Charmed is the potential reboot we’ve been hearing about for years and it’s finally coming to fruition this fall. The new series was picked up by The CW, which is actually the same channel the original aired on back in the day, although then it was called The WB. The original Charmed followed the Halliwell sisters, known as The Charmed Ones, who were powerful good witches that used “The Power of Three” to protect innocent people and vanquish evil. Each sister had a magical ability: Prue (Shannen Doherty) with the power of telekinesis, Piper (Holly Marie Combs) with the power to freeze things, Phoebe (Alyssa Milano) with the power of premonition, and then following Prue’s death their long lost half sister Paige (Rose McGowan), with the power or obing/teleportation, stepped in to re-complete “The Power Of Three.” I’m a big fan of the original series (I’m a sucker for witch shows!) so when I found out there was a reboot in the works, I was really interested to see what they would do with it. Following the release of a nearly 4 minute long trailer plus a few additional clips, I’ve compiled my thoughts on the new cast and what we can expect from this new iteration.
Watch my discussion video on the Charmed reboot, below:
First of all the Charmed reboot comes from the same creative forces that are behind The CW’s critically acclaimed Jane The Virgin, which already has a Golden Globe under its belt thanks to actress Gina Rodriguez, including show developer Jennie Snyder Urman. I was also excited to see that Carter Covington has an executive producer credit on the show. I worked with him while he was the showrunner for MTV’s Faking It and he’s wonderful so it’s really great to see another project that he’s part of in the works.
This new series revolves around the two Vera sisters: Maggie played by Sarah Jeffrey and Mel played by Melonie Diaz. After the unexpected death of their mother, Maggie is trying to move on with her life in college while Mel is convinced that their mother’s death wasn’t an accident. Along the way they discover they have a long lost half sister when Macy Vaughn, played by Madeleine Mantock, shows up at their front door.
Based off the trailer, there’s already a few similarities between the original Charmed and this new reboot. The house the Veras live in looks really similar to the original Halliwell manor and the attic remains a center point for their magic and magical discovery. Just like the original sisters all had names that started with P, the sisters in the reboot all have names that start with M. I appreciated those smaller connections and nods to the original series.
Diving into our new Charmed Ones, Maggie Vera is a bubbly, fun-loving college freshman considering rushing a sorority and trying to lead a normal life following her mother’s death. When compared to the original characters, she’s similar to Phoebe in that they’re both the youngest sister and they both have internalize powers: Maggie can read minds and Phoebe would get premonitions. Mel Vera is a graduate student in the women’s studies department at Hilltowne University and a social justice warrior, but she begins to lose her way after the death of her mother and becomes consumed with proving it wasn’t an accident. Mel is similar to original character Piper in a few ways as well. They both have to deal with a family shift — Mel when she goes from oldest sister to middle sister when they discover Macy, and Piper when she goes from middle sister to oldest sister after the death of Prue — and they both have time-freezing abilities. A difference though is that Mel is the one who wants the sisters to accept their witch destiny whereas that was Phoebe’s motivation in the original series. And Macy Vaughn is a brilliant geneticist and the mysterious long lost third sister that comes into the picture after the death of their mother. She is similar to Prue is that she’s the oldest and Paige in regards to the way she’s introduced. She has the power of telekinesis which is also similar to both of their powers.
Another difference from the original series is that our new Charmed Ones are Latina! The CW has been making huge strides to be inclusive and tell different people’s stories. Just like they cast the best actors for the roles in The CW’s Riverdale regardless of race (re: Ashleigh Murray as Josie McCoy and Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge) I love that they decided to do the same for The Charmed Ones. To be able to see three powerful Latina women on a journey of discovery and sisterhood is really inspiring, especially because outside of shows like Ugly Betty and Jane The Virgin, there really aren’t many mainstream shows that feature positive or really any Latin representation. Most often Latinas are relegated to maids or seductresses, but with this show we get to see the Vera/Vaughn sisters in a completely different light. Not only that, but we’re getting to see a positive representation of Afrolatina culture in the brilliant Macy and LGBTQ+ culture in lesbian and activist Mel.
While I think the original Charmed was very feminist, powerful, and original for its time, I’m excited to see these new stories be told as well. While many other fans may not be excited about this reboot because they’d prefer it to be with the original actors or at least their characters children, I’m open-minded to the reboot. Instead of trying to pretend they can give us Prue, Phoebe, Piper, and Paige again, they’re able to expand the Charmed universe with new characters, story lines, and adventures — that will hopefully still occasionally reference or pay homage to the original.
The Charmed reboot debuts on The CW on October 14.