J.D. Lafrance
Charmed: Season 2 DVD Review

Charmed: Season 2

February 2, 2006

Director: Craig Zisk, James L. Conway, James A. Contner, John Behring,
Starring: Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, Shannen Doherty, Brian Krause, Greg Vaughan, Dorian Gregory, Karis Paige Bryant, ,

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DVD Review

J.D. Lafrance

As season two begins, Piper (Combs) hasn’t seen Leo (Krause) in weeks and is still struggling to buy the P3 nightclub. These are the two story arcs that will run through this season, in particular, Piper’s on again, off again romance with Leo. This season also sees the addition of a hunky new neighbour named Dan (Vaughan) and his niece Jenny (Bryant). Prue (Doherty) is still getting over Andy’s death and throwing herself into work – her day job and hunting and vanquishing demons with her sisters. Dan catches Piper’s eye and forms a love triangle with her and Leo who continues to secretly pine for her.

Along with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed champions strong, smart, self-empowered women. In this case, three who work together to defeat any bad guys that threaten them or innocent people. Charmed is a show that stresses teamwork. In many cases only the Power of Three is able to vanquish that episode’s villain. It is when one of the sisters is isolated that they are truly vulnerable. For example, in the season opener, “Witch Trial,” a demon steals the Book of Shadows and Prue begins to question what they are doing. If the demon strips them of their powers they can go back to leading normal lives and the people they care about.

As the season progresses, Piper finally gets the P3 up and running. “The Devil’s Music” episode ushers in a questionable trend of having bands like Dishwalla and the Cranberries appear for no discernible reason other than to flog their latest single. Buffy dabbled with this as well but quickly abandoned it after one season.

Charmed really hit its stride in this season with two strong episodes back-to-back. “They’re Everywhere” pits the Charmed ones against brain-draining warlocks and “P3H20” in which we learn how the Halliwell’s mother died. It is a very poignant episode that builds on the show’s mythology. “Chick Flick” is an amusing homage to horror movies as a demon inhabits Phoebe’s (Milano) favourite movie and causes all sorts of trouble until the sisters and the hero from the film stop it. This episode is a good example of one of the more playful ones of the season.

Arguably, the strongest episode of this season is “Astral Monkey” that features a doctor who steals the Charmed ones powers and goes crazy when he can’t handle the sudden power surge. This is one of those rare episodes where the sisters actually encounter a formidable foe and one gets the sense that they are actually in real danger. The villainous doctor is also shown in a somewhat sympathetic light at times. He’s not pure evil (he does steal the organs from criminals after all), just corrupted by power. Even though the Charmed ones prevail, it’s a bittersweet victory.

Paramount seems to be foregoing any kind of extras on these DVDs in favour of releasing the seasons as fast as they can. Already, season three has been announced to his shelves before the year ends.

J.D. is a freelance writer who is currently doing research for a book on the films of Michael Mann. He likes reading anything written by Jack Kerouac, James Ellroy, J.D. Salinger, Harlan Ellison or Thomas Pynchon. J.D. is currently addicted to the T.V. series 24 and enjoys drinking a lot of Sprite. This is not a blatant plug for the beverage but if they ever decided to give him a lifetime supply he certainly wouldn’t turn them down.
view all DVD reviews by JD Lafrance


Rating: 77%



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