In honor of recently discovering that I am a witch (my power: random spikes of uncontrollable anxiety followed by periods of great productivity), I’m rewatching the original Charmed. I watched this show religiously as a kid, and luckily my mom didn’t think it made me gay (oops) so she let me watch it with her.
I’m not gonna lie though - 11 year old me was definitely experiencing a sexual awakening partially thanks to this show because, i mean…yeah.
But we’re not gonna talk about that anymore !!
We’re gonna talk about Charmed!! AKA The Craft The TV Show, But The Witches Are All Good Now!
Charmed is a 42 minute TV drama originally aired on the WB about three sisters who find out they are the latest in a long line of witches, passed down from mother to daughter since, like, witch-burning times. Unfortunately, this means that warlocks (bad witches (usually men)) are going to try and kill them now!! Also they ostensibly can only use their powers for “protecting the innocent,” but this is…flexible, as we’ll come to see.
Also they have a book (the book of shadows) that basically has all the demons and warlocks and whatnot in it, and how they can be vanquished. This was also passed down from mother to daughter! It is not explained why, if they knew how to vanquish demons and wrote it down in the book, they did not vanquish said demons! Charmed is not strong on logic!
The later seasons get real fucking wacky, but the first season is much more laid back than I remember. It’s a lot of boyfriend drama, work drama, sister drama, etc. In fact, most of the plots of the episodes boil down to “Find out what the demon is, read a spell from the book and call it a day.” The real meat is in the other stuff.
I’ve already watched 8 episodes so I’m just going to sum those up real quickly:
Episode 1: Something Wicca This Way Comes
We meet the three sisters. Piper is the overworked slightly neurotic motherly one, Prue is mean and career oriented, and Phoebe is a dang flake. Phoebe and Prue hate each other, sort of, but luckily this falls off in later episodes quickly.
I’m reading the summary of this and apparently Phoebe slept with Prue’s fiance, Roger!! This is never mentioned again to my knowledge!!!
Anyway, they read the book of shadows, become witches, figure out their powers, and become closer by using the Power of Three. Oh, and here are their powers:
Prue is telekinetic in whatever way is convenient for the episode, mostly throwing dudes around
Piper can freeze time locally for a brief moment (although the sisters can still move). She does not have to shout ZA WARUDOOOOO
Phoebe gets premonitions randomly, she hates it and thinks it’s boring.
Oh, also Piper was dating a warlock for 6 months before this and then they kill him. The end.
Episode count where half or more of the significant men in the episode were evil: 1 (Evil Warlock vs. Andy)
Episode 2: I’ve Got You Under My Skin
Prue is sleeping with Andy, a recurring character who is a detective, so you know that’s gonna be an issue when our girls start getting involved in solving crimes!!! What a drama!
Piper is afraid she’s going to hell, but she goes into a church near the end of the episode and does not burst into flames. This is actually a good arc for this episode.
Prue is hired as a, like…art historian…for an auction house? She identifies old shit and how much it’s worth. But her boss and his assistant…they are demons!!! But they don’t do anything meaningful this episode except reveal they are evil.
Phoebe buys a lottery ticket using her premonitions, but it fades away after she wins! No personal gain.
Oh, and there’s a demon who makes women old and they shoot lasers at him until he’s dead. The end.
Episode count where half or more of the significant men in the episode were evil: 2 (Prue’s new boss and Youth Stealing Demon vs. Andy)
Episode 3: Thank You For Not Morphing
I hate this one. The sisters’ dad shows up from out of nowhere. He tries to steal their powers “for their own good” because their mother dies because she was a witch. There are some shapeshifters and a “who’s the real dad” grift.
The guy playing the dad is just so sleazy, and this episode sucks. Looks like he doesn’t show up again until Season 2, thank god!
I guess this is the first episode where Leo shows up, but he gets very few lines so I’m not counting him for:
Episode count where half or more of the significant men in the episode were evil: 3 (Two shapeshifting men vs. Andy and Sleazedad)
Episode 4: Dead Man Dating
Oh my god it’s John Cho! He gets murdered and turns into a ghost. Piper basically falls in love with him, but he’s dead!! It’s honestly very sad.
Phoebe gets a job as a fortune teller using her powers - she wears a ridiculous pink outfit. She sees a dude getting hit by a car but he doesn’t believe her and she has to follow him around to save his life. Then she loses her job.
Also there’s, like, a Chinese death god. I am not going to look into this too hard because I don’t want to know how inaccurate or potentially racist it is.
This episode is the one that really drives home the “plot is secondary and only exists to move the relationship and character of the sisters forward” and I appreciate that very much.
Episode count where half or more of the significant men in the episode were evil: 3 (John Cho and Andy are both in it - only evil dude is the gang leader.)
Episode 5: Dream Sorcerer
Wait I skipped this one somehow??? Okay I’ll write about that one later. This is too much already so bye.