Throw-Back Thursday: Ranking the top 5 episodes of “Charmed.”

It’s Throw-Back Thursday TV Fans!  For today, I am going to be counting down the top 5 episodes from Charmed Out of the 178 episodes of the series, it was extremely difficult to narrow this list down to just 5 episodes.  Over my many re-watches of the show, these episodes have stood the test of time.  As I re-watch the series each time, I find myself looking forward to them because they truly make an impact with me.  There have been different points in my life where many episodes of Charmed have gotten me through some really tough times and that just goes to show you how amazing this show is.  It’s not just about witchcraft and magic.  It’s about family, loyalty, and how to deal with the everyday demons in our lives, not just the supernatural.  The entire series is filled with great episodes, all connecting to create a believable story and providing us with some great entertainment, while keeping our favorite characters real, empathetic, funny, and significant in the process.  It’s hard not to feel like part of the Halliwell family when you invest so much time watching these powerful and amazing women.  These stand-out episodes below take it a step further, however; surpassing our expectations as fans and surprising us with unforgettable moments.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not yet watched the series.  My top 5 episodes from Charmed are:

5

“From Fear to Eternity.” (Season 1, episode 13)

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“Prue.  Prue. You must face your fears, Prue.  You must trust in the greatest of all powers.  Love.” (Patty Halliwell)

So for me this episode has to be the one that hooked me onto Charmed for good.  This episode was in the middle of the first season and really elevated the show to an entirely new level.  It’s Friday the 13th and we are first introduced to one of the greatest villains on the show, Barbas, the Demon of Fear.  I have to say that it was very clever to have episode 13 be the Friday the 13th one, which really made this episode that much more haunting.  The Demon of Fear has to murder 13 witches before midnight so that he can be freed, which is alarming enough for those of you who are superstitious.  What makes Barbas so frightening is that he brings a victim’s greatest fear to the surface.  The victim appears to die from a heart attack and their hair turns bright white from fright, which gets the police involved, but there is something so bone-chilling about this.  Just imagining this happening makes my skin crawl, which is why Barbas was such a genius villain and so difficult for the sisters to face.  This episode stood out to me as well because the sisters could not just rely on their magical powers to defeat him.  Phoebe is held captive by him and he lures Prue to the scene to get two witches for the price of one.  We learn in the episode that Prue is very fearful of drowning, as Barbas initially attacks her in the shower.  When Prue is in the pool, the spirit of her mother, Patty appears before her and tells her to trust in the power of love.  Prue is able to overcome her fear, which banishes Barbas.  It took Prue conquering her inner demons to be able to defeat this one and it finally allows her to open up to her sisters and let them into her heart, while still having plenty of room to remember and love her mother.

4

“Chick Flick.” (Season 2, episode 18)

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“You’re my hero Billy.”

“And I think you’re swell, Sally Mae.”

My top 5 list would not be complete without including “Chick Flick.”  I typically refer to this episode as “Kill It Before It Dies,” which is the old movie that Phoebe is obsessed with, currently playing down at the local theater.  In this episode, the Demon of Illusion flees from the Charmed ones and hides right in the movie.  The demon is not afraid to change the script and even recruits other psycho killers from different movies to attack the sisters.  Phoebe’s dream man, Billy, comes out of the movie and is still in black-and-white.  Phoebe is beyond thrilled and bonds with Billy.  I mean how many times have we thought about hanging out with one of our favorite characters?  Phoebe actually gets to do this which is beyond cool.  The sisters team up with Billy to fight the Demon of Illusion, but not before they get trapped in the film.  The Demon of Illusion explains that if they are stuck in there when the movie ends, they will never get out.  Luckily, Prue is quite the photographer and is able to rewind the film and vanquish the Demon of Illusion by leaving his frame under the light for too long.  Phoebe is forced to say goodbye to Billy, but is thrilled when she gets her own copy of the movie.  “Kill It Before it Dies” actually appears in three episodes of Charmed and even Cole tries to give her a message through the movie.  I mean you can’t knock him for lack of effort.  Either way, this episode is absolutely hilarious and fun.  If you’re having a bad day, I strongly recommend you grab your popcorn and watch this one.  And whatever you do…don’t hide from a psycho killer in the shower like poor Piper.

3

“The Seven Year Witch.” (Season 7, episode 16)

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“Leo and Piper’s love, it’s epic, it’s massive.  It’s Romeo and Juliet, Anthony and Cleopatra, Brad and Jennifer.”   (Drake)

There are a few reasons why I absolutely adore this episode.  First off, my absolute favorite character, Cole Turner is back.  Well not back to the land of the living, but he does act as a sort of mentor and guide for Piper who is currently trapped in limbo.  Meanwhile, the elders decide to test Leo and strip him of his memory and leave him out on an abandoned highway so that he can choose his path once and for all.  The path is not so clear-cut, however; as the elders do try to manipulate him by focusing on his love to help others.  Cole finally gets through to Piper and she realizes that she must let go and die and call out to Leo in order to reach him and the plan is a success.  While Drake should have probably picked couples in history that actually ended up together…or ended up surviving, the intent is there.  When I think about epic couples, Piper and Leo always come to mind and it’s because of moments like this.  Piper and Leo’s love transcends everything else around them and they are able to fight for each other and support each other through it all.  At the end of the episode, Drake’s life ends at midnight when he says, “Alas…pumpkin time.”  Fans learn that Cole sent him there to help Phoebe believe in love again, which is absolutely swoon-worthy.  Even though Cole can’t be with Phoebe, her happiness is all that keeps him going in the other plane and he will forever love her.  Phoebe even feels his presence in the house, which proves that they are still connected on some level.  Now that’s romantic.

2

“Centennial Charmed.” (Season 5, episode 12)

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“We’ve been through so much together…haven’t we?  Our love’s so strong, nothing can destroy it, not even this.  We’re meant to be together.” (Cole)

So even though Phoebe says, “I don’t think so,” it’s hard to fully believe this can be true.  I absolutely believe that Phoebe and Cole were meant to be together, but unlike Piper and Leo, they are unable to defeat everything that gets in their way.  Cole’s path toward self-destruction is beyond difficult to control and Phoebe will always choose her family over her love for him simply because she is selfless.  It’s a sacrifice and something that will always be with her, but it’s hard to agree that their love was not meant to be.  While I do think that her love with Coop later on in the series is a healthy and stable relationship for her, it comes as a close second to her passionate and messy romance with Cole.  This episode is the 100th episode of the show and I think that they really hit home with it.  Cole has been vanquished before, but he always finds some way back.  However, this time is different.  Cole reveals that it is his birthday but all he wants is a chance at love and happiness, which is heart-breaking and empathetic.   The Avatars approach Cole, which prove to be a greater threat later down the road with Leo, and Cole decides to use his new powers to cast a spell to alter reality so that he can win Phoebe back.  Only this has unforeseen consequences, as Phoebe does not love him in this reality anymore than she does now.  Cole’s plan back-fires when Paige sneezes and orbs out when the spell is cast, as he had anticipated her being dead in this reality.  Paige is able to convince Piper to help her, which is no easy task and the power of 3 is alive again.  Cole is not indestructible in this reality and when he is vanquished, it’s for good this time.  The end of the episode is bitter sweet, as Cole’s place is found empty and abandoned, revealing that he’s not coming back anytime soon.  Paige wishes him a happy birthday before she exits, which always brings me to tears.  The sisters did not want to vanquish Cole, but he made it impossible for them to live in a world with him.  Perhaps his path could have been different or perhaps it would end just the same, but it’s clear that he impacted more than just Phoebe, which makes his departure from the show that much more heart-breaking.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one episode of Charmed are:

  • “The Wendigo”
  • “Is There a Woogy in the House?”
  • “Déjà Vu All Over Again”
  • “P3 H20”
  • “Ms. Hellfire”
  • “Awakened”
  • “The Good, The Bad, and the Cursed”
  • “Just Harried”
  • “All Hell Breaks Loose”
  • “Brain Drain”
  • “A Paige from the Past”
  • “Charmed and Dangerous”
  • “Marry-Go-Round”
  • “Long Live the Queen”
  • “The Day the Magic Died”
  • “Sense and Sense Ability”
  • “Witchstock”
  • “The Courtship of Wyatt’s Father”
  • “Hyde School Reunion”
  • “Witch Wars”
  • “Charmageddon”
  • “Show Ghouls”
  • “The Torn Identity”
  • “Kill Billy: Volume 2”

1

“Forever Charmed.” (Season 8, episode 22)

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“And although we certainly had our struggles and heart aches over the years we’re a family of survivors and we always will be.  Which is why we’ve truly been Charmed.” (Piper Halliwell)

So I absolutely have to give the series finale of the show the number one spot.  Mostly because it truly sums up everything the way I would have liked.  I would say that the only thing missing was the presence of Prue but they did mention her.  The episode focuses on Piper using Coop’s ring to travel through time to save her sisters, which allows some of our favorite characters from the past and future to get involved to help save the day.  When the threat is over, we get a glimpse into the future of the lives of our favorite Halliwell sisters and everything is as it should be.  Piper’s words to her future grand-daughter remind us what the show is all about.  While the Halliwell sisters are powerful witches, they are much more than that.  They are survivors and they are a family that sticks together no matter what.  It’s hard not to fall in love with this show and every time I watch the series finale, it inspires hope and love.  While it’s always hard to say goodbye to the Charmed ones, you can always start the series over again, but knowing that they obtained the future that they deserved provides us with closure and satisfaction.  “The power of 3 will set us free!”

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post some of your own favorite episodes from Charmed below.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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Ranking the top 5 Most Fashionable Female Characters on TV: “Fashion is art and culture and history and everything I love combined!”

Happy Friday TV fans!  The weekend is almost here and these drastic changes in weather here in New York have brought out all sorts of clothing changes.  Heavy coats were swapped out for chic leather jackets, giving each one of us the chance to shine on our own runway.  Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl got it right when she said “fashion is art and culture and history and everything I love combined.”  Whether you are channeling a certain era in time or embracing a new trend you spotted in a magazine, fashion is all about expression and creation.  You can change up your style with each new outfit, depending on your mood or destination, which makes it so truly wonderful.  For today, I am going to be looking at female TV characters with some serious style.  Whether they are trying to rule the world…or their high school or looking for an escape from the mundane world of suburbia, these ladies are beyond well-dressed.  They’ve become my inspiration when plotting my own next ensemble.  My top 5 most fashionable female characters on TV are:

5

Veronica Lodge from Riverdale.

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I’ve been quite impressed with the fashion on Riverdale.  Every character really embraces it and is not afraid to try out new trends, but I have to give the top spot from the show to Miss Veronica Lodge.  When she arrives from the big city, she brings her expensive wardrobe with her and is not afraid to show it off.  Veronica truly has an Audrey Hepburn inspired look, carefully completing each ensemble with simple but classic accessories, such as her pearl necklace.  Veronica always looks flawless and ready for anything.  It’s no wonder she is able to stand up to her parents and the other adults in this town.  She’s dressing the part and means business.

4

Emily Thorne from Revenge.

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You can’t help not rooting for Emily on her quest for revenge against the Grayson family who she believes is responsible for the downfall of her father.  Emily takes on her new identity and plans to step into the elite world of the Hamptons, Long Island.  You would never doubt for a second that she doesn’t belong, as she makes an entrance with poise and confidence.  Emily’s wardrobe is beyond beautiful.  She tends to favor reds and floral patterns, typically leaving her long blonde hair down in soft waves, giving her a certain Veronica Lake vibe.  Emily even challenges the notorious Victoria Grayson without batting an eyelash.  Even her casual wardrobe screams The Hamptons, embracing simple cardigans and nautical sweaters with fitted jeans.  No matter where the social event is, Emily Thorne is there to make a statement and her wardrobe absolutely helps her accomplish this.

3

Gabrielle Solis from Desperate Housewives.

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When ex-model, Gabrielle moves to Wisteria Lane with her rich husband, Carlos, she has traded in her runway days for the quiet life of suburbia.  However, that doesn’t mean Gabrielle is about to sacrifice her wardrobe in the process.  Even though most of the other women on the block dress casual and simple, Gabrielle looks fabulous in brightly colored ensembles.  Even when she does her Yoga, she has on brightly colored matching velour sweats.  Gabrielle’s dresses are her trademark, however.  She absolutely adores anything that is couture.  In a hilarious moment on the show, Gabrielle’s entire walk-in closet is destroyed by a horrible leak in the ceiling and her screams of distress are absolutely sympathetic.  When Gabrielle begins dating her second husband, Victor, she seems to have more fun going through his ex-wife’s closet, even borrowing a few outfits.  Unfortunately for Gabrielle, the ex spots her in the outfit and Gabrielle is forced to strip in the bathroom and hand over the goods.  Luckily, Gabrielle can pull off any outfit…or lack of one in this case, so she was in the clear.

2

Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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I was a teenager myself when watching Buffy and I have to say that she was my inspiration for my own style.  I remember trying to find the perfect prom dress that looked like hers because I adored it that much.  Whether Buffy was rocking a pair of cute leather boots with a short dress or skirt or wearing one of her beautiful statement coats, she always looked fierce while defeating the many threats in Sunnydale.  While she was great at accessorizing, perhaps her best accessory was her cross-bow which really went with every outfit.  Later in the series, Buffy traded out many of her short dresses for cute leather pants and soft sweaters, embracing hoop earrings and cute hairstyles.  No matter what outfit she wore, she always looked comfortable and cute, which is sometimes really hard to do!  Either way, Buffy still remains an absolute influence on my own fashion and style.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one pick are:

  • Hanna Marin from “Pretty Little Liars”
  • Cheryl Blossom from “Riverdale”
  • Serena van der Woodsen from “Gossip Girl”
  • Olivia Pope from “Scandal”
  • Victoria Grayson from “Revenge”
  • Aria Montgomery from “Pretty Little Liars”
  • Felicity Smoak from “Arrow”
  • Joan Watson from “Elementary”

1

Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl.

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So if the quote at the beginning didn’t give me away, my number one pick for most fashionable female TV character has to be awarded to Blair Waldorf.  The Queen B herself, Blair embodies fashion and style.  Her number one accessory is always her headband, which basically represents a crown, but she wears it so well.  Blair, like Veronica Lodge, has an Audrey Hepburn vibe going on, but takes it to an entirely new level.  Whether she is rocking a preppy outfit with knee-socks or a breathtaking gown, Blair plans every single detail of her outfit.  Her endless amounts of coats are to die for and her handbags are elegant and the perfect pop of color.  I’m sure fans around the world (including me) would love to go through her closet just to be that close to a work of art that will never go out of style.  Blair’s love for fashion is absolutely apparent and even when she is scolding her minions; it’s hard not to root for her because she looks absolutely fabulous in every scene.

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below on some of your picks for the most fashionable female TV characters.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

 

Throw-back Sunday: Ranking the top 5 villains from “Charmed”

It’s Throw-Back Sunday TV Fans!  For today, I have returned to one of my old favorites, Charmed, as I am currently on the last season of my re-watch.  The Halliwell sisters are always fun to watch and truly know how to protect their innocents from the forces of evil with good magic.  Even though most of their everyday foes are easily conquered with a Power of 3 spell, there are some villains on the show who just won’t go away…no matter how many times they vanquish them.  These villains become worthy opponents who continue to threaten the sisters over the seasons, trying desperately to bring down the infamous Charmed Ones.  While some villains are just completely terrifying, others take the time for a well-thought out pun, while others are tormented by the darkness that continues to incessantly creep in, wiping out any goodness that may be inside.  Either way, these villains have paved their way into my top 5, refusing to sit back and let good conquer evil.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the series yet. My top 5 villains from Charmed are:

5

Christy Jenkins

In the final season of Charmed, we are introduced to the character of Billie, who is a young witch eager to take on demons and excited to have the Charmed Ones as her mentors.  We find out that Billie has a complicated past, however; and has unresolved memories about her older sister, Christy being kidnapped by a demon when they were children.  We later learn that former villains, The Triad, are responsible for this and have been training and raising Christy to be an unstoppable force of evil.  The Triad anticipated that sister witches could be the ultimate power to take down the Charmed Ones.  Christy initially pretends to be good to lure Billie to her side, but her childhood and innocence were corrupted long ago when she was taken, as she is unable to step away from the darkness.  Billie has to ultimately kill her sister in an act of defense, which is unbelievably heart-breaking.  The very idea of putting sisters against sisters is a genius move of the Triad, but they are unable to predict that Billie’s goodness combined with the Halliwell sisters is too powerful for evil to tip the scale.

4

Zankou

An upper level demon who is after great power, Zankou initially appears to be on the side of the Charmed Ones, when he teams up with them and Agent Brody to stop the Avatars.  He bids the Charmed Ones adieu, but they know this is not the last they will see of him.  Zankou begins to re-organize the underworld in an attempt to steal the power from the Nexus, which is beneath the Halliwell manor.   He also tries to obtain the Book of Shadows, which he successfully manages to steal.  Zankou stands out from other demons because he learns to anticipate their humanity, which so many other demons have failed to do in the past.  He spies on them in their home and even reads Piper’s diary to get the full inside scoop on the Charmed Ones and their human emotions giving the term “know thy enemy” new meaning.   This comes in handy later on when he causes the sisters to shake their bond, making the book and them vulnerable in the process.  Ultimately, the Charmed Ones are able to defeat Zankou by tricking him into absorbing the power of the Nexus so that they can cast a spell to destroy it and everything else in their path, causing the Charmed Ones to fake their own deaths in the process.

3

The Source

The Source is probably one of the scariest demons I have ever seen on Charmed.  He initially cloaks his face with a dark hood, but later reveals his half-face which had been mutilated from his many battles in the past.  The Source is the big bad that has been mentioned since the beginning of Charmed.  Even Rex, Prue’s demonic boss, mentions that he won’t be pleased without revealing his name.  The Source is always after power and is no longer interested in sharing a balance between good and evil.  He even takes in the power of the Hollow, which is forbidden, to try and kill the Charmed ones.  The Source is also responsible for the death of the oldest Halliwell sister, Prue.  His demon for hire, Shax is the one who kills her, shattering the lives of the Halliwell family.  Later, he tries to corrupt Paige to his side, but he is no match for the power of family and love.  Even though The Source is beyond scary, he does take a few moments to toy with his enemy, taunting the sisters to “say hello to Prue for him.”  However, this only enrages the sisters even further, using the magic of their entire ancestry line to stop him.

2

Barbas aka The Demon of Fear

Barbas first appeared in season one in one of my favorite episodes of all time where he appears on Friday the 13th to take out 13 witches to free himself.  He reads the fears of his victims and then uses that fear against them, causing them to die from what looks like a heart attack, as their hair turns completely white from the panic and fear.  The victims truly believe that their fear is coming to life, which makes him a very dangerous demon to say the least.  Barbas targets the Charmed Ones and comes very close to killing Prue, preying on her fear of drowning.  However, Prue is able to overcome her fear with love.  Barbas is banished as he is unable to obtain the 13 witches he needs for freedom but he is never gone for good.  Barbas has appeared as a recurring demon over the seasons, teaming up with other forces of evil to bring down the Charmed Ones.  When the Charmed Ones go on trial, he leads the prosecution, bringing up evidence against the Charmed Ones in quite the compelling argument.  When the Charmed Ones get trapped in a parallel world where everything evil is good, they have to go to Barbas as the source of all good to help them.  He is clearly one of the toughest enemies for the Charmed Ones and he is quite entertaining as well in the process.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one pick are:

  • Inspector Rodriguez
  • Bane
  • Shax
  • The Woogyman
  • Gideon
  • Evil Wyatt
  • Evil Charmed Ones
  • The Seer
  • The Triad
  • Agent Jackman

 

1

Cole Turner

It should be no surprise that my favorite villain has to be Cole Turner.  Cole first appears on Charmed in season 3 and is the love interest of Phoebe.  Cole reveals that he is half-demon and half-human, which causes quite the internal conflict.  His demon-side, Belthazor is an upper-level demon who is absolutely terrifying.  However, his human side is tall, dark, and handsome, proving to be quite the charmer and an excellent lawyer.  Later in the series, Cole becomes the source of all evil, taking in the hollow to protect Phoebe and her sisters from the original source.  When the sisters ask what happened to the powers of the source, the Seer says “into the void” with a knowing smile, as her plan to make Cole the new source has sprung into action.  Cole cannot control the powers of the source but he refuses to give up Phoebe in the process, his love remaining true to her.  He even corrupts Phoebe to darkness, tricking her into a dark wedding and impregnating her with the spawn of Satan.  The Charmed Ones are able to vanquish Cole but one learns that he is never gone for too long.  Cole remains trapped in limbo, collecting powers of vanquished demons along the way to become an even greater threat with more powers than the sisters thought possible.  Through it all, Cole tries to continue to change for Phoebe and hold on to their love, but he ends up being his own worst enemy.  In an effort to change his fate and be with Phoebe, he tries to create a new world and goes back in time.  This plan back-fires, however; as he is now in a time when it was possible for him to be vanquished as Belthazor.  Cole is vanquished on his 118th birthday in the 100th episode of Charmed and it seems like this one is for good.  He makes a special appearance when Piper is trapped in limbo later on in season 7, however.  Cole comes to her rescue and even sends Drake to Phoebe, to remind her about the importance of loving again, even though he will always be loving her just a little out of reach.  Either way, Cole is my favorite villain of all time on the series, proving that villains can find love too.  Unfortunately for Cole, his own inner-conflict and pride get in the way, preventing him from ever finding the happy ending he so desperately wanted for him and Phoebe.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to share some of your own thoughts and comments on your favorite villains from Charmed.  Thanks for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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Ranking my top 5 Guilty Pleasures on Television

When you think about a guilty pleasure, what comes to mind?  Is it a type of candy you can’t live without or a fantastic collection of designer shoes?  For me, it all comes down to television.  While it’s no secret that I am beyond obsessed with movies and TV, there is something about the over-the-top shows filled with sexy melodrama and unbelievable plot twists that I can’t deny.  Whether the female leads are getting into scandalous dilemmas or weaving a dangerous web of deception, there is something about these particular shows that make me want to grab the popcorn and binge-watch all through the weekend in my pajamas.  My top 5 guilty pleasures on television are:

5

The Client List

Although this show only lasted for two seasons on the Lifetime network, this show screams guilty pleasure.  Jennifer Love Hewitt was cast perfectly, playing Riley Parks, a mother of two living in Texas who is just left by her husband.  Riley is left with a mortgage to pay and bills that seem never-ending, which causes her to find employment at “The Rub of Sugarland.”  While Riley starts out seeking a legitimate masseuse job, she realizes that this is not going to cut it if she wants to make ends meet for her family.  Riley quickly discovers that there is a client list which involves special customers who comes in looking more than a traditional massage.  Riley fully understands that this is illegal, but the opportunity is just too tempting for her to turn down.  Riley begins to compromise her moral compass and lies to her family, but she is ultimately trying to be the best mother she can under the circumstances.  The clients are intriguing enough with their “special” requests and fans wonder if Riley’s world will be shattered with each new plot twist, leaving viewers with an action-packed series finale that still have us asking lots of questions.

4

Secret Diary of a Call Girl

This popular series aired for 4 seasons on Showtime and is a British comedy starring the fantastic and beautiful Billie Piper as Hannah Baxter aka Belle (her escort alias).  While the show initially seemed like it may be a little bit too gratuitous, it’s easy to quickly fall in love with with Hannah or Belle and root for her with each episode.  The episodes are short (about 24 minutes each) so it makes this series extremely easy to binge-watch.  Belle allows the viewers the opportunity to get the inside scoop on what it’s really like to be a call girl.  While it may seem glamorous and have its perks on the outside,  Belle reveals a lot of the complicated aspects as well, including how extremely difficult it is to actually maintain a normal relationship when you are a prostitute.

3

Mistresses

This series aired for 4 seasons and used to be part of the summer lineup on ABC.  When one was in desperate need of some serious binge-watching when all of our other favorite shows were on break, Mistresses did an excellent job of capturing viewers with its fun and fancy-free attitude.  The ladies on this show were not shy of diving head first into drama, including extravagant affairs, secret relationships, and husbands faking their own deaths.  While many of the plot twists were clearly over-the-top, the fantastic women on this show did a great job of being believable and their close-knit friendships brought us back to the days of Sex and the City.  This series also ended on a huge cliff-hanger, but was the perfect summer fling to have during the off-season of television.

2

Devious Maids

Lasting for 4 seasons, this show was jam-packed with the perfect blend of spiciness, comedy, and mystery.  It’s no wonder that it came from the creators who brought us Desperate Housewives.  However, this show took the sexiness a step further than Desperate Housewives, which made the mysteries going on that much more exciting to solve and be a part of.  Like Mistresses, the women on this show have an undeniable bond and support each other through all of the chaos and drama surrounding them, but they don’t forget to have some fun along the way.  Like some of my favorite guilty pleasures, this show also ended on a huge cliff-hanger.  While I didn’t want to turn the page on this show just yet, it still provided me with just the right amount of laughs and gasps to go with a lazy weekend.

1

The Affair

So my number one pick has to go to Showtime’s The Affair.  While you may think you know what the show is about just from the title, you are seriously missing out if you don’t get caught up.  As I am anxiously waiting for season 4 to premiere, I am getting ready to re-watch the entire series.  It’s that good.  While the first season still remains my favorite and the most entertaining, each season allows us into the private thoughts of each character.  The show focuses primarily on Noah and Allison, giving us a glimpse into their souls as their worlds start to unravel right before their eyes, drowning them further and further into a darkness that has a more powerful calling than the ocean right outside their doors.  There is something hypnotic about this show.  It pulls you in right from the start and the decision to present the story from the different perspectives of each character makes you question everything, pulling the viewer in even deeper.  Just when you think you know what’s about to happen or unravel, there is another unexpected twist that will haunt you and resonate with you even long after watching the series.  The acting and writing is fantastic on this series, providing us with the perfect escape from the mundane.

 

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below on some of your favorite guilty pleasures on television.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

 

Ranking my top 5 One True Pairings on Television: Ships that will make you Swoon

Happy Valentine’s Day TV fans!  When it comes to defining what makes a OTP (one true pairing) on television, what comes to mind?  Is it the passionate and fiery moments between these two characters or is it more about an everlasting love that stands the test of time?  Whether it involves sacrifice and heartbreak or compromise and understanding, there are some couples on television who truly encompass the essence of love.  It’s rare to find that happy ending that we read about in fairy-tales, but these OTPs are not for lack of trying.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch any of these series yet.  Please also note that sitcoms were not included for today’s list.  My top 5 One True Pairings on television are:

5

Veronica & Logan from Veronica Mars.

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Logan: “I thought our story was epic, you know you and me?”

Veronica:  “Epic how?”

Logan:  “Spanning years and continents.  Lives ruined, bloodshed.  EPIC…”

Although Veronica Mars only lasted for three seasons, it still gave fans plenty of time to ship Veronica and Logan.  While the beginning of the series focuses on her feelings for her former love, Duncan, Veronica also seems to initially despise Logan.  On the surface, Logan is selfish and cruel, refusing to apologize for his actions.  When Veronica and Logan team up later on in season one, you cannot deny the sparks flying between these two.  Logan lets his guard down for Veronica and they fall in love with each other.  These two do not ride off into the sunset, however; as they are in for their fair share of ups and downs.  At the end of the season one cliffhanger, fans are not sure who is on the other side of the door for Veronica when she says, “I was hoping it would be you.”  Once season 2 premieres, we learn that it was Logan waiting for her on the other end, but she is now dating Duncan to make things even more complicated.  Even when Veronica and Logan are not together, Logan clearly cares about Veronica more than anyone else.  He constantly proves his love for her and defends her honor, not caring about the consequences.  While Logan may initially lack the stability that Veronica ultimately needs, his love for her is unchanging.  At the end of the series, Logan and Veronica are not back together, leaving fans disappointed.  However, when the Veronica Mars film was released years later, Veronica and Logan finally got the happy ending they deserved.  It was worth the wait!

4

Piper & Leo from Charmed.

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“Leo, you are the best thing that has ever happened to me.  I was afraid that you were too good to be true, that maybe I didn’t deserve someone so pure and beautiful and loving as you are…Leo I was born to love you and I always will.”

At the beginning of the Charmed series, the blossoming relationship between Piper and Leo is delightful and real.  Piper’s sister, Phoebe even initially competes with her to win Leo’s affection, but it’s always been clear where Leo’s heart lies.  As Piper’s white lighter, it is forbidden for them to be together, but they cannot deny their connection.  Piper and Leo have been through so much together and Leo is even ripped away from her by the elders during their first attempt at a wedding.  Ultimately, Piper and Leo are meant for each other.  However, they go through quite a lot on the way and are tested constantly.  Piper and Leo have two beautiful sons, Wyatt and Chris, and form a beautiful family together, constantly trying to keep this priority above all others.  While Piper is known for her quick temper, Leo balances her out and always keeps her calm.  When they are apart, it’s truly heartbreaking, as fans recognize the selfless love these two have for one another.  Piper and Leo do get their happy ending and keep their friendship and love strong in the process.  There is something so believable and undeniable between Piper and Leo, still holding the test of time and reminding us what true love is all about.

3

Emma & Hook from Once Upon a Time.

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When I win your heart, Emma, and I will win it. It will not be because of any trickery. It will be because you want me. 

When the devilishly handsome Captain Hook sailed into our hearts on OUAT, he initially was out for revenge.  While Hook innocently flirted with Emma from the start, his love for her allowed him to grow as a character and to learn from his wicked past.  Hook was always used to taking the easy way out and making decisions based on how well it suited him.  Emma changed this perspective, however; proving that he could be a selfless man.  When Hook realized his strong feelings for Emma, he even backed down and explained that she should be with Neal so that Henry could have his family all together.  Hook truly loved Emma at this point, but was willing to sacrifice this so that she could find happiness.  Later, when they did end up together, Emma’s power became too great and evil corrupted her heart.  The only thing that could bring her back to goodness was Hook’s love for her.  Emma and Hook had one of the most beautiful relationships on television and their wedding at the end of season 6 was touching and heart-warming.  Hook’s love for Emma transformed him from a villain into a hero one can be proud of, who will never stop fighting for the one he loves.  Now that’s a fairy-tale ending!

2

Buffy & Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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Angel:  “This isn’t some fairy-tale.  When I kiss you…you don’t wake up from a deep sleep and live happily ever after.”

Buffy:  “No, when you kiss me, I wanna die.”

This list would not be complete without including Buffy and Angel.  Known as the vampire cursed with a soul, Angel is initially used to being on his own, lurking in the shadows and staying clear of human connections.  When he crosses paths with Buffy, he realizes that he has a chance to turn his destiny around and do some good.  However, he falls in love with her along the way.  Buffy and Angel’s love is touching and romantic initially, making fans everywhere swoon this ship.  When Buffy and Angel consummate their love, he experiences a moment of true happiness and the curse is broken, freeing his soul in the process.  As a result of this, Angelus is released, the pure vampire killer with no remorse or guilt and he begins torturing Buffy and her friends.  Buffy is completely heart-broken but she proves her strength when she goes up against Angel, knowing that she must defeat him to protect the world.  She recognizes that the good man she came to know and love is gone, leaving only a shell of a monster behind.  After Buffy sacrifices Angel, he returns from Hell with his soul intact but their relationship is so complicated and shattered at this point.  They love each other but they know that they can’t get too close because of the consequences.  They try out being friends and the villainous vampire, Spike even points out that they can never be friends because their love for one another is messy and passionate.  At the end of season 3, Buffy and Angel part ways as Angel leaves the show for his spin-off, but not before he shows up at her prom to dance with her one last time, reminding her that he will always be there for her.  Although Buffy and Angel do not end up together and have other relationships along the way, they both recognize how much they truly care for one another.  They have a love that transcends romance, understanding that even though they are apart; they are always together on some level.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my favorite OTP are:

  • Blair & Chuck from Gossip Girl
  • Brenda & Dylan from Beverly Hills, 90210
  • Michael & Sara from Prison Break
  • Maggie & Glenn from The Walking Dead
  • Octavia & Lincoln from the 100
  • Piper & Alex from Orange is the New Black
  • Kev & V from Shameless
  • Ian & Mickey from Shameless
  • Seth & Summer from The OC
  • Damon & Elena from The Vampire Diaries
  • Phoebe & Cole from Charmed
  • Buffy & Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Desmond & Penny from Lost
  • Sawyer & Juliet from Lost
  • Mike & Susan from Desperate Housewives
  • Tara & Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Clarke and Lexa from The 100
  • Sookie & Eric from True Blood
  • Nathan & Haley from One Tree Hill
  • Alice & Robin from Once Upon a Time
  • Cheryl & Toni from Riverdale

1

Sun & Jin from Lost.

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“I was going to leave you.  I was going to get away…but you made me change my mind.”

My all-time favorite OTP has to go to Sun & Jin from Lost.  For me, Sun and Jin have a love that is very different from other characters on television.  This is mostly because their love is the most real.  Their love isn’t perfect and there are times where they do temporarily give up on one another and forget about why they fell in love in the first place.  But this is what makes their love so important.  Real love isn’t out of a fairy-tale; although I’m sure we would like it to be.  Real love is about compromise and accepting that we will make mistakes along the way.  Sun has an affair with another man and even contemplates leaving Jin and running away at the airport.  However, Jin shows her that he is holding a small white flower, just like when they first met and she changes her mind.  It breaks Jin’s heart when he finds out that Sun speaks English, representing another lie she kept from him for so long.   Both Sun and Jin are looking to prove themselves to the other, only to later realize that their love is enough.  The fact that they are able to forgive each other for mistakes they made before, shows the viewer what true love is all about.  Sun and Jin truly find themselves together as a couple and learn to love each other more than they thought possible.  After they are separated numerous times, they are finally reunited, not realizing that it will be short-lived.  Right after they are reunited, Sun gets pinned under metal in the sinking submarine and Jin is unable to free her.  Sun demands that he go and save himself, but Jin won’t leave her.  He will never leave her again.  Their death is one of the saddest for me to watch on television and the image of them holding hands under water as they take their last breaths, proves that they will never be apart again.

I hope you enjoyed my list and feel free to post your own comments and thoughts about some of your favorite OTPs on television.  Thanks for reading!  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

Throw-back Sunday: Ranking the top 5 couples from “Beverly Hills, 90210”

Happy Sunday TV fans!  This past summer, I invested quite a bit of time into re-watching all 10 seasons of the original Beverly Hills, 90210 series and I have to say it was very entertaining.  I forgot how many episodes there were in some seasons especially when they had those special summer airings.  I dusted off my old DVD set and watched Brandon and Brenda Walsh tough it out in Beverly Hills, California, leaving their wholesome and normal lives back in Minnesota.  It’s been at least 6 years since I have watched the series, as I used to binge-watch a lot on Soapnet, but everything came flooding back to me from the instrumental theme song to the over-the-top drama between Brenda and Kelly.  Talk about paving the way for love triangles to come in later series!  After getting over the initial shock of how young everyone looked and watching them grow up all over again with drama never far behind, I started to think about some of my favorite couples on the series.  There are quite a few who had an undeniable connection even though some of them did not even last for the entirety of the series.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  My top five ships from Beverly Hills, 90210 are:

5

Dylan & Kelly.

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During the first watch of the series, I was shocked by the scandalous actions of Dylan and Kelly.  Brenda went off to study abroad with Donna in Paris, leaving her best friend and her boyfriend behind for the summer.  It seemed like nothing could break the bond between fan-favorites, Dylan and Brenda, but Kelly managed to come between the couple.  I shouldn’t blame Kelly entirely, as Dylan was absolutely at fault here too.  While the couple shares its ups and downs over time, some of their first moments together in the swimming pool and at the beach bonfire are beyond passionate.  However, they lacked the friendship that Brenda and Dylan shared in my opinion.  Either way, their secret relationship caused a major rift between both the relationship of Brenda and Dylan and the friendship between Kelly and Brenda.  When they finally come clean and tell Brenda the truth, her reaction is so real and heart-breaking.  She trusted her two friends and is shocked at their betrayal.  Over the years, Kelly and Dylan have on and off again relations and never really end up together.  However, at the end of the series they are seen gazing at each other during David and Donna’s wedding to imply that their relationship is not over.  In the remake of 90210, Kelly reveals that Dylan is the father of her child, but is still not with him in this future.   Guess it wasn’t meant to be after all.

4

Brandon & Kelly.

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Yes, Kelly does earn two spots in this ranking and it’s because there is such an undeniable love between Brandon and Kelly.  After my re-watch, I much preferred Brandon and Kelly together; as they seemed to balance each other out more and had more of that friendship I was looking for between Kelly and Dylan.  Kelly is familiar with betrayal and now turns the tables on Dylan to reveal her relationship with his best friend, Brandon.  While the betrayal does not have the same feeling of twisting the knife like with Brenda, it does hurt Dylan to see them together.  That being said, Dylan’s life is falling apart during this time and Kelly felt like she was drowning with him, descending further and further into his mess.  Brandon is very stable and charming, running for class office when they first meet.  It seems like Brandon will be the man to turn Kelly’s life around.  However, this couple deals with more drama and chaos than any other.  It is almost impossible for them to survive a fire, a cult, a drug addiction, a shooting, and a failed attempt to get married.   When you say that all out loud it seems very unlikely, but I promise this all happened to Kelly. While it doesn’t seem to be in the cards for Brandon and Kelly either, you can’t deny the love between these two characters.

3

Steve & Janet.

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After Steve’s long-term relationship with ended with fan-favorite, Clare, viewers were wondering if he would ever find another love to provide him with the voice of reason he so desperately needed.  Steve was always the “class clown” and stayed away from responsibility as if it were the plague.  When he started working with Janet, he didn’t initially realize his feelings for her.  They started a friendship first and eventually began dating.  Janet was perfect for Steve, almost becoming his moral compass, similar to Brandon.  When Janet announced she was pregnant, Steve’s entire life changed for the better.  He embraced his responsibility and married Janet to the delight of fans everywhere.  This couple probably had the closest thing to a “normal relationship” on the show and continued to prove their love for one another as the series went on.

2

David & Donna.

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This list would not be complete without including David Silver and Donna Martin.  The couple began dating in high school and had a sweet and innocent quality.  One of my favorite scenes is when Donna stops worrying about what others think and announces to her friends at the dance that she is dating David with confidence and love.  Over the years, this couple goes through a lot of ups and downs.  Donna feels very strongly about staying a virgin to the disappointment of David.  Although he tries to support her as much as possible, an affair takes place that breaks them up for a long period of time.  Even when David and Donna are not together, they keep their friendship alive.  When Donna is attacked, David is the one who comes to her rescue and saves her.  Toward the end of the series, Donna and David finally accept their destiny to be together and get married at the end of the show.  Fans were delighted to see the happy ending between David and Donna.  The high-school sweethearts have not had it easy at all, but they reunite and promise to love one another forever.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one ship are:

  • David & Valerie
  • Steve & Clare
  • Brandon & Emily Valentine
  • Noah & Donna
  • Dylan & Toni

1

Dylan & Brenda.

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My number one ship has to go to Dylan and Brenda.  At the beginning of the series, their blossoming relationship is beautiful and real.  Brenda realizes that Dylan has a lot of baggage and a complicated life, but she doesn’t run away from it.  Rather, she runs toward him with open arms, revealing her strong feelings for him.  Even though they are in high school, Dylan and Brenda have a strong relationship filled with a lot of laughter and romance.  As they begin to get closer and closer, Brenda’s father attempts to intervene, fearing that his daughter is making bad decisions.  While this does take a toll on Dylan and Brenda’s relationship, they continue to tough it out together.  R.E.M’s song, “Losing My Religion,” is basically the anthem of Dylan and Brenda’s break-up and attempt to put the pieces back together.  After Kelly and Dylan have an affair, it seems like Brenda and Dylan will not end up together.  However, once Brenda leaves the show, the writers add in that Dylan and Brenda are living together in Europe, trying to give fans the happy ending they so desperately wanted between these two.  There was something so believable and undeniable between this ship, still holding the test of time.  Even when both characters were off the show, fans were still talking about them and rooting for them.

I hope you enjoyed my list and feel free to post your own thoughts and comments about the ships on Beverly Hills, 90210.  Thanks for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

Ranking the top 5 TV witches: “The power of 3 will set us free!”

Happy Friday TV viewers!  When you think of witches, what comes to mind?  Society has embraced the idea of the witch as an old hag with a wart, hooked nose, and pointy hat flying off on her broomstick, cackling across the night sky.  But to be honest, witches have so much more depth and character than this common stereotype.  Sure it may be fun to embrace the costume for Halloween, but what’s so great about witches is that they are a source of female empowerment.  They may possess magical abilities and can whip up a spell in the blink of an eye…or the wiggle of a nose, but what makes these women so intriguing is their humanity.  Some of my favorite witches on television desperately attempt to balance a “normal human life” with their calling and magical duties.  They want something more out of life and sometimes feel stifled by their magical responsibilities, feeling that it gets in the way of having true and meaningful relationships.  While they sometimes reveal their secrets to mortals, it is clear that being a witch is very complicated and not all it’s cracked up to be.  However, they sure do have some very cool magical powers that could come in handy now and again.  Please note some spoilers are ahead.  My top 5 TV witches are: 

5

Bonnie Bennett from The Vampire Diaries.

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When you combine being a witch with being a teenage girl, things get beyond complicated.  Bonnie and her best friend, Elena, live in Mystic Falls where it seems like supernatural beings are creeping up behind every corner.  While the show focuses primarily on vampires, Bonnie’s witchcraft is a key component and an influential force.  When Bonnie discovers her powers as a witch and realizes that she comes from a very powerful line of witches in history, she has to confide her secret to her best friend.  One of my favorite scenes occurs when Bonnie and Elena are sitting on the bed and Bonnie closes her eyes and makes the pillow feathers float all around them.  Her powers are beautiful and mysterious, but as the series goes on, she becomes more and more powerful.  While she sometimes drains on magic and needs strength from those around her, Bonnie is the essence of good magic and is a great asset to Elena and the Salvatore vampires.

4

Zelena aka The Wicked Witch of the West from Once Upon a Time.

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There is clearly a lot of unlocked magic in the quiet town of Storybrooke, ranging from evil queens to saviors.  However, when something wicked comes their way, Zelena proves to be the witch you don’t want to mess with.  She embraces the green skin and looks absolutely fabulous.  We later learn that Zelena is Regina’s half-sister, which explains their connection and Zelena’s constant quest for revenge against her.  While Zelena does transform into a powerful ally later on, her snappy one-liners and her refusal to let others get in her way make her stand out in a crowd of fairy-tale villains and heroes, absolutely stealing the show.  Fans everywhere root for Zelena and desperately want her to get her own version of a happy ending.  In the most recent season, Regina goes off to find Zelena in San Francisco, when a new memory curse has been cast on our favorite characters.  In Zelena’s new life, she is actually a cycling instructor and even tells her class to “fly like monkeys,” keeping her humor and character alive.

3

Willow Rosenberg from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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While the show focuses primarily on Buffy and her strength and powers as a vampire slayer, Willow gives up on a being a quiet nerd in the background and tries out witchcraft to help her best friend fight evil.  In the beginning, her powers seem harmless and involve floating pencils, which does come in handy when she actually uses it to stake a vampire.  As the series goes on, Willow becomes more and more powerful and has an unquenchable need to consume magic.  This dangerous consequence leads to her tapping into dark magic.  Willow even gives up using her witchcraft, recognizing that the addiction is hurting those around her.  When her love, Tara dies in her arms, there is no stopping her, however.  The dark magic pours into her, making her one of the most powerful and dangerous villains Buffy and the Scoobies have ever faced.  Luckily, Xander is able to bring her back to goodness, refusing to lose his best friend to evil.

2

Samantha Stephens from Bewitched.

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This list would not be complete without including one of the most famous television witches who paved the way for the rest to come.  I grew up watching re-runs of the show in black and white and was mesmerized by Samantha’s powers.  With the wiggle of her nose, she used her magic to even the score, proving to be very powerful.  Samantha had trouble balancing her life as a loving housewife with being a powerful witch, introducing the very concept of a witch looking for something more meaningful in life beyond magic.  While she loved her husband dearly, she didn’t want to just be labeled as a housewife, still holding on to her identity as a witch.  Samantha was absolutely a source of female empowerment, refusing to merely comply in a man’s world.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one pick for TV witches are:

  • Sabrina Spellman from “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”
  • Davina Claire from “The Originals”
  • Melisandre from “Game of Thrones”
  • Endora from “Bewitched”
  • Rowena from “Supernatural”
  • The Coven from “American Horror Story”
  • The Beauchamp family from “Witches of East End”

1

The Halliwell sisters from Charmed.

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So my number one pick has to go to the Halliwell sisters.  Prue, Piper, Phoebe, and Paige all possess amazing magical abilities and have a sisterly bond that cannot be broken by any evil that comes their way.  Charmed is one of my favorite series of all time and each sister possesses their own strength, but as the “power of 3,” they are unstoppable.  My favorite power belonged to Piper who could literally freeze time by putting her hands up.  What makes the Halliwell sisters so great is that they didn’t always know they had powers.  When their grandmother dies and they move back into their child-hood home, they release the power behind the “Book of Shadows,” reconstituting the power of 3.  At this point in their lives, they are already dealing with finding love, finding a career, and dealing with the daily pros and cons of being a sister.  They are known as the most powerful witches of all time and many demons and evil beings try to defeat them.  When Prue is tragically killed off at the end of season 3, Paige Matthews steps in as their long-lost half-sister and has just as much power as the rest of them.  The sisterly bond continues and they deal with some really tough decisions.  On more than one occasion, the sisters have the opportunity to relinquish their powers and lead normal lives, but the Halliwell sisters embrace their destiny and understand that protecting the innocent isn’t just a job…it’s who they are.

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below on some of your favorite TV witches.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl