Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Charmed [Season 1-8]

Season 1-8

IMDB rate: 7,1
Genre: Supernatural, Tv Show
Starring: Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, Rose McGowan, Shannen Doherty

It took awhile, but I've finally finished all the Charmed episodes. When I was young I already watched a lot of them on television, but I missed a lot of episodes back then. All the Charmed episodes are on Netflix, and I had a great time watching them all over again. Small fun fact: I was such a big fan of Charmed when I was younger that I made a tiny offline website through Microsoft FrontPage (I think it was FrontPage), since FrontPage was discontinued in 2003 I couldn't have been older than 10 years old when I did this :'), even back then I didn't have a life :P. Charmed is often being compared to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, mainly because it was being aired around the same time (Charmed ran from 1998-2006, while Buffy ran from 1997-2003).

As you might know, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is of course mainly about vampires and sometimes demons. Charmed is more focusing on witchcraft and demons. Personally I enjoyed watching Buffy more than watching Charmed, this is because Buffy contained a few outstanding episodes and it was interesting almost every episode, while in Charmed there were only a few excellent episodes and some episodes were pretty boring. Perhaps it isn't right to compare the two shows, I think it's more of a personal habit since I grew up with both shows.

First a bit about the characters.
Prue Halliwell: The oldest Halliwell sister, played by Shannen Doherty. At first I wasn't a big fan of her, her character seemed very bitchy and she was no fun at all. Even though I wasn't a big fan of her at first, she somewhat grew on me. I was actually a bit sad when she died, even though I knew all along that she wouldn't survive the ending of season 3. I think her character reflected Shannen Doherty herself a bit too much, since she was written out of the show after season 3. It was pretty obvious that her contract stopped, because often when family members of the Halliwell's die, they are able to being summoned back as a ghost. But after Prue's death we never saw her again, not even as a ghost. Even in flashbacks she was being cut out. That's something which is a bit of a shame, since it would seem logical that you would see her once or twice again after the third season. I wouldn't say that Shannen Doherty played the role bad, if Prue really was that bitchy she did a great job. I'm just saying that she didn't seem like a nice person at all.

Piper Halliwell: At first the middle Halliwell sister, but the oldest sister after Prue's death. Piper is being played by Holly Marie Combs and in the first three seasons she was definitely my favorite. At first she was a bit insecure and cute, but still pretty fun. After Prue's death her character became a lot more serious. Also, the relationship problems with Leo became somewhat boring after awhile, but this is more about a change of writing, which I will come back to later. Holly Marie Combs is a great choice for Piper, in the first three seasons she portrayed the role of insecure person very good. After season 4 her character became more independent, she became a businesswoman and a mother, and she still played very convincing. Loved her.

Phoebe Halliwell: The youngest sister at first, but after Prue's death she became the middle sister. Phoebe is being played by Alyssa Milano and her character is definitely the most fun one. She's daring and adventurous but serious at times as well. It's not just her character that was fun, her entire appearance was nice. Unlike Piper she changed her hair every season, which made her a bit less predictable compared to Piper. What was predictable though is that Phoebe was always the one that turned evil or turned into something different, it just became annoying in the end. Alyssa Milano was a great choice for Phoebe, I think she is a decent actress and it's sad we don't really see her often anymore in other shows or movies.

Paige Matthews: The youngest (half-)sister of the Halliwell sisters. She is being played by Rose McGowan. At first I thought it would be impossible to make it logical that there was another sister out there, but it actually fitted the story very well. In season 2 or 3 there was an episode about their mother who had a relationship with their whitelighter, with as result that in season 4 there was an option open for where the half-child came from. Paige's character is a lot like Phoebe I think, although I don't think that she was ever really fully appreciated in the family. Rose McGowan is a great actress and I liked her a lot as Paige, although her character was pretty standard after awhile. She's always making sarcastic jokes and well, eventually it just became predictable.

Other big characters include Leo (played by Brian Krause), Darryl Morris (played by Dorian Gregory) and Cole Turner (played by Julian McMahon). Darryl was season 1-7, but for some reason he wasn't important enough anymore to appear in the last episode. Pretty stupid really since he played a big part in previous seasons.

I already quickly mentioned the change in writing after a few seasons, this happened because Constance M. Burge (the Executive Producer of Charmed) stopped writing the episodes. At first the focus was on the witch heritage and the sisterly ties, but when Brad Kern took ofter that part the focus became more and more about sexy outfits and relationship problems. It's pretty sad actually that this happened because I think that that change made this show 'just another one of those relationship shows'. It became pretty annoying after a while that Piper and Leo again have relationship problems, again breaking up and coming back together and again are arguing about nothing. Also, Phoebe's boyfriend Cole was a pretty amazing character at first but then they made him evil again, and then good again, and then evil again. So standard and predictable. Phoebe's search for love was pretty lame as well, especially since it was suddenly very hasty that she met someone and married at the end of the show.

Even though I wasn't the biggest fan of Prue's character, I thought the first three seasons were the most fun ones. Not just because of the writing problems, but also because things weren't as predictable in those seasons. It was just fun and simple. The fourth and fifth season was pretty good as well. From the sixth season though the show became a bit boring sometimes, also there's this big thing going on with Avatars and Leo and it's just confusing after a while. The last season shouldn't have happened in my opinion, the Charmed Ones are in hiding at first and they have changed their appearances for the outside world. Thing is, as if demons wouldn't think it's strange that again three sisters/cousins and a husband/male character moved into that same house. A bit unbelievable. Adding up the Billie/Christy part, not a good season at all.

In most cases the last episode of a show is the most amazing one, and while I wouldn't say the episode was bad, it was just way too sudden. The entire season they have this Billie character who found her evil sister, Billie became evil and suddenly they're the most powerful creatures on that planet. Then everybody dies and then everybody lives again and suddenly everyone lives happily ever after. They shouldn't have done all of that in one episode, the build-up could've been much better.

I thought Charmed was a fun show to watch. The special effects aren't very good and not every episode is interesting, but still I had fun watching all eight seasons. It's somewhat comparable with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, although Buffy is definitely better. It's not a great show but if you're out of things to watch, go give Charmed a chance :).

My rate: 7,5/10

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