Charmed reboot has not been without controversy from Holly Marie Combs’ comments on the show not reaching out to the original creators or cast and rumors of actress Melonie Diaz liking Instagram pictures calling the original cast old. It’s been a mess and honestly, as a fan (a critical fan, but a fan nonetheless) of the original, I don’t see why it has to come to name calling and Instagram disses. Charmed was an important show for a lot of people, but it had flaws and now is a chance to reboot the show, correct some of those flaws, but also pay homage to the original series that went on for eight seasons.
New information has come out about the show in the official CW Press release, which is pretty much a rundown of what will be the pilot episode. If you want to go spoiler free I would ignore this info-dump of information.
“Stronger together.” That’s what Marisol tells her daughters, firebrand social justice warrior Melanie “Mel” Vera, and her sister, fun-loving Maggie, about their family. Mel is a graduate student in the women’s studies department her mother heads at Hilltowne University; Maggie is a freshman considering rushing a sorority (to Mel’s amused dismay) and going “on” again with her on-again off-again boyfriend Brian. But then, a shocking tragedy shatters their world and threatens their sibling bond: Marisol dies in a horrifying accident. Or was it? Three months later, we find Mel unable to accept the official explanation of their mother’s death, while Maggie accuses her of being morbidly obsessed. And then, another huge shock shows up at their front door: they have an older sister, brilliant geneticist Macy, whom their mother kept a secret all these years! Macy is new in town and doesn’t know a soul (except for Galvin, the cute fellow scientist who’s been showing her around). Macy is eager to connect with Mel and Maggie, but Mel can’t handle another shock, and shuts her out. With the emotions of all three sisters running high, each of the girls suddenly exhibit impossible new abilities: Mel can freeze time, Maggie starts hearing others’ thoughts, and Macy has telekinetic powers. But don’t worry, there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation…or so says Harry Greenwood (who as far as they know is the officious new chair of the women’s studies department), when he gathers the three sisters together to reveal they’re actually powerful witches, as was their mother. And he’s not really a professor, he’s their “Whitelighter,” a witch’s advisor and guide! Not only that, but Mel was right: their mother’s death was no accident – she was murdered by unknown dark forces. It’s a lot to take in, but ultimately the sisters accept their new destiny as The Charmed Ones…and their new duty to protect humankind from the demons that walk among us…one of whom killed their mother. With the Power of Three, they are stronger together… even if they have no idea what they’re really up against.
Now, I am of two minds about this. On the pro side: there is plenty of room to grow and evolve the series. It has to hit a lot of the same beats as the original series so I have no doubt it’ll be a little clunky at the beginning. Not to mention, I’m happy to see three Latina actresses, one of whom is Afro-Latina, in the cast together as sisters. This is the kind of thing I want from my television and for the many mistakes, The CW has made on shows like The Flash and Arrow, on their other shows there is a desire to do diversity … fairly well.
On the flip side, man does a lot of these descriptions sound cheesy. I’m most worried for Mel who is the firebrand, social justice warrior (lawd) and lesbian because that is a loaded character description. One of the things that was the most frustrating about Charmed was how it slowly began to focus all of its attention on “cute guys.” Now I know Mel is a lesbian, but still. Just from what we see in this we already have two dudes and no mention of a lady yet for Mel. I am a little disappointed they are going to bring back a male Whitelighter, it would have been fun to give that role to a woman. Since Mel is the middle sister, like Piper was, it would be a fun way to have that romance again.
Also, Charmed was campy and cheesy and there is totally a place for that, but writing a campy series is an art form. It’s not easy to balance the two and I hope that this new Charmed will do justice to it’s cast and to the fans who are going to give this a try.
I’m gonna give it a shot because damn it, I love witches.
(via The CW, image: The CW)
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