Europe?
Already into their fifth installment of their "European" vacation, the gang is starting to lose steam as we find Sam and Darrin at first in Rome (we know it's Rome thanks to a title card and old stock footage showing a quick overview of the city) -- this time in the museum which supposedly houses two of the world's most famous statues of all-time: the Venus deMilo and Adonis. But from the looks of the famous sculpted duo here, it looks like Sam and Darrin took a wrong turn and ended up in the "Masterpieces Re-Done in CLAY" wing -- an incredible sight guaranteed to send Michaelangelo spinning in his grave like a top! But all is not lost...
In an inspired plot, Mama-Mia Endora turns the lumps of clay...I mean, masterpieces...into living flesh inspiring some wonderful comic bits from Francine York as Venus who not only looks absolutely gorgeous but is also quite funny in all her vapidness, while still managing to win the award for showing the most skin ever seen in a "Bewitched" episode. Penny Santon is a hoot as Mrs. Baldoni, playing the client's wife with a wicked bite and a very dry edge and Miss Liz delivers the biggest laugh of the episode -- no, not from wearing knee socks -- but in the "apron scene," stealing the show with one single line reading...."BACKWARDS!"
But even with a fun plot and good performances, one can't help but feel cheated at the cheapness of it all by not actually going on-location after a much ballyhooed promotion. As the saying goes, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do" -- too bad Darrin & Sam never got near it to do it. I hear France is next on the Stephenses itinerary. Will it actually be Paris or just another unused "Jeannie" set masquerading as Gay-Paree?! Stay tuned....
GUEST STARS: Penny Santon (Mrs. Baldoni) played one of Mrs. Brice's poker playing cronies in Barbra Streisand's movie version of "Funny Girl"; Lou Krugman (Mr. Baldoni) appeared in several episodes of "I Love Lucy" most notably as the Babalu Manager; Al Molinaro (Tour Guide) goes on to "Happy Days" fame.
© Review Copyright 1997 by SCOTT VIETS
Back to Vic's Bewitched Page