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Expectations for CW's Charmed Reboot


Image: The CW

The CW is about to debut a blast from the past, a reboot version of the classic show Charmed. From what can be gathered from the new Charmed trailer, the reboot will keep the titular name, it will be similar to the original in some ways, but noticeably different in others.

Charmed was a popular show and ran for seven seasons for many reasons, chief among them was the enjoyable cast and entertaining writing. The Charmed reboot will benefit from the time passed since the original series aired. If the reboot is similar enough to the original and captures the qualities that made the original a success than there really should be no reason for magic not to strike twice.

Yet, if the reboot is significantly different from the original, it won’t matter as much because it’s been twelve years since the original series came to an end. The expected demographics that will tune in to see the Charmed reboot on the CW tend to be tweens and teens, so they might have never seen the original because of their young age or more importantly and probably to the point, might have never given the original a try because the original series in 2018 looks dated and is in dire need of upgraded and modern special effects.

For some the most obvious change that can be seen in CW's Charmed trailer is that the new cast of witches are portrayed by women of color. The original cast of witches were portrayed by an entire white cast. This new change won't change the dynamics of the show in terms of magic, but it might add a new area of exploration for the series writers, who can explore the human everyday obstacles of a young woman of color coming into her magical powers, during this tumultuous time in our American history for people of color and for womankind. This change also helps by contributing diversity to primetime television, as well as diversifying the roster of magical fictional characters who for the most part tend to be white and male.

As an avid fan of the original Charmed, and someone whose watched the entire series—twice—I believe the new show has a huge advantage in it’s corner: hindsight. The original series was fantastic and helmed at the beginning by one of TV’s best producers, Aaron Spelling. Yet, all seven series were not of equal measure and there is certainly room for improvement. The first three seasons were the best, the fourth, fifth, and sixth were still enjoyable yet a decline in quality was hard to miss. The seventh season—insert crying emoji—was cheesy and all over the place.

The reboot will maintain all the themes of love, sisterhood, and being witches that the original fans expect, but will hopefully know when to edit things down. Cole Turner, Phoebe’s half demon half human husband for instance, was a fantastic character in the beginning, but then every time he died the scriptwriters would find a way to bring him back, and at the end his reappearances were eye roll inducing. Which was a shame because the actor that played the role was superb, and the character itself was badass and interesting in the beginning.

An area in which the reboot can also improve upon the original is with its level of danger and grit. The original Charmed was darker in the beginning, but lost it and became borderline whimsical at the end. The reboot shouldn’t try to be Once Upon a Time or Scream Queens in that regard. The original Charmed was suspenseful but never terrifying, and that was a shame because it should and could have been, such as Buffy or Supernatural.

Lastly, the reboot should steer clear of being too glam such as Shadow Hunters or Pretty Little Liars. In the case of Pretty Little Liars, it was a very stylized show, and it worked for them because the characters lived in Rosewood, a fictional wealthy Philadelphia suburb, but one of the best qualities of the original Charmed was it’s earthiness which effectively tied into their magic. All in all, we'll have to wait for the series debut of CW's Charmed to see what the 'power of three' has to offer in 2018.