Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Charmed: That Old Black Magic (2.6)

Besides Cole, Charmed was never known for its dynamic male characters. Season two was really the show's nadir in terms of testosterone, with an array of dismal males left right and center, each one as annoying as the next. Leo is especially groan-worthy here, his holier-than-thou attitude and random bursts of emotion!! both majorly contrived. I got the impression that Brian Krause still had no idea how to play the character at this point. Dan Gordon, Piper's latest boo, is a slab of beef with an annoying hair cut. His entire persona seems to be that "he's hot", with little spark anywhere else. And then there's newcomer Jack Sheridan. If there's one thing I can't stand more than anything else in romantic storylines, it's when two characters meet and immediately can't stand one another. The faux anger and sniping, mixed with the sexy sexy flirty banter, just bugs the hell out of me. In terms of relationships, this episode fails.

But that doesn't mean it succeeds anywhere else, either. While I liked a couple of the lines (especially Phoebe's dialogue about the improbability of not being evil with a name like Tuatha), the 'chosen one' story dragged, with yet another annoying teen coming into his powers. And Jenny's weak attempt at flirting was so abhorrent that she got shuffled off the series right after this episode. The repeated (three!) Blair Witch spoofs were also a little on-the-nose. Although I did get a kick out of seeing Jonathan from 30 Rock miniaturized and eaten by a snake in the teaser sequence. Man, how's that for an embarrassing show reel clip?

What does work is Brigid Brannagh's scenery-chewing guest spot. She has a lot of nerve to do so much with a snake wrapped around her neck, while her whole look (especially the wild red hair) made for an eye-grabbing villainess. It's just unfortunate that the story she was stuck in was so silly. C-

Guest stars Brian Krause (Leo Wyatt); Jay Michael Ferguson (Kyle Gwideon); Brigid Brannagh (Tuatha); Lochlyn Munro (Jack Sheridan)
Writers Vivian Mayhew, Valerie Mayhew Director James L. Conway

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