The basic premise was the Halliwell sisters Prue, Piper and Phobe (later joined by half sister Paige after Prue's death) were the Charmed ones prophecised by their ancestor witch Melinda Warren as she was executed (burnt at the stake if memory serves)
The original ran for eight seasons. Look I'd never call it a high point of Television but I found the show to perfectly enjoyble. It was a fun supernatural series with a trio of sisters. One could make a case for it helping pave the way for Supernatural.
There was some snobbery, Buffy fans seemed to make a point of declaring it the inferior show. I recall one online debate about how Charmed merely copied everything Buffy did (and Buffy did much better) that Charmed had done the "Wake up in an asylum, and everything in the series is just a crazy person's fantasy" episode before Buffy. The reply "that's just a genre trope and doesn't count."
I'm usually on board for a reboot/retool/revamp/refresh/continuation for things I've enjoyed in the past. So I was curious when I read rumours that Charmed was going to be rebooted.
The idea was to do a prequel Charmed series set inthe 70s where the mother and grandmother of the Halliwell sisters of the original series had adventures. Not a bad idea but not the greatest (You could pull an American Horror Story make it Charmed:The Warren Witches and each season is a different branch of the family. There was a Prose anthology that had a similar notion except every, single, solitary story had the Halliwell sisters time travel.)
That was scrapped in favour of a modern day fierce, funny and feminist reboot of the series that wasn't a continuation of the original. So there were no plans to include the original sisters/actresses.
I recall that there was some ill will between the original cast and the producers of this one as Alyssa Milano called out how feminist they were not rehiring the originals only 12 years later. What I heard didn't fill me with hope.
But I went in with a mostly open mind.
This one some music box noise for like 2 seconds while the Charmed logo appeared on the screen. But this was the pilot and the second may change this - look I'm not saying they have to use "How Soon is Now"but a proper theme song wouldn't hurt.
The characters - oh boy this show is WOKE! We are politically aware and not afraid to tell everyone that cis white males are the font of all evil and Trump's Presidency is the first sign of the apocalypse. The middle sister Mel, is an angry, lesbian feminist. FIght the Patriachy sister.
The youngest sister Maggie is the "normal" one at college wanting to join a soirority and go to parties.
Imagine 10 Things About You where it is dialed up to 12 and to be treated oh so serious and not played for laughs. The original Charmed had a element of 90s "Gitl Power" but this one had me nearly ready to walk away.
This pair is joined by an older sister Macy who was raised seperately to the other girls. Macy is scientific and it actually makes for one of the better parts of this episode, where the girls are looking at some demon residue and trying to find a spell/potion to defeat the demon in the Book of Shadows, she is analysing it scientifically and comes up with a solution in a minute or two.
We also meet their white lighter Harry, who seems to have been a classmate of Wesley Wyndam Price from Buffy and Angel without the goofy charm. However we receive some information about him that might change everything.
There where things in the pilot annoyed me, look by being so uber-anti-male feminist. "This demon always fed on strong women." "people always called strong women witches." you risk turning people off - a large chunk of your audience should be male. I'm not going to lie part of the appeal of the original series was watching three attractive women fight the supernatural that brings in a male audience.
(in discussing this with a friend he asked which cast did I find hotter? I said the original because I'm not a dirty old man.)
Trump is a sign of the apocalypse again you are annoying a chunk of your audience. Have opinions have polictical opinions I don't care but if I feel like I'm being lectured by the show I'm going to switch off.
However, they did enough to keep me around for the next episode or two. Firstly, they made these sisters also descendants of Melinda Warren which gives a nice connection to the original. I also spent half the episode trying to figure out if it was the same house as the original show.
I quite like Macy, her scientific background brings in a perspective to magic that this show didn't have before. I think there is more to her story and want to know why her mother abandoned her. This wasn't really addressed in the pilot, (it also robs the show of playing the long lost sibling card that the original had when Shannon Dougherty was fired and Prue killed off in the show).
I'm curious to see where the twist at the end of the episode goes.
Charmed 2018, I want to like you. I'm willing to give you some latitude to find your feet my fondness for the original series only stretches so far. Look I'm not asking for a clone of the original, but entertain me don't lecture me.