Original air date: October 14, 2018
Here’s the deal—Charmed is about three sisters that learn they are witches after their mother dies. They fight for the forces of good and go around vanquishing evil. It stars Madeleine Mantock (Macy Vaughn), Melonie Diaz (Mel Vera), Sarah Jeffery (Maggie Vera) and Rupert Evans (Harry Greenwood). Hopefully, you know all this already, because I said there were spoilers, but I don’t want to ruin it for—so if you need to, take a 45-minute break and come back. Or read on, I’ll never know what you chose.
I admit I am a fan of the original Charmed. Charmed aired from 1998-2006; there are 179 episodes and none of them need to be watched before you view this pilot. This is its own deal, inspired by the original and creating an original story with new characters that seem a little more real and well-rounded than its predecessor. I’m not going to spend the whole review comparing the two shows, but I will a little, because I think it influences how I perceived this show.
Was Charmed my all-time favorite show? No, it had some flaws, but in a time where female driven shows were scarce, Charmed and Buffy The Vampire Slayer were my go-to shows. BTVS edged out Charmed in my opinion, but for campy fun and sister power Charmed couldn’t be beat. This reboot feels like it might be a little more edgy and a smidge darker than the original. That could be a good or a bad thing depending on how you feel about edgy and dark—more like BTVS.
Was this the best pilot of a show ever? No, it wasn’t. The story was a tad predictable, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing or a deal breaker; the pilot does a very good job at explaining what kind of show it will be. This show is about empowering women. There are pointed jabs at our current political situation and it is completely open about it.
There are many times that supernatural shows take on relevant current issues but use supernatural beings as metaphors, but this show is more blunt about it. At times the directness is used for comedic value, but mostly the pilot episode centers around the very real threat of abusive men in power, the fallout from that type of abuse, and how it is up to humans (and witches) to stand up against the social injustices they see in the world.
I enjoyed how the episode centered around the phrase “witch hunt”. That phrase has been thrown around a lot recently and those on opposing sides of the political spectrum tend to rely on it when they think of something unjust. Hindsight tends to show mob mentality and witch hunts never lead to truth, they only tend to spread fear and hate. To paraphrase a great philosopher, fear, anger and hate totally lead to the darkside. (Yes, I consider Yoda a great philosopher.) Mel can’t use her powers when she is angry, as there is no real power in anger. The Power of Three comes from their love and understanding of one another.
I feel there is some real potential to make a great series here. I’m intrigued by these characters and I want to see how they evolve. We know there is some unseen big bad lurking about, we know there are potential love interests for all our characters and we know someone is lying to the sisters.
The episode ended with the Ouija board telling the sisters not to trust Harry (their Whitelighter). As ominous as that may seem, I don’t buy it. First, just because the Ouija board said they were talking to their mother, doesn’t mean it is her, and if it isn’t their mother—well, it’s probably not someone on their side. If that is the case, who knows what it is lying about? I guess we all will need to tune in next week to find out.