April 6-7, 2024
Written by Tessa Flemming
Coming just in time for some Halloween scares, the 2018 take on ’90s cult classic Charmed has officially set the date for an October 14 premiere.
The re-envisioning of the hit show, which centres on three sisters who discover they’re witches, is now shaping up to be the must-see TV event of the year, with the cast and producers dropping hints about what to expect for the reinvented Halliwell sisters at a Television Critics Association panel last week.
And if you don’t believe us, here are just five reasons why we’re sure you’ll fall under its spell too.
The 2018 version is all about inclusivity. The three sisters, Macy (Madeleine Mantock), Mel (Melonie Diaz) and Maggie (Sarah Jeffery), are now multiracial, a point that is set to play into each sister’s powers and storylines, especially seeing as Macy did not grow up with her two other sisters. Middle sister Mel, the Piper of the gang, has also been reimagined as a lesbian.
When asked about the new changes, showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman said the move towards diversity was an important change to make for the show to still be relevant for today’s audiences. She also hopes that the fresh cast will encourage viewers to “see [themselves] as the hero of the story.”
As we mentioned, the reboot’s showrunner is Jennie Snyder Urman, who also produces Jane The Virgin.
And since Jane The Virgin is known for its crazy cliff-hangers and plot twists (that season four finale anyone?) we can only hope Urman brings as many equally binge-worthy plotlines to this remake.
The show is also airing on The CW, who has had its fair share of successful supernatural dramas, such as The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural, as well as grittier reincarnations of beloved pop culture icons like Riverdale, leaving us to believe that Charmed is definitely in safe hands.
Since this version is set in a college town, it shows no sign of holding back on using its setting to examine the current political climate. Using the fresh cast and campus setting, the reboot hopes to tackle immigration and #metoo storylines and more, and intends to unleash some demons, both literally and figuratively.
Urman said that such plots also tie deeply into the original’s core message.
“The original was about female empowerment and sisterhood, and that’s what we need right now. We need to show women kicking arse,” Urman said.
And in an extra sinister twist, the show even suggests that the demon apocalypse the girls must fight off is all due to a prophecy surrounding a certain 2018 President.
The pilot episode shows that the girls’ mother starts her daughters’ unbinding after she predicts that the 2016 election is the first sign of something wicked this way coming.
During the TCA panel for the show, producers also revealed that Marcos Luevanos, a writer and producer on the reboot, actually belongs to a real-life coven.
Jessica O’Toole, an executive producer of the show, confirmed the statement and said that at the recommendation of One Day At A Time writers, they hired Luevanos to help incorporate a real witch’s perspective, as well as supply positive energy while filming.
This detail also comes on the back of news revealing that the famous rhyming spell couplets from the original would be left out of the reboot, in favour of delving into the witchcraft of different cultures and languages, and signals the show’s desire to explore the intersection of Latino culture and witchcraft, or brujeria.
Last but not least, the reboot is also set to stay very true to the original premise.
Speaking of the resemblance to the original, Madeline Mantock said that they worked hard to make sure the show was still deeply rooted to what made the original so iconic.
“In the pilot, there are so many positive nods to the original,” Mantock said.
The sisters are still guided by a Whitelighter, although in this reincarnation he looks more like Buffy’s Giles than the original’s charming love interest Leo, there’s still a Book of Shadows, and still an attic just as spooky as the original Halliwell manor’s.
And if that isn’t enough to enchant you, check out the trailer here: