Newest Review: ... devote herself to the craft. This is much needed in this series because Phoebe (Alyssa Milano) is turning into something of a workaholic ... more
Breaking the family tradition in more ways than one
Charmed - The Complete Season 5 (DVD)
Member Name: cha97mw
Charmed - The Complete Season 5 (DVD)
Advantages: a conclusion to the Cole/Phoebe saga, a new addition to the family, and some great acting
Disadvantages: dubious special effects for magical creatures
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.
Summary: The girls manage to have the most work-life balance yet in this series.
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