In the late 1990s and early 2000s, you could hardly move for TV shows starring kick-ass, magical women. For the young ’uns, there was Sabrina the Teenage Witch, which was sweet and wacky and about as scary as a marshmallow. Brave budding feminists with a penchant for fight scenes were drawn to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But for many of us, the only viable option – and ultimate guilty pleasure – was Charmed.
The cult US drama about the Halliwell sisters, aka the most powerful good witches of all time, ran from 1998 until 2006. If you’ve never seen it, you can watch it on Netflix: it’s a beautiful guilty pleasure full of questionable ’90s outfits, complex love triangles and hilariously bad special effects. And now, it’s been announced that Charmed – like other nostalgic favourites Gilmore Girls and Will & Grace – is set for a revival.
Variety reports that The CW is developing a reboot of the original series, which starred Alyssa Milano, Shannen Doherty and Holly Marie Combs (and in later seasons, Rose McGowan) as witches living in ’90s San Francisco.
The pilot project is being penned by Jennie Urman, creator of the brilliant Jane the Virgin, along with writing duo Jessica O’Toole and Amy Rardin, and Milano and Combs quickly took to social media to give the idea of a new series their blessing.
In a surprising twist, the updated version of Charmed won’t be set in the present day – or in San Francisco. According to TVLine, the potential series will be set in 1976 in a small town in New England (a region which, incidentally, was the site of the Salem trials and has a long and storied history of supposed witchcraft).
Rather than sisters, the three new leads will be characters who are “brought together to fight evil”. These are the unofficial descriptions of the new Charmed trio, as per TVLine:
Tina: African American. Whip-smart, Tina is one dissertation (and one dissertation advisor) away from a PhD. She can be reserved, even standoffish, in uncomfortable situations, but she picks up on everything and she’s definitely making quick, accurate judgments about you.
Paige: Caucasian. Cheerful, curvy, wholesome and as all-American as the apple pie she can’t wait to serve to the husband she has yet to marry. Paige’s main goal in life is to marry a rich doctor and be a wife and mother.
Annie: Caucasian. Intense, smart, and quick to anger. She dresses neutrally, though she could give two s–ts if you like her outfit, so stop wondering what “neutral” means. But under that tough façade, well… there is a fragility. A person desperate to be loved, and love.
While we’re not entirely sure how we feel about these descriptions (Why does Paige sound like she’s had a lobotomy? And shouldn’t that read “she couldn’t give two s–ts if you like her outfit”?) they are “unofficial” – so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that something brilliant this way comes.