Charmed is set to make a return to the small screen. Now, a generation too young to have experienced the supernatural TV show in its original will have a chance to enjoy the show. The official announcement for the reboot of the show describes it as a “fierce, funny and feminist” reboot of the original fan favorite. Inclusion of the “feminist” descriptor has sparked all kinds of controversy with some of the original cast and many fans taking offense and arguing that the show was always feminist.
It is confirmed that CW has officially ordered a pilot of the Charmed remake. Speculation that it was to be a prequel has finally been squashed and we now know that the redeveloped script will set the action in a college town the present day. Writers Amy Rardin and Jessica O’Toole from Jane the Virgin are on board.It appears that none of the original cast or any of those creatively connected with the show are to have an input into the reboot.
Charmed launched in October of 1998 and ran for a total of 8 seasons. The show followed the fortunes of three sisters who discover they are witches, happily the kind of good witch hell bent on fighting for good against menace and evil. The powerful sister witches struggle to balance their evil fighting mission with preserving their secret identities and pursuing relationships. The members of the coven were played by Shannen Doherty, Alyssa Milano and Holly Marie Combs. Shannen’s character Prue was killed off at the end of series three and replaced by Rose McGowan, the reunited long lost half-sister of the siblings.
Combs has weighed in with her views, describing the reboot as simply a way of cashing in on the massive cult following and huge fan base that the original enjoyed. Combs appeared to be especially miffed by the inclusion of the description “feminist”, taking to social media to pour her disdain and tweeting “Guess we forgot to do that the first go around. Hmph”. Sour grapes may be part of her cynicism as the actress made it clear that in her view the show belonged to the 4 of them.
Shannen has also weighed in although she’s taken a softer line. She engaged with her fans on Twitter about the projected show and claimed to be maintaining an open mind. The actress indicated that she was highly intrigued by the notion of the reboot. In response to a fan who pointed out that a show with strong female roles was a good thing, Shannen wholeheartedly agreed. She did berate the show’s promoters for a “terrible, offensive description” but added that it was a mistake and that she’d made a few herself. Shannen is currently involved in a remake of Heathers, another girl power original which is itching for a millennial treatment.
While undoubtedly Charmed the original show was a Girl Power show for a generation that was raised on Girl Power revising history to describe it as feminist may be a stretch. Undoubtedly it was a show about women who kick ass and that’s to be applauded but “feminist” implies a more complex take and arguably less fan-service when it comes to the costumes of the three beautiful stars. Whether the reboot delivers flawed, well written and consistent characters who really are intent on “tearing down the Patriarchy” remains to be seen. One thing is for certain all the controversy has everyone talking about the remake even before the pilot has been cast.