"TABITHA'S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL"
As if fretting that his little witchlet might suddenly turn into "Carrie," Darrin asks Samantha "Is Tabitha ready for school?" to which our hippie-haired witch replies, "The question is: Is school ready for Tabitha!" Of course, the true irony here is that in actuality the question at hand should be if whether or not school is ready for ... Samantha!
Looking and acting like she just came from a Women's Lib bra burning, Samantha's now a Terminator for the 70's, not only fighting back but ... getting even! Amid driving custodians nutso, electrocuting children, or simply turning social workers into AntiChrists, Samantha finds time to joke that "a school doesn't have to fall on me!" Of course, one can't help but laugh at Sam's reference to the Wicked Witch of the West -- probably more ironic than she realizes during this not-so-perky phase of Montgomery's Samantha.
Of course, Montgomery's "new" portrayal is about all there is that's new here. In yet another instance of "Bewitched Deja Vu", this episode not only sounds all-too similar to season four's excellent "I Don't Want to be a Toad" (#151, Tabitha's First Day of PRE-school) but also LOOKS similar to it with the all-too obvious re-casting of Maudie Prickett as Tabitha's teacher. Making a very funny impression earlier as Mrs. Burch in "Toad", Prickett is asked to basically play the same character again but with a different name. Whatever the name, she IS wonderful but I wish in this case the casting would have been a bit more creative and gone with somebody new.
Though it may not sound like it, I really do like this episode. As bully-frog Charlton, Michael Hughes is all husky-voice and sleepy-eyes, Bad Seed Personified as the bully every school kid has run into at least once in his lifetime. And of course, Nita Talbot as his micro-mini skirted mom here gives Our Miss Liz a run for her money in the Sass Department. A brassy broad with killer comedic timing, she should've been on "Bewitched" much more than just this once!
FAVE QUOTE:Darrin: "I did not see Tabitha with a little boy."
Sam: "That's because she had him in her pocket!"
GUEST STARS:Allen Jenkins (Janitor) appeared in the lesser known non-Gene Kelly vehicle..."Singin' in the Corn" (1946)!!!
LOOK FOR: When the kiddies are coming out of the classroom, look for pre-"Little House on the Prairie" star Melissa Sue Anderson.
OOPS!:The final credits list Maudie Prickett's character of Miss Peabody as "Miss Vogel".
© Review Copyright 1999 by SCOTT VIETS
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