"SCHOOL DAYS, SCHOOL DAZE"
Well, who would've thunk it?! With "Bewitched" at its most creatively stifled, reduced to cranking out unfortunate "remakes" from glory seasons gone by, out of the cosmos comes this wholly original episode that shows that the old witch,indeed, still had some zip in her zap!
A highly enjoyable follow-up to "Tabitha's First Day of School" (#248) Michael Morris' well written plot smartly continues to showcase Tabitha's adventures in school, this time dealing with a snoopy teacher witnessing Tab's powers in action! The performances all around are quite good and dare I say, almost a throwback to pre-season eight? Liz Montgomery's Samantha, undeniably one tough cookie now, retains the edge she's adopted this last season but nicely manages to find some softer, gentler moments -- even while chewing Miss Peabody out! Aggie Moorehead, despite looking alarmingly tired and fragile here is her usual stalwart self, always the pro, and giving us an especially lovely scene with Tabitha in the opening.
But of course the best performance in this episode is by E.M. -- Erin Murphy. Quite possibly one of the sincerest, most natural child actors ever on television, Little E.M. breaks your heart in the opening scene conveying a childhood sadness and fear of not succeeding only to later have you laugh when the Principal remarks on her intellect with "That's Incredible"-- to which she honestly replies, "Incredible...but true." Li'l bro Adam can't BE any cuter (even if you can't understand half of what he says) while Sargent makes the most of the limited screen time he's given. Look for Maudie Prickett doing a funny imitation of Samantha's twitch.
A refreshing sparkle amid a sea of 8th season mediocrity, this episode being as good as it is somewhat bittersweet. Not only does it remind us of what "Bewitched" had been -- but perhaps even sadder -- shows us what it quite obviously was still capable of!
FAVE QUOTE:Endora: "Did Tabitha make the 2nd grade?"
Sam: "She's more apt to make the cover of "Time" if you don't take that spell off!"
LOOK FOR: No "Harpies Bizarre" for her! Not only are "Time" and "Life" magazines referred to in this but Sam can be seen reading an actual current copy of "Ladies Home Journal" -- topical references rarely seen (or heard) on "Bewitched"!
OOPS!:Erin nods her head to someone off camera while walking Adam from the backyard.
© Review Copyright 1999 by SCOTT VIETS
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