Melonie Diaz, Sarah Jeffery, Lucy Barrett, Rupert Evans, Poppy Drayton, Jordan Donica
After the tragic death of their mother, three sisters discover they are witches, and they must stand together to fight an onslaught of supernatural battles.
So, I decided to watch the entirety of the 2018 reboot of "Charmed” because I started watching the first episode, and I might as well finish it. As a huge fan of the original 1998 version, I must say that the 2018 reboot should not have been named “Charmed.” It could easily be its own series without using concepts from its 1998 predecessor. The 2018 reboot expands the magical world where in the 1998 version good and evil were simply split between demons and every other magical creature. “Charmed” 2018 changes the lore of the charmed ones and brings in modern twists to connect with a younger audience.
The series felt rushed and the sisters felt more like caricatures than people I could relate to. From the very first episode, the viewer is bombarded with socio-political topics without tact. Within the first fifteen minutes, Mel immediately goes on a hyper-feminist rant towards Harry, the charmed ones’ white lighter for this series. The strong feminist message is respectable, but it was forced and felt clunky. Macy is the eldest and most logical sister. Maggie is the empathetic and optimistic youngest sister. Moving further along, Mel, Maggie, and Macy’s sisterhood felt taped together by artists’ tape, it barely kept things together, even though they had three seasons to bond. They had their moments of unity but there wasn’t any onscreen chemistry. Even though the sisters from the 1998 version had drastically different personalities and interests, they could easily bond through magic or their experiences in romance.
While the original 1998 version allowed for growth over its eight seasons, the 2018 “Charmed” rushed everything. Macy, Maggie, and Mel’s sisterhood were introduced with Mel and Maggie as sisters attending the same college where their mother worked, and Macy is introduced as their half-sister after their mother’s death. These sisters were strangers to each other, which made their relationship empty. Each pivotal point thereafter, Harry and Macy getting together, Macy dying in the third season, and Mikaela replacing Macy, felt like goals that the writers needed to reach, but everything in between simply existed to fill up a time slot. I realized that I haven’t even spoken about most of the sisters’ love interests or even the antagonists of each season, but I would attribute that to just how forgettable they are, like empty caricatures. The only stable and almost tangible relationship in 2018 “Charmed” was between Maggie and Jordan.
While watching its four seasons, I held onto the hope that it would get better or live up to “Charmed” of 1998, but it did not rise to the occasion. To be fair, that first episode was already a red flag, but I’m stubborn. Since I started watching it, I might as well have finished it. The biggest remedy for the 2018 “Charmed” would have been better pacing and character development. In other words, if 2018 “Charmed” gave me more time or gave deeper meaning to the characters’ relationships, I would have earnestly cared about this universe and the storyline. With the ranting being said and done, 2018’s “Charmed” had its own merits. The lore behind these charmed ones and magics could have led the series into its own world of possibilities, different mythologies, types of magic, or magical creatures. The diversity of its cast gave me a sense of heart-warming visibility and inclusion. Their main hangout and the camouflage of their command center, Safe Space, had a welcoming and trendy college campus vibe to it which was nice. If I had to rate “Charmed” 2018 as a standalone series, I would give it a three out of five stars. It was entertaining for a full second, but because it is supposed to be a reboot of a beloved series, I will drop it down to one and a half out of five stars.