Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Charmed: Witch Trial (2.1)

This is an impressive season opener, maintaining the humor and chemistry of the first season and that new found sense of confidence the show genuinely appears to have discovered. The demon of the week, who resurrects some past enemies of the Charmed Ones (one legit, the other a cheap special effect and a different actor playing another), doesn't break any new ground, but from a character standpoint it's mightily impressive. Each sister now has her 'role' on the show, and it works really well.

Phoebe has always been the more pro-active sister, and her interest in Wicca has always been the most clear. She's great this week, exploring Wicca minus all the literal magic powers. Sure, it involves some gratuitous nudity, but this is Brad Kern, amiright?? At the same time, Piper is setting herself a new challenge: opening up a nightclub. I liked the mundane feel to Quake, and Piper's club quickly becomes an excuse to welcome on low-rent pop rock bands with new CDs to shill, but it does admittedly create a new 'space' for the Charmed Ones to hang out.

Prue gets some decent character stuff to work with. She's still feeling guilty over Andy's death and is hesitant to use her powers again. It's understandable, and Shannen Doherty easily sells the idea of being completely sick of the world she's stuck in. And, yes, that was my attempt at an in-joke.

While a lot of Witch Trial is great, it does also introduce two vacuous new cast members. Dan Gordon is dead weight who will stick around to bore all season. But Jenny Gordon, his whiny pre-teen niece, is a total abortion of a character. I always thought it was interesting that nobody ever stated what the hell they were thinking when they wrote her in to the show. I guess the three things Charmed was lacking were conversations about tampons, boys and science projects. Jeepers.

Besides the Gloomy Gordons, this is a confident, fun and generally amusing start to season two. It retains all that was lightweight and entertaining about the first season, but with it comes some new challenges. It's pretty absorbing. B

Guest stars Jennifer Rhodes (Penny "Grams" Halliwell)
Writer Brad Kern Director Craig Zisk


  1. Omg, your sentence about the boring gordons made me laugh like a crazy person, because its true. Reading all your reviews now.

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