Let’s address the giant, smoking cauldron in the room. There are a lot of people that are, to be frank, pissed that a Charmed reboot is happening. The original actors were not involved and didn’t have knowledge of the project during its conception. Media outlets have been slamming the show already, proclaiming that it doesn’t honor the original. We get it. There is always tension and blowback when a beloved original series is recreated, and even more so when the people who were originally a part of it, are no longer so.
Here’s the thing. Until you ask us to rewrite it like Brad Kern did weekly don’t even think of capitalizing on our hard work. Charmed belongs to the 4 of us, our vast amount of writers, crews and predominantly the fans. FYI you will not fool them by owning a title/stamp. So bye.
— Holly Marie Combs (@H_Combs) January 26, 2018
I had the chance to watch the pilot episode, and I’m here to tell you, you might just like it (if you can put the behind-the-scenes drama out of your mind). I genuinely enjoyed it, even if it was more Secret Circle and less original Charmed.
No, it doesn’t have the same vibe and adult tone of the OG Charmed. Let’s acknowledge the fact that it’s on The CW and consider the network’s current demographics. The show needs to appeal with fans of Riverdale, The Vampire Diaries universe, and the Arrowverse. But just like the shows mentioned here, the Charmed reboot will deal with some deep topics and possesses a level of grit.
The similarities between the original and reboot are only in the bones of the show. You have three sisters—the youngest and extremely fun-loving Maggie (Sarah Jeffery), activist and grad student Mel (Melonie Diaz), and older half-sister and scientist Macy (Madeleine Mantock). When Macy finds her way to the sisters she didn’t know she had, mysterious characters start to appear in their lives and their powers manifest. They must decide if they will accept that they are witches and fight against evil, or if they reject it all and go on their merry ways. I think you can all guess how the pilot will play out in that regard.
What I liked in the Charmed reboot pilot
- Admittedly, I’m a jumpy person, but the pilot had a couple of eerie and well-done jump scare moments that I didn’t expect. This was mostly due to the filming and stylistic editing, but there was more tension and build-up than I thought there would be.
- I’m still salty about Secret Circle ending, and this reboot is giving me some of those vibes. I’m not mad about it.
- The sisterhood aspect was beautiful. That is the essence of the series, and I think that was honored in the reboot.
- The three main actresses all fit perfectly with their rebooted roles, and I think they do a wonderful job bringing the new versions to life. A+ for the casting!
What wasn’t so great
- The reboot very much plays on current social issues. I’m always a fan of shows relevant to our culture and modern issues. However, the level to which the pilot does this was way too “in your face.” I’m guessing that they tone it down and hope they make their intended statements more subtly and artfully as the show progresses. I like the way this Hypable article explains it: “The feminism in the original was subtle, strong, and deeply embedded in everything the three women did. It didn’t have to be the entirety of dialogue for one of the sisters to be a major part of the series, which is what I hope gradually happens with the reboot, so the message feels more genuine.”
- Yes, it’s “fluffier” than the original. This was expected, but I would have liked to see it portrayed a little darker.
- They changed one of the sister’s powers. In case you’re avoiding spoilers, I won’t spell it out, but I’m not sure how I feel about it.
While the original cast has been adamantly against the reboot (and trust me, I understand), the new cast is staying positive and focusing on creating something fans would be proud of. I challenge you all to watch the show with an open mind, because I have a feeling that you will like it more than you think you will.
What are your thoughts on the Charmed reboot? Will you be watching when it premieres Sunday, Oct. 24 on The CW?