Charmed Season 1
We’re 20 episodes into the reboot of Charmed, with the three sister witches of Melanie (Melonie Diaz), Margarita (Sarah Jeffery) and Macy (Madeleine Mantock) reprising our beloved trio Prue, Piper and Paige in an updated version of the classic magical drama. So how has the series fared so far?
12 years later, the cheese remains intact – mostly in the demonic appearances – but the sisters get a little lift with modern lingo and the use of tech and science. It’s all very hastily done though, in a bid to make the series relevant, and while it does refresh the feel a little, the story progression keeps the formulas dated.
Margarita and Melanie come home one day to find their mother Marisol (Valerie Cruz) thrown out of the window, and while tracking down the murderer, they come into power and even reunites with their third sibling. The very English Harry (Rupert Evans) then appears as their whitelighter, and guides the girls towards owning their powers. As you may expect, demons and higher council quickly make themselves known, pressing their agenda towards our (as usual) rebellious sisters. At this point, in a very LOTR-Galadriel moment, the trio fully come into their powers with their own individual weapons and face-off the forces that want to raise The Source.
The series will mostly satisfy fans yearning for more of the formulaic easy camp that the original dished in spades. There are great creative decisions too that really sparks off nice energy, such as the casting of Evans and more magical traditions in the stories. But what Charmed now lacks, is a tight rein over the universe, because multiple agents are being introduced without control over the network of entities and their relations. You’ll find that almost every member has a heinous agenda, that feels so storybook villain that after a while, you don’t care anymore.
And because there are now spaces like the jail of Tarturus (which is presumably impenetrable), script manipulation will have inconvenient characters banished or incapacitated there whenever the show needs to create some additional obstacle or remove some magical ability. This reveals how loosely the Charmed universe has been planned, and it will very soon plateau as the producers find themselves spinning themselves into their own web.
That’s not to say the script is a total dud. Jeffery has easily one of the more consistent and entertaining roles as the empath, and her sorority best friend Lucy (done to perfection by Natalie Hall) lights up the screen whenever she appears. Her Vally girl dishes liners like “Do you mind if I use the loo? I can’t be the number one Kappa caught doing number two.” with enough sass and camp to fill a Clueless film.
Charmed can benefit a lot from edits in the side-plots department, letting the main story careen more easily through the series without losing focus. It will also make the characters have more believability when they mope over the loss of something when it doesn’t happen in every episode. With love-interests, magical allies, Elders and random covens dropping like flies, it’s only time that the show producers realise not even a whitelighter can mend a patchy script.