Samantha plays matchmaker to her mortal friends Gertrude and Kermit in this quirky little episode which, despite its romantic premise, never successfully unfolds into the fuzzy-wuzzy valentine it tries so hard to be.

Everyone loves a Cinderella story: Plain, mousey maiden meets handsome, manly-man Prince who sees her for what she really is underneath and all live happily ever after. Unfortunately, in the guise of Kit Smythe's Gertrude, this Cinderella is so much the drip that it's hard to believe that Kermit the FROG would fall for her, let alone Kermit the MAN (played here by "Batman" himself, Adam West.) Though scriptwriter Roland Wolpert has given the character of Gertrude a decidedly self-pitying mantra, Miss Smythe plays her so down and dowdy that she ends up neglecting to convey ANY feature that would help us to understand exactly WHAT it is Kermit sees in her. Likewise, super-stud Mr. West also fails in the charm department as he spends much of the episode acting rigid and somewhat bad-tempered.

Adding to the uneveness of this episode, scriptwriter Wolpert contributes a particularly questionable character discrepancy involving Samantha: Her seemingly brazen uses of witchcraft (i.e. fixing the vase in front of Darrin with Kermit and Gertrude in the same room and later actually STOPPING the wedding ceremony in mid-progress) aren't so much bothersome in their obvious aim to get cheap laughs as they are in ultimately disrespecting the integrity of Sam's character. She's simply not that rude.

But only the 13th episode in the first season, much must be forgiven: For every goofy special effect (the sped-up roast!) there are absolutely breath-taking shots of Liz, who looks stunning throughout. Dick York must have noticed too for, ironically, in an episode revolving around true love in OTHER characters, it's Liz and Dick who ultimately deliver the goods here with THEIR dynamic on-screen chemistry.

© Review Copyright 1998 by SCOTT VIETS

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