Charmed is a hypnotically awful tv show that opens with a montage of occult symbols over the riff from the Love Spit Love cover of the Smiths' How soon is now?.

Whilst watching you know it's absolute garbage but it's still impossible to look away from the screen. It utilises the proven premise: good-looking women in danger.

The main characters' special powers are telekinesis (Prue), freezing (Piper) and premonition (Phoebe). (Phoebe also developed the power to see the past in one episode but, as is common in this genre, this power was forgotten by the time of the next show.)

The main enemies of the beautiful Halliwell sisters are demons and warlocks and attempts to seize their powers are common. They are sometimes aided by a handyman who can morph into an orb of light. The sisters gain their chief inspiration from The Book of Shadows and rely on (too much, in my view) the power of three.

To attempt a literary criticism, the sisters' special powers clearly represent female sexuality and the attempts to take them are a metaphor for rape. The viewer is a complicit voyeur in this. This can make for uncomfortable viewing. But maybe I am reading too much into this...

Charmed is also shown on Ireland's TV3 (who spend an awful lot of money to import popular TV show, e.g. Coronation Street, and buy the rights to events such as international soccer matches and the Champions League, but who make nothing themselves, and also have god-awful sports commentators). It was probably inspired by the film The Craft, which featured the same cover of the Smiths' How Soon Is Now in the soundtrack.

Last I saw, Prue had been killed by a demon, and was to be replaced by a girl called Paige (Rose McGowan), who's actually the three girls' long-lost half-sister, and the daughter of their mother and her White Lighter.

Am I the only one here who finds it amusing that Marilyn Manson's ex-fiancee should star in a show like this?

OK, here's the basic background...

Originally, there were just three sisters, Prue, Piper and Phoebe; and they were very special witches - together they had the "Power Of Three", which helps them vanquish demons. The supernatural community knows them as "The Charmed Ones". They live in a very nice old house in LA (I think, or maybe it's San Francisco...), which has been in their family for years, and they run a bar/nightclub called P3. Also living there are Leo, their "White Lighter" (which is basically a type of angel who can teleport himself around the place and also heal all sorts of wounds) and Cole, who is a half-demon, half-human, constantly at war with his evil demon half (which is called Balthazar). Eventually, Leo gets married to Piper, and Cole ends up seeing Phoebe.

Apart from running the bar, what the girls do is vanquish demons, and protect "innocents". Any time something supernatural happens, it's usually down to a demon, so they consult The Book Of Shadows to find out what demon's behind it all; the book also often gives helpful tips on how to trap or kill the demon.

At the end of series three, Prue gets killed in a battle with The source, who is the "head demon" and the "source of all evil", so at the start of series 4 a new Halliwell sister, Paige is introduced.

Cast list:

The information given above is due for an update, having that said and before saying anything else, I'll say this: I am an addict (to charmed that is....), a charmed-aholic if you please, so I'm bias about charmed related things.

I will now explain what had happened since the 3rd season had ended (plot-wise not crew....), I'm not going to say anything about earlier stuff because nothing really happened before that, meaning, almost every 1st to 3rd season episode can act as a pilot... anyway here we go.

The 4th season started with Prue's funeral, at the funeral Paige found her new step-sisters, Piper, who can blow up things, and Phoebe, foresight, she then joins them to remake the power of three, they got together to kill Shax, the source's personal hit-demon (who killed Prue BTW), they then spend the next year teaching Paige the craft (making potions and the general way of life of the witches), at some point she moves in with them.
Around the end of the 4th season they finally kill the source (at some point the source was Cole so they killed him....), and as a prize they were allowed to change their destiny and give up magic, they passed the offer, Piper is pregnant with Wyatt.

On the 5th season they met a lot of magical like creatures (not only demons... dwarves, leprechauns and the likes), Cole comes back from hell to pursue Phoebe, The sisters kills him about six month later, during the 5th season they made a lot of jokes (which doesn't sit right with it being a serious TV show), on the last episode (a double episode), they fought The Titans, killed them (with the aid of a new character {from the future}, Chris, who is also Piper's (future) second born), Leo becomes an elder, Chris does something to Leo as he orbs away (to orb - Magical power, kind of like to teleporting only with special effects that leaves a trail of light orbs behind), exactly what did Chris do stays unknown until the 6th season.

On the 6th season's opener Phoebe gets a new power, empathy, and the sisters rescue Leo from Valhalla, Leo spends half the season trying to figure out what happened to him, Piper is pregnant with Chris, all of the cast spends the rest of the time trying to find out who is going to turn Wyatt evil, on the season final, the girls find out that, one of the elders wants to kill Wyatt and accidentally turn him evil, Leo kills him, Piper gives birth to baby Chris, future Chris dies by the evil elder.

the 7th season didn't really had a good plot (which is why I said, and keep saying, that they should have pulled out the life support right then), anyway some sort of beings named Avatars urged Leo to join them, an FBI agent who knew they were evil ,(they were going to bring utopia, at the price of killing 80% of the earth population), had the only potion that can kill those things (they were uber powerful), the girls stopped the Avatars, and went on with their life now having to face an enemy named zanku who is a really powerful and smart of a demon, in the end he gets to the house and steals the girl's "book of shadows", I know the 7th season final episode wasn't aired on some places just yet, so I won't say what happened in the very end.

against my wishes (not that I have a say in this...) the show is going to have an 8th season soon, and is currently selling DVD's of each season (right now only 1st & 2nd season's but more will come soon), needless to say I will watch the 8th season and will buy the DVDs and there is nothing no one can do about it (I'm serious, stop laughing it's not funny).

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