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There's one fatal flaw in the Charmed reboot that makes it completely unwatchable.

They say you should never meet your idols, but a more timely update to that warning for 2019 is that you should never watch the reboot of your favourite TV series.

Like pretty much every other millennial woman, the TV series Charmed held a special place in my heart during my high school years. The plotlines and characters were always a hot topic of conversation during Modern History class and I also spent a good amount of all the pennies I earned working as a checkout chick at Kmart on the DVD box sets.

Which is why I was more than a little apprehensive when in 2018 I heard that the series was the latest in a long line of past hit TV shows to be rebooted and reimagined for a new audience.

The original series of Charmed followed sisters Phoebe (Alyssa Milano), Prue (Shannen Doherty) and Piper Halliwell (Holly Marie Combs) and later their half-sister Paige Matthews, played by Rose McGowan (RIP Prue) who discover as adults they are actually the most powerful witches to ever exist.

The rebooted series follows quite a similar story path, but this series begins with sisters Mel (Melonie Diaz) and Maggie Vera (Sarah Jeffery) living with their mother Marisol (Valerie Cruz), who is mysteriously killed by a demonic force early in the pilot episode.

Three months later, Mel and Maggie discover they have an older half-sister called Macy Vaughn (Madeleine Mantock), who was kept a secret by their mother. From the first moment the three sisters are in their family home together their powers are ignited for the first time.

The cast of the Charmed reboot series. Source: The CW.

When the new Charmed series was first announced the cast of the originals series, which ran from 1998 to 2006, were among the first to condemn it.

The network behind the reboot, The CW, made the mistake of describing the new series as different to the original because it was now “fierce, funny, feminist.”

This description of the new series enraged Holly Marie Combs, who said via her Twitter account "I will never understand what is fierce, funny, or feminist in creating a show that basically says the original actresses are too old to do a job they did 12 years ago.”

Likewise, original series star Shannen Doherty agreed via Twitter that “their wording is terrible and a bit offensive. But, everyone makes mistakes.”

And while I agree that it was pretty sacrilegious to imply that the original series was not feminist or funny (it was definitely both, how dare you CW) I could also see that the reboot had taken great strides to diversify its cast and storylines in a way the original would never have been able to while airing on a mainstream TV channel back then.

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The original Charmed characters were all straight white women, while in the new series they have diversified the cast to better reflect the world we live in.

Middle sister Mel is a lesbian, a "strong-willed feminist" and "passionate, outspoken activist" which is a story thread woven extensively through the first season.  Additionally, the reboot cast also have diverse ethnicities; Mantock is of Afro-Caribbean descent, Diaz is of Latino descent, and Jeffery is African American and Indigenous Canadian. In the series they all play Latina sisters, with Mantock's character of oldest sister Macy being an Afro-Latina.

With this in mind, I decided to put my reboot prejudice aside and give the new series a whirl, especially since all the currently available episodes are now available to stream in Australia via Network Ten's streaming site 10 All Access.

Almost instantly, however, I spotted a few huge flaw in the pilot episode that made me think the entire series could be unwatchable.

You see, despite the fact that the new Charmed cast of characters are actually pretty great, it seems the reboot writers missed a pretty big plot point from the original series that went on to define the franchise.

In the original pilot episode, the Halliwell sisters discover their powers of their own accord and defeat a demon together in the very first episode.

They later start to get some guidance from their Whitelighter Leo (an angel who guides and protects witches, played in this case by Brian Krause ) but he does not appear until a few episodes into the season. This allows the female characters to firmly establish themselves as the heroes and saviours of their own stories and TV series.

In stark contrast, however, the Vera sisters in the reboot are not allowed to take any sort of initiative, discover or define their powers of their own accord or start to do any kind of demon killing until they are literally mansplained their powers and destiny by their Whitelighter.

In the reboot, the sister's Whitelighter Harry Greenwood (Rupert Evans) literally abducts the three women, ties them up to chairs and proceeds to very patronisingly explain who they are and what their powers can do, and all our heroes are left to do in response is gape open-mouthed at him in astonishment and squirm against their ropes.

As he mansplains the entire premise of the show to them (and, by association, the audience) he also continues to call them "girls" in a snide voice, until he laughingly corrects himself to saying "sorry, ladies."

Gross.

It's all very Charlie's Angels, and not in any sort of good or progressive way. Now, I am not usually a violent person, but it was in that moment I started angrily throwing objects at my TV screen.

The witches do take a more active role with their powers in their story as the series progresses, but after stumbling so badly over such a fundamental part of their origin tale, the series is very hard to stomach.

I still believe there is a place for TV reboots in our world, I just won't be continuing to watch this one.

If you want to watch the new Charmed series, you can watch it on 10 All Access in Australia. 

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