The TV shows I watched growing up will always have a special place in my heart and one of these is Charmed, the iconic fantasy drama revolving around the lives of three sister witches, the ‘Charmed Ones’, who tackle demons, warlocks, and the dating scene a decade before the invention of Tinder.
From the 90s fashion (these gals were sporting chokers when Kendall Jenner was still in babygrows) to the catchy soundtrack, I struggle to think of any show as bewitching, entertaining, and endearing as Charmed. It’s been almost 13 years since the final episode aired but that doesn’t make it any less relevant or entertaining in my eyes. If I happen to stumble upon an episode whilst flicking through the channels, I can kiss goodbye to my work for the next 40 minutes, and a Charmed mug is still nestled in my kitchen cupboard. However, in January, the CW, the US TV network behind the original series, announced that a reboot of Charmed is in the works which begs the question – can a reboot ever live up to the original?
My immediate response is no, never. There were so many unique ingredients that made the Charmed potion the roaring success that it was, and I vehemently doubt that any reboot could cast such a spell on its audience. What really ruffles my broomstick is that the CW has described the reboot as “fierce, funny, and feminist” which is nothing short of absurd. The original series was the definition of “fierce, funny, and feminist”. Until being usurped by Desperate Housewives in 2012, it was the longest-running TV show ever to feature an all-female lead cast and it projected a positive message to a generation of girls about independence, sisterhood, and girl power.
It was a magical portrayal of female relationships
The source of the witches’ powers was their sisterly bond, giving them the “Power of Three”, without which their powers were considerably weaker, highlighted in an episode which sees the sister witches completely lose their magic after using it against each other. It was a magical portrayal of female relationships; they not only loved each other but quite literally powered each other on, and I struggle to think of a better metaphor for strong women supporting strong women (may we know them, may we be them, may we watch them vanquish demons on TV).
On a more sartorial note, unlike other world-saving women in TV, Charmed’s Halliwell sisters didn’t sacrifice a morsel of femininity in their fight against evil. Each episode saw them getting down and dirty with demons and warlocks, but the risk of a little demon ichor didn’t stop them giving the Sex and the City fashionistas a run for their money with their kitten heels and lashings of lip gloss. Thus, they showed all female viewers that being a strong woman doesn’t mean toning down your feminine side (and gave everyone a lesson in how to rock a halter neck).
Not only did they have electric chemistry, these actresses each brought something special to the characters
Another aspect that gave Charmed the magic touch was its stars, who I believe are irreplaceable. Shannen Doherty, Alyssa Milano and Holly Marie Combs portrayed sisters Prue, Phoebe, and Piper in the first three seasons, and Rose McGowan joined the cast in the fourth season as quirky Paige, replacing Doherty. Not only did they have electric chemistry, these actresses each brought something special to the characters; they were wildly different but equally lovable, hilarious, and, well, charming. They left the male stars in the (Book of) Shadows and I can’t see how any actresses could fill their designer boots.
Lastly, Charmed was entertaining in an often light-hearted, and sometimes-cheesy, way. Its story-a-week format allowed for a plethora of novelty episodes, from travelling back to the 1960s via a pair of crimson go-go boots to Phoebe becoming a mermaid, nobody could ever accuse the show of being boring and these wacky stories prevented it from becoming too moody, a gloomy path that many supernatural dramas take nowadays. I fear that the reboot will be too dark and angsty, subduing the fun spirit of the original series.
However, despite my hardcore Wiccan-like worship of the original Charmed, I’ll still be tuning in when the reboot airs and I hope that I will be proven wrong. Its cast is more diverse which is obviously a good thing, and I hope that this modernity, alongside a touch of the traditional Charmed magic, will cast a spell for success that bewitches the world all over again.