Charmed is a popular TV series about the family relationships between three sisters who happen to be witches. This was an American show, set in San Fransisco, and aired in the UK between 1997 and 2005 firstly on channel 4, and then it moved to channel 5.
I used to watch this with my own sister when it first aired, but by the time we got to this season, I had moved in with my husband. I still watched this with him, and secretly he doesn't mind a bit of charmed. I then watched it again while on maternity leave in 2007, before more recently watching it for a 3rd time because I had a netflix subscription and all 8 series of the show are available for online screening via that service.
Series 1-3 featured Shannen Doherty as one of the Charmed sisters, but after her character was killed off, Rose McGowan joined the cast as a half sister the remaining two didn't know that they had. In series 5, McGowan's character, Paige Mathews, takes the lead a lot more frequently. Her personal life is almost put on hold after her best friend and former lover, Glen, gets married to someone else in series 4. She has also quit her social work job to devote herself to the craft. This is much needed in this series because Phoebe (Alyssa Milano) is turning into something of a workaholic herself, writing a newspaper column, and also having a relationship with her new boss, Jason.
Piper is also finding out what it is like to be Charmed but also be pregnant. This leaves her very vulnerable at the start of the series as she is scared she will hurt the baby and be a bad mother remembering how her own mother died when she was only 9. However, the baby has the ability to heal like its father, so any injuries she sustains are soon repaired. She also learns that the baby can protect her with a forcefield when needed. This makes her more powerful than ever.
The series starts with the girl's still vulnerable to Cole Turner, Phoebe's ex-husband. He is still really in love with Phoebe and determined to prove to her he is good again to win her back. However, Phoebe wants nothing to do with this. We see her almost turn permanently into a mermaid to escape him. It also strips her of her power, so she seeks magical help to restore her power of premonition. This leads to them helping a gypsy who is also a doctor, who then trains the sisters to be midwives ready for the magical birth.
Julian McMahon (Cole) eventually leaves the series for good in the 100th episode, which allows Phoebe to finally move on with her life as she wants to.
Only a few episodes later, my favourite episode of this series, 'The Day the Magic Died' sees a new addition to the cast as Piper is forced to give birth at home, almost alone, 6 weeks early. I may be a big softie, but this episode really moved me beyond words.
This series just continued to get stronger as the girls had to protect the newborn baby from evil beings who were trying to steal it, and then we headed towards the very dramatic finale which saw a great evil being let loose upon the world, all the Elders being killed, and Leo (Piper's husband and Whitelighter, played by Brian Krause) having to make a decision that would affect the lives of all of the girls from that moment on.
In the double-episode finale another new character, Chris Perry is introduced. It is unclear whether he will be good or evil from what we see him saying, but he is made into the girls whitelighter, and he also will feature prominently in the coming series
My personal opinion of this series it is a show that is still in its heyday, but only just. This series saw some fantastic acting most of the time, but some of the scenes watching the sisters with the new born baby verged on nauseating when the girls were talking to the baby in baby-ese.
Some of the mythical creatures shown in this series were also verging on getting a bit silly, such as wood nymphs and leprachauns. I also found the first episode with Phoebe as a mermaid a bit silly. The girls were laughing on-screen, so it just was too hard to take it that seriously. I also started to get a bit of deja-vu, as though some of the ideas were beginning to get a bit boring. How many times were they going to have to battle against Cole for example before he got the hint?
I did like that they fleshed out the character of Darryl, the girls police friend who has helped them since series one, in this series by allowing us to see a wife and family for him. I wish they had gone further with this.
This show had pushed it about as far as it could by the end of this series, so it would have to come up with some new tricks for me to keep me loving it as much from this point. There are still one or two tricks up the writer's sleeves, but the Charm is starting to fade a little.
Holly Marie Combs ... Piper Halliwell
Alyssa Milano ... Phoebe Halliwell
Rose McGowan ... Paige Matthews
Brian Krause ... Leo Wyatt
Dorian Gregory ... Darryl Morris
Julian McMahon ... Cole Turner
In the words of series creater Constance M Burge "CHARMED was about three sisters - who also happen to be witches".
CHARMED was the well-recieved supernatural drama, first born after Buffy became one of the most popular shows of it's time.
CHARMED aimed for a family audience and the parents vote of approval by keeping violence and gore almost unexistant and sending time each week exploring the lives of the sisters; supporting each other through the bad times helps you overcome anything!! The demons were largely illustrations of real concerns and dangers.
Well, we had a character change for series 4, and we got another for the 100th episode* this season. Yep we bid a fond farewell to Cole. But there was also the introduction of a tiny new cast member - this season saw the birth of Piper and Leo's baby.
Season 5 still retained it's sense of realism of the sister's lives and worries, with the added drama and wit that made CHARMED a huge success, but for me this series lost that special something that made it a must watch programme, though it did pick it back up slihtly as the season neared the end.
A Witch's Tail (1)
A Witch's Tail (2)
Phoebe is turned into a mermaid, giving her a cold heart and she runs away from her problems. Paige struggles balancing her charmed one life with her work life. Pregnant Piper begins to suffer from panic attacks.
Happily Ever After
The sisters are transported into classic fairy stories - Piper Little Red Riding Hood, Phoebe into Cinderella, and Paige into Snow White.
A Siren lures Phoebe and Cole, leaving Piper and **Paige to save them. Piper's unborn baby swaps her powers with Leo's.
Witches In Tights
A demon is turned into a comic book character so he can steal the elder's powers, leaving the sisters no choice but to don masks and catsuits to stop him.
The Eyes Have It
Phoebe discovers a demon which steals the eyes of gypsies. Piper wants to see a regular doctor, but Leo is concerned about being exposed.
Sympathy For The Demon
Here we see the return of Barbas (the demon of fear) who once again plunges the sisters into their darkest fears.
A Witch In Time
An evil warlock tries to steal the book of shadows and succeeds in killing 2 of the sisters, leaving our lone survivor to decide if going back in time to save their life's is the right thing to do.
Sam I Am
Paige, as a whitelighter, gets her first charge. Cole tries to force the sisters to kill him.
Y Tu Mummy Tambien
A demon tries to resurrect the spirit of his dead lover by using Phoebe to host her.
The Importance Of Being Phoebe
Cole kidnaps Phoebe and sends a shapeshifter to take her place.
Centennial Charmed *
Cole creates a world where Phoebe and Piper never meet Paige in a desperate attempt to keep Phoebe by his side.
The sisters enlist the help of a witch doctor in removing the traces of evil from around the house. Is he friend or foe? Paige's ex shows up with a big surprise.
Sand Francisco Dreamin'
A demon causes the sisters nightmares to come to life.
The Day The Magic Died
As Piper'/s baby is about to be born all magic dies, leaving her defenceless against the evil being that want the baby.
Baby's First Demon
New aunties Paige and Phoebe try to protect baby from 2 demons while Phoebe's career looks like its on shaky ground.
A demon is killing leprechauns so they bless the sisters with good luck to track the demon down, but their luck soon backfires.
When she begins to have marital problems, Piper casts a spell to show her's and Leo's past together. However it backfires, taking Phoebe and Paige to relive the memories.
Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun
When a demon attacks and kills a water nymph that protects a lake, the surviving nymphs decide Paige should take her place. Saying no doesn't seem to be an option.
Sense And Sense Ability
The Crone steals one of the senses from each of the sisters, in an attempt to fool Piper's child into allowing her to get closer to baby.
Necromancing The Stone
Grandma Halliwell returns to the manor for a wiccan birthing ceremony for her grandchild.
Oh My Goddess (1)
Oh My Goddess (2)
The titans are released and kill the elders giving Leo no choice but to take their places. Meanwhile the sisters are given the powers of greek goddesses to enable them to destroy the titans before they kill all of the whitelighters
Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
Run Time: 917 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
DVD Extras: None
Welcome to the wonderful magical world of the 'Charmed one's'; sister witches that have inherited their powers and use them to fight evil and save the innocent on a daily basis, while trying to maintain normal lives. This is one of the best seasons in my opinion, as Rose McGowan (Paige) who took over after the departure of Shannen Doherty after season 3, seems to be settling in with the show a little more. Her character, Paige is beginning to find her feet as both a witch and a member of the Halliwell family.
The writers delved straight into the action with the first episode, "A witch's Tail". In this two part episode, the charmed one's try to save a mermaid from losing her immortality, and her love. They must save her from the Sea Hag, which causes Piper to freeze up. In order to try and tackle her fears, Piper casts a 'fearless' spell, which backfires. Phoebe becomes a mermaid and abandons her sisters for freedom. It is up to Cole, who has returned from the wasteland, to save her from herself.
In the episode "happily ever after", an evil witch traps the charmed ones using warped versions of fairy tales. They are turned into superheroes and team up with gypsies in order to save the day in this season. Paige meets her father, Sam, and Cole teams up with another demon to mummify Phoebe in his crazy attempt to win her back. Cole tries to tap into the power of the Nexus (which is the power the manor sits on and can be used for both good or evil, depending on who is controlling it), again to try and win Phoebe back in the "importance of being Phoebe". He also changes the past so that Paige no longer exists, however this backfires and Phoebe vanquishes him at the only time he is vulnerable.
We meet a witch-doctor and the sandman in this season. On the day that Wyatt, Piper and Leo's son, is born, magic dies and so Phoebe and Paige must meet with the leaders of evil, while evil tries to steal Piper's baby. However, magic is returned to the world when Wyatt is born and evil is defeated.
Also, an old crone steals the Charmed One's senses to try and make the sisters vulnerable enough to steal Wyatt.
The season comes to a fantastic conclusion in "oh my goddess". The Titans (ancient evil powerful beings) are freed and they murder most of the elders, and so Leo turns the sisters into Goddesses to try an defeat the Titans. Leo manages to save the remaining elders from destruction and saves the world. As a reward for this, he becomes an elder too, which in effect, takes him away from Piper and Wyatt. We also meet a mysterious character from the future in this episode; a white-lighter named Chris, who contributes to Leo becoming an elder.
The season ends on yet another cliff-hanger when Chris scatters Leo's orbs and we are left to wonder what has happened to Leo.
Charmed season five... Charmed of course is the Aaron Spelling produced drama based on a trio of sisters who are gifted with magical powers which they use to battle various incantations of evil in San Francisco. As the show enters its fifth year, I think that this is the season in which the carefully developed structure of the show begins to slide into the realm of farce. You can see the changes unravel over the 22 episodes here as the storylines seem to all intertwine without even really touching each other. The show seems to rely heavily more than ever on various aspects of mythology and folklore s uch as leprachauns and the Greek titans than the actual sisters themselves and the whole point og Charmed from its previous four seasons.
Piper finds herself entering motherhood which provides a strong change in her character. Episodes such as 'The Day The Magic Died' and 'Baby's First Demon' see the writers actually handle the inclusion of a baby to the Charmed world quite well though it does become quite ridiculous that one being could be so powerful and unstoppable etc etc.
Phoebe once again spends a good chunk of the season dealing with Cole [Julian McMahon]. Their relationship for me has crossed over from moving and entertaining to tired and worn, with the writers desparately trying to breathe an extra lease of life into the popular character of Cole by dragging them through the same old tired tribulations. 'The Importance Of Being Phoebe' and 'Centinental Charmed' however do bring the storyarc to a dramatic and powerful conclusion which sends out Cole's character in style.
To be fair to Charmed there are still some brilliant standalone episodes here but it seems with the end of the Source, that larger storyarcs are becoming more and more confusing for the writers. 'Happily Ever After's is a fantastic ode to fairytales and the two part season opener definitely provides you with enough of a taste to keep watching. It just seems to me as if the indivudal episodes need to be swen together more and that there needs to be some form of balance between the suspense, filled humour Charmed is known for and the drama and gripping storylines the show used in its early days.
Other standout episodes include 'Sympathy For The Demon' which includes the return of the demon of fear Barbas [played by Billy Drago], 'Cat House' which sees Piper and Leo attend marriage counselling and unwittingly cast a spell which sends Phoebe and Paige through the couple's most significant moments, 'Sense and Sense Ability' in which an old crone steals one of the five senses from each sister in an attempt to snatch Piper's child and 'Sam I Am' in which the girls' mother's whitelighter Sam returns and Paige finds out who her biological father is.
The season comes in the usual Charmed packaging, this time a nice, dark green colour. There are six discs with 22 episodes spread across them. As always one complaint I have about the Charmed DVDs is that there are no special features at all on any of the DVDs which is really disappointing and proves that really you can just watch the reruns on Living TV and tape them rather than spend £20 or so per season.
I'd definitely recommend buying Charmed Season Five if you are already a huge fan of the show but really on its own it doesn't warrant much attention. There are some standout episodes that will no doubt reel you in but the show is lacking on enough strength to really make this season that spectacular.
List Of Episodes:
A Witch's Tail (Part 1)
A Witch's Tail (Part 2)
Happily Ever After
Witches in Tights
The Eyes Have It
Sympathy for the Demon
A Witch in Time
Sam I Am
Y Tu Mummy Tambien
The Importance of Being Phoebe
Sand Francisco Dreamin'
The Day The Magic Died
Baby's First Demon
Nymphs Just Want To Have Fun
Sense and Sense Ability
Necromancing the Stone
Oh My Goddess (Part 1)
Oh My Goddess (Part 2)
Phoebe Halliwell - Alyssa Milano
Paige Mathews - Rose McGowan
Piper Halliwell - Holly Marie Combs
Leo Wyatt - Brian Krause
Darryl Morris - Dorian Gregory
Cole Turner - Julian McMahon [12 Episodes]
The fifth season of Charmed sees the writers and producers adventure a little more with the plots, and sees a now settled in Rose McGowan as Paige Matthews and she and her two half-sisters, Piper and Phoebe Halliwell, have another season of fighting the evils of the supernatural world.
Charmed is a TV series, created by Aaron Spelling of Beverley Hills 90210 fame. It originally starred Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs and Alyssa Milano as sisters Pru, Piper and Phoebe Halliwell, before the demise of Pru led to the other two finding out they had a half-sister, Paige. Doherty leaving the show left a great hole, especially as Pru was usually the one who would take charge of a situation. The others would follow suit. The fourth series saw McGowan enter as Paige, and her character developed slowly but surely throughout the season. This fifth season allows her a little more comfort now she is established, and the three women enjoy a wide variety of adventures.
What impressed me about this series is the fact that they did not let it get stagnant. There is a tendency about drama series to get complacent with the same similar plot lines and not progressing the characters very much, whereas Charmed doesn't follow this mould. It continues to set the bar for itself each season, and this one sees the Charmed Ones (Piper, Phoebe and Paige) in some double episodes, turning into mermaids, becoming Greek Goddesses and the occasional trip through time.
The acting is very good, and they do comedy and tragedy very well in combination. As usual, they are joined by Brian Krause as Leo, Piper's husband and the trio's whitelighter; and Dorian Gregory as Darrell, the woe begotten policeman who is the only one in the force who knows they are witches and is constantly trying to help them preotect their cover.
At times the special effects are too much, and I feel this is a shame. The evil beings (demons, mainly) that they fight were much better in previous seasons, but this is balanced out by better plots and more relaxed acting. The combination of each episode's individual plot and the ongoing stories through the season make it hard to watch just the one random episode and understand what is going on. You do really need to watch them in order, and start from season 1, to get the gist of the whole premise.
I recommend this season of Charmed, as well as the other seasons. Season 5 is not my favourite season, but it is still high quality. It is a very good show in general and everything does slot into place. The DVD for season 5 is available from amazon.co.uk for around the £15 mark.
Debuting in 1998, the Aaron Spelling-produced television series 'Charmed' follows the adventures of three modern-day witches juggling their supernatural abilities with the demands of everyday life. The Halliwell sisters use their magical powers to protect innocent people from evil demons, who, in turn, attempt to steal the sister's powers for their own purposes. In order to shield the world from darkness, the sisters must protect their own powers from the lords of the underworld, and also rise above the childish bickering of sisterhood to work together as a team.