Friday, June 02, 2006

Billie, we hardly knew ye.

So. The end of Charmed, as watched early in the morning thanks to my bed habits and the sister. And what a curate's egg "Forever Charmed" was.
The current season was treated from the very beginning as the last one, and that was both good (an opportunity to give the show a proper ending instead of going the way of most show before Rob Petrie and Dr. Richard Kimble came along and introduced the concept of a real final episode) and bad (a few too many comments about the last eight years, dying over and over and so on)... but Brad Kern and James Conway had a chance to send it out in a blaze of glory, to have a truly satisfying closure to the exploits of Piper, Paige and Phoebe. They didn't exactly blow it, but it didn't live up to what came before either.
Like the Buffy the Vampire Slayer finale, this might have been better as a two-hour episode - lots of time jumping to cover with Piper trying to fix things so it turns out fine for everyone (except Christy and the Triad, that is), and so many ends to tie off... as well as nobody pointing out how Patty looks older now than when the series started in spite of her being, well, dead when the series started. Hard also not to think that a bit more examination of her reaction to the news that her firstborn is deceased might have been welcome (not that I wanted Shannen Doherty to come back, mind).
It also unintentionally demonstrated how little Billie brought to the table; every time the focus returned to Billie projecting herself back to before the Ultimate Battle and trying to break through to Christy, I just wanted them to get back to Piper and Leo. (And it paid for it when Christy was finally vanquished - not much emotional pull over Billie having to kill her own sister. Perhaps if Billie had been introduced a season or two earlier and we could have gotten to know her better without so much rush - or if Kaley Cuoco and Marnette Patterson were better actresses* - it might have been a different story. Although credit to the writers for having Christy be so far manipulated by the villains that she was irredeemable.)
And yet, putting most of the onus on Piper fit (not only, as Patty told her, did she often keep Prue and Phoebe from killing each other but Holly Marie Combs was after all the fulcrum of the show, the only one to have been in every episode and the original pilot, and the most sympathetic of the trio). And yes, the final montage was pretty satisfying... no Darryl, but I can understand that in the end (he did, after all, want to have no more to do with the whole thing). I wouldn't have wanted them to have the least happy ending imaginable, and it did turn out to be one of the show's better episodes.
One of my rules of thumb for a show is if I find myself going online while watching it, it doesn't work for me - I've been doing that with The O.C. and Desperate Housewives of late, just as I did for Sliders. But I never do it for The Simpsons, I never did it for Buffy the Vampire Slayer - and though it still could have been better, "Forever Charmed" and Charmed in general passed the PC Test. Thanks for the past eight years, people; and live happily ever after behind that door.

And yes, you were right all along - Rose McGowan is hotter than Holly. ;)

*Still better than Drew Fuller, though.

1 comment:

The Archivist said...

Well, I'm still getting pissed off about Darryl; I still haven't seen him get pulled into the web of the sisters Halliwell and it's frustrating, because from what I'm told, it happens in season 2.

As for the rest of it... Rose McGowan can't be hotter than Holly.