Dear 2017, thank you for being ten times more awesome than 2016 by bringing the possibility of a “Charmed” reboot back into our lives.
But seriously, folks — the CW has officially ordered a pilot for a “reimagining” of the WB’s hit 1998-2006 series “Charmed,” about three sister witches in San Francisco who spend their days kicking demon butt and taking magical names. According to a press release Thursday (Jan. 5), the reboot will be set in 1976 instead of a contemporary setting, giving the new show a distinctly different vibe from most TV revivals and reunions of late.
It’s hard to rein in our unbridled joy at this news, but we will attempt to do so for one very important reason: There’s a right and wrong way to handle this reboot, so some serious do’s and don’ts need to be discussed.
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DON’T: Make it about Patty
The 1976 setting is an interesting choice, mostly because most “Charmed” fans know that the Halliwell sisters were born in the early ’70s. This new time period could mean that instead of a reboot, we’re about to get an origin story. Prue (Shannen Doherty), Piper (Holly Marie Combs), Phoebe (Alyssa Milano) and Paige’s (Rose McGowan) mom tragically lost her life to a water demon while they were still kids, meaning she was a transient character at best (as a ghost, obviously) during the original series. This reboot could be a chance to tell Patty’s story.
Unfortunately, we’re not huge fans of this idea, since “Charmed” relied very heavily on the sisters, who would presumably be tots and toddlers in 1976. Their struggle to adapt to finding out they were witches and how to balance their powers with their everyday lives was a compelling part of the original series, which would be absent from Patty Halliwell’s (Finola Hughes) story. As an only child who grew up knowing she was a witch, she presents an interesting new story possibility, but a very distinct change as well.
DO: Have cameos
Whenever and whatever the premise turns out to be, we hope the original cast will make cameos throughout the new series — either as themselves or as new characters.
From oldies but goodies like Cole (Julian McMahon) and Leo (Brian Krause) to latecomers like Billie (Kaley Cuoco) and Cooper (Victor H. Webster), we’re keeping our fingers crossed to get a few visits from the characters who filled out the “Charmed” world — plus, obviously, the sisters themselves. We’re still bitter we never got a visit from Prue’s ghost.
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DON’T: Make it a comedy
The news that “Jane the Virgin” creator Jennie Urman will be helming this new CW reboot has us slightly nervous. “Charmed” always had a great sense of comedic timing, but the tone of the show always leaned more towards drama than comedy. We’d say it was split 70/30 between life or death circumstances and witty repartees.
“Jane the Virgin” is a masterpiece all its own! But we’re hoping Urman takes this chance to show off her versatility and make this show the CW’s newest supernatural centerpiece we all want. With the death of “The Vampire Diaries” this year, we’re going to need a new show to fill that magical hole in hearts.
DO: Make it mature
The CW has recently deviated from the “young adult” genre, making their lineup more appealing to an older demo. Even their new teen drama, “Riverdale,” has a distinctly mature vibe to it, which we hope this new “Charmed” reboot adopts. While we’d love to see some teen witches battling monsters in the heart of San Francisco, we can’t help but remember the epic fail that was “The Secret Circle” a few years back.
Teen shows are hit or miss, and this reboot will have a better chance of making its mark if it sticks with the original formula: Hot 20-somethings battling the forces of evil with a heavy feminist undertone running throughout the whole thing.
DO: Diversify the cast
One of the major failings of the original series was that the whole thing was set in San Francisco — one of the most diverse and eclectic cities in the world — yet it featured very few people of color or LGBTQ characters in major roles. This was a common problem in TV shows of the ’90s and early 2000s, but modern culture has adapted.
TV audiences want and require a cast of characters that reflect the real world, which includes people of all different backgrounds and orientations — and there’s no better place to believably fulfill this request than San Francisco. We have faith that a creator as brilliant and innovative as Jennie Urman will knock this one out of the park.
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