*I would recommend reading the review of the first season before reading this one as this review assumes you are familiar with the characters to some degree.
If you read my review of the first season of Charmed, you know that starting the series ended up being a pleasant surprise for me. Far from being the teen soap the WB was so well known for, the adventures of Prue, Piper, and Phoebe as they worked to exterminate evil in the first year of the gaining of their powers proved to be delightfully unexpected. In that same vein, season two began with a startling revelation for me: Prue was my favorite character.
I think toward the end of season one I just had to admit that she was more than just OK, she was cool.She was the kind of older sister I wish I was. She was cool under pressure, successful, and knew what she wanted. Not to mention, she was sassy and I am totally not. She did manage to annoy me in the season two premiere when, because of what happened at the end of season one, she hesitated to use her powers. Which of course almost resulted in the deaths of the Charmed Ones. But then she came around and again became that cool-under-pressure chick I have a girl-crush on and restored my world to balance.
Speaking of Prue and attributes she exhibits that I don’t, it didn’t take me long to notice one thing: the midriff-baring shirts. Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano do have very nice abs – as a matter of fact jealous doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings towards them for that – but did they have to flaunt it every single episode? Throw in a little middle eastern music and a few veils and it could have been al Jazeera’s highest rated show. Dear readers, you will have to tell me if the belly shirts were in style during the time season two was shot and aired (1999) because at the time my wardrobe consisted almost completely of large t-shirts and baggy pants and shorts (don’t ask). In any case, are there really people out there with wardrobes so full of shirts missing fabric they could go for months without covering their belly-button piercing? Inquiring minds want to know – at least this one does.
Aside from that, season two is basically the same as season one: lots of the Charmed Ones doing witchy things to save the innocents of San Francisco while the they attempt to live somewhat normal lives. More baddies meet their doom, Piper opens a new club, and Prue finally follows a dream she’s had since she was a college student. And to make matters even more exciting, new powers pop up in unexpected yet delightful ways. It’s a busy season and, all in all, quite enjoyable. The sisters snip at each other and still managed to be the most successful tag-team in history. And they do it with style and humor. Even Prue slips in a little joke every now and then.
Again my gripe is over-dependence on the monster-of-the-week format. Sure, we see a bit more about the sisters and their lives outside of laying the demon smackdown, but this season yet again manages to sacrifice deeper character development for the clean ending. I don’t want a soap opera, but I do want to see more actual change.
Anyway, since I don’t want to end this review on that slightly negative note, you are more than welcome to enjoy the new eye candy that showed up this season. His story arc was doomed from the beginning but who can truly say they hated Dan (Greg Vaughan)? Anyone? Anyone? I didn’t think so.
Verdict: B+. It’s another strong season for Charmed. Prue, Piper, and Phoebe have proven once again that it is possible to have all female lead characters and still produce a watchable series that is not centered on who is having an affair with who, the question of when Candice will come out of that coma, and the answer to whether or not Marsha really is having Jon’s baby. Again the weak link is the monster parade, but as with season one it is absolutely no excuse to avoid the show. So feel free to hop on in – though I would start with season one first just so you can get a proper introduction to the sisters and their powers. You will not be disappointed, I promise you.