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While an exceedingly good year for the popular series, season three of CHARMED also marked actress Shannen Doherty last year on the show. Rumors had been circulated for quite sometime that two of the television witches were not getting along, so with the cauldron finally bubbling over- it seems Doherty departed the series by the speediest broomstick at the end of the season three. Behind-the-scenes intrigues aside, season three of CHARMED found the series at the top of its game with the black and white of good versus evil turning towards shades of gray as one of the show’s good witches finds herself involved and in love with a demon.

For anyone not yet familiar with the basic premise of CHARMED, the series is concerned with the three Halliwell sisters, who, upon the death of their grandmother, became The Charmed Ones, the most powerful witches the world has ever known. On a weekly basis, the Halliwell sisters use their powers to protect the innocent and fight against the forces of darkness. CHARMED stars Shannen Doherty as Prue Halliwell, the eldest sister, who has the power to move objects with her mind; Holly Marie Combs is middle sister Piper Halliwell, who can freeze time and Alyssa Milano is Phoebe Halliwell, the youngest, who has the gift of second sight and burgeoning ability to levitate. The season three cast of CHARMED also features Brian Krause, Dorian Gregory and Julian McMahon.

CHARMED: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON ($50) comes to DVD in a six-disc set that features all twenty-two episodes that were aired in the show’s third year.  The twenty-two featured episodes are as follows: The Honeymoon's Over, Magic Hour, Once Upon A Time, All Halliwell's Eve, Sight Unseen, Primrose Empath, Power Outage, Sleuthing With The Enemy, Coyote Piper, We All Scream For Ice Cream, 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 and All Hell Breaks Loose.

Paramount Home Entertainment has made all twenty-two episodes from CHARMED THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON available on DVD in the proper full screen aspect ratios of their original television broadcasts. Image quality is pretty much in line with seasons one and two; looking quite appealing for television fare. Sharpness and detail is just what one would expect from a TV show, with everything appearing fairly crisp, with only minor softness creeping in here and there. Colors have a nice level of saturation and attractive flesh tones. Blacks are accurate, whites are crisp and contrast is rendered without much of the expected television flatness. The film elements from which the episodes have been transferred are pretty clean and generally free from noticeable flaws. Even with four episodes on a dual layer disc, digital compression artifacts are usually well camouflaged.

All the episodes that comprise CHARMED THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON come with Dolby Digital 2.0 channel soundtracks, which decode to standard surround. 5.1 would have sounded better, but the 2.0 is still pretty good. This being a television production, the mix is front heavy. As for the rear channels, they add some ambience, light effects and musical fill. There are some mild separations across the front, but nothing exceptional. Fidelity is quite good for a television series with a whole lot of musical content. Dialogue is clean and easy to understand. No other language tracks are provided, nor have subtitles been included. The basic interactive menus allow one access to the standard episode selection features. No additional content has been provided.

CHARMED offers a whole lot of supernatural fun, not to mention a nice bit of eye candy. Paramount’s DVD release looks and sounds better than a typical syndicated rebroadcast, and the DVDs have magically made all those evil commercials disappear. So, if you are a fan of the Halliwell sisters, CHARMED THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON is a must have. Recommended.



Charmed - The Complete Third Season (1998)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2005 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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