The one recurring theme in almost all of the episodes is that Darrin desperately tries to maintain the sanctity of his household against an onslaught of in-laws capable of literally "popping-in" at any inopportune time. This always aggravates Darrin and causes him to lose his temper and threaten or insult Sam's relatives, who typically get their vengeance by casting a spell on Darrin that, while tortuous to Darrin, is entertaining enough to an outside observer to base an episode on. This boy meets witch, boy upsets witch, witch bespells boy, comedy ensues pattern may be formulaic, but even after all these years, it still proves entertaining.
Bewitched wasn't all mindless fun and games, however; there were a few episodes that attacked some harder topics, such as the so-called "progress" of developing away nature (EP.9 Samantha Fights City Hall) or the necessity of giving to charity (EP.26 Samantha Twitches for UNICEF).
Other noteworthy episodes include Tabitha's first (and last) day at nursery school (EP.11 I Don't Want to be a Toad; I Want to be a Butterfly), in which Tabitha "helps out" a sad schoolmate, a two episode long continued story, Cousin Serena Strikes Again (Parts I and II, EPs 15 and 16, respectively), an episode in which Samantha contracts a supernatural virus that causes her to speak solely in rhyme (EP.18 Samantha, The Bard), an episode in which Samantha loses her powers (EP.25 Samantha's Power Failure) and an episode in which Samantha announces that she is going to have another child (EP.28 Samantha's Good News). The season finishes off with Samantha And Darrin In Mexico City (Ep.30), with Darrin having to make a speech in Spanish, but thanks to a not-so-helpful spell from Endora, he'll disappear every time he utters a word of it.
For those people watchers out there, it's worth mentioning that there are several guest appearances in the Fifth Season, including Jack Cassidy, Isabel "Weezy" Sanford (TV's "The Jeffersons"), Jonathan Harris (TV's "Lost in Space"), Henry Gibson (TV's "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In") and Danny Bonaduce (TV's "The Partridge Family"). Even Vic Tayback (Mel from TV's "Alice") makes an appearance, but look quick for him, as he is shown briefly as a construction worker with an attitude in EP.9, Samantha Fights City Hall. Paul Lynde reprises his role as Samantha's practical joking Uncle Arthur and Maurice Evans appears as her father, Maurice. For those who are more interested in watching something a little more primal than people, monkeys appear in (and play major roles in) Episodes 15, 16 and 22. That makes Bewitched: Fifth Season 10 percent monkey business... not bad!
I was a fan of Bewitched back in the day, but I have to admit that I somehow never had seen the Fifth Season. It was quite a joy for me to be able to see more Bewitched episodes for the first time. I did find the acting to be over-the-top and somewhat slapstick-y, but not unlike other shows of that time. One thing I did find very interesting was the excessive amount of alcohol predominately featured in the episodes. That's not to say that people were falling down drunk all of the time, but Darrin had a drink every evening, sometimes escalating from a "single" to a "quadruple" as Samantha began to explain how her day went. There was even the occasional drink at work and, it is evident that Bewitched took place in the days before smoking was known to be a health hazard, as Darrin's boss, Larry Tate (David White) would occasionally smoke at the office.
All-in-all, Bewitched: The Complete Fifth Season stands up well to the test of time, perhaps proving that in comedy, some of the simpler formulas are best. Collectors and fans may be interested in Bewitched: The Complete Fifth Season for the fact that it was the last season to feature Dick York in the role of Darrin. Those who, like me, loved Bewitched when it aired, however, are likely to enjoy Bewitched: The Complete Fifth Season for the piece of delicious nostalgia it is.