Whose idea was it to colorize classic movies and television shows anyway? Today marks the DVD release of the first season of “Bewitched”. It’s being released in two sets – one in the original black and white, the other with colorized episodes.
I watched the colorized episodes when they ran on the Hallmark channel a couple of years ago. They don’t look bad. They look much better than most colorized media. Back in the early days of colorization when Ted Turner colorized the first season of “Gilligan’s Island”, it was downright painful to watch the end result. With these colorized “Bewitched” episodes, they look almost natural, but there’s some inconsistencies that you can’t help but notice. For example, if you watch a couple of episodes in a row, you’ll notice that Samantha wears the same dress, except it changes color from episode to episode. Also, even though Endora’s robes were shades of green in the later color episodes, in the early episodes they were shades of purple and lavender. However, the colorized episodes show them in various hues of green.
Another thing that I’ve always noticed with the colorization projects is that when a character opens their mouth, their teeth and tongue are always in black and white. Was their breath so bad it knocked the color right out of the rainbow? I don’t think so.
Part of the charm of the classics is the beauty of black and white. Just because we have the ability to colorize these old films doesn’t mean we have to do it. What’s even more appauling is that while I wanted the black and white DVD set of Bewitched, it couldn’t be found at any of our local retailers. In fact, the kid at Circuit City asked, “Why would you want black and white anyway?” Thank the universe for yesterday’s dream/spiritual awakening, or else I would have gone off on him.