Sunday, February 13, 2011

Charmed: When Bad Warlocks Turn Good (1.18)

This was an episode that always sent me to sleep when I was a kid. Watching it over again, I realize that it wasn't just my immaturity that stopped me from actually enjoying the thing. After a run of great episodes, Charmed delivers its first real disaster in a while, with an episode featuring guest characters about as interesting as a box of hair, and a mystery that is almost shocking in how ridiculously uninteresting it is.

For an hour centered on some pretty compelling and mature themes, including the rehabilitation of somebody cursed to be evil, this sure is tedious. Prue and Brendan haven't the chemistry to sell any hint of romance between them, while Andy's involvement in the case once again pushes the boundaries of fantasy. I don't understand why Prue can't tell him that she gets involved with people and protects them. Yes, it's still a little ridiculous, but not as ridiculous as a police officer remaining completely blank whenever Prue shows up at a murder scene or a kidnapping.

Another fail is in the warlocks themselves. Described as the evil doppelganger of the Charmed Ones, the idea just doesn't sell when placed in the hands of two charisma-free actors and a tub of melodramatic dialogue. It's just stupidity all round.

The Piper subplot, tucked away in the five minutes not dedicated to warlock rehab, is lightweight but fine. It's understandable that she'd be a little apprehensive of dating following her run of bad luck, but I didn't really get why Phoebe was so insistent on fixing her up. She's clearly not interested in seeing people right now (she's barely over Leo), so just let her have her space. Yeesh. Great work by Holly here, though, especially in her exasperation at the rock climbing wall.

When Bad Warlocks Turn Good has some interesting ideas at its core, yet it all fails to materialize when actually put to paper and eventually screen. It's just really, really boring. D+

Guest stars Shawn Christian (Josh); Nick Kokotakis (Greg); David Kriegel (Paul); Frank Birney (Father Austin); Michael Weatherly (Brendan Rowe)
Writer Edithe Swensen Director Kevin Inch

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