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Case Number 08201

Buy Charmed: The Complete Third Season at Amazon

Charmed: The Complete Third Season

Paramount // 2001 // 952 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Ryan Keefer (Retired) // December 14th, 2005

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All Rise...

Judge Ryan Keefer is convinced that Aaron Spelling is the most powerful man in the universe. Who else could put up with Shannen Doherty's nonsense on two different sets?

Editor's Note

Our reviews of Charmed: The Complete First Season (published February 2nd, 2005), Charmed: The Complete Second Season (published October 5th, 2005), Charmed: The Complete Fourth Season (published March 15th, 2006), Charmed: The Complete Fifth Season (published November 8th, 2006), Charmed: The Complete Sixth Season (published November 8th, 2006), Charmed: The Complete Seventh Season (published March 28th, 2007), and Charmed: The Complete Eighth Season (published December 1st, 2007) are also available.

The Charge

"The fact is, none of us were paid to be buddy-buddy. We're paid to show each other respect as actors, be courteous, do our jobs. All I can say is that I never had an outright confrontation with Alyssa."

-- Shannen Doherty, as quoted in a TV Guide interview.

Opening Statement

The third season of Charmed hit a bit of a critical mass, as behind the camera, stars Alyssa Milano (Who's the Boss, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star) and Shannen Doherty (Heathers, Mallrats) were experiencing some icy relations, but still managed to put together enough of a professional collaboration as witch-practicing sisters Phoebe and Prue. But that wasn't the only event of significance on the show. Did it hit its peak?

Facts of the Case

Well, getting the mundane out of the way, the episodes are housed much the same way as Season Two's episodes were, split over six discs in slimline cases, with four episodes on almost each disc but one. The episodes are:

• "The Honeymoon's Over"
• "Magic Hour"
• "Once Upon a Time"
• "All Halliwell's Eve"
• "Sight Unseen"
• "Primose Path"
• "Power Outage"
• "Sleuthing With the Enemy"
• "Coyote Piper"
• "We All Scream for Ice Scream"
• "Blinded by the Whitelighter"
• "Wrestling with Demons"
• "Bride and Gloom"
• "The Good, the Bad and the Cursed"
• "Just Harried"
• "Death Takes a Halliwell"
• "Pre-Witched"
• "Sin Francisco"
• "The Demon Who Came in from the Cold"
• "Exit Strategy"
• "Look Who's Barking"
• "All Hell Breaks Loose"

The Evidence

Now Prue, Phoebe and Piper (Holly Marie Combs, Picket Fences, Ocean's Eleven) were cruising along, running their nightclub, where real-life acts like the Barenaked Ladies, Fastball and Marvelous 3 would perform for the younger kids who have no idea what good music is. Piper was in a steady relationship with Leo (Brian Krause, Sleepwalkers, Return to the Blue Lagoon), and Phoebe had started to see more of her friend in the District Attorney's office, Cole Turner (Julian McMahon, Nip/Tuck, The Fantastic Four. And quite frankly, the sisters experienced the emotional highs and lows during this season. You had a wedding and a major character on the show leave, within a span of weeks. Those kinds of major television events just don't happen everyday, unless they're blatant ratings ploys or something. The unfortunate part about the wedding is that there are some parties that did not feel there should have been a wedding, so they attempted to do more than speak now, and did not hold their peace.

Aside from the bad friction that was happening on and off the set between Doherty and Milano, the other huge factor that helped invigorate the show was the emergence of McMahon as an actor, and the character he portrayed. Now, stepping aside from any Nip/Tuck reference, and or any Charmed fans that may retroactively claim credit for noticing how good an actor he'd be, he seemed to be the one putting in the most work. His character's loyalties seem to be hard to pin down; he pulled them off well, and as a result, was given some of the better scenes and storylines in the subsequent years he was on the show, before leaving in 2003.

Now, the basic premise of each episode is still there, while everyone has some character advancement, the sisters still use their powers to fight any demons, spirits, or any random underworldly characters that may invade their very spacious and attractive home in San Francisco. They still maintain their day jobs in various places in town, and they still wear skimpy clothes when protecting the innocent! God bless that Aaron Spelling!

There's a supernatural element to the show that's always present and a lot of people enjoy, and was rapidly becoming a show similar to Dawson's Creek in terms of WB popularity. Besides, fans of Buffy will probably not like it when I say that yes, that show wasn't holding nearly as much weight as it used to for Wicca enthusiasts. And besides, you've got to stick around for the character that gets killed off at the end of the season. Is it Milano, for being distant with Doherty? Is it Doherty, who was repeating a pattern of bad behavior? Is it Combs, who couldn't stand the childishness of both people? You want to watch now, just admit it.

The Rebuttal Witnesses

Another six disc set missing extras. Since the show is in its eighth year, it would be natural to assume it was popular for a reason, so why doesn't Paramount put some, ANY, extras on these sets? They're 0 for 3 so far, and probably will go 0 for the series when it comes to bonus material, and that's a crying shame.

Closing Statement

All in all, this is probably the best season of the show before or since (especially now that the Charmed viewer is in the middle of the Rose McGowan era). Some decent acting, good storylines that are bound to appeal to both the critical and aesthetic eyes, and an ending that may have been a defining moment for the show.

The Verdict

Not guilty. Don't go away mad, just go away.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 66
Audio: 71
Extras: 0
Acting: 86
Story: 83
Judgment: 76

Perp Profile

Studio: Paramount
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (French)
• None
Running Time: 952 Minutes
Release Year: 2001
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Comedy
• Drama
• Fantasy
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• None

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