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Constance M. Burge , Joel J. Feigenbaum , Brad Kern , Aaron Spelling , Krista Vernoff , E. Duke Vincent

Charmed (Series, S04E09): Muse to My Ears

YEAR: 2001

COUNTRY: United States of America

Cateogry icon

Title of the work

Charmed (Series, S04E09): Muse to My Ears

Studio / Production Company

Paramount Pictures, Spelling Production Company, Viacom Productions, WB Television Network

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

Worldwide

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2001

First Edition Details

Charmed: Muse to My Ears. Directed by Joel J. Feigenbaum. Script by Krista Vernoff. Series created by Constance M. Burge and producted by Aaron Spelling, Brad Kern and E. Duke Vincent, December 13, 2001.

Running time

Each episode has a running time of 42 minutes (or 1 hour including adverts)

Date of the First DVD or VHS

28 February 2006 (DVD, Season Four featuring ‘Muse to My Ears’)

Official Website

The official WB website is no longer active. The Charmed wiki maintained by fans includes additional information: charmed.wikia.com (accessed: August 17, 2018).

Available Onllne

Available on Amazon online (pay to view)

Genre

Fantasy fiction
Magic realist fiction
Mythological fiction
Television series

Target Audience

Young adults (aimed at young female viewers; the DVD was given a 15 rating)

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk 

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, s.deacy@roehampton.ac.uk 

Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, elzbieta.olechowska@gmail.com 

Female portrait

Constance M. Burge , b. 1957
(Producer, Scriptwriter)

Constance M. Burge is an American television writer and producer. She is the creator of Charmed and Savannah, and has written episodes for a number of US series including Ally McBeal, Judging Amy, Boston Public and Royal Pains. Burge left her position as executive producer on Charmed after season one, although she remained as executive consultant up to season four. It was only after Burge left Charmed that Greek mythology-based stories started to appear.


Bio prepared by Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk



Male portrait

Joel J. Feigenbaum (Director)

Joel J. Feigenbaum is an American television writer, producer and director. He directed sixteen episodes of Charmed, including Greek mythology-based episodes Muse to My Ears, Siren Song and Oh My Goddess Part 2. He has also directed fifty episodes for drama series 7th Heaven, credited as executive producer for six episodes. He started as a career writing for US soap operas Dallas, Dynasty and Falcon Crest, and has worked on a number of US drama series as writer, producer and/or director, including Guns of Paradise, Bodies of Evidence, University Hospital, Burkes Law, Beverley Hills 90210, Pacific Palisades and Malibu Shores.


Bio prepared by Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk


Male portrait

Brad Kern (Producer, Scriptwriter)

Brad Kern is an American television writer and producer. He studied film and television at California State University, and began his television career as a writer on detective series Remington Steele. He has produced a number of series including Remington Steele, becoming supervising producer for the show. As well as working as executive producer for all eight seasons of Charmed, Kern previously worked on US fantasy series Beauty and the Beast and Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. He has since worked on NCIS: New Orleans.


Bio prepared by Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk


Male portrait

Aaron Spelling , 1923 - 2006
(Producer)

Aaron Spelling was an American film and television producer. After completing a degree in journalism at the Southern Methodist University he started his career as an actor and scriptwriter in the 1950s. In the 1960s he turned to producing and produced many popular television series including Charlie’s Angels, The Love Boat, Hart to Hart, Dynasty, Beverley Hills 90210 and Charmed. He won a number of television awards including Emmys and BAFTAs. Spelling is well-known for his prime-time drama series rather than fantasy shows, and Charmed was conceived as a show about women who happened to be witches (see DVD special features).


Bio prepared by Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk


Female portrait

Krista Vernoff , b. 1974
(Producer, Screenwriter)

Krista Vernoff (1974) is an American television writer and producer. She began working on Charmed as story editor, and became co-producer. As well as writing Hell Hath No Fury, Vernoff also wrote other Greek mythology-based episodes Muse to My Ears, Siren Song and Oh My Goddess Part One. She wrote for and produced a number of series including short-lived fantasy series Wonderfalls and drama series Grey’s Anatomy, Shameless and Private Practice.


Bio prepared by Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk


Male portrait

E. Duke Vincent , b. 1932
(Producer)

E. Duke Vincent is an American television producer, who worked on a number of series with Aaron Spelling, as an executive on a number of Spelling production companies. He was producer for a number of Spelling series including Charlie’s Angels, Dynasty, Charmed, Melrose Place, Beverley Hills 90210 and Savannah. He has also written novels set in the world of the entertainment industry.


Bio prepared by Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk


Casting

Phoebe Halliwell (Alyssa Milano); 

Paige Matthews (Rose McGowan);

Piper Halliwell (Holly Marie Combs);

Leo Wyatt (Bryan Krause); 

Cole Turner (Julian McMahom).

Summary

‘Muse to My Ears’ (4.9) is the second Charmed episode to feature characters drawn from Greek mythology, the Muses, following ‘Hell Hath No Fury’, featuring the Furies (4.3). Unlike the Furies, who were demons who did not speak, Melody the Muse is an important character in the episode, and another unnamed Muse also appears at the beginning of the episode. 

The episode begins with a Muse, dressed in a long ‘classical’-looking robe, inspiring a congressman to improve a speech that he is writing, although she is unseen by him. A warlock, Devlin, uses a ring with a glowing red stone to entrap the Muse, and he kills the politician. The ring is known as the Ring of Inspiration, which was created for a good purpose, to bring all the Muses together in time of need to create inspiration, but it is being used by the warlock for the purpose of obtaining the inspiration to destroy the Charmed Ones, good witches Piper, Phoebe and Paige, and thus gain power over the underworld. 

Muses have been disappearing, and the witches take on the task to save them. Reading from the Book of Shadows, the witches’ main source of information on the magical world, Paige finds that the Muses are ‘beings of pure light whose sole purpose is to inspire people’s passion and creativity, like angels they guide us with an unseen hand of inspiration’. Melody the Muse arrives at the witches’ house and Phoebe can feel her presence, and so casts a spell so that she can be seen, dressed in a long pale blue robe. Melody reveals that she has been inspiring the witches all their lives. She had been inspiring a symphony with a fellow Muse, and had escaped capture. Immediately the witches feel inspired, Piper to create a potion, Phoebe to write a rhyming spell, and Phoebe to draw a picture of the warlock Devlin so that they can find him. Phoebe had been on the verge of giving up drawing and painting as she didn’t have the time to practice.

When Paige calls the ring to transport itself into her hands the warlock Devlin follows, and although the other Muses are released Melody is captured. The witches initially feel uninspired without Melody, but using natural inspiration including Phoebe’s passion for her boyfriend Cole, they follow Devlin and his warlock faction to Piper’s nightclub, and the other warlocks leave, afraid for their lives, while Devlin is vanquished. The ring is retrieved, Melody saved, and the witches cast a spell to make Melody invisible again. At the end of the episode Paige returns to her painting, inspired once more.

Analysis

For overall series summary see entry on Charmed ‘Hell Hath No Fury’.

 

‘Muse to My Ears’ presents us with Muses that are linked with classical mythology, wearing long robes and sharing the function of the ancient Muses, to inspire people in the arts. Paige initially asks if the Muses who ‘inspire creativity’ are real, and the witches find out that they have all been inspired by a Muse in their practical and magical pursuits (Paige in drawing and painting, Piper in the creation of potions and cookery, and Phoebe in the creating of verse for spells). The Muses are built into the world of the fantasy series through this device. By having the Muses pursued by Warlocks, the evil characters in this episode to be vanquished by the witches, the episode follows the pattern of other episodes of Charmed, where the witches protect the innocent or good characters (in this case the Muses) from the evil characters (the Warlocks).

Melody is not the name of one of the nine ancient Greek mythological muses, and if she inspires poetry, drawing and painting, and potion creation as well as symphonies, she does not equate directly to one of the ancient Muses, usually named Calliope, Clio, Euterpe, Erato, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia and Urania (see for example Hesiod’s Theogony, 75-80). However, Melody would seem a suitable modern name denoting a muse of music. There is no evidence that the episode is based directly on any ancient source, but is rather based on modern perceptions of the Muses and their function.


Further Reading

Beeler, Karin, ‘Old Myths, New Powers: Images of Second-Wave and Third-Wave Feminism in Charmed’, in Investigating Charmed: The Magic Power of TV, eds. Karin Beeler and Stan Beeler, London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2007, pp. 100-111.

Feasey, Rebecca, ‘Watching Charmed: Why Teen Television Appeals to Women’, Journal of Popular Film and Television, 34.1, 2006, pp. 2–9.

Meyer, Michaela D. E., ‘“Something Wicca This Way Comes”: Audience Interpretation of a Marginalised Religious Philosophy on Charmed’, in Investigating Charmed: The Magic Power of TV, eds. Karin Beeler and Stan Beeler, London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2007, pp. 9–18.

Potter, Amanda, ‘Unpacking Pandora’s Box: The Redemption of an Ancient Anti-heroine for a Twenty-First Century Audience in US TV Series Xena: Warrior Princess and Charmed’, in Classical and Contemporary Mythic Identities: Construction of the Literary Imagination, eds. Amina Ayal and Paul Hardwick, Lampeter: Edwin Mellen, 2010, pp. 97–122.

Addenda

Release Date 

Season 1, 22 episodes, first broadcast 7 October 1998 – 26 May 1999

Season 2, 22 episodes, first broadcast 30 September 1999 – 18 May 2000

Season 3, 22 episodes, first broadcast 5 October 2000 – 17 May 2001

Season 4, 22 episodes, first broadcast 4 October 2001 – 16 May 2002

Season 5, 22 episodes, first broadcast 22 September 2002 – 11 May 2003

Season 6, 22 episodes, first broadcast 28 September 2003 – 16 May 2004

Season 7, 22 episodes, first broadcast 12 September 2004 – 22 may 2005

Season 8, 22 episodes, first broadcast 25 September 2005 – 21 May 2006


Complete Season Box set (DVD) released on 3 February 2014.

Yellow cloud
Leaf pattern
Leaf pattern

Title of the work

Charmed (Series, S04E09): Muse to My Ears

Studio / Production Company

Paramount Pictures, Spelling Production Company, Viacom Productions, WB Television Network

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

Worldwide

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2001

First Edition Details

Charmed: Muse to My Ears. Directed by Joel J. Feigenbaum. Script by Krista Vernoff. Series created by Constance M. Burge and producted by Aaron Spelling, Brad Kern and E. Duke Vincent, December 13, 2001.

Running time

Each episode has a running time of 42 minutes (or 1 hour including adverts)

Date of the First DVD or VHS

28 February 2006 (DVD, Season Four featuring ‘Muse to My Ears’)

Official Website

The official WB website is no longer active. The Charmed wiki maintained by fans includes additional information: charmed.wikia.com (accessed: August 17, 2018).

Available Onllne

Available on Amazon online (pay to view)

Genre

Fantasy fiction
Magic realist fiction
Mythological fiction
Television series

Target Audience

Young adults (aimed at young female viewers; the DVD was given a 15 rating)

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk 

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, s.deacy@roehampton.ac.uk 

Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, elzbieta.olechowska@gmail.com 

Female portrait

Constance M. Burge (Producer, Scriptwriter)

Constance M. Burge is an American television writer and producer. She is the creator of Charmed and Savannah, and has written episodes for a number of US series including Ally McBeal, Judging Amy, Boston Public and Royal Pains. Burge left her position as executive producer on Charmed after season one, although she remained as executive consultant up to season four. It was only after Burge left Charmed that Greek mythology-based stories started to appear.


Bio prepared by Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk



Male portrait

Joel J. Feigenbaum (Director)

Joel J. Feigenbaum is an American television writer, producer and director. He directed sixteen episodes of Charmed, including Greek mythology-based episodes Muse to My Ears, Siren Song and Oh My Goddess Part 2. He has also directed fifty episodes for drama series 7th Heaven, credited as executive producer for six episodes. He started as a career writing for US soap operas Dallas, Dynasty and Falcon Crest, and has worked on a number of US drama series as writer, producer and/or director, including Guns of Paradise, Bodies of Evidence, University Hospital, Burkes Law, Beverley Hills 90210, Pacific Palisades and Malibu Shores.


Bio prepared by Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk


Male portrait

Brad Kern (Producer, Scriptwriter)

Brad Kern is an American television writer and producer. He studied film and television at California State University, and began his television career as a writer on detective series Remington Steele. He has produced a number of series including Remington Steele, becoming supervising producer for the show. As well as working as executive producer for all eight seasons of Charmed, Kern previously worked on US fantasy series Beauty and the Beast and Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. He has since worked on NCIS: New Orleans.


Bio prepared by Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk


Male portrait

Aaron Spelling (Producer)

Aaron Spelling was an American film and television producer. After completing a degree in journalism at the Southern Methodist University he started his career as an actor and scriptwriter in the 1950s. In the 1960s he turned to producing and produced many popular television series including Charlie’s Angels, The Love Boat, Hart to Hart, Dynasty, Beverley Hills 90210 and Charmed. He won a number of television awards including Emmys and BAFTAs. Spelling is well-known for his prime-time drama series rather than fantasy shows, and Charmed was conceived as a show about women who happened to be witches (see DVD special features).


Bio prepared by Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk


Female portrait

Krista Vernoff (Producer, Screenwriter)

Krista Vernoff (1974) is an American television writer and producer. She began working on Charmed as story editor, and became co-producer. As well as writing Hell Hath No Fury, Vernoff also wrote other Greek mythology-based episodes Muse to My Ears, Siren Song and Oh My Goddess Part One. She wrote for and produced a number of series including short-lived fantasy series Wonderfalls and drama series Grey’s Anatomy, Shameless and Private Practice.


Bio prepared by Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk


Male portrait

E. Duke Vincent (Producer)

E. Duke Vincent is an American television producer, who worked on a number of series with Aaron Spelling, as an executive on a number of Spelling production companies. He was producer for a number of Spelling series including Charlie’s Angels, Dynasty, Charmed, Melrose Place, Beverley Hills 90210 and Savannah. He has also written novels set in the world of the entertainment industry.


Bio prepared by Amanda Potter, Open University, amanda.potter@caramanda.co.uk


Casting

Phoebe Halliwell (Alyssa Milano); 

Paige Matthews (Rose McGowan);

Piper Halliwell (Holly Marie Combs);

Leo Wyatt (Bryan Krause); 

Cole Turner (Julian McMahom).

Summary

‘Muse to My Ears’ (4.9) is the second Charmed episode to feature characters drawn from Greek mythology, the Muses, following ‘Hell Hath No Fury’, featuring the Furies (4.3). Unlike the Furies, who were demons who did not speak, Melody the Muse is an important character in the episode, and another unnamed Muse also appears at the beginning of the episode. 

The episode begins with a Muse, dressed in a long ‘classical’-looking robe, inspiring a congressman to improve a speech that he is writing, although she is unseen by him. A warlock, Devlin, uses a ring with a glowing red stone to entrap the Muse, and he kills the politician. The ring is known as the Ring of Inspiration, which was created for a good purpose, to bring all the Muses together in time of need to create inspiration, but it is being used by the warlock for the purpose of obtaining the inspiration to destroy the Charmed Ones, good witches Piper, Phoebe and Paige, and thus gain power over the underworld. 

Muses have been disappearing, and the witches take on the task to save them. Reading from the Book of Shadows, the witches’ main source of information on the magical world, Paige finds that the Muses are ‘beings of pure light whose sole purpose is to inspire people’s passion and creativity, like angels they guide us with an unseen hand of inspiration’. Melody the Muse arrives at the witches’ house and Phoebe can feel her presence, and so casts a spell so that she can be seen, dressed in a long pale blue robe. Melody reveals that she has been inspiring the witches all their lives. She had been inspiring a symphony with a fellow Muse, and had escaped capture. Immediately the witches feel inspired, Piper to create a potion, Phoebe to write a rhyming spell, and Phoebe to draw a picture of the warlock Devlin so that they can find him. Phoebe had been on the verge of giving up drawing and painting as she didn’t have the time to practice.

When Paige calls the ring to transport itself into her hands the warlock Devlin follows, and although the other Muses are released Melody is captured. The witches initially feel uninspired without Melody, but using natural inspiration including Phoebe’s passion for her boyfriend Cole, they follow Devlin and his warlock faction to Piper’s nightclub, and the other warlocks leave, afraid for their lives, while Devlin is vanquished. The ring is retrieved, Melody saved, and the witches cast a spell to make Melody invisible again. At the end of the episode Paige returns to her painting, inspired once more.

Analysis

For overall series summary see entry on Charmed ‘Hell Hath No Fury’.

 

‘Muse to My Ears’ presents us with Muses that are linked with classical mythology, wearing long robes and sharing the function of the ancient Muses, to inspire people in the arts. Paige initially asks if the Muses who ‘inspire creativity’ are real, and the witches find out that they have all been inspired by a Muse in their practical and magical pursuits (Paige in drawing and painting, Piper in the creation of potions and cookery, and Phoebe in the creating of verse for spells). The Muses are built into the world of the fantasy series through this device. By having the Muses pursued by Warlocks, the evil characters in this episode to be vanquished by the witches, the episode follows the pattern of other episodes of Charmed, where the witches protect the innocent or good characters (in this case the Muses) from the evil characters (the Warlocks).

Melody is not the name of one of the nine ancient Greek mythological muses, and if she inspires poetry, drawing and painting, and potion creation as well as symphonies, she does not equate directly to one of the ancient Muses, usually named Calliope, Clio, Euterpe, Erato, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia and Urania (see for example Hesiod’s Theogony, 75-80). However, Melody would seem a suitable modern name denoting a muse of music. There is no evidence that the episode is based directly on any ancient source, but is rather based on modern perceptions of the Muses and their function.


Further Reading

Beeler, Karin, ‘Old Myths, New Powers: Images of Second-Wave and Third-Wave Feminism in Charmed’, in Investigating Charmed: The Magic Power of TV, eds. Karin Beeler and Stan Beeler, London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2007, pp. 100-111.

Feasey, Rebecca, ‘Watching Charmed: Why Teen Television Appeals to Women’, Journal of Popular Film and Television, 34.1, 2006, pp. 2–9.

Meyer, Michaela D. E., ‘“Something Wicca This Way Comes”: Audience Interpretation of a Marginalised Religious Philosophy on Charmed’, in Investigating Charmed: The Magic Power of TV, eds. Karin Beeler and Stan Beeler, London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2007, pp. 9–18.

Potter, Amanda, ‘Unpacking Pandora’s Box: The Redemption of an Ancient Anti-heroine for a Twenty-First Century Audience in US TV Series Xena: Warrior Princess and Charmed’, in Classical and Contemporary Mythic Identities: Construction of the Literary Imagination, eds. Amina Ayal and Paul Hardwick, Lampeter: Edwin Mellen, 2010, pp. 97–122.

Addenda

Release Date 

Season 1, 22 episodes, first broadcast 7 October 1998 – 26 May 1999

Season 2, 22 episodes, first broadcast 30 September 1999 – 18 May 2000

Season 3, 22 episodes, first broadcast 5 October 2000 – 17 May 2001

Season 4, 22 episodes, first broadcast 4 October 2001 – 16 May 2002

Season 5, 22 episodes, first broadcast 22 September 2002 – 11 May 2003

Season 6, 22 episodes, first broadcast 28 September 2003 – 16 May 2004

Season 7, 22 episodes, first broadcast 12 September 2004 – 22 may 2005

Season 8, 22 episodes, first broadcast 25 September 2005 – 21 May 2006


Complete Season Box set (DVD) released on 3 February 2014.

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