Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Charmed: Wicca Envy (1.10)

Re-watching the early episodes, it's pretty great to see a story arc involving villains that aren't just reduced to the whole "crush, kill, destroy" method of dispatching the Charmed Ones. The show's villains eventually became so shrill, flat and one-note that seeing Rex and Hannah forming this elaborate plan is actually pretty refreshing. Wicca Envy is occasionally both melodramatic and ridiculous, but it's probably the strongest episode of the series so far, and a benchmark for what the show would eventually become.

Rex's astral projection is a lot of fun. From the comedy created by the freezing-the-cops-and-moving-the-tiara scene to the eerieness of Phoebe discovering that Rex's gorgeous penthouse is in reality an empty dump, it's a great plot device. Rex and Hannah weren't individually great villains, (Hannah too much like a catty secretary to convince, Rex clearly from the Hugh Grant School of Complete Non-Intensity), but they added some necessary weight to the series. It was clearly an attempt at a Buffy-esque "big bad active in the background of every episode" arc, and for the most part it worked.

The Piper/Leo chemistry and the revelations about his magical 'abilities' works, but it's soured by my later boredom of the couple, after the seven subsequent seasons of "blah-ness" they made everybody endure. But, attempting to put myself in the shoes of somebody watching this for the first time, they do have a lot of chemistry, and it's sad to see the unlucky Piper once again getting into a relationship with certain 'complications'. Warlock, ghost... Leo. Aww. B

Guest stars Neil Roberts (Rex Buckland); Leigh-Allyn Baker (Hannah Webster); Brian Krause (Leo Wyatt); Al Rodrigo (Jaime)
Teleplay Brad Kern, Sheryl J. Anderson Story Brad Kern Director Mel Damski

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