I’d sit in front of the tv for an hour every night watching the Halliwell kick demon butt, be surrounded by man candy and carry out the complicated family dynamic of sisters.
Because of Shannen Doherty the show had an instant audience of 90210 fans. This was no surprise, since the shows shared the same producer, Aaron Spelling.
It had everything a young adult, teen aged girl could want. Charmed was originally geared towards teens and women in their 20’s but quickly appealed to all female demographics. While the female demographic grew across age groups, it also grew as a favorite teen drama, being known as a powerhouse of the WB. Season after season it’s popularity.
Many things contributed to the popularity of the show
Many things contributed to the popularity of the show. The popularity movies The Craft practical magic helped launch the magical/witch popularity genre of the 90’s and early 2000s. Charmed help add a sexy, fun and young face to the genre while shows like Sabrina the Teenaged Witch that launched 3 years earlier helped pull in a viewership already primed for tv witchcraft.
Charmed took a more serious approach
Charmed took a more serious approach to the craft with it’s demon fighting and young adult situations while Sabrina kept things funny and wholesome. Many homes disapproved of the idea of witchcraft as entertainment, but Sabrina the Teenaged Witch helped to soften the idea and make witchcraft family friendly.
Charmed has maintained an audience
Charmed has maintained an audience through online streaming services such as Netflix. Not only is it being watched by those that grew up on it, it is being watched by their children. Mothers and daughters bound over the show, even though the visual effects are seriously lacking compared to today’s studio budgets.
Charmed survived the sudden departure of Shannen Doherty after just a couple of seasons. Now the creators of the show’s reboot are hoping the show can survive the departure of all 3 sisters with a brand new cast.
The Charmed reboot follows much the same plot line of when the sisters were introduced to their long lost much younger half sister, Paige. In the Charmed reboot however, the girls discover a lost, older half sister. The show no longer depicts the Halliwell sisters, now the Vera sisters, living in an inexplicably expensive victorian house of San Fransico. The girls now live in the fictional town of Hilltowne. It’s name being reminiscent of the homes in San Fransico.
The dynamic of the sisters is much the same, although this time with a twist thrown in. Our middle sister will not only struggle with the complications of being the middle child, she is also a lesbian, adding another layer to the family dynamic.
The show contains many obvious Halliwell traditions, such as all 3 girls names starting with the letter M, while the Halliwell girls started with P. The guidance of a whitelighter that brings the girls together. The girls have the power of telekinesis, freezing time and reading minds (similar to promotions). The eldest sister is practical, one is in an on and off again relationship with a detective, one is bubbly and kind hearted. While the traits and habits of the the sister have changed order, the basics have stayed the same.
The big question is
The big question is, will the show do well? Will it capture the audience like it did nearly 20 years ago. So far the word on the street is no. The original series was beloved and continues to play on reruns and streaming services. The fan base did not go into hibernation. It merely changed its way of watching. Now Charmed is binge watched, forgotten for a while, and then watched again.
It is hard to recapture an already interactive audience that will compare every little detail with a show that is fresh in their minds. While the show may initially catch the eye of existing fans, the fandom is strong in the targeted demographic.
The show is trying to stay true to the original story line, but fans feel as though the characters have been replaced. One of the common comments made by fans is, why didn’t they make a spin off with the children of the Halliwells. In the last season of Charmed we see the future children of Phoebe and Piper’s boys are still young. The children of the girls would be late teens early 20’s at this point and would greet an audience eager to see what they grew up to be.
Instead in the Charmed reboot we were given a slightly altered copy of the original. With the improvability of a meeting between 2 sisters in need of a third to be fulfill the Power of Three. This time around, cheesy special affects, costumes and poorly worded spells is not going to cut the mustard with an already critical audience.
Many existing fans will show up
Out of loyalty to the memory of Charmed, many existing fans will show up for he pilot and first few episodes of the show. But as many shows need a season to grow into the plot and writers learn their audience, the fans may flee before the show begins to mature.
I am still holding out hope that the writers will make the show original enough that the fans will find a reason to stay. This reboot will need to prove itself more than an original magical drama.
The the Charmed reboot airs in the same time slot of the original Charmed, Sunday Oct 4 9/8 central on the WB channel.
The power of 3 will set you free.