by Brynn Smith ’19
With the recent trend in the reboot of 90s television for today’s teens that includes shows like “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and “Will and Grace”, ‘Charmed’ is the next in a long line. A nostalgic classic, ‘Charmed’ is the story of three sisters who find out they have magical powers and must use those powers to fight demons of the underworld.
The original version featured Phoebe (Alyssa Milano), Piper (Holly Marie Combs), and Prue (Shannen Doherty) with powers of premonition, molecular immobilization–the power to freeze objects and time–and telekinesis, respectively. While the rebooted ‘Charmed’ follows the same basic storyline with an emphasis on feminism, sisters Macy (Madeleine Mantock), Mel (Melonie Diaz), and Maggie (Sarah Jeffery) bring a 2018 spin to a show that was an inspiration to many.
Writing duo Jessica O’Toole and Amy Rardin, who have also written for shows like “Jane the Virgin”, wanted to bring themes to the show that “felt fun and interesting–there was plenty that inspired [them] from the original,” O’Toole told the Warrior.
The reboot definitely takes on a different vibe than the original, as it begins on a college campus where a professor has been accused of sexual harassment. The reboot deals with ideas–feminism, LGBTQ leads, and racial diversity–the 1998 version never had the ability to explore as deeply as the new one does.
In a well-thought out examination of drinking on college campuses, the sisters must take on a vengeful ghost from the 80s set on destroying the sorority she was kicked out of. Bringing in timely issues of today, the writers of ‘Charmed’ brought a supernatural element to the teenage problems of today.
With every reboot or adaptation, there are worries it will never match up to the original. Lack of originality is cause for concern, but what this ‘Charmed’ reboot does is reimagine the series. With a greater emphasis on the issues women face in 2018, the show lives up to it’s “feminist” label. In the first episode, the sister’s whitelighter, a holdover from the original whose purpose is to help guide new witches in the way of the supernatural, explains that the coming apocalypse has to with current President of the United States.
The writers do their best “be respectful and it helps that we were fans of the original. We hope to maintain the essence of the original while putting our own stamp on it.”
This new ‘Charmed’ takes the issues of today’s and turns them into situations relatable for the teens of today, while still keeping the nostalgia of the original alive.