Sunday, February 6, 2011

Charmed: Which Prue Is It, Anyway? (1.16)

This is a great Prue episode. Rewatching Charmed, I've come to the conclusion that she's probably the least likable of the sisters, and comes across as both overly controlling and uncontrollably bitchy and annoying. It also bugs that at this point in the show she's ostensibly written as the 'lead' and gets total story dominance most of the time (the same happened with Phoebe right after Shannen's departure). However, an episode like this explores the different facets of her personality, and goes some way in explaining exactly why she is the way she is.

The two Prue duplicates are embodiments of both 'sides' of Prue, the uptight and conservative part obsessed with work and doing the right thing to the nth degree, the other side being the more relaxed and overtly sexual side that barely gets 'unleashed', if at all. And then there's our Prue, a neurotic amalgamation of the two. It's an interesting idea to base an episode around, and if anything makes you feel pretty bad for her.

Elsewhere, Andy, as a character, continues to fail. But it's at least something that he's becoming a little more pro-active. One of the most ridiculous aspects of Charmed's first season were all the bizarre murder cases and accidents Prue somehow was involved in, and Andy's repeated bemusement over it all was just plain stupid. He's a cop, and the show repeatedly wrote him as an illogical moron. This is a fantasy series, but this particular element went too far. It's no surprise that they quickly moved away from it with the Darryl-related developments in season two.

An undeniably fun episode even with some of the dumber plot holes and story twists, Which Prue Is It, Anyway? utilizes Shannen Doherty extremely well, and she excels as all three Prue's. Throw in some great banter between the 'five' sisters and some sitcom-y humor as they're all trying to hide from other characters, and it's pretty darn entertaining. The demon plot is a little vague, but what are you going to do? B+

Guest stars Alex McArthur (Gabriel); Shannon Sturges (Helena Statler); Bernie Kopell (Coroner); Cristine Rose (Claire Pryce)
Writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach Director John Behring

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