Monday, May 18, 2015

"Bewitched" Book Casts Its Spell

It's not every vintage TV show for which I'd read an oversized, 600-page episode guide, that's for sure. But I happily did so in the case of Adam-Michael James' The Bewitched Continuum: The Ultimate Linear Guide to the Classic TV Series (Bright Horse Publishing, $29.95). As the author's introduction makes clear, this is not a book to consult for behind-the-scenes stories, or production histories. The focus is purely on the episodes themselves -- what's good, what's not so good, and how each one contributes to the show's legacy.

Several fun appendices crunch the numbers on various Bewitched tropes -- how many times Larry Tate actually fired Darrin, or threatened to, as well as the complete list of animals or objects Darrin was turned into over eight seasons. There's even a handy list of McMann & Tate clients and their products, and medical records for all the curious maladies and ailments suffered by Samantha, her family and friends.

I could (and will!) argue the author's list of ten Best and Worst episodes; I'd move at least one of his choices from one column to the other. But that's just part of the fun in such a book. Maybe we can debate it sometime in one of Darrin's favorite bars, with Dick Wilson slurring his comments as we go.

Whether you're watching Bewitched for the first time, or the umpteenth, this book is a lot of fun.

NOTE: I was provided a review copy in exchange for an honest and fair review.

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