Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Charmed: Rewitched (8.5)

I don't know if it was at all intentional, but I liked the sisters slowly realizing how ridiculous their entire 'glamored identities' plan was. It was most successful, shockingly, in the Phoebe storyline. Alyssa Milano generally seems completely over this show, but she did have a couple of neat moments this week, especially when she finally acknowledged the fact that she's always lied to Dex and doesn't know a damn thing about him. I'm happy that both of these stories are finally on their way out, and I appreciated the brief moments of sisterly bonding that Rewitched featured. Being season eight, however, everything else blew.

Billie is just the worst. Kaley Cuoco has a horrible voice, all Valley Girl squeakiness and persistent exasperation, and she seems entirely incapable of finding levels in her performance, nor a vocal delivery that suits varying tones. In short, it's bad sitcom acting. Which makes sense considering Cuoco's background, but is so wrong for a show like Charmed. And, yes, Charmed is terrible at this point, but even with that in mind her presence still feels so distracting. She took center stage far too much here, and I dislike that the show is making the sisters so jaded and bored in order to make Billie seem so much stronger and inquisitive by proxy. She's just terrible. I even dislike her stupid, shiny, over-processed hair. Ugh.

The whole Agent Murphy 'National Security' get-out was predictably horrible, especially the elaborate press conference (were the Halliwell deaths a huge story or something? It seems needlessly over-the-top), gaping FBI agents (how does that secretary even know who these three random women are?) and the celebrity reaction at P3. Then again, what else could the writers really do? They painted themselves into a corner and had to scrape around for some kind of resolution. Damn show.

Rewitched is a necessary bridge episode that brings to a close a whole bunch of convoluted stories that never made a whole lot of sense in the first place. Unfortunately, the tale of woe that is Billie Jenkins insists on sticking around for the rest of the season. Rewitched has some interesting moments, but the demon thing is perfunctory and the ending completely ridiculous. Hilariously, none of that stops it from being this season's best episode so far. C

Guest stars
Brandon Quinn (Agent Murphy); Reynaldo Gallegos (Antosis); Cullen Douglas (Imp Master); Nick Steele (Whit); Josh Daugherty (Nick); Jason Lewis (Dex Lawson)
Writer Rob Wright Director John Kretchmer


  1. Sorry for not commenting in your stuff a lot recently =)

    I actually disagree with what you said about Billie (our opinions might meet somewhere later on this season I think, though). She played a nice role here, helping to pull the sisters out of their secret identities. And I agree about it being nice seeing them gradually realize it all on their own.

    I like what you said about the writers really digging themselves into a hole, too. It's probably why this whole arc sucked, but you've got to admire them for sticking it out for so long. It could easily have been wrapped up in a two-hour premiere if you think about it.

    I'm not one for labeling actors/actresses though. Personally, I think Kaley is fine here. She's not great, or good even, but she does the job. As for her sitcom performances, I've always loved her in those. And there are certain actors who can cross over between the two, maybe Kaley wasn't the best example, but she gave it her best shot, and I never really thought the issues surrounding her character were on her shoulders either.

    Great review =)

    Also, I hope your resignation from Billie Doux isn't for anything negative? I hope everything's good on your end.

  2. You know, your comment really brought something home to me. I've always been really conscious about ragging on Charmed too much. I think it's because the old ones I did over at TV.com are mind-bogglingly crass, and I was determined to make the ones here a little more thoughtful and constructive. Especially season eight, for obvious reasons. And I am trying, because I don't think it's helpful to just say it's a pile of ass, without trying to explore why it's a pile of ass.

    It's why your reviews are so much better, because they're clearly written by an actual fan, and not somebody who's more casual with their interest in the show.

    With Billie in particular, I keep trying to separate the character from Kaley Cuoco herself (it's something I explicitly discuss during Vaya Con Leos and Jung and the Restless), because it crosses into mean territory when I just rag on her acting all the time. Rose is slightly different because she's clearly an actor who has entirely given up, rather than somebody like Kaley who was just miscast in a badly constructed role. It's not her fault that Billie had issues as a character.

    And then there are reviews like this, where all I seem to talk about is Kaley. Gah. It's something I need to work on. She's clearly talented and has a fanbase, considering she's now making a ton of money on the biggest sitcom on television, and I remember getting the impression back when season eight was airing that she sort of knew that Charmed wasn't her forte, so she's clearly aware of where her talent lies. And sitcom is hard, far harder than single-camera, so she gets props for that, too.

    Short version: need to be less mean, found your comment ridiculously insightful. Thanks, guy.

  3. I think that's what makes your reviews so different to mine, and not inferior in any way.

    Mine are filled with a certain bias that kind of blinds me to a lot of flaws that are inherent in this show, since I've been a fan for over 10 years now. Whereas you point them out really intelligently, and never in a bad way. I've always liked your writing style, so don't ever change it. Your reviews have always been great =)

    Looking forward to more.

  4. Heh. We need to stop crawling up each other's butts. But, yeah, the tone will stay the same, but I'm trying to edit down anything that comes off a little mean in my future Charmed reviews. I already cut out a comment about Rose McGowan's current appearance from the season premiere review. I read it back and just thought it was completely obnoxious, considering she's probably sort of anxious after all the plastic surgery comments. She's always getting tweeted really crass stuff as it is, without me joining in. Poor girl.

    Anyway, thanks again, dude.