21 April 2009


After noticing the TNT series was out on DVD, I started watching my old VHS tapes of the show again. I'd forgotten just how good the series was (though I remembered exactly how annoyed I was when they canceled after the second season). It's a show that could easily have wound up corny or ridiculously campy, and managed not to. Sara Pezzini is a cop who winds up with a strange and powerful bracelet on her wrist. Kenneth Irons is the richest guy in the world (or near enough), and he wants to control both the bracelet, aka the Witchblade, and its wielder. Ian Nottingham is Kenneth' protege, who has too much of a soft spot for Sara for either her or Kenneth's liking.

The show is primarily about Sara learning to control and understand the Witchblade, while she tries to avoid being caught in Kenneth's schemes. Again, it would have been easy for this to wind up as a ridiculous farce, but it works. The interplay of the characters is beautiful.

My favorite bit, though, is somewhat spoilerish, so it's below the fold.

This is the only show I can think of that manages to undo an entire season without betraying the viewers in any way. It was a beautiful way to end the first season, particularly since one of the themes of the season was Sara losing everyone she cared about. Now at the beginning of the second season, she has a second chance to save them. Of course, her memory of former future events is not perfect, so it's not like she has a perfect road map. Plus, after the first "undoing," all other events are going to play out differently.

I also find it interesting that, in the first season, it takes a while for the plot to reveal exactly how depraved Kenneth Irons really is. In the second season, it becomes clear right off the bat. Why? Because the viewers already know, so there's no reason to keep it behind closed doors this time around. In the first season, it's sort of, "Okay, so he's a bit power-crazed and manipulative, but he doesn't seem all that bad," at least until the last few episodes. Second season, same time frame, and there's no pussyfooting around. It's almost instantaneously clear that he's too depraved to cooperate with.

As for the DVDs, I'll either order them from Amazon or wait for the ones available in town to come down in price. It's been interesting to watch them from my old VHS tapes, as they also have all the original commercials in them. It's a bit like jumping back in time, particularly on the investment and banking commercials.

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