I just finished watching the pilot of the Charmed reboot. I wasn’t sure if I was going to watch it because I wasn’t much into the original. I loved witches, and it was out at a time when I could have understood it, but it also came at a time, when I was tired of only seeing white women on the screen. It came at a time, where you could the amount of minorities shown on the television screen on one hand across a vast amount of television programs, so I decided to fuel my supernatural need elsewhere.
When I heard that there was going to be a reboot, I thought, eh, they’re just rebooting everything, and it would be more of the same. I have never been so happy to be wrong. The Charmed reboot, is vicious, powerful and timely. It is everything a young woman of color needs in a time, when they are not believed, not fought for, and called everything but their god-given name.
The pilot follows Marisol and her two daughters, Mel and Maggie as they live pretty normal college lives. Maggie wants to rush a sorority, and her woman studies professor mother, and feminist teaching assistant sister want otherwise. The first thing that grabbed me immediately was how open this show is. Within five minutes, Mel is shown to be in a relationship with a woman, Niko, A sorority is seen with more than 5 minorities, and their mother is a Woman Studies Professor!
That night both girls are out in different places, when they receive a desperate text from their mother to come home. When they arrive their mother is dead, fallen from the attic window. What they didn’t know is that their mother is a witch, and something was after her, and soon to be known to them, her three children.
Then we meet Macy, a scientist who has just received a grant to study at the university the girls go to, and she stops dead (metaphorically) as she passes the girls house. Turns out She’s her long lost sister, I really want to know what happened, and why she was alone most of her life but I’m sure that will come in time.
At the university, a professor is accused of Sexual assault, and because the victim is in a coma, is released, “exonarated” and allowed to return to teach. With their mothers death, no longer in a relationship with Niko, and her general anger at the hypocrisy of it all, Mel has taken to putting up protest flyers, when she meets a man, the term used extremely loosely, who tries to to tell her that the victim was unstable, added some things about her mother, and was presented with a punch in the nose.
Mel is the only one who thinks her mother has been murdered until all three sisters come together to realize, that their witches, with the help of their whitelighter, Harry. Harry has arrived to tell them three things. Yes, your mother was murdered. Yes, this is the beginning of the apocalypse. and they have 48 hours to decide if they want to accept their witchy fate.
I think my favorite part of the pilot can be split between three pivotal moments. One, when Harry begins explaining the three parts of the Apocalypse. Part one, “When the Weakest of men reaches ill gotten glory.” I.E. The white house situation, I refuse to mention his name, or accept the fact that he has a position he has no business being in.
Two, when even after being presented with powers, that wouldn’t normally be able to be explained, Macy is determined to find science in magic, which I love. I love that their bringing something tangible to the show, with science as her guide, whatever they experience, can be sort of explained, which means it can be relatable.
Three, When the Sisters defeat the villain, and the timely not all men protester survives, Mel tells Harry not to erase his memories, not to absolve him of having seen something so terrifying. She tell him to leave it, let it fester, because no one would believe him, even though he has four witnesses, that its too unlikely a story to have actually occured. Turning rape culture on its head in a paragraph.
In 2018, I made a vow to watch more television and films with people of color in it. I was tired of watching shows dominated by societies vision of what it should be. I’m so excited to be able to bring Charmed into my list. With its wit, Feminist driving plot, and witchy girl power antics, I can’t wait for next sunday.
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