Charmed

Charmed was a show from the 90s about three sister witches. It was a classic to some and others just another 90s flick, like Buffy or Angel. I feel the show had a lot more distinction then that. It did take a while for it to REALLY come into its own, but the story was always there. It was fairly well thought out and the characters were well-rounded. The Halliwell sisters were a pinnacle to its time. Despite being the 90s they distinctly showed the feminist zeal of today in the limited allowance they were given. The sisters were not only witches. They were hard-working women who balanced full careers and family life. They had men in their lives they loved, but it wasn’t just this all-consuming thing; love gave them balance, it didn’t “complete” them. They were first and foremost the Charmed Ones, the most powerful witches that ever were.

I think considering the time frame they did an exemplary job at the story. Could it have been more diverse or went over more topics? Sure, but most shows today still struggle with that. It’s hard to expect a show from 20 years ago to branch out when it’s only just barely begun today. I only say this because of the impending reboot that seems to be saying that the original Charmed didn’t even try. They did. (Small SPOILERS ahead) The girls had careers of their own that they didn’t give up for a man, that they worked hard for despite the toll of their roles as witches. Phoebe spent years in school during the show to get a degree. Piper balanced being a witch, a club owner, a wife, sole provider of the money more often then not and a mother. Prue had been a top curator of historical items. Paige was a social worker. And it that wasn’t feminist enough, one episode stands out when Phoebe makes a social stand at a business that wouldn’t let Piper breastfeed her child (who was covered to boot) in a very bold statement (naked on a horse). Did the girls have romances? Yeah. But I think where feminism sometimes goes wonky is in the thought that women shouldn’t care as much as we do about finding love. That’s not true. Love can be great, but as women we don’t always make the right choice (love is blind and all that). I think with the romances in Charmed they more then show that. It shows how complicated love can be and that sometimes when it feels the most right is when it’s the most wrong. But also that despite the relationships they could still be strong women as long as they were with someone who didn’t try and take that away from them.

With all that being said,, below are some synopses of the seasons. It is a good show and definitely worth a watch. Just remember that it was the 90s, they did their best but there are going to be a few hijinks and things that seem outdated.

 

Charmed 1-3

The first season of this show was a bit slow and very 90s. There wasn’t the flow yet that later seasons would project, but it’s still enough to hook an audience to the unusual (at the time) story line. Throughout the next three seasons relationships and magic build between the sisters but there is still a lack of growth and depth that isn’t felt until later seasons. SPOILERS Ahead! Throughout the first three seasons Prue is the glue that holds that sisters together, but it feels a little empty. Watching this time, there just seems to be a disconnect on how Piper and Phoebe look up to Prue and how Prue actually acts. They view her as a mother, but through most of the show she feels more arrogant and bossy, then ‘motherly’. It’s clear through a few episodes that she doesn’t really view herself on the same level as her sisters. She seems to hold over them that she knew their mother longer, that they couldn’t possibly understand the full loss of their mother as they can barely remember her. I think this emotional separation keeps Phoebe and Piper from growing as witches and as women. They have been trained to rely on Prue for how they should react and what they should do, which ultimately turns Prue into the great “Charmed One” with her two sisters lagging behind. I liked Prue, don’t get me wrong, but I feel, in the end, it hurt the show more for her to be so disconnected from everything. She had her moments of sensitivity, but she’d always turn back to the way she acted before. A show needs emotional growth from the characters, especially a fantasy show like this needs to humanize the story and make it more real.

Charmed 4-5

After Prue’s death the sisters are dealt a major blow. With her demon murderer still on the loose, the girls are faced with the extinction of the Charmed Ones and without their strongest sister as their leader. Their lives get even more complicated when they find out that their mom and her white-lighter (guardian angel of witches and future white-lighters) not only had a romance but a baby who they put up for adoption to protect her. They aren’t even able to process this as the demon who killed Prue goes after Paige, their half-sister.

Once the drama unfolds, the Charmed Ones are united once more. Paige is thrown for the loop of a lifetime. Not only does she have sisters, but she is also a witch. Piper has to become the strong big sister and Phoebe has to accept the role of the middle sibling. Together they have to figure out how to be sisters and witches in what feels like a whole new world of magic.

By season 5, though, they’ve grown together as sisters but they all have their own individual hurdles. Piper is faced with having a child of her own. Phoebe is struggling to find herself after her separation from Cole without relying on just being a witch. Paige struggles with finding her balance between her who she was and her desire to become a strong witch.

Season 6-8 FINAL

The girls have been through a lot at this point. Piper and Phoebe are especially feeling the weight of the years and it’s made them cynical to a happy future. Paige is coming into herself as both a witch and as a sister. The comradery between the sisters has grown to a comfortable level and all of them have matured. The last few seasons the sisters face some of their worst fears and battle against some of their most difficult enemies.

Season 8 is probably my least favorite, not only because it was a rushed finale, but the sisters seemed to lose themselves a little bit in the complex stories going on. They wrapped it up in a nice way that was fulfilling, but the season itself felt forced. The finale was definitely a whopper, but it would have been nice if WB (the channel company Charmed was on) would’ve given them a chance to work out the storylines a little better.

Supernatural

So, I just finished watching the 13th season of this still-going-strong show. I have to say, by far, one of the most amazing and consistent shows out there. While many shows waver, if not completely die off, and lose their charm after so many seasons this show has really hit the top shelf with consistent characters, evolving storylines and strong dialogue.

The show is about Sam and Dean Winchester, hunters of the supernatural. When Sam, the youngest brother, was only one year old their mother was murdered by a mysterious yellow-eyed demon. The boy’s father becomes obsessed with getting justice, dragging his two young boys across the United States fighting the things that go bump in the night along the way. Adults now, Sam is in college separated from the hunter’s life when his brother shows up. Their father was on a “hunting trip” and Dean hadn’t heard from him in a while. They go looking for him but only find more questions. And Sam soon realizes that maybe there is no “getting away” from the life.

My goal originally with long shows was to write snippets for each season to give a more well-rounded view of the ups-and-downs; unfortunately, some life things had me distracted and it just didn’t happen for Supernatural. What I can say is the show is a journey of truly epic proportions. It does have ups and downs in a couple seasons, some not so favorable plot twists and undesirable-for-even-an-antagonist bad guys. But the producers really listen to feedback from the fans and have always brought the story back with an even better season. For me, I felt even with the rougher seasons there were still some great episodes in between and in the end the character development was just an added advantage.

Sam and Dean are truly amazing characters. The actors (Jenson Ackles and Jared Paladecki) have embraced the characters to their core. I think for me after 13 seasons it’s just so amazing the growth alone the brothers have born. If you don’t believe me watch the 13th season and then the very first again. Most people can’t help but love them. Along with them are truly iconic characters: Bobby, Castiel, Crowley, Rowena, Judy. All of them have such in-depth stories that only add to the realness effect Supernatural has.

In the exploration of the supernatural I think the boys have really opened intriguing doors. They’ve more then just battled the weird, they are a part of it. They’ve seen the beginnings and the ends of almost of creatures. They’ve explored mythology and folklore. They’ve even taken the huge step into entering the world of religion lore, such as angels, God, heaven and hell. A leap like that could’ve hurt them, but I think they’ve found a way to explore those worlds in a way that is so hugely creative and interesting, it is to say the least intriguing and thought-provoking. Facing the big what-if of God and Death they’ve really opened doors into the scope of the universe.

The show is a lot of times dark, sinister and painful for the heart to watch, but I think, especially in these times, the Winchesters shine a much-needed light into their audience. They’ve faced horrible things, even their own deaths, but still they never give up. It’s something that anyone can watch and perhaps even find their own ass-kicking power to face their demons.

Goblin: the Lonely and Great God

Alright, so this drama was just as good as I was hoping it would be. I was really excited to see a modern fantasy show from Korea and this really set the record for one of the most fun and enjoyable. It was serious, but funny. It had strong story lines and in depth characters that all melded together really well. It’s always nice to see such a great drama that really makes me want more. The graphics were on-point and perfect. It also had one of my favorite male actors, Gong Yoo, as the lead (Coffee Prince); and, as always, his acting ability really is just awesome.

The drama is about Kim Shin, a Goblin, who must marry the Fated Goblin’s Bride to end his long life. When he meets Ji Eun Tak, it seems clear that she is indeed the destined one. The problem becomes apparent as the two grow closer and something blooms between them. Kim Shin is now pulled in that the very girl who could end his life could also mean so much more to him. Along for the ride is Ji Eun Tak’s boss, a fiery woman, who may hold a key to Gong Yoo’s past; and Gong Yoo’s roommate, a stoic grim reaper.

I really loved the dynamic of this show. It had a sort of playful tone to it and the flashbacks to Gong Yoo’s past when he was a mortal brought such a wonderful balance to the entire show. The characters were so real and they really played off of each really well. It was really a deep show about growth and forgiveness; about how much a person can really change and if a person can truly atone for past mistakes and sins. Just really fantastic.

Moonlight Drawn By the Clouds

This historical drama was a fantastic find. I already loved Park Bo Gum from Answer me 1988 and he did such a fantastic job in this show. Unlike a few of the historical dramas that I’ve dabbled with it stayed steady in the drama intensity. A couple of the dramas I’ve watched would suddenly skyrocket in the intensity level about half way through and then the ending would be less then appealing. This drama had a steady mix of the historical Korean drama feel without that gut wrenching political warfare that takes up most of the genre.

Hong Ra On has had to disguise herself as a man for as long as she can remember. As a young adult she’s taken to giving love advice to forlorn souls, but when one of her poetic letters goes amiss she meets Lee Young, a young aristocratic, at least so she believes. Lee Young is actually the Crown Prince! A series of events leads Ra On to be sold into the palace as a male eunuch and once again into meeting Lee Young who she still believes is just a noble in the court. Both of them are soon pulled into a political power struggle. Despite not knowing each other’s secrets they unite under the looming darkness. The question is whether the realization of who each other is will make them stronger or break them apart.

So, this drama was just so fun to watch. I really love Korean history and the early culture is just so amazing to see on screen. The Korean cinema’s attention to detail on costumes and architecture for the time is just exemplary. Flawless, really. While this show is loosely based on historical events it still pays homage to the people and events at the time. The characters are just so fun and it really feels like even the most minute person has a personality that really sticks with the audience without overwhelming the plot. I would probably watch this multiple times it’s just that good.

Ash vs Evil Dead

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Alright, so this Starz Original Series is based on the old cult classics of the Evil Dead and Army of Darkness. With it being a Starz series it has all the funding it needs for top notch CGI effects and complete freedom from censorship, so excessive gore and nudity are excessive. I’m pulled whether or not I can say I actually like the show or whether I’m watching it just become of loyalty to Bruce Campbell and Lucy Lawless; perhaps it’s a little of both.

The story is about Ash Williams; a stock worker who 30 years ago experienced an insane paranormal night of horror where he lost the love of his life and his hand. (I would watch Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness to catch up). Ash has done everything he can to avoid and forget everything that happened back then, but because of one night of stupidity the dark forces have come back to haunt him and destroy everything that touches him. With the help of his coworkers Pablo and Kelly, Ash reluctantly sets out to once and for all to destroy the darkness.

So, the acting and everything else is pretty good, but there’s just something about it that I just can’t place that bothers me and keeps me from liking it 100 percent. I’m not sure what it is, but all in all the show is alright. It is very gory and extremely violent but it’s done to the point that it’s not ‘realistic’ per se and it’s easier to look past the god awful things that are happening. It is one of those shows where anything can happen and I had to stop myself from caring about anyone, because just like Walking Dead, the show likes to push limits and it’s impossible to predict what’s going to happen next and to whom.

The Walking Dead

walking dead

This post-apocalyptic show is one of my favorite. The dynamic of this show is phenomenal and it would have never been a success had it not been for the great characters and their in depth story-lines. This show may be too violent for some, but it isn’t without a reason. One of the most potent and interesting reasons behind this show is the psychological undertone to it: how would people react to a world where they have to kill other human beings (living or not) and sometimes when its people they know and love.
Walking Dead is based on a group of survivors of a world flooded with zombies, obviously. It centers around one man in particular, Rick Grimes. He was a sheriff who had been shot, previous to the world going to crap, and had been in a coma, abandoned in a hospital. When he wakes up everyone around him is dead, but not all of them stay that way. He soon discovers the “Walkers”, dead people who rise with a craving for flesh. Rick goes in search for his family and discovers a group of survivors. The show is based around their journey as they discover threats un-dead and even some of the living kind.
The show, while being about the undead, is very emotional. The journey the characters have to take to survive in this world is amazing. I’ve recently been re-watching it and I’m so surprised to see how far the characters have come. I knew that they had changed over the course of the show, but I had forgotten how much. One of the things I’ll point out about this show is how it draws people in. I watch this with my husband and we have had long and deep conversations about the show before and where it’s headed. The Walking Dead pulled us in and got us involved and every week we have to see what happens.
If I gave stars for my reviews I’d give Five Stars, because it’s awesome.