A while back I wrote 6 Things That Still Irk Me About Charmed. This time we’ll swing the pendulum the other way and look at some things that always make me happy I’ve been a fan of Charmed for so long.
6. The Unaired Pilot
This is sort of freaky to watch. It’s a shorter version of what became the broadcast first episode, “Something Wicca This Way Comes”. The key change here was that Phoebe wasn’t played by Alyssa Milano, but by Lori Rom. Lori’s Phoebe is more assertive…and taller. It’s sometimes hard to believe she’s the youngest sister and not the oldest. I don’t know how the series would have evolved had she stayed, but it didn’t hurt that Alyssa was ready, willing, and able to step in.
5. Vanquish Ludlow Spell
Normally this wouldn’t merit much attention–after all, the sisters cast spells all the time to vanquish demons and whatnot. Paige, however, went with it in an entirely new direction: haiku. Yes, haiku. Instead of rhyming couplets, Paige gave us a pretty innovative method for spell casting.
The brutal winter
gives way to flowers of spring,
Ludlow is vanquished.
Being that I enjoy haiku, I happily embraced this one-time splash of magical creativity. If I were writing a show with spell-casting, I might go the haiku route–at least some of the time–just for fun.
4. Patricia “Patty” Halliwell
I’m a Finola Hughes fan. I have been for quite a long time. Even so, it seems that there was something a little extra whenever Patty made an appearance. It’s probably no surprise, then, that “That 70s Episode” is one that I watch often–as well as “Charmed Again”. Maybe it’s the mush in me, but it always gladdens me when the sisters got to spend time with their mother.
3. Melinda Warren
I was sad that we only got to see full-blown witch Melinda in just one episode (“The Witch is Back”), but what an impression she made. Tyler Layton gave Melinda such a balance of wonder, strength, and humanity that her Melinda is one of my all-time favorite guest characters from any TV show. The Shakespeare banter with Leo didn’t hurt.
To be fair, Melinda did appear, briefly, in one other episode: “All Halliwell’s Eve” (another of my favorites). True, she was a newborn, but it counts. Sort of.
If there was nothing else the sisters were good at, they were good with sarcasm. Being an adept, myself, I often enjoyed these snippets of annoyance and observation. Yeah, other shows sometimes have sarcastic characters, but they exist only briefly and don’t burn nearly as brightly as we came to expect from the Halliwells.
I have to single out Holly Marie Combs for special recognition because she has the ability to add just that extra pinch of snark that elevates sarcasm to an art form. Where would Charmed be if not for Piper’s quick tongue and agile wit?
1. The Nose Scrunch
When the sisters did their little nose scrunch–which seems a sort of homage to Samantha’s nose twitch from Bewitched–they really seemed like sisters. This was their “thing”. Sadly, it faded during the series’ run, but while it was there, it was special. I remember noting to others when the eps were first broadcast how cool it was that they did this.