Charmed: The Final Season – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Creator

Constance M. Burge

Cast

Alyssa Milano Phoebe Halliwell
Rose McGowan Paige Halliwell
Holly Marie Combs Piper Halliwell
Brian Krause Leo Wyatt
Kaley Cuoco Billie Jenkins
Ivan Sergei Henry Mitchell

DVD Release Date: September 11, 2007
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 918 Minutes on 6 discs

The Show

Charmed is a show that by now you were either watching from day one, had caught on halfway through, or at least heard about. The show focuses on the Halliwell sisters and their amazing discovery that they are witches. But they were no ordinary witches for their powers would only be used for the causes of good and to help others. Never could they use their powers to get things for themselves, but they never really wanted to. Their main focus was trying to lead a normal average life while waging the war against evil in their spare time.

Evil witches, warlocks, and a host of demons always would wander to Earth and try to overpower the Halliwell girls in hopes of keeping control of the Underworld. And try as they might to always steer down the right path; it hasn’t been so easy. There are times the girls (Phoebe, Paige, and Piper) must align with the forces of the darkside to make sure the more dangerous and evil foes did not prosper. This caused a lot of dissention between the sisters and the Heavenly bodies, the Elders. It also got the Avatars, a sort of spiritual police force, hot on the tail of the Halliwells and keeping them under close watch.

The eighth and final season of Charmed starts right off where the last season ended with the Halliwell sisters having lost their lives in a battle with the powerful Zankou. Or at least that is what they want everyone to believe. The girls have all taken on new identities and are living their witch-free lives by doing things they’ve always wanted to do, but never really had the opportunity to. This of course doesn’t last long before they are sought out by demons who wish to lure the Halliwells out of hiding.

Each of the girls seems to have more of their own lives in this season and grow up a little trying to go their own ways. Paige has taken a young witch named Billie under her wing so to speak and looks to lead her down the right path. Piper is focusing more on her life and of course on her son Wyatt. He is getting older and she is getting more involved in his school life and many other things. Phoebe on the other hand seems to mainly be smitten with love and images or being married. That is kind of where Phoebe is stuck for the entire season.

The focus of magic was really taken off of the Halliwells themselves this season as it seemed to all fall on Billie. There didn’t seem to be a single episode that went by where she wasn’t getting herself in some kind of trouble or causing problems for other people. And while one of the sisters would have to make things right in the end; they were allowed to get on with the normal aspects of their lives for a bit while Billie ran the magic scene. That is until their identities are discovered and Homeland Security needs their help and strengths in fighting evil. Still Billie plays a big part though after her sister returns and makes her believe that the Halliwells may not be the good people they claim to be.

Almost every episode from this season plays up a little to the series finale and does it so subtly. In some ways it seems as if each episode has its own direction with a few running story lines connecting each, but in reality it was one giant build-up to a fantastic battle. Charmed has a distinct way of being a mystical soap opera with a bit of humor thrown in from time to time. While I’m not one for soap operas; the characters and challenges they face intrigued me so much that I couldn’t help but keep wondering what would happen next. Charmed truly delivers in many different ways and can be enjoyed by anyone of any age and any gender because no, it isn’t a chick show.

Episodes

Disc One:

Still Charmed And Kicking: The Halliwell sisters are now presumed dead after incidences from last season and are beginning life anew. They have new identities and looks, but the danger still lurks as demons haunt those close to them. Paige also can’t escape her Whitelighter instincts and looks to help a young witch named Billie. A really good opening episode to the season.

Malice In Wonderland: A young demon named Haas is convinced the sisters are still around and will do whatever he can to draw them out of hiding. They resist but must work fast when Billie gets involved and must be rescued.

Run, Piper, Run: The girls’ new identities cause some trouble after Piper goes to get a job and a background check shows the woman she is portraying was wanted for murder. Billie helps the sisters in clearing the woman’s name.

Desperate Housewitches: Piper goes into full mother mode for her son Wyatt helping him with school and trying to do her best. Things turn competitive when a woman named Mandi questions Piper’s attempts at motherhood. Little do they know that Mandi is a demon in disguise and wishes to use Wyatt’s power to bring back The Source.

Disc Two:

Rewitched: Billie is causing problems all over the place as she uses a spell to make Phoebe happy with Dex but it brings unexpected doings. She also makes a Homeland Security Agent named Murphy suspicious that the Halliwell sisters aren’t really dead by using magic to help a mortal.

Kill Billie: Vol. 1: The sisters are in the spotlight as they begin working with Homeland Security. Meanwhile Billie opens up to them about a Halloween a long time ago where a demon kidnapped her sister. This old fear causes her to freeze when she comes face to face with her demon target, The Dogan.

The Lost Picture Show: Piper and Leo switch places for a week after a marriage counselor advises it may be best for them. Paige had wished to get back to her old career but her Whitelighter father, Sam, comes looking for her help with his charge, J.D. The demon has escaped from Vaklav and can hold people hostage in an evil photo collage.

Battle Of The Hexes: Billie is in the middle of it all again after the Halliwells get their first case from Homeland Security. Phoebe and Billie find a belt that has superpowers with the ability to turn the sexes against one another. This leads way to a female demon searching for power and using Billie to achieve her domination. Meanwhile Paige gets involved with the wrong man.

Disc Three:

Hulkus Pocus: The sisters are hot on the tail of an escaped demon but must stop in order to help Billie who has become infected with a virus. The government-created virus is spreading through magical beings and causing them to “hulk out.” They must race to save Billie’s life before it is too late.

Vaya Con Leos: The Angel of Death has returned, but this time he has come for Leo. Piper turns to the Elders and Avatars for some help in order to save his life. Billie continues the search for her sister with Phoebe and they run into a trophy collecting demon.

Mr. & Mrs. Witch: Billie accidentally transforms her visiting parents into cold-blooded assassins with an agenda to kill the CEO of a powerful company. At the same time, all three Halliwell sisters are dealing with serious issues in each of their own lives.

Payback’s A Witch: Henry’s parolee, Nick tried to get a loan at a bank with Paige’s help but was denied. Nick then proceeds to crash his car into the bank and take everyone hostage. Meanwhile, Wyatt has turned three and is learning his magic more everyday as he makes some of his toys come to life.

Disc Four:

Repo Manor: The Halliwells are all contemplating moving on as Paige is thinking about moving in with Henry and Phoebe merely wants to move on. But they are forced to live together as a demon miniaturizes them and imprisons them in a small dollhouse replica of the Manor.

12 Angry Zen: Piper continues her search for information about Leo and ends up discovering a message from a monk named Lo Pan. He was also the keeper of a sacred Buddhist staff containing the power of influence and a gang of Zodiacs have now enlisted Piper to help them get it. At the same time Paige is trying to make Henry understand the powers she possesses.

The Last Temptation of Christy: Billie has finally found her sister Christy who has been held captive by demons for several years. Paige meanwhile has noticed Henry getting too into her world and is torn between continuing to date him or move on to a magical man who proposed marriage to her.

Engaged And Confused: Paige and Henry are starting to get very nervous about their engagement and possibly are having second thoughts. Poor Christy gets kidnapped yet again by a demon set on drawing the Halliwells out and attacking the Triad to prevent them from taking over the Underworld.

Disc Five:

Generation Hex: Piper is forced to take charge after some protégés of Leo’s from the Magic School come seeking refuge at the Manor from demons who have taken over. Billie and Christy’s parents come for a visit, but oddly enough Christy wants nothing to do with them.

The Torn Identity: The sisters are all in an uproar as Paige is finding it difficult to be married and live a magical life at the same time. Phoebe is torn trying to decide whether she would rather have a mortal or magical love as Cupid aka Coop is really falling for her.. And Piper is out to interrogate some demons that killed Billie and Christy’s parents. She feels they were connected to the Ultimate Power and she is out to prove it. Another really great episode this season.

The Jung And The Restless: Phoebe and Piper begin working on a plan to try and get Leo back. It is then that Christy traps them in a dreamlike state to prove to Billie that the inner-truths of the Halliwell sisters are driven by nothing more then pure selfishness.

Gone With The Witches: Piper is settling into life as a housewife while Phoebe seems to be leaning more towards a magical relationship over a mortal one as her feelings for Coop begin to grow. Danger is in their way though as Billie and Christy team together to destroy the reputations of the sisters and prove to the world that they are not what everyone thinks they are. By doing this, the duo hope to force them into hiding in the Underworld.

Disc Six:

Kill Billie: Vol. 2: Forced into hiding by Billie and Christy, the Halliwells decided they must conjure up The Hollow. It is the most powerful force known to man and they must do it now before the evil duo end up conjuring it before them. This is a great episode that doesn’t have much to it other then a huge battle between Billie & Christy and the Halliwells, but it is awesome.

Forever Charmed: Piper is in charge now and with the help of Leo and Coop, she must travel back in time to try and change the events that led to the deaths of Paige and Phoebe. Billie is trying to do the same thing, but many people show up to come to Piper’s side and aide her in her travels through time.

The Video

The episodes are shown in Full Screen format and look pretty good. The colors are bright when they need to be and everything comes through crisp and clear. One and probably the only problem is that some of the darker scenes are just too dark. At times you can’t see a character if they are in the background or there is too much shadow.

The Audio

The episodes are heard in Dolby Digital Stereo Sound and come through pretty good. This is a show that really would have benefited from having surround sound though. The explosions of fireballs, the great music, the roars of demons, and the sounds from the casting of spells would have been great coming from all over. But it still sounds fine for what it has.

Special Features

The Making Of Charmed – The producers, writers, and many more discuss how difficult a show Charmed actually is to make. With all of the special effects that need to be done along with the stories for each episode; it makes it almost seem like the workload is double or triple any other series they’ve worked on. The producers really seemed to have everything together during the show’s run because the writers made note of how they were given ideas to write scripts for the new season before the current one was even over. A pretty good feature clocking in at around eighteen minutes.

Story Of Charmed – This is split up into three parts, “Genesis,” “Charmed Again,” and “Evil Redesigned.” “Genesis” goes back to the origin of the show and how it came to be. It seems that no-one really thought the show would work because no-one would want to watch a show about three witches. A few scenes of the unaired pilot are also thrown in with some stuff on how they got the girls, including Shannon Doherty, into their parts and how the show came to be in later seasons. “Charmed Again” deals with the death of Prudence Halliwell (Doherty) and the addition of Paige into the trio. “Evil Redesigned” focuses on the villains in the show including The Source, the Triad, and most specifically Cole. A couple long segments about Leo Wyatt and Chris Halliwell finish off a very good feature totaling close to forty minutes.

To The Manor Born – A ten minute feature on the different sets on the show with focus of course being on the girl’s home. There are a lot of scenes from different episodes showing destruction in the house or fights and of course the grandfather clock being broken at least fifty times.

Forever Charmed – This is a rather interesting feature as the cast and crew discuss why they think people watch the show, but then fans were actually brought in to say why they really do. Both males and females alike talk about their reasons for watching from the magic spells, the butt-kicking girls, the fashions, and of course the hot women. It’s another short ten minute bit but still fun to watch.

Audio Commentaries – Different members of cast and crew join together for commentary on only three episodes: “Still Charmed And Kicking,” “Vaya Con Leos,” and “Forever Charmed.” Not too much is said except for discussion about what is happening in each episode except on “Forever Charmed.” Executive producer and writer Brad Kern and co-executive producer and director James Conway actually go through the entire season in this one episode and it’s pretty good. They discuss how things have gone from the girls being “dead;” all the way up to the final episode ever.

The Inside Pulse

Having only seen a few episodes randomly and never quite knowing what was ever going on; it was nice to actually be able to see episodes in succession and follow the story. Charmed seems a bit over the top at times and quite cheesy with the spell casting and the way certain effects look, but it really is an enjoyable show. I originally thought that I wouldn’t mind watching to see some hot women, but I got caught up so much in the storyline that it became really good. It’s kind of upsetting now that I saw the last season first instead of watching for all eight season straight through. The special features give a good hour and a half more of entertainment because they are also very good with the “Story Of Charmed” being a fantastic look at everything in the series. Fans will definitely want this to finish off the set, but for those who have never seen it, wait for it. Go and get the first season and start at the beginning for you won’t be disappointed.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Charmed: The Final Season
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE SHOW

8
THE VIDEO

6
THE AUDIO

7
THE EXTRAS

6
REPLAY VALUE

5
OVERALL
7
(NOT AN AVERAGE)

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