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Constance M. Burge , Mel Damski , Doug E. Jones , Brad Kern , Aaron Spelling , Andrea Stevens , E. Duke Vincent

Charmed (Series S05E19): Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun

YEAR: 2003

COUNTRY: United States of America

Cateogry icon

Title of the work

Charmed (Series S05E19): Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun

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

2003

First Edition Details

Charmed: Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun. Directed by Mel Damski. Written by Andrea Stevens and Doug E. Jones. Paramount Pictures, Spelling Production Company, Viacom Productions, WB Television Network, April 20, 2003

Running time

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

Date of the First DVD or VHS

March 6, 2006 (DVD: Season Five featuring Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun); February 3, 2014 (DVD: Complete Season Box set)

Official Website

The official WB website is no longer active. The Charmed wiki maintained by fans includes useful 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 12 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 

Dorota Mackenzie, University of Warsaw, dorota.mackenzie@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

Mel Damski (Director)

Mel Damski is an American television producer and director. He directed fourteen episodes of Charmed, although of these Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun was the only Greek mythology-based episode. He started his career as a director in the 1970s working on series including The Bionic Woman, MASH and Lou Grant. Since then he has directed many television movies, and episodes for many comedy and drama series including Early Edition, Ally McBeal, The Guardian, Psych and Scorpion.


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


Male portrait

Doug E. Jones (Screenwriter)

Doug E. Jones is an American television writer and novelist. He worked as assistant to Charmed executive producer Brad Kern and is also credited as assistant to writers on 22 episodes of Charmed. He is credited as co-writer for Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun. His two novels are Nowhere to Goa, a travel adventure and Disco Inferno!, a teen romance. 


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

Andrea Stevens (Screenwriter)

Andrea Stevens is an American television writer, story editor and producer. She worked as an assistant to writers on 21 episodes of Charmed Including Greek mythology-based episodes Siren Song, Oh My Goddess Parts 1 and 2 and Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun, for which she is credited as co-writer. She has also worked on a number of series including science fiction series Continuum, First Wave, drama series Cedar Cove and action comedy Taxi Brooklyn.


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

Alyssa Milano - Phoebe Halliwell

Rose McGowan - Paige Matthews

Holly Marie Combs - Piper Halliwell

Brian Krause - Leo Wyatt

Susan May Pratt - Miranda, Nymph 1

Katherine Cunningham - EvesDaisy, Nymph 2

Jaimz Woolvett - Tull

Pat Healy - Xavier

Summary

Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun (S05E19) is the fourth Charmed episode to feature characters drawn from Greek mythology, nymphs and a satyr, following Hell Hath No Fury (S04E03), Muse to My Ears (S04E09) and Siren Song (S05E04). The wood nymphs featured in the episode are not specifically described as nymphs from Greek mythology, but as beautiful young women who live in the forest, dance and sing and protect nature and "the eternal spring." Also, they have the same function and behaviours as the ancient Greek nymphs. A satyr, who plays the pipes for the nymphs, accompanies the nymphs. The satyr appears as a man, without any visible horse or goat-like attributes, and he does not chase the nymphs, as in ancient Greek and Roman art.
Three nymphs dressed in short, floaty, green dresses with garlands of flowers in their hair are dancing in the woods, to the music played on the pipes by a satyr. A demon, Xavier, appears and kills the satyr, and demands that the nymphs reveal the source of the "eternal spring." They disappear into the woods, and then find their way into the city of San Francisco. The nymphs are described by the youngest witch Paige as "frolicking little tree sprites, protectors of the forest, always in the company of a satyr" and also "spirits of nature." The Charmed Ones, witches Paige, Piper and Phoebe, and Leo, Piper’s husband and "white lighter" (guardian angel) believe that the nymphs would only have left the forest if they had been pursued by a demon.

The nymphs are found dancing in a square by a fountain where a man is playing the flute, but when the police come, they disappear. They return to the fountain at night, and Xavier kills one. Piper blows off one of Xavier’s arms, and they take the two remaining nymphs home. The nymphs are difficult to contain within the house as they want to go outside to look for a new satyr, they say ‘we were born to be wild, nature is part of us’ and they "need to frolic." When asked why they are not grieving for the death of a sister they say that "we don’t mourn death we celebrate it" as death and rebirth is the cycle of nature. The two remaining nymphs do, however, need a third sister, and feel that Paige needs to get back to her "wild side", rather than work hard at being the lead witch. When both the nymphs kiss her cheeks she turns into a nymph in a green dress. Paige takes the nymphs to Piper’s night club, P3, and they dance on the stage with a rock band, but when they hear Tull, demon and brother of Xavier, posing as a satyr and playing pipes at the fountain, they go to him. The nymphs take Tull to the eternal spring, a beautiful waterfall with flowers around it, believing him to be a satyr, and he drinks from it, making himself immortal and indestructible. Paige turns back into a witch and tells the nymphs to close the spring. Tull attacks her, but the nymphs heal her using drops of water from the spring. As Tull cannot be killed the witches use a spell to turn him into a tree (Xavier has already been killed by Phoebe and Piper, who he attacked). The nymphs must now protect the forest on their own without a satyr, as although "it has never been any other way", Paige tells them that "changes are good", including the change for Piper and Paige, who will now share the role of lead witch.

Analysis

Charmed is a long-running fantasy television series featuring three young women who are also witches, known as the Charmed Ones, who fight demons from their home in San Francisco, while trying to maintain some semblance of normal lives, with careers and boyfriends/husbands. The series borrows from many genres and traditions, and includes characters and/or storylines from Greek mythology in a small number of episodes, primarily Oh My Goddess (S05E22 and S05E23), Hell Hath No Fury (S04E03), Muse to My Ears (S04E09), Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun (S05E13) and Little Box of Horrors (S07E18).

The context of the episode within the series is the growing disagreement between new mother Piper and Paige as to who should be the lead witch. Piper wants to resume her role as leader, but Paige has assumed this role at the end of Piper’s pregnancy. The end of the episode brings both change and balance. Piper and Paige agree to share the responsibility of lead witch, allowing Piper time to care for her baby, and allowing page to have more fun, returning to her "wild side", which the nymphs had identified she was lacking. The nymphs return to their wood and spring without the satyr. Nevertheless, they are able to keep the balance of nature without him.

 The nymphs in the episode do not have Greek names; they are called Daisy and Miranda, however the name Daisy evokes the flower and nature, and Miranda is from the Latin "admirable or wonderful", and also evokes the young Miranda who is marooned on an island with her father Prospero in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and so could be associated with water. The nymphs in the episode are associated with the woods and forests where they live, and with the spring they protect, which is in accordance with the nymphs from Greek mythology, for example in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite (5) Anchises asks Aphrodite whether "she is a nymph come from a wood or mountain spring" (97-99).

The satyr who is killed at the beginning of the episode is perhaps more benign than the satyrs that chase the nymphs (for sex) in Greek and Roman art, however this is unsurprising in a series for young adults that includes storylines featuring consensual sex between adults, rather than non-consensual sex. 


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

Yellow cloud
Leaf pattern
Leaf pattern

Title of the work

Charmed (Series S05E19): Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun

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

2003

First Edition Details

Charmed: Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun. Directed by Mel Damski. Written by Andrea Stevens and Doug E. Jones. Paramount Pictures, Spelling Production Company, Viacom Productions, WB Television Network, April 20, 2003

Running time

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

Date of the First DVD or VHS

March 6, 2006 (DVD: Season Five featuring Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun); February 3, 2014 (DVD: Complete Season Box set)

Official Website

The official WB website is no longer active. The Charmed wiki maintained by fans includes useful 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 12 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 

Dorota Mackenzie, University of Warsaw, dorota.mackenzie@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

Mel Damski (Director)

Mel Damski is an American television producer and director. He directed fourteen episodes of Charmed, although of these Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun was the only Greek mythology-based episode. He started his career as a director in the 1970s working on series including The Bionic Woman, MASH and Lou Grant. Since then he has directed many television movies, and episodes for many comedy and drama series including Early Edition, Ally McBeal, The Guardian, Psych and Scorpion.


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


Male portrait

Doug E. Jones (Screenwriter)

Doug E. Jones is an American television writer and novelist. He worked as assistant to Charmed executive producer Brad Kern and is also credited as assistant to writers on 22 episodes of Charmed. He is credited as co-writer for Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun. His two novels are Nowhere to Goa, a travel adventure and Disco Inferno!, a teen romance. 


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

Andrea Stevens (Screenwriter)

Andrea Stevens is an American television writer, story editor and producer. She worked as an assistant to writers on 21 episodes of Charmed Including Greek mythology-based episodes Siren Song, Oh My Goddess Parts 1 and 2 and Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun, for which she is credited as co-writer. She has also worked on a number of series including science fiction series Continuum, First Wave, drama series Cedar Cove and action comedy Taxi Brooklyn.


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

Alyssa Milano - Phoebe Halliwell

Rose McGowan - Paige Matthews

Holly Marie Combs - Piper Halliwell

Brian Krause - Leo Wyatt

Susan May Pratt - Miranda, Nymph 1

Katherine Cunningham - EvesDaisy, Nymph 2

Jaimz Woolvett - Tull

Pat Healy - Xavier

Summary

Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun (S05E19) is the fourth Charmed episode to feature characters drawn from Greek mythology, nymphs and a satyr, following Hell Hath No Fury (S04E03), Muse to My Ears (S04E09) and Siren Song (S05E04). The wood nymphs featured in the episode are not specifically described as nymphs from Greek mythology, but as beautiful young women who live in the forest, dance and sing and protect nature and "the eternal spring." Also, they have the same function and behaviours as the ancient Greek nymphs. A satyr, who plays the pipes for the nymphs, accompanies the nymphs. The satyr appears as a man, without any visible horse or goat-like attributes, and he does not chase the nymphs, as in ancient Greek and Roman art.
Three nymphs dressed in short, floaty, green dresses with garlands of flowers in their hair are dancing in the woods, to the music played on the pipes by a satyr. A demon, Xavier, appears and kills the satyr, and demands that the nymphs reveal the source of the "eternal spring." They disappear into the woods, and then find their way into the city of San Francisco. The nymphs are described by the youngest witch Paige as "frolicking little tree sprites, protectors of the forest, always in the company of a satyr" and also "spirits of nature." The Charmed Ones, witches Paige, Piper and Phoebe, and Leo, Piper’s husband and "white lighter" (guardian angel) believe that the nymphs would only have left the forest if they had been pursued by a demon.

The nymphs are found dancing in a square by a fountain where a man is playing the flute, but when the police come, they disappear. They return to the fountain at night, and Xavier kills one. Piper blows off one of Xavier’s arms, and they take the two remaining nymphs home. The nymphs are difficult to contain within the house as they want to go outside to look for a new satyr, they say ‘we were born to be wild, nature is part of us’ and they "need to frolic." When asked why they are not grieving for the death of a sister they say that "we don’t mourn death we celebrate it" as death and rebirth is the cycle of nature. The two remaining nymphs do, however, need a third sister, and feel that Paige needs to get back to her "wild side", rather than work hard at being the lead witch. When both the nymphs kiss her cheeks she turns into a nymph in a green dress. Paige takes the nymphs to Piper’s night club, P3, and they dance on the stage with a rock band, but when they hear Tull, demon and brother of Xavier, posing as a satyr and playing pipes at the fountain, they go to him. The nymphs take Tull to the eternal spring, a beautiful waterfall with flowers around it, believing him to be a satyr, and he drinks from it, making himself immortal and indestructible. Paige turns back into a witch and tells the nymphs to close the spring. Tull attacks her, but the nymphs heal her using drops of water from the spring. As Tull cannot be killed the witches use a spell to turn him into a tree (Xavier has already been killed by Phoebe and Piper, who he attacked). The nymphs must now protect the forest on their own without a satyr, as although "it has never been any other way", Paige tells them that "changes are good", including the change for Piper and Paige, who will now share the role of lead witch.

Analysis

Charmed is a long-running fantasy television series featuring three young women who are also witches, known as the Charmed Ones, who fight demons from their home in San Francisco, while trying to maintain some semblance of normal lives, with careers and boyfriends/husbands. The series borrows from many genres and traditions, and includes characters and/or storylines from Greek mythology in a small number of episodes, primarily Oh My Goddess (S05E22 and S05E23), Hell Hath No Fury (S04E03), Muse to My Ears (S04E09), Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun (S05E13) and Little Box of Horrors (S07E18).

The context of the episode within the series is the growing disagreement between new mother Piper and Paige as to who should be the lead witch. Piper wants to resume her role as leader, but Paige has assumed this role at the end of Piper’s pregnancy. The end of the episode brings both change and balance. Piper and Paige agree to share the responsibility of lead witch, allowing Piper time to care for her baby, and allowing page to have more fun, returning to her "wild side", which the nymphs had identified she was lacking. The nymphs return to their wood and spring without the satyr. Nevertheless, they are able to keep the balance of nature without him.

 The nymphs in the episode do not have Greek names; they are called Daisy and Miranda, however the name Daisy evokes the flower and nature, and Miranda is from the Latin "admirable or wonderful", and also evokes the young Miranda who is marooned on an island with her father Prospero in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and so could be associated with water. The nymphs in the episode are associated with the woods and forests where they live, and with the spring they protect, which is in accordance with the nymphs from Greek mythology, for example in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite (5) Anchises asks Aphrodite whether "she is a nymph come from a wood or mountain spring" (97-99).

The satyr who is killed at the beginning of the episode is perhaps more benign than the satyrs that chase the nymphs (for sex) in Greek and Roman art, however this is unsurprising in a series for young adults that includes storylines featuring consensual sex between adults, rather than non-consensual sex. 


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

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