This fall, the iconic Halliwell witch sisters are back with a fresh look, story, and characters to reboot the classic series in a new, inventive way.
While there may be some controversy surrounding the new show, based on the exclusive pilot screening at New York Comic-Con, this new series proves there’s always room for strong female-centric stories and representation in media.
In addition to a first look at the pilot airing next week, the witchy sisters (Melonie Diaz, Sarah Jeffrey, Madeleine Mantock) took to the NYCC stage to discuss the rebooted CW series 20 years after the original Charmed aired.
“I was definitely familiar with Charmed, I mean who isn’t,” Jeffrey said. “It was a little bit before my time so I hadn’t watched the whole thing, but it’s such a massive entity. Originally, I wasn’t meant to audition because I was attached to another show, but got in the room and thankfully they loved me and the pieces just fell together.”
The reboot, helmed by Jane the Virgin creator Jennie Snyder Urman, aims to bring a fresh perspective and energy to the classic witch sisterhood series.
“I was the first one to meet with Jennie [Snyder Urman] and Amy [Rardin] and Jessica [O’Toole], our producers, and at first, I was scared; this was such a big show, it needs to be done right and I was a really big fan of Jane the Virgin and I felt like these are the right people to take this show in a different direction and modernize it, and their vision was just really fresh and fun and I was like OK, let’s do this, this is going to be good,” Diaz said.
This first episode will focus on the beautiful bonds of family and sisterhood, as well as self discovery, and, of course, embracing magical, mystical powers. Fans of the original may be worried about the new CW show and how they’ll handle the iconic characters and plots, but as NYCC fans found, many of the same mythology from the original remains to create a similar world for this new generation of witches.
The supernatural drama will feature both emotionally driven moments, along with some instances of comedic relief. For example, Maggie (Jeffrey) citing “OMG, Pilates,” as the sudden reason she could defeat a demon had the audience in stitches, in a fun moment that only The CW could deliver.
The three women discussed how, upon reading the new script, they were interested in the opportunity to become the hero and leading ladies in the diverse series reboot.
“I think we’ve all experienced what it’s like to play the best friend, to be that kind of accessory to someone else and be there to uplift their story, and so for me, it’s a privilege and I feel really grateful that I get to be the hero,” Mantock said.
To fit with the changing world of 2018, Urman and the show’s creators aimed to create a ground, fresh take on the series to reflect modern issues.
“I think the world is pretty crazy right now, a lot of things going on, and I just feel like it’s important to have a point of view, and ours is one of consciousness and we really want to talk about issues that reflect the current time,” Diaz said. “I think, for me, it’s a responsibility, that’s why I wanted to be a part of this project, because I was like, OK, they’re going to be talking about real things.”
From the exclusive pilot viewing, it’s evident the new series features strong, empowered, and fierce women coming into their own to save the world, highlighting an important message for viewers.
“I really feel like the show is something for high schoolers, middle schoolers, moms who want to watch the show with their daughters on Sundays,” Diaz said. “There’s elements of drama and comedy, so I really feel like there’s something for everyone.” Jeffrey jumped in, “[and] men who are on the right side of history.”
In addition to creating a more representative and diverse world, the Charmed sisters revealed some key details about what we can expect from the first season, which is still in production. Jeffrey revealed that while some demons (much like the ones seen in the pilot) will be one-off stories, other will stick around for awhile and contribute to a larger plot. Mantock added that there is a need for fans to discover what happened to their mom (after she was killed? murdered? pushed to her death?) in the pilot, but the show will also take viewers to other supernatural worlds to face off with other demons. While the three sisters all have different superpowers and different personalities, all three are multidimensional characters that do not need to be “put into a box” and only be one thing.
“I’m trying to create Maggie as this girl who loves fashion and she’s a girly-girl, and it would be so easy to put her in this box of vapid valley girl, but she’s also very smart and has her wits about her, and [she’s] kind and caring and empathetic, and that was always a misconception for me growing up, that you can’t be the girl who loves makeup and be the girl who’s witty and will bite back on Twitter,” Jeffrey said.
The series premiere will showcase the three young witches as they balance their supernatural studies and saving the world with normal collegiate and career lives, quickly discovering that they are “stronger together” as the “charmed ones,” with a destiny to save the world as the “power of three.”
“I feel like the idea of our slogan is ‘stronger together,’ and I think again, with everything that’s happening right now, I think that we are stronger together,” Diaz said. “We’re stronger when we’re kinder, and love each other. One of my favorite things about our show is the sisterhood; we are love interests, and I think that is really cool because I think there’s something really magical about that, when you stick with your clan and you can make magic things happen.”
The episode ends with the words, “now it begins,” and indeed, it has. Charmed premieres Sunday, October 14 on The CW.