Throwback Thursday: Why ‘Charmed’ was the right kind of witchy even before it was cool
This month marks 15 years since Charmed premiered on what was then The WB. And although it certainly wasn’t the first television show about witches, it was one of the most successful, capturing a fan base that to this day watches re-runs at every opportunity — or is that just me?
Charmed told the story of the Halliwell sisters and their power of three. Basically, when the three of them combined their witchy mojo, they were pretty much unstoppable. With the Book of Shadows in their attic, full of spells and potions, the sisters were able to fight off all kinds of demons. And when they weren’t being attacked (which was rare), they were able to fall in love — sometimes with the wrong people — and have real-life sibling arguments.
Despite swapping the third sister after Prue died, the show succeeded in creating a real family dynamic. The sisters always had chemistry, and you couldn’t help but root for them to stick together and bicker about boys while simultaneously kicking butt. Plus, you knew you were amongst cool witches when they used their free time to open a nightclub.
However, even with the magic element, the show also had a subtlety to it. Sure, it was a fantastical show about witches and demons, etc., but there was a real sense that this wasn’t the life the girls wanted, but rather one they were born with and were good at. They were nonchalant about their magic, and it made it that much more believable (while still being unbelievable). Charmed perfected the family-of-witches formula that so many shows nowadays can’t quite figure out.
From The CW’s brief try with The Secret Circle to American Horror Story: Coven and Lifetime’s new series Witches of East End, witches are by no means a thing of the past. However, they do seem to be getting more and more extreme, therefore lacking Charmed‘s defined magical universe. That’s not to say that Charmed wasn’t full of crazy story lines, but is it just me, or are witches getting weirder? Personally, being a witch is crazy enough for me. I don’t need much more. And perhaps that’s why I’d much rather watch a re-run of Charmed than any of the new witchy shows. It maintained that balance of real-life and magic, and there was some inexplicably logical element to it all. And did I mention it was fun?
At the end of the day, Charmed cast a spell that I can’t seem to shake, and no new show has provided the antidote (or whatever that is in the witch world). Perhaps the Book of Shadows is the greatest grimoire of all time?
What do you all think, PopWatchers? Are you Team Halliwell?