That Old Black Magic

Episode Report Card
Owen: D | Grade It Now!
That Old Black Magic

Props to Kisle for suggesting that when it comes to this series, sometimes a cigar is not a cigar.

That state park in California where they used to film the live-action Isis and Shazaam series for Saturday morning TV back in the late seventies. Day. Two hikers approach a -- cough, cough -- cave. Hiker One is all excited because "[the -- cough, cough -- cave] has to be it." He and Hiker Two are smeared from head to toe in dirt, like they've already been spelunking, but whatever. They turn on their -- titter, titter -- flashlights and enter the cough, cough cave. Since these characters are nobodies and they're doing something dangerously stupid before the credits roll, I mentally put toe tags on both of them. Why? Because I watched a television show once before. The cavern looks large enough to hold a boat show. The hikers see a spider, then a skeleton, then before some Shriners can jump out wearing Freddy Krueger masks, they spot some drawings on a wall. Hiker Two thinks this is "definitely not a good sign." The crayon drawings consist of an "X," a star, and -- ahem -- a wand. Hiker One takes out his (euphemism) hammer and breaks open an air-quote hole in the wall. Cue the fog machine and falling plastic boulders. A very pretty woman sporting a red Gunne Sax brothel-madam's gown and wild curly red hair emerges from the wall, exulting, "I'm free!" She asks the hikers what year it is. The hikers tell her. She demands to know where her -- ahem -- wand is. The hikers don't know. The witch reaches into her -- cough, cough -- purse and throws magic dust on them. The hikers turn very wee and bitch about this, as do I, because I saw this effect with the tiny fear demon on Buffy's Halloween episode just last month. The witch feeds the hikers to her, um, snake then sends it away in a flying magic cloud to go find her -- ahem -- wand.

Buckland Auction House. Same day. A sign proclaims that they're filming a rip-off of Antiques Roadshow. Prue "Penis Envoy" Halliwell struts onto the bustling scene while chatting on a cell phone with Phoebe "House Waif" Halliwell. Prue, wearing a nice plain blouse unfortunately unbuttoned to her navel (points for wearing a bra, though!) and a flattering long skirt: "Wah wah we're broadcasting live soon blather blather can't it wait?" Cut to Pheebs, standing in the parlor, peering out the window and clutching her pearls: "Dan's truck just pulled up." Prue: "So?" Phoebe: "So they're kissing." Cut to "This Is Not A" Piper Halliwell and Dan "Cortese" Gordon macking in broad daylight on the street, even though they have a choice of not one, but two private residences just a few yards away to which they can retire and complete their business. Pheebs grimaces. Word. Prue gets her bitch on and asks Phoebe why she was disturbed with this "in the middle of her busy day." Phoebe is worried that Piper is going way too fast because she's on the rebound. As much as the PDA disgusts me, I have to agree with Prue's assessment of this sitch as none of Phoebe's business. GET A JOB, Gladys Crabitz. While the lazy Ps hash out Piper's love life, Prue spots an old ornate -- ahem -- wand on the table in front of her. She holds it in front of her to inspect its -- titter, titter -- amber-colored bulbous head. A menial tells Prue she's "on in five." She gets off the phone. Back at the manor, Dan and Piper move toward the house. Pheebs, wearing a tight tummy-bearing white t-shirt with a geisha printed on it, high-water patched Pippi Longstocking jeans, and plastic flowers from a Wal-Mart table centerpiece in her hair, runs to the foyer. Just then, Leo "Turn Off Your Heart Light" Wyatt orbs into the house. Phoebe bitches at him for not knocking. Leo says he didn't think he had to, and adds that he came because "the worst thing imaginable has happened." Pheebs tries to move him out of the foyer before -- oops, Piper and Dan walk in. Ruh roh! Phoebe's attempt to quip: "No kidding!" Cut to The Montage Of Dramatic Close-Ups: Leo! Piper! Dan! Phoebe! Leo! Piper! The Guitar Chords Of Great Running-Into-Your-Ex-With-Her-New-Honey Awkwardness closes out the scene.

Credits. I'd pay good money to watch Fairuza Balk eat the entire cast of this show in one chomp, then use Kit the Cat to pick her teeth.

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