Reliving the Same Day in Movies and Television: I’m totally having Déjà vu right now!

“Oh yeah, it means someone’s thinking about you while they’re masturbating. I get it six times a day.” (Danielle in Happy Death Day)

Reliving the same day again and again may seem overused in film and television, but somehow it still works, bringing new and inventive material our way without ever feeling stale and overdone.

So, what is it about Déjà vu? 

After recently watching and thoroughly enjoying the rom-com movie, Palm Springs on Hulu, I started to think about how many movies and television shows center around Déjà vu. Not to mention that some of our favorite television series of all time tend to have at least one episode dealing with some kind of time loop or Déjà vu.

While Groundhog Day still remains as the movie I automatically think about when it comes to Déjà vu, Happy Death Day certainly made a splash and proved that horror comedies can flourish using this theme. There has to be an element of comedy or the concept can become a little repetitive…pun intended.

Happy Death Day
Image courtesy of Blumhouse Productions

Some television series also took a stab at Déjà vu, but they were short-lived.

Remember shows like Tru Calling and Day Break?

Tru Calling
Image courtesy of FOX

No? I’ll remind you because they were actually pretty fantastic and addicting, but they did not last very long. Tru Calling (starring Eliza Dushku) was canceled after the short second season and Day Break (starring Taye Diggs) only got one season.

Day break
Image courtesy of ABC

Netflix’s Russian Doll also explored this concept more recently.

But let’s not also forget some of our favorite television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, and Supernatural. They have some pretty amazing stand-out episodes featuring the concept of a time loop or reliving the same day. Honestly, this list goes on and on and I’m sure that if you take a look back at some of your favorite shows, you will most likely find an episode that deals with some kind of time travel or Déjà vu.

Here are my standout episodes:

Supernatural
Image courtesy of The CW

Supernatural

Episode “Mystery Spot” (Season 3, episode 11).

Sam continues to relive the same day over and over as Dean dies. He must find a way to save him before time runs out.

Buffy Life Serial
Images courtesy of Hulu

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Episode “Life Serial” (Season 6, episode 5).

Buffy attempts to find a job, but ends up stuck in a time loop while working at the Magic Box. This brought us some welcomed comedy for sure.

Deja Vu all over again Charmed
Image courtesy of Netflix

Charmed

Episode “Déjà Vu All Over Again” (Season 1, episode 22).

Phoebe realizes that she is repeating the same day over and over again. She must figure out a way to save her sisters from a demon, but a new threat is thrown her way at the end of each day.

So the theme of Déjà vu still works, but why? You would think that this would become overdone and yet I find myself enjoying this theme more and more. I think it’s because it allows us to discover something new each time.

Either the character needs to learn a lesson, a life needs to be saved, a sacrifice has to be made, or we have to start looking at something or someone differently than we used to. Maybe it’s even ourselves. I personally welcome this theme and I will always go into it with an open mind, but I think that in order for it to continue to be successful, it needs to do something slightly different each time while maintaining a steady balance of humor as well.

What are YOUR thoughts on Déjà vu in movies and TV?

Feel free to post some of your favorite movies and shows centering around Déjà vu in the comments section below! 

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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Ranking the top 5 heartbreaking moments from “Charmed”

Happy Friday TV Fans!  For today, I have once again returned to one of my old favorites, Charmed That’s right, the original Charmed.  Have you ever watched a show that just brings you to tears?  This is not always a bad thing, as it means that you are connecting to the show and the characters on a profound level.  Whether it is one of your favorite characters dying, an epic romance coming to end, or a moment of sheer vulnerability, there are some heartbreaking moments on television that still impact us today.  After many re-watches of Charmed, there are still certain moments that I recognize.  I find my heart start to skip faster, anticipating the worst, even hoping that somehow the outcome might be different with a re-watch.  However, the heartbreaking moment replays itself, still bringing tears to our eyes and tugging at our own feelings in the process.

There are so many of these moments in Charmed and it was difficult for me to narrow it down to just five, but there is something to be said about these three, or really four, powerful women who are just trying to find their way.  Sure there are demons and magical forces at play, but the moments of sacrifice and true selflessness remind us that we can all channel the “power of three” in our own lives.  We can’t always stop the tragic moments from happening, but we can do our very best to try to do the right thing and support our family and friends.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the full series yet. 

My top 5 heartbreaking moments from Charmed are:

5

Andy’s sacrifice.

In the season 1 finale, “Déjà Vu All Over Again,” Tempus creates a time loop that causes the day to repeat itself over and over again.  While the characters are not aware that the day is repeating, Phoebe’s power of premonition allows her to realize what is happening.  Tempus uses Inspector Rodriguez to try and destroy the Charmed Ones.  Each time he fails, the time loop is reset.  When Phoebe first receives her premonition, she sees Andy dying and Prue wants to stop this from happening.  However, with each new attack, Inspector Rodriguez is able to kill one of the sisters.  When Prue is knocked out cold and Andy is killed, he speaks to her in a sort of limbo at their favorite bench.  Andy is Prue’s first real love and she doesn’t want to lose him.  However, Andy realizes that this is his destiny and explains to her that he will always be there for her.  When Prue wakes up, the reality that Andy is gone hits home, but she knows that she must stay strong for her sisters and defeat Inspector Rodriguez and Tempus.  Throughout season 1, Andy had an on-again-off-again romance with Prue, but he finally accepted her for who she was…powers and all.  Andy would do anything to save Prue and her sisters, which makes him a real hero.  He reminded Prue that “everything happens for a reason,” and sometimes things don’t always work out the way we want them to, but that doesn’t mean we stop fighting.  Andy’s sacrifice proves that mortal love is possible and that it’s never too late to stand by the ones we care about.

4

Piper’s death in season 2.

In the episode, “Awakened,” Piper is chopping up some smuggled fruit at the club and suddenly collapses.  After she is rushed to the hospital, we learn that she has been infected by a rare disease.  Her condition continues to get worse and Prue and Phoebe decide to use magic to save her.  We experience the consequences of “personal gain” first hand, as the sisters begin to realize that they will need to let their sister go.  They can’t use magic to stop what is happening no matter how much they want to without putting other lives in danger.  When Piper is dying in the hospital, the reactions of Prue, Phoebe, and Dan are absolutely heartbreaking.  Leo is able to intervene and he saves Piper, but this episode really struck home for me.  While it’s easy to root for the sisters to destroy the forces of evil, a disease is something that you can’t always fight and you don’t have control over it, which can make you feel completely helpless.  The acting in this episode is phenomenal and Shannen Doherty’s performance in particular really tugged at my emotions.  Her pain and anger about the situation was beyond tragic, making her that much more sympathetic in this difficult moment.

3

Piper’s speech to The Elders.

In the season 3 episode, “Once Upon a Time,” Piper has a nightmare and ultimately learns that The Elders are forbidding for her and Leo to be together.  Piper goes outside the club to take a moment to breathe and is attacked by invisible trolls.  She gets knocked to the ground and dusts herself off, but not before she gives The Elders a piece of her mind.  Piper says:

I bet you guys think this is real funny don’t ya? Haven’t you taken enough from me? You have to send trolls to kick me while I’m down. I had a nice normal life once and you took that from me. You took my boyfriend, you took my life, the least you could do is leave me my freakin’ car keys. I am a good person, I am a good witch and damn it I would’ve made a great wife. And how dare you take that from me. I deserve… no, you know what? I demand that you send him back to me. You hear me? Right now. I am going to stand in this very spot until you send Leo back to me.

Source: https://www.quotes.net/mquote/701902

Piper lets her guard down here and refuses to just sit quietly and accept her fate.  She stands up for herself and demands that The Elders do what is right.  While they don’t send Leo back in this scene, this is one of the key moments for Piper and Leo’s relationship.  Piper never stops fighting for Leo and it’s hard not to let your heart break for her here.

2

Cole’s letter to Phoebe.

 In the season 4 episode, “Long Live the Queen,” Phoebe has accepted her new role as Cole’s queen, but is having second thoughts.  She doesn’t want to lose her sisters and the good in her still exists.  Phoebe is completely torn between the love of her life, Cole, and her family, but she ultimately sacrifices her love for Cole and helps vanquish him.  Even when Phoebe begins saying the spell with her sisters, Cole tells her that he’ll always love her.  Although they try to vanquish Cole “from time and space,” we know that this is not the end just yet for him.  However, this moment feels final and tragic.  Phoebe loves Cole so much but she has to let him go.  At the end of the episode, she is upstairs crying and Piper and Paige get in bed with her to console her.  They don’t say anything in this moment because there really aren’t any words that will make her feel better, but their presence is enough to give Phoebe some sense of comfort, as she knows she is not alone.  In the episode, “Womb Raider,” Paige finds the letter Cole wrote to Phoebe and he narrates it at the end of the episode:

Dear Phoebe, 
If I’m dead right now, 
I know it was at your 
hand. No one else in 
heaven or hell had 
Power over me. Please, 
don’t cry. I was dead 
Before I met you. I was 
Born the day you loved 
me. And my love for you 
will keep me alive… 
Forever 
Love, 
Cole 

Source:  http://charmed.wikia.com/wiki/Cole%27s_Goodbye_Letter_to_Phoebe

 

Cole’s words to Phoebe are so beautiful and real, reminding her that he did truly love her deep down.  While Cole was not able to stop the evil from corrupting him, his love for Phoebe always remained, even keeping him alive later in limbo.

1

Piper’s reaction to Prue’s death.

In season 4, we learn that Prue did die in the season 3 finale and Paige is introduced as Piper and Phoebe’s half-sister.  Prue was one of my favorite characters and her death alone was enough to make me cry, but Piper’s reaction to it was something even more tragic.  In the season 4 premiere, Piper is trying every possible spell imaginable to bring Prue back from the dead.  As she gets ready for the funeral, she tells Leo that she doesn’t want to go while she mechanically brushes her hair.  She explains that if she goes, then it means that it’s all real and Prue will not be coming back.  Piper says that she doesn’t know how to live without a big sister and tells Leo that he should have saved Prue because she was the strongest.  In the next episode, “Hell Hath No Fury,” Piper gets turned into a Fury and Leo orbs her and Paige to Prue’s grave.  Piper lets out all of her anger and Paige tells her to tell Prue how she feels.  She tells her it’s alright to hate her.  Piper breaks down screaming and crying, yelling at Prue for abandoning her.  This turns her back into her normal self, but the tears won’t stop falling and all of the emotions hit Piper at once.  Piper finally lets her emotions reach the surface and her reaction is something that really resonates with me.  The show is about family before anything else and Piper can’t imagine a world without her sister in it.  While she will never forget Prue or stop loving her, Piper visits Paige later in the episode and even says, “she’s my sister,” which proves that she can still love Prue and open her heart to Paige as well.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to share some of your own heartbreaking moments from Charmed in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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