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Charmed - The Complete Season 4 (DVD)
Member Name: cha97mw
Charmed - The Complete Season 4 (DVD)
Advantages: strong acting, strong plots, good continuity between episodes.
Disadvantages: suddenly finding a long lost sister really conveniently.
It is impossible to write this review without a plot spoiler for the cliffhanger at the end of series 3, so my apologies, and feel free not to read. I can't think of any way round it.
Charmed is a television series which ran on channel 4, and later channel 5 between 1997 and 2005. It is an Aaron Spelling production, and features 3 strong confident sisters who are also the most powerful witches ever seen, known as the Charmed Ones. The sisters face constant battles against evil demons in an attempt to protect the innocent population of San Francisco while maintaining their anonymity and trying to lead a normal life.
At the end of season 3, we saw 2 of the 3 charmed sisters lying on the floor, presumed dead, after doing battle with a very powerful demon called Shacks, who is a hit man for 'The Source', who is the head of the underground and all evil. (How imaginative.)
Series 4 starts very sadly with the news that one of the sisters actually died, and the Power of Three is no more. Both remaining sisters, Piper (Holly Marie Combs) and Phoebe (Alyssa Milano) are completely devestated. Piper takes it particularly badly as her husband Leo, who is the Whitelighter or Guardian Angel for the sisters managed to bring her back to full health but he didn't manage to save her sister.
It was weird at the beginning of this series as it seemed as though it would not be feasible for the girls to carry on with the loss of Shannen Doherty as the main character and most powerful witch of the three sisters.
Piper tries very hard casting many spells to get her sister to return to them, but in a strange twist of fate as you only manage to get on TV shows, they very conveniently have a long lost younger sister who they know nothing about. This sister feels a strange need to meet Piper and Phoebe, and they manage to convince her to join them and reconstitute the power of three.
This has been set up for in the earlier series through disclosure of their mother having a relationship with her Whitelighter many years before, but at first it seemed a little too contrived to me. However, Rose McGowan who plays the new sister, Paige, manages to fit into the family really well, and within a few episodes, you almost forget how she knew no magic before a few weeks before.
There is a lot of drama surrounding relationships in this series, so there feels like there is more to the personal lives of the characters rather than just the fight between good and evil, and there is a lot more continuity between the episodes in this series than in any that came before. This takes the show from good to brilliant and addictive in my opinion.
Piper and Leo got married in Series 3, so they are managing their lifestyle change and trying to start a family of their own alongside the loss of Prue. Piper has to mature fast as she has to take on the role of big sister as well as become the more powerful witch. Her new power of making things explode alongside her power to freeze helps with this. She does struggle to relate to her new sister Paige and is reluctant to make herself vulnerable to more pain.
Phoebe goes from being the youngest sister to having to be the middle sister and peacemaker between Paige and Piper. She also is challenged with her relationship with the half demon, Cole. They are very much wanting to be together, and I would describe him as the love of her life, but she has to make some pretty big choices between him and her sisters this series, and the amount of change in her life is hard for her to deal with.
Paige is stunned by finding out the truth about her background, but she does eventually embrace her destiny, and her lack of past within the family unit allows her to see things that are happening that the rest of the family don't want to see. She has also got Prue's ability to move objects, but rather than move them with her eyes like Prue did, Paige finds objects she calls appears in her hand. She also has the Whitelighter ability to orb (transport) from one place to another. Her background in social work makes for a very compassionate character, and a great addition to the family.
This series was probably one of the best of all in my opinion. You get to see so many different aspects to the characters as they grieve the loss of Prue and try to establish their new order within the family, but there are also so many comical moments that I enjoyed. For example, Paige struggles as the older sisters just treat her like they would Prue, so you see them invading her privacy and not giving her enough space. I also enjoyed Leo and Piper debating whether they should or could start a family in a house where battles against evil happen on a daily basis, so Paige hires them a mechanical baby to practice with.
You also see them go up against some of the most dangerous demons ever in this series, including The Source himself.
If you were new to charmed, you could pick it up in this series and perhaps not feel like you had missed out on too much.
I first watched this on TV when it was aired, but since I have rewatched it on rental on lovefilm and even more recently watched it online as part of a netflix subscription. I still love this as much as when it first aired, and don't feel that it has dated as badly as the earlier series. Series one in particular shocked me with how old it looked, yet this was only shot a couple of years later. Series 4 is superb, and it was when the show was in its prime to me.
Summary: Series 4 definitely had me charmed.