I’ve needed comfort food of late, so I’ve turned to two staples – mashed potatoes and Bewitched.
As my bowl of mashed potatoes and I settled in to spend time with my old friend, Samantha Stephens, I said to myself, “Self, skip ahead to the second season of Bewitched so you can avoid the black and white episodes.”
Before anyone has a virtual breakdown and accuses me of being too uncouth to appreciate black and white media, you can simmer down. I have written before about my appreciation for shows like Leave It to Beaver as well as early seasons of The Andy Griffith Show. What’s more, I love old Hollywood aka classic cinema. In fact, you could describe me as a devotee of black and white movies.
But I didn’t grow up watching black and white episodes of Bewitched. When I think of the show, I see Endora, Samantha’s mom (played to perfection by Agnes Moorehead), resplendent in a green and purple robe as she glares at “Durwood” with eyes made up with bright blue eye shadow. Black and white does not convey Endora’s essence as good as color does.
Anyway, after I watched three episodes of season two on the Roku channel, I consulted our friends at Wikipedia because I had a question about the show. There, I read the following words, which rocked my world: “Later, seasons 1–2 were colorized and made available for syndication.”
As Sam would say, “Oh, my stars!”
As you might have gathered from the aforementioned paragraph, neither season one nor two were filmed in color. But there’s more. My memory of growing up watching only episodes in color was accurate. Once again, I’ll let our friends at Wikipedia explain: “The cable television channel WTBS carried seasons 3–8 throughout the 1980s and 1990s…”
At some point, though, I became aware of the existence of the black and white episodes. Indeed, I remember watching part of the first episode, in which Sam and Darrin wed, probably on TV Land. I didn’t finish watching. If I turned the channel to Bewitched and saw that a black and white episode was airing, I continued flipping the remote.
So, even though I’m a traditionalist when it comes to film and TV and even though I don’t really understand when this colorization took place, I am thrilled to learn that it happened. I don’t care if you accuse of me of being uncouth.
I plan to mash some potatoes and spend more time with my old friend, Samantha, starting with the colorized season one episodes.
This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.