Ordinary Witches

Allegories for the Slumber-Party Set

PJ Loughran

One likable thing about the show is that, far from being aggressively cutting-edge, it's a bit clunky, in a gemütwitchkeit kind of way--so engrossed by the emotional byplay between the sisters, and so ready to linger over passing distractions, that the climactic showdowns between our heroines and their enemy du jour usually stumble by like afterthoughts. Since the characters aren't adolescents, the metaphoric heat level is appropriately less intense; compared to Buffy's grrrl-power agitpop, Charmed plays out more like a cozy meeting of your neighborhood chapter of NOW. While that's no putdown either as far as I'm concerned, it's probably not quite what the WB was hoping for in pairing Burge's sorceresses with Dawson's Creek on Wednesday nights, reversing the way Buffy's haunted high school balances the much goopier Felicity on Tuesdays. But in both cases, the show that doesn't feature monsters and magic is the real fantasy, and this devotee of fearless teenage vampire hunters thinks it's about time adulthood's perils got the the same inventive treatment. Betcha anything that, if the show lasts long enough, Lifetime will end up airing the reruns.

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