Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Charmed: She's a Man, Baby, a Man! (2.5)

Parts of this episode are pretty great. It has an absorbing 'whodunnit' format with a variety of suspects, an intriguing nemesis for the sisters to battle, and some hilarity in the gratuitous Alyssa Milano boob shots and her various scenes of orgasmic moaning and talk of vivid sex dreams. However, the episode is entirely derailed whenever it tries to get serious. Sexual politics when explored on this show almost always end up being trite and offensive. And we haven't even talked about Shannen Doherty's 'Manny Hanks' transformation. I'm guessing Hilary Swank won't be losing any sleep over that...

Prue's transformation is insanely dumb. I didn't get why Succubus lady was so interested in his testosterone, as anybody with sense would assume that the throaty-voiced, flawlessly-skinned short guy is, if anything, overdosing on estrogen pills during the transitioning process. It's really hilarious. Especially the fact that both Dan and Prue's latest stud-muffin both fail to recognize that it's clearly Prudence Halliwell in drag. Yeesh.

Even worse are the discussions about gender politics. It takes Prue an actual gender switch to realize that men are equally as nervous and unsure as women when it comes to dating? Then there's Phoebe's belief that a car, a job and a huge paycheck make a man, and that Prue instantly begins to think about sex all day and knows her way around a tool-belt only hours after she magically gets a penis. Ugh.

However, I really liked the mystery aspect to the hour. The Succubus is a great villainess (loved the serpent tongue!), even if she is played by somebody who, even before I scanned her IMDb page, was clearly a Playboy model thinking acting might be fun for a change.
There's also an erotic sensibility to Phoebe's part in the story that, while never explicitly explained, really works. It's a lot of fun. Even if the rest of the hour is pretty dumb. C+

Crimes of Fashion Holy nipple action, Batman! Seriously, Alyssa, we get it. You're very happy with your new implants. But the wet, nipply shirt in the teaser sequence was a bunch of self-congratulatory ass.

Credits
Guest stars Heidi Mark (Darla); Michael McLafferty (Alan Stanton); Lex Medlin (Inspector Smith); Nick Stabile (Owen Grant); The Cranberries (Themselves)
Writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach Director Martha Mitchell

2 comments:

  1. This episode sucked. Well, from my perspective.

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  2. I actually enjoyed this ep. and loved what Shannon did with the male character Mannie (well chosen name!)and the fun the crew must have had with it. As to above review, I understand where you're coming from with the 'political correctness', but you mustn't forget that when it was filmed back in 1999 it was not so absurd. Even now ppl believe in the portrayed one-dimensional diff. between the genders; back then it was even more common. Imagine when the story was created in the 60's or 70's, ha ha ha. It would have been banned by the decency-police.
    Same goes for the wardrobe choices for the girls. It was still assumed they had to be hotties and half naked for the show to be popular. Several strong female roles have helped to come away from that now.
    Amiche - Ireland

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