July 5th, 2005



I used to love watching Samantha on Monday nights. Yes, it was already in colour, and yes, it was towards the end of the series when they'd had Adam as well as Tabitha, but still I loved it.

In the new big-screen Bewitched, there is a scene where Nicole Kidman's Isabel is watching the original black and white episodes to research her new role, and it occurred to me that I would love to have the first season of black and white episodes on DVD. This is not, I am sure, what the filmmakers had in mind.

Thing is, they had a clever idea: a sort of homage to the show, rather than a tired old retread...have a real witch play Samantha on the remake! And really, that's a great angle. But...it's hard to describe how very wrong this went.

Will Ferrel? Wrong. Should have been Jim Carrey. And then, the actress playing Endora is really a witch too, and Isabel has an Aunt Clara who can't get spells right and wears dead minks and black dresses...just like Samantha. Uncle Arthur appears for no reason and makes you miss Paul Lynde all over again. And...well, it's just keeps getting its realties confused.

There are some excellent bits: Michael Caine as Isabel's father hectoring her in the supermarket is wonderfully realised. And I adored that instead of a solid black cat, Isabel has a black tortioseshell cat called Lucinda. The little details are lovely.

Too bad they get lost in the botched brew of the entire film.
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