Charmed Season 1 ‘Pilot' Review: Strong Start Honors Original Series

Charmed Season 1 ‘Pilot’ Review: A Strong Start That Honors, Updates Original Series

Posted by October 15, 2018 Comment

Welcome to Bleeding Cool’s weekly review of CW‘s Charmed, as we take a look at the series premiere of Jane the Virgin creator-showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman’s reboot of the popular series.

To say that the series has had a bit of a polarizing effect among the geek community when it was first announced would be a righteous understatement. But now that all of the bad press releases, pissy back-and-forths, and pre-judging are over – Bleeding Cool finally got a chance to actually watch the episode.

Guess what? It’s good. Not great, but a solid start with tons of season-long potential. It has some things to smooth out…but a little “tough love” for fans of the original Charmed who are having issues dealing with this series? It’s a better pilot than the original’s, and does the three things we needed it to do: introduced characters we want to give a crap about, gave us a solid backstory, and teased some serious nastiness to come.

Spoiler Warning: I’ll be covering some themes and takeaways involving major and minor plot points from the episode, so just keep that in mind. Definitely not looking for pitchforks and torches outside my apartment.

Charmed s01e01 ‘Pilot’: After the tragic death of Mel (Melonie Diaz) and Maggie’s (Sarah Jeffery) mother, the sisters struggle with moving forward but face another huge shock when they learn they have an older sister, Macy (Madeleine Mantock). With the emotions of all three sisters running high, each of the girls suddenly exhibit impossible new abilities: Mel can freeze time, Maggie starts hearing others’ thoughts and Macy has telekinetic powers. While trying to understand their new powers, Harry Greenwood (Rupert Evans), gathers the sisters and reveals they’re actually powerful witches, as was their mother. He also lets them in on a little secret, he’s not really a professor, he’s their “Whitelighter,” a witch’s advisor and guide. The sisters must make the decision to accept their new destiny as The Charmed Ones…and their new duty to protect humankind from the demons that walk among us…one of whom killed their mother. Ellen Tamaki and Ser’Darius Blain also star. Brad Siberling directed the episode written by Jessica O’Toole & Amy Rardin

Here’s a sneak preview of next week’s episode of the CW’s Charmed, ‘Let This Mother Out’:

https://youtu.be/PRgwoURjZLQ

Charmed s01e02 ‘Let This Mother Out’: After getting a message from the spirit board to not trust Harry (Rupert Evans), the sisters are conflicted and ultimately concoct a plan to see if he is telling the truth. Desperate to believe the person warning them is trying to protect them, they end up going against their better judgement. Harry soon realizes that the sisters are up to no good and tries to help before it’s too late. Meanwhile, this new sisterly unit is not fully unified, with Mel (Melonie Diaz) and Macy (Madeleine Mantock) struggling with who’s the real big sister and Maggie (Sarah Jeffery) caught in the middle. Vanessa Parise directed the episode written by Jessica O’Toole & Amy Rardin

“Stronger together.” That’s what Marisol tells her daughters, firebrand social justice warrior Melanie “Mel” Vera, and her sister, fun-loving Maggie, about their family. Mel is a graduate student in the women’s studies department her mother heads at Hilltowne University; Maggie is a freshman considering rushing a sorority (to Mel’s amused dismay) and going “on” again with her on-again off-again boyfriend Brian. But then, a shocking tragedy shatters their world and threatens their sibling bond: Marisol dies in a horrifying accident. Or was it?

Three months later, we find Mel unable to accept the official explanation of their mother’s death, while Maggie accuses her of being morbidly obsessed. And then, another huge shock shows up at their front door: they have an older sister, brilliant geneticist Macy, whom their mother kept a secret all these years! Macy is new in town and doesn’t know a soul (except for Galvin, the cute fellow scientist who’s been showing her around). Macy is eager to connect with Mel and Maggie, but Mel can’t handle another shock, and shuts her out. With the emotions of all three sisters running high, each of the girls suddenly exhibit impossible new abilities: Mel can freeze time, Maggie starts hearing others’ thoughts, and Macy has telekinetic powers.

But don’t worry, there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation…or so says Harry Greenwood (who as far as they know is the officious new chair of the women’s studies department), when he gathers the three sisters together to reveal they’re actually powerful witches, as was their mother. And he’s not really a professor, he’s their “Whitelighter,” a witch’s advisor and guide! Not only that, but Mel was right: their mother’s death was no accident – she was murdered by unknown dark forces.

It’s a lot to take in, but ultimately the sisters accept their new destiny as The Charmed Ones…and their new duty to protect humankind from the demons that walk among us…one of whom killed their mother. With the Power of Three, they are stronger together… even if they have no idea what they’re really up against.

charmed season 1 pilot review

Based on the original series, Charmed stars Madeline MantockMelonie DiazSarah JefferyCharlie GillespieRupert EvansSer’Darius Blaine, and Ellen Tamaki; and is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Propagate Content. The Jane The Virgin team of Urman, Jessica O’TooleAmy Rardin, and Brad Silberling serve as executive prodcuers alongside Ben Silverman (The Office) and Carter Covington (Faking It).

(Last Updated October 15, 2018 10:40 am )

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About Ray Flook

Prouldy serving as TV Editor, Ray started with Bleeding Cool in 2013 as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought aboard as staff in 2017. Counting John Cusack as his pop culture "spirit animal," his "word fu" stays strong as he continues trying really hard to be the sheppard...

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