Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Charmed: The Witch Is Back (1.9)

Another vaguely flat early season one episode, this does at least advance the show's mythology a little, even if it is contained in an episode full of obvious humor, obvious characterization and generic plotting. Nobody ever said Charmed was subtle, but this episode essentially smashes you over the head with a sledgehammer, in terms of both the writing and the acting, the latter presumably performed by a bunch of daytime TV actors and ex-models. Essentially, Aaron Spelling-types.

This week's storyline goes nowhere fast. We have a hammy bad guy pursuing the Halliwell's and seeking their powers, and a vacant cipher of an innocent to protect. In this case it's the sisters' ancestor Melinda, a clueless Salem witch who spends a lot of the episode inquiring about modern-day clothing, standing frantic near answering machines and asking what in the damn hell a 'zoo' is. Ugh. They're not good guest stars.

Equally annoying is Andy's random bursts of anger as he discovers that Prue is wound up right at the center of yet another mysterious murder investigation. You know, he has a point, but his rampant stupidity kind of eclipses that. The fact that the episode ends with Prue presumably getting off scot-free despite being so heavily involved in a series of killings and a freak accident at work... it's just a little silly.

Sorry for shitting all over this one, but it is pretty awful. I guess it speeds by pretty fast, if that's anything positive. Charmed is like comfort food, though, there's something generally likable about it regardless of how abysmal the show actually is at times. D

Guest stars Billy Wirth (Matthew Tate); Tyler Layton (Melinda Warren); Brian Krause (Leo Wyatt); Neil Roberts (Rex Buckland); Leigh-Allyn Baker (Hannah Webster); Terry Bozeman (Arnold Halliwell); Michael (Café Patron)
Writer Sheryl J. Anderson Director Richard Denault

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