Charmed (Reboot) Series Premiere Review
These days its hard to be a fan of something old without the need for others to believe said thing needs to be brought into modern times and twisted for a new audience. Charmed is one of those series that didn’t feel like it needed to get that sort of treatment. Some will say that it isn’t made for the people who watched the series back then, but then that begs to question why create a show with the same name? I perfectly understand the disappointment fans have with this, especially when the reboot does everything to be hip and edgy.
The trouble with a show like this being on The CW, is that instantly you know that drama and cliche would be the center of everything for these girls. It was already a tough pill to swallow that these were younger girls, with a changed ethnicity, different professions/points in their lives, and had different names to match. At a point there, this might as well have been a different show altogether when so much effort was put into this reboot being something of its own entirely. The devil’s advocates would at this point would say that we should appreciate the differences for something fresh, but reboots should in fact honor what the original created. This in no way does that. They pretty much took everything and said “I like this, but let’s do it that way instead. I hate to use the word forced, but that was the impression this premiere left me with for all the hype about their changes. It was hard not to agree with those who said that there is nothing funny, fierce, or feminist about this that they could do new that the old show did not already do in its long run.
Each of these three sisters unfortunately had something that was a turn-off about them almost immediately. First you had Melanie “Mel” Vera. She is closer to what Piper was, but they hurt the character so much by throwing her into that box where she needed to be a symbol of feminism. Another problem where the showrunners were clearly not paying attention to the original series, because the sisters “as a whole” represented feminism very well without that being the label of their character. They showed their feminism through their actions as everyday women, not someone who is actively looking for something to fight. The minute they labelled her as an activist, they lost so much about what should have made her probably the most badass. Margarita “Maggie” Vera wasn’t any better being the younger sister and more focused on getting into a sorority than anything else. Not all the sisters had their lives together at the very start, but it wasn’t cringeworthy like this. I don’t even know where to begin or end with this character, because there was simply nothing engaging or worth investing in.
Then you have Macy Vaughn who tries creating the cliche of scientist who can’t believe in the impossible? Before this episode even aired, they lost me at “practical, driven, and brilliant geneticist with the power of telekinesis”. There is just so much wrong with that sentence that it makes my head hurt. My jaw dropped because I simply could not understand what kind of laziness guides you to create a character like this. Do I even need to get to how they defeated their first demon? If I could speak freely without spoilers, I sure would. That was the biggest slap in the face for anyone who enjoys magic since as I repeat, this show is too much of an attempt to be hip and edgy.
The icing on the cake was how they introduced the Whitelighter. A job that is supposed to be pretty serious, and yet they took the whimsical approach with someone who does not convince you being someone meant to guard anyone. There’s much more to his story, but I don’t even know if I would want to get to know him. First impressions matter for a character like Harry, and they did not stick the landing. They also missed the mark when it came to how these sisters came to discovering their powers. If you already had trouble with their acting, then the execution of their reactions to their powers did not help either. Nothing came naturally, and I couldn’t take them seriously in those moments.
Honestly, whatever backlash the showrunners and cast have taken about this reboot, they need to actually sit down and listen to it rather than tell viewers what they want to see. When its an original idea, run wild, but when you are doing a reboot of a beloved series? That’s not the time to believe that you know what is best for the series. Especially when not a single person from the original cast was even addressed about the reboot. They learned as the rest of us did, and that is a great shame.
Even if this is only the rough patches of the first episode, this is a show where they could not afford to mess up so quickly, and they did. Goofy where it didn’t need to be, forced here, a little too extra there. This should not need to be said at this point in time, but respect the source material. That is an unwritten rule, and it is not one that is up for debate either. Right now this reboot feels like nothing more than a cash grab off of the name, and one done in poor taste. If you made it to this point, then let me make this clear by saying I know that the original will always be there. However, that doesn’t change what is here now, and I’m the kind of guy who usually does not mind different.