Charmed
A Call To Arms

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Demian: F | Grade It Now!
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A Call To Many Crappy Arm-Like Digital Inserts Of Discontent

So, to cleanse my brain of the foul mediocrity that was the season premiere, I fled to the nearest bar the second the final credits rolled. It just so happens the nearest bar was one of, you know, those bars. A gay bar. The kind of gay bar that offers innocuous, boring Sunday-night cable TV programming on the screens facing the street while all of the backwards-facing screens are full of guys named Drake doing unspeakable and possibly illegal things to guys named Kyle. Naturally, my attention turned towards the street-facing screens, mainly because one of them featured a documentary on a couple of conjoined twins who were about to be separated at the head. Fascinating, especially when the screen switched over to an animated MRI of the connection point, displaying exactly where the surgeons involved would restrict blood flow to commence the operation. Unfortunately, the doorman took a quick glance up at the set, determined rather quickly this was material unsuitable for the surroundings, and instructed the bartender to change channels. Which the bartender did, of course, being the sort of obedient twinkmobile (cough BigGayChris cough) who follows his elders' orders promptly. And what did the obedient twinkmobile switch over to? Why, a rerun of Who's The Boss?, of course. Despite my loud and repeated assertions that watching two infants getting ripped apart at the head would be far less traumatic for the patrons than a Who's The Boss? rerun, the set remained fixed on that particular sitcom, which -- honest to God -- I had never seen before in my life. Knowing Alyssa Milano began her pop culture career there, I naturally assumed it was she chopping vegetables in the opening shot, what with the camera's initial focus on a pair of man hands dicing carrots, followed by its slow pan up be-haired forearms before it landed on the loose, densely patterned silk sleeves of a kimono. You can imagine my surprise when the owner of those forearms turned out to be Tony Danza.

Yeah, yeah. Cheap shot. Not nearly as cheap as this premiere, though. Let's get to it, shall we?

Fade up on the sun-flooded Manor fa├žade, from which emanate the pathetic squeals of a wretched infant in severe distress. The camera cuts inside to reveal the red-faced source of those squeals as none other than Tiny Gay Chris, who appears to hate his farm-themed romper as much as I do. Though I have to admit that little Peter Rabbit skullcap he's sporting is simply the most. To say the least. The shot cuts twice to take in two additional sources of Tiny Chris's despair: The be-mulleted Psycho strapped into a high chair on the opposite side of the room, and some random Latina with filthy hair that Piper's apparently hired on as a nanny. Oh, my bad. That's actually Raige, who somehow found the time since last season's finale to get a tan. In San Francisco. In December. Whatever. As the wickedly inept Raige manhandles Tiny Chris's tiny diaper, the simply wicked Psycho does his level best to hurl Cheerios from his food-spattered tray through Tiny Chris's fontanel and into his brain. Failing with the Cheerios, the Psycho next tries the same with a banana peel that quite fortunately splatters to the floor some distance from the changing table. I must note, though, that the hateful little brat sports a look of unbridled glee during all of this, and that's nice, because it's rare to see the demonic on this show actually enjoying their work. Creepy little bastard. Raige, flustered, rolls her eyes around in their unnaturally brown lids and whines, "Help! Somebody help, please!" Pack mule Piper answers the call by schlumping in from the dining room with a bone-weary "All right" before crossing to attend to her foul-minded elder son. "What's this?" she sighs in surprise, eyeing the Psycho's suspiciously spotless tray. The Psycho, dead-eyed once more, too-innocently appraises her from the depths of his chair while wielding a long-handled plastic spoon like a dagger. I'd call that spotless tray the first in what is certain to be a long, long list of continuity errors this season, were it not for the fact I'm convinced the wicked brat surreptitiously orbed the mashed-up remnants of his breakfast into his long-suffering brother's diaper while the camera was focused on his mother.

Piper whatevers wordlessly to herself before turning to wonder how Tiny Chris is faring with that nasty diaper rash of his. See? Evil! The Psycho is evil! "Does [Chris] need ointment?" Piper asks, concerned. "I don't know," Raige admits, "I've been kind of procrastinating on that one." "It's not my favorite thing to check," she adds with a squicked grimace. Piper squints that Raige has no problem checking the Psycho for similar ailments, so what gives? "I don't flash-forward to [the dead-eyed, mulleted brat] being 22 like I do with [Tiny Gay] Chris," Raige peeves. "Oh, yeah," Piper spaces ditzily before adding, "Ew," like this particular topic and that particular realization would never have come up in conversation until this very moment, but whatever, because the second in the long, long list of this season's continuity errors has just reared its ugly head: Piper had entered the kitchen in a pair of backless suede slippers. She's now wearing black flip-flops. Christ, I hate this show.

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Charmed

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