Genre: Drama, Fantasy
When I saw that Charmed was being rebooted, it left me hoping that the series would be good and I’d like the new version. No show is more ready for a reboot, crying out for the powerful trio of witches fighting demons and warlocks. The original Charmed showed a family feel connection between the cast, celebrating female empowerment. Will the CW reboot become the new generation of witches proving women can deliver a powerful punch?
For those who don’t know the series at all, it follows three sisters after the death of their mother. Melanie “Mel” Vera (Melonie Diaz) and Maggie Vera (Sarah Jeffrey) soon discover that not only do they have a secret older half-sister, Macy Vaughn (Madeleine Mantock), but they are also the most powerful witches on Earth. Their lives get thrown into a complete whirlwind when they start developing powers, they must learn how to use and control their powers for good, protecting human kind and not using them for personal use.
This new Charmed is infested by issues both artistic and cultural. The demons are designed to look and move using too much CGI losing the deadly and threatening persona. Moving the witches to a fictional college instead of the original location, San Francisco, gives the series a much more teen feel. The dialogue seems too scripted and forced while the rhythm doesn’t seem to flow and the episodes become a bit clunky. The series itself seemed focused on feminism and politics, which undercuts the powerful message of female empowerment. The casting doesn’t have the same family feel as the original, which might be explained by how the new trio didn’t screen test together before the final casting. But hopefully their connections will become stronger and more natural over time.
But this new Charmed does take the original story and blasts it into a new direction. All three sisters are united in the confusion of their new abilities – Macy has telekinesis, Mel can freeze time, and Maggie can read minds — but each sister reacts in a different way. Macy decides that she must find an answer to the solution turning to science while Mel, automatically feels motivated and driven to use her powers and the responsibilities it entails. The weakest written reaction would be Maggie, who decides to disregard the news and shock of becoming a witch and concentrate on her time at college by joining a sorority. Although this and many more storylines are set up in the pilot episode, the sense of magic is lost but does reunite throughout the rest of the series. I feel this might be because the first episode has a lot to explain and establish before digging deeper into their powers.
The sisters learn about their powers through their white-lighter, a witch’s guardian angel Harry Greenwood (Rupert Evans). We first meet Harry as the new teacher of the women’s studies department, that the Charmed one’s mother ran before her death. Harry then traps the sisters in the attic and informs them of their legacy, basically the witch version on mansplaining.
Watching the rest of the series, there are many pleasurable moments engraved in the reboot – like the visual effects in scenes when demons are causing havoc, when the CGI works well, aka frozen water fountains, electricity and smoke teleportation. Being a fan of the original it was nice to see some hidden Easter eggs connecting to the original Charmed ones.
Charmed has the potential to develop and evolve into a powerful and electrifying drama showing the movement and stance for women empowerment, making the world a better place. With season two just started in American, only time will tell what the future will hold for the sisters and their white-lighter.