Switch episode 4 review

Review Caroline Preece
6 Nov 2012 - 16:07

Dropping some of the silliness in favour of more emotional content is a good move from this week's Switch. Here's Caroline's review...

This review contains spoilers.

Switch gets a little sentimental on us this week, as the show takes great pains to remind us of the friendship between the four girls. This means that there’s a little less silliness than there has been over the last three weeks, and that’s certainly no bad thing for those who, like me, had really had their fill of Switch’s juvenile tendencies. The Witches of Kensington are back to make the girls’ lives a living hell (for what reason, I’m not entirely sure), and another couple of spells backfire spectacularly.

As we saw introduced last week, Jude and Hannah are still trying to make a go of their clothing stall, and it’s the more serious and dedicated we’ve ever seen either girl act. They’re the flighty, irresponsible pair that complement and contrast with type-A Stella and worrywart Grace, but if this episode is anything to go by, it’ll be a steep learning curve on the way to success. In a show about young people in the city, it’s nice to see at least some time devoted to their jobs, and Switch conveys the financial reality of life of twenty-somethings in London better than most series on right now.

But there’s also a petty crime wave going on in Camden, with clothes stolen from the stall and Grace mugged on the way home. Understandably, Grace gets a bit of a confidence knock from the experience and is just about to pack up and go back to her mum’s when the girls do another ill-advised spell. Giving Grace a confidence boost works out great at first, her tentative romance with Jude’s sort-of boyfriend becoming a non-issue by the end of the episode, but then gets her in trouble when running into the same guy who attacked her in the first place. Revealing he was actually paid to mug her by the Kensington witches, she ends up in hospital and the girls have to find a water element before they can save her.

Meanwhile, the girls’ magical rivals have also sent one of their members to mess with Stella at work, stealing a big mustard account from her hands. Eventually, and after a particularly compelling (or slushy) pitch from Grace, the saboteuse sees the error of her ways and goes rogue, eventually helping the girls out once she discovers the damage that her friends’ actions have caused. It’s an interesting way to go at this point in the show, since we’re supposed to believe her act of rebellion against her own coven was a result of seeing how close Jude, Stella, Hannah, and Grace are. I’ve always said that their relationship is my favourite part of the show, so I’m glad the writers seem to be agreeing with me.

It was a relief not to have so much of the weird pseudo-children’s show humour in this episode, even if it wasn’t gone completely. Switch could really be something great, with so few fantasy shows dealing so exclusively with female characters, but has instead opted for the same strange immature tone that Charmed descended into near the end. I’d give it a pass for aiming at the tween audience, but that explanation doesn’t account for the frequent swearing and generally adult content. It’s a weird mix of things that never quite mesh from week to week, but this episode was probably the best show of its strengths since the premiere episode.

Read Caroline's review of episode three, here.

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