Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Pilot Review: Charmed

Charmed (The CW)
Premiered October 14 at 9pm

I never watched the original show this one is based on partially because it premiered just before I really got into TV and because I’m not a fan of witches and witchcraft. I can’t understand what the need for remaking series that haven’t even been off the air for much more than a decade, and I think this may well be the first WB series to be commissioned for a modern-day reboot. This was the definition of an expository episode, one that introduced our three protagonists to each other and to their mysterious powers that show them just how much they have to learn about the evils they’re up against. Current themes are on full display here, with rape culture and consent being discussed regularly, and sexual harassment serving as a mask for actual demons. I can’t compare to what the original was like, but this all felt like standard fare to me, with the wannabe boyfriend turning out to be the demon rather than the monster sorority queen. Leaving the guy with his memories so that he could try his best to tell people in a new case of “he said, she said” was a sign that these young women aren’t going to take their situations lying down. The only actress I’m familiar with from the three is Melonie Diaz, who was in “Raising Victor Vargas” so many years ago and in “Fruitvale Station” more recently. I couldn’t figure out where I knew Harry from, and was shocked to discover that actor Rupert Evans is British. He’s infinitely better here than he was in his unbelievably terrible role as Frank Frink on “The Man in the High Castle.” This feels a lot like the “Charlie’s Angels” framework but with witchcraft, a subject that doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest. At least it was engaging and modern, but there was never a chance I was watching this show.

How will it work as a series? They still have a lot to learn, and the first thing they’re going to have to deal with is the fact that their mother told them not to trust Harry. I don’t know how often different demons will pop up or if there are going to be grander, more consistent threats, but they’ll be able to bond and grow in the process which should help with the plot development.
How long will it last? The reviews aren’t entirely favorable, but it’s hard to find a remake that’s completely well-received these days. The more important factor is that this show represents half of the CW’s first foray into Sunday night programming, even managing to outdo its lead-in, “Supergirl.” As long as viewership numbers stay strong, expect this one to stay on the air too.

Pilot grade: C+

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