When I heard Charmed is getting a reboot, I was elated. As a progressive series that depicts strong women kicking demon ass and saving the world all while parenting, running errands, and living full lives on the side, it remains one of the most re-watchable shows on my Apple TV. Sadly, this excitement was deadened when The CW announced it wasn't including the show's original actors. That, my fellow fans, was strike one. Now, the reboot's synopsis has been released, and at this point, I find myself irritated.
According to the network, "This fierce, funny, feminist reboot of the original series centers on three sisters in a college town who discover they are witches. Between vanquishing supernatural demons, tearing down the patriarchy, and maintaining familial bonds, a witch's work is never done."
Here's the problem: the Charmed that I know already checked all of these boxes. Fierce? Absolutely. Funny? Try hysterical. And feminist? Few series of Charmed's time rivaled its empowering roles and story. So, honestly now: what does this reboot really offer us?
Rounding out the reasons I'm SO unenthused is The CW's refusal to respect Charmed's original cast at all. Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, and Rose McGowan (who played Phoebe, Piper, and Paige, respectively) have all expressed their disappointment that the reboot is happening. Combs, in particular, has criticized the network for trying to repackage what many fans (including this one) already considered pure perfection. As she puts it, The CW is basically writing up a whole new series and slapping Charmed's good name on it in hopes diehard fans get suckered in. This is a classy piggybacking move, and guess what? I hate bacon.
"While some may not get why I take issue with the network that didn’t want to renew Charmed 12 years ago ‘reimagining’ it now let me just say I understand it perfectly," Combs wrote in late January. "Also this kinda stuff given all that Rose and Alyssa have done lately...um no. Just No."
"And another thing," the Pretty Little Liars alum continued. "Reboots or remakes, as we used to call them, usually have storylines so similar to the original that they are legally required to use the same title and buy the rights to that title. If it’s not similar than it’s just another show. A new show with a new title."
"Here’s the thing," she concluded. "Until you ask us to rewrite it like Brad Kern did weekly don’t even think of capitalizing on our hard work. Charmed belongs to the 4 of us, our vast amount of writers, crews and predominantly the fans. FYI you will not fool them by owning a title/stamp. So bye."
When the project was first announced way back in early 2016, Milano also tweeted her sadness.
"#Charmed fans! Nothing has been confirmed," she wrote. "CBS is developing a reboot without the original cast. That's all I know for sure."
"With all the reunion shows it seems like #charmed would be a great choice since we have the most loyal and best fans ever," she went on. "But I would imagine until CBS makes a decision on their reboot a true reunion type of show will not be happening due to CBS owning the rights."
McGowan recently weighed in as well, and frankly, her comments were spot-on.
"They really are running out of ideas in Hollywood," she wrote. "lame lame lame lamertons."
At this point it seems The CW's only shot at making this reboot work is by earning itself an entirely new audience. Fans of the original show never asked for a watered down revisit, and it's not cool to slight the actors who made your show a success in the first place.
That is all.