TV on DVD review: Charlie's Angels Season 1 (1976) and Bewitched Seasons 1 & 2

Charlie's Angels and Bewitched boxed sets review

*Disclosure: I received both of these TV on DVD sets to facilitate this review. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Mill Creek Entertainment has recently released a slew of "vintage" shows to DVD, including Charlie's Angels season 1 (the very original, from 1976) and Bewitched seasons 1 and 2 (1964). I have seen the Charlie's Angels movies featuring Drew Barrymore, from 2000 and 2003, and the failed, more-current series, but never the old one, so I was interested in trying it out.

I watched the pilot, which was about two hours long when it aired, and was an hour and fifteen minutes on the DVD. It was fun to see a "new" Bosley and the Angels, though the voice of Charlie was the same: John Forsythe has played the voice in both the 2000s movies and this version. And of course, it also has the iconic theme song that has stayed with the series since the beginning.

Charlie's Angels and Bewitched boxed sets review

Some fun trivia about Charlie's Angels that you might not know, from IMDb:
Charlie's Angels and Bewitched boxed sets review
The original Angels, season 1
  • John Forsythe was never on the set: his voice was recorded, and dubbed in later. He told Aaron Spelling that for him to make an on-screen appearance he would have to be paid a lot of money. 
  • Forsythe also never visited the set during the entire series. He was called in last minute to voice Charlie when the original actor who had been cast turned out to have a drinking problem - Aaron Spelling called him late at night on a Friday and pleaded with him to come to the studio immediately, since the pilot was going to be shown after the weekend. Forsythe recorded his first voice-over in his PJs.
  • Drew Barrymore owns the screen rights to the series. 
  • The series had two alternate titles: "The Alley Cats" and "Harry's Angels". 
  • Kelly Garrett (Jaclyn Smith) was the only Angel to last the entire series. (the others were replaced midway through)
  • Among the actresses who auditioned over the years for the various roles as Angels were Kathie Lee Gifford and Kim Basinger
  • Charlie's Angels was in the top ten for its first two seasons: 1976 - 1977 #5, 1977 - 1978 #4 competing in a three way tie with 60 Minutes (1968) and All in the Family (1971). 
I'd recommend Charlie's Angels for anyone who was a fan of the original series or who has watched the later movies/series and is curious to see the original. Season 1 is available for $9.99 here.

As for Bewitched, I have been a fan of the series since my childhood; I must have watched old episodes on TVLand or other channels. When I popped the season 1 DVD into my DVD player, however, I was shocked to see that the series was in black and white! Apparently the 1964-66 episodes were in black and white, and the later episodes (1966-72) were in color.

I like Bewitched a lot because even now, 40 years later, the episodes are still funny and the acting is great.

Some fun Bewitched trivia, via IMDb:

    Bewitched season 1 review on dvd
  • Elizabeth Montgomery didn't actually twitch her nose for Samantha's magic; she twitched her upper lip, and her nose followed.
  • The series was almost canceled when Dick York couldn't continue with it, but instead Dick Sargent was brought in as his replacement. The show was going to come up with an explanation why Darrin looked and sounded different, but decided that "the best explanation was no explanation."
  • In the original pilot episode draft, "Samantha" was going to be named "Cassandra."
  • After her original 5-year contract was up, Elizabeth Montgomery wanted to leave the show; however, the network gave her part ownership as part of her new contract.

I'd recommend Bewitched for any fans of the series or anyone who is looking to find a new comedy show to watch. Seasons 1 and 2 are available for $9.99 each, or you can buy the combo set for $14.99; both are available here.

Did you grow up watching Charlie's Angels and/or Bewitched? If not, which of these would you like to try?

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