A reboot of Charmed? How...charming. The CW has announced that a new Charmed series is in the works and will be directed by the executive producer of Jane the Virgin-Jennie Snyder Urman. According to TVLine, this is not a reboot per say but more of a prequel. The new series will be, set in a small New England town in 1976, the series features a new trio of witches—Annie, Tina and (curiously) Paige—none of whom are related by blood. Also, via TVLine, were unofficial character analyses for the new power trio.
There's no mention of the Halliwell sisters making an appearance though I see similarities in the characterization between the new characters and old characters. Tina's reserved and standoffish? Sounds like Prue. Piper and Paige could be twins with their all-American girl personas and strong desire to be married. Phoebe's devil may care attitude and fashion sense seems to have found a new home in Annie. As the CW has always been a ‘let's toss it all into the pot, stir, and see what happens’ kind of channel, this could all change.
I was a devoted fan of the original Charmed series which ran from 1998 to 2006. The premise of three sisters all coming to live together who happened to be witches satisfied my love of family drama and supernatural shenanigans. As the series progressed, the sometimes cheesy acting, bad special effects, and outrageously entertaining plotlines solidified it. The Charmed Ones (Shannen Doherty, Holli Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, and eventually Rose McGowen) were fated to be the most powerful witches alive and charged with saving the world from evil while trying to live normal fruitful lives. Humor, angst, love, and loss combined with plenty of action, suspense, and lots of drama kept me hooked for eight years. Aaron Spelling, the director, took quite a few chances in the series; killing off favorite characters left and right with the stroke of a pen while creating a host of supporting characters that we both loved and hated.
The dynamics of the group—Phoebe's wildness, Prue’s autocratic nature, and Piper’s need to play the mediator—played a strong role in the popularity of the series. As did the fact they were sexy 20-something women who totally kicked arse. We cheered as the sisters grow not only in terms of their powers but also in their respective lives while trying to hide what they were from the world. Between saving the world and feuding amongst each other, they also divulge deeper into their family history which was interesting,to say the least. Lines were drawn and repeatedly crossed with the notion of good and evil were constantly challenged. The end finale wrapped up the main storyline up with some issues left open ended for just this situation. We even got a peek into the future that showed the sisters married and happy with children of their own. So this leaves us with some questions. What exactly will this reboot/prequel be about? How will the “power of three” premise play out since these women aren’t related? What is the focus? How will it tie in with the original series? Will it even tie into the original series?
The reboot is set in 1976 which many fans will note means the Halliwell sisters have already been born. Unless they pull a “Charmed” and bring a Halliwell sister from the future to warn the current stars of problems to come (remember the storyline where future Chris comes back in time to the present to try and stop his brother Wyatt from becoming evil?) I don’t see a Prue, Phoebe, Piper, or even Paige (the original) in our future anytime soon.
I can see quite a few possible storylines. I’m curious to see if these three young women know they’re witches. Are they already acquaintances and/or friends? Or do they live relatively drama free lives only to meet and suddenly find their powers activated. The fact the series is set in a small New England town instantly makes me think of Salem, MA. I’m intrigued by the thought of a storyline modernizing the famous witch hunts of the past and these three women struggling to understand their new powers and destany while avoiding overzealous witch hunter(s). Perhaps we’ll see further development of Patty Halliwell’s story and the reasons the Halliwells’ ended up in San Francisco. As Patty was already dead when the original series started, her story has never been properly fleshed out. Patty looks to be a bit of a paradox story wise as she was an only child, married to a non magical human, had an affair with her Whitelighter (creating Paige), which would have created some interesting situations.
Regardless of the direction the CW and Urman decide to take this new venture, I'm excited to see what they will bring to the table. I do hope they keep the underlying theme of strong, independent women kicking arse and maintain a mature atmosphere throughout. Remember Sleepy Hollow and learn from it.
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