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CW's Charmed

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medium13
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CW's Charmed

Post by medium13 » 18 Oct 2018, 18:34

Did anyone watch the new pilot for this "reboot"? It's called a reboot, but in many ways I found it to be more like a look into Charmed's multiverse (there's proof a multiverse exists!). As a big fan of the original, I went into this with low expectations and expecting not to like it...but I did. At least, I liked it enough to give it some time. Some thoughts:

The Good:
1) The girls are not exact replicas of Prue, Piper, Phoebe. I leave out Paige at this point, because for the pilot it seems they stuck with the original three personality wise and I'll get to Paige in a minute. They grasp at the essence of the main characters and have seemingly blended them into all of the M's. Each have pieces of the original character without one single trait dominating the entire personality. It was refreshing and a nice way to set these girls apart, at least for first impressions from the characters that we came to know for 8 years in the original.

2) The powers are fun. In particular, I enjoyed the exposition from Harry regarding how certain personality types develop certain powers. It was a good insight into where they are trying to go with Macy, Mel, and Maggie. Macy gets a shout out to her brilliance while she can also move objects with her mind. There is no clear indication that she has an emotional trigger or that she needs to use her hands/eyes as Prue did but this is unclear at best. She *might* have used vision to throw a globe and a lamp and *might* have used her hands in the climax of the show but this is unclear. It's my interpretation that she is solely using her mind, a true telekinetic but my sister had a different interpretation. Harry goes on to explain that control freaks usually control time. I think this is interesting for two reasons 1) because it seems to be a nice nod to Piper's characterization, especially in later episodes of Charmed but somewhat failed because Mel didn't seem controlling and 2) Piper's powers worked by slowing molecules and making them go faster (resulting in an explosion), but we don't know if this is how Mel's works. She could actually be stopping the flow of time or she could be altering perceptions of time. Later, she states that the Ice Demon is fighting her and that she can't hold him long which to me suggests that she is perhaps slowing molecules, which gives us the potential for her more dangerous and explosive power to develop. We also discover that her trigger is that her powers works when she isn't angry, which is a negative for me. I loved the scene where she was figuring out how to control her power but the ultimate revelation of what gave her some control was a disappointment. I also really enjoyed the portions of the show wherein Piper's powers were out of control at various points in the run based on her emotional state. Fun stuff. Finally, Maggie has the ability to read minds upon physical contact with an individual. I'm on the fence about this. Premonition has always had held a place of high regard for me so we'll see how telepathy plays out. I'm willing to list this in the good column for now because telepathy is fun as well and potentially these powers can grow.

3) The effects were alright. Seems like the producers made a choice to keep things simple and use camera angles and movement to show the powers which I think is more effective if they are still sorting out a budget for what special effects they can do. It will age well enough if nothing else. That cannot be said of the special effects from the original. I will say, I missed the sound effects and a visual cue from the actresses that they were using their powers, i.e. squinting, hand gestures, or flinching.

4) The girls knowing their mother longer and setting up what appears to be a long form story about her death is a good strategy to me. They still have trauma and sadness to deal with, they still have a unique and unknown situation that they've been sheltered from to deal with (2 actually), and I'm optimistic they may develop long term re-occurring villains of substance.

5) Odes to the original were enjoyable. We had a BoS page with Melinda Warren as an entry, we had Macy wearing a similar color scheme to Paige when she was introduced properly to the sisters in the manor, and several allusions to the pilot episode. These were balanced well in my opinion with trying to forge a unique identity for this show with younger characters with different backgrounds and a fresh story. I also LOL'd when the demon took a few extra seconds to disappear. Fun stuff.

The Bad:
1) There felt like gaping omissions in what would be realistic story flow for a fantasy show. If someone shows up at your door with circumstantial proof that they are your sibling, you're going have questions. I'm sure we'll get to some of these later but they should have scratched deeper on the surface. "Why would our Mom give away the oldest child?" "Where have you been?" "Who is your father?" "Is he also our father?" Even if some of these questions had been asked by the two sisters who grew up together, that would have been nice.

2) Character chemistry and tension didn't work for me. This is kind of hard to describe but there is a spark missing, at least for now between the actresses. Maybe that's for the best given the behind the scenes dramatics that were alleged to have taken place on Charmed and the fact that the original actresses are constantly at war and have changing allegiances, but with the exception of one or two moments, I didn't feel engrossed in a story that these are three sisters, which in my opinion is when the show was best.

3) There are powerful visuals to overcome. The Manor in the original is it's own entity. This house is beautiful but is 1) not the pink manor on Prescott and 2) the house that another witch series took place in, The Witches of East End. Fortunately, the WoEE was not as popular, but they had one decadent set as the inside of that house that made the Vera ( gosh, is it Vera? I just got around to memorizing and identifying the new girls but I don't know their last name) house look absolutely drab. There is no way that dark, single door is the entrance to that gorgeous home. The Book of Shadows looked too fresh and ornate. The Ice Demon looked like a reject Night King.

4) Current Events and politics played heavy into the story as Mel put up #MeToo posters. I'm into this but also not. I like my TV to take me away from the world not give me a reminder. This also seems to be one of the main reasons they are saying this is a strong feminist show, but I'd prefer to see it as such by keeping the characters focused on themselves and not men and avoid the sexed up, objectification of the original especially in later seasons.

5) Was Mel likable? I didn't hate her but I also didn't love her. Was Harry an apportation Harry Potter rip off? Why are you a white lighter with no white lights?

6) Science as a character on this show. Macy is a brillant...lab assistant ? I didn't catch what she does but I'm open to her giving science explanations (or at least a writer's base line science) to the paranormal happenings on this show, but I thought the baking soda thing was stupid. Give me spells and potions. Thanks.

that's it from me. I'm embarrassed I wrote so much about Charmed.

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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by EvilMonkeyPope » 19 Oct 2018, 00:16

We are very proud of you writing so much about Charmed.

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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by medium13 » 19 Oct 2018, 17:30

Thank you, EMP.

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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by InsipidLust » 19 Oct 2018, 19:53

medium13 wrote:
19 Oct 2018, 17:30
Thank you, EMP.
I didn't care for the original Charmed for the most part, but I was thinking about giving this a chance. Your review has convinced me to do so, so thank you!
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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by Gibbering Fool » 20 Oct 2018, 03:13

I liked the effects and that they made the the demons monstrous looking. One thing I hated about the original Charmed was demons were almost always regular looking dudes in leather.

I found it interesting they blended Paige and Prue's character l. Having the eldest sister as an illegitimate sister is a nice nod to Piper.

I wish they'd changed the powers up more. Having two characters with the exact same powers as before and one different didn't seem enough to differentiate it from the original show for me

Ultimately i didn't mind this but it didn't wow me. It really felt like I'd been here before.

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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by das_boot » 21 Oct 2018, 22:53

That didn’t actually suck as bad as the previews made it look like it would. I actually quite enjoyed elements of it, other than the RAPID “yay we’re sisters come and live with us” thing.

Also, something that’s always bothered me about Charmed— how in the blue hell do they have vanquishing spells that they know will work on demons they haven’t vanquished yet? The original BOS was full of spells to kill very much alive demons, and it appears this one is too. It confuses me.

ANYWAY.

I prefer telepathy to premonitions. I kind of feel like it’s less of a plot device, especially as they’ve already set it up early that sometimes what Maggie hears isn’t necessarily what she thinks it is— I assume context for the thoughts she hears will come with honing her skills, maybe. Anyway. It does bother me how quickly they seem to be mastering their powers, but perhaps that’s either just me with my X-Men fan hat on, or even as someone who actually practices a form of what could probably be referred to as witchcraft.

Either way, while it was a little cheesy, it felt enough like a set up episode for me to give it another try. I liked the explanation that powers aren’t necessarily pre-destined, but are a result of personality traits, and should this series get more seasons, I hope that the powers expand like in the previous series but to perhaps go in different directions (although I do feel like Mel’s being set up to have the explosive powers too, perhaps when she harnesses her anger rather than suppresses it).
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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by medium13 » 23 Oct 2018, 18:01

Episode Two: Let This Mother Out.

Spoilers this way come.

Unclear about what to do with the Spirit Board's warning that Harry is untrustworthy, the girls attempt to resolve the issue through democracy. Mel advocates for using the the guiding spirit in the board, by asking questions only their mother might know and the book suggests using a truth serum. Macy wants to use the truth serum on Harry and tries to convince her sisters that her plan is the best because she's not mourning their mother they way they are because she's objective. We have a nice moment where Mel believes Maggie will take her side and she looks pretty sour when Maggie actually supports Macy's plan. A couple of things girls, 1) If the book is telling you to use the Truth Serum and you all already acknowledge that there is a chance the guiding force of the spirit board isn't your mother, follow the book. 2) Asking a spirit questions they "can't possibly know" seems counter intuitive to me. Like, it's pretty established that many belief systems think spirits have access to more knowledge than the living. I feel like someone should have mentioned that. Already, this episode is bring back memories of Season One episodes "The Truth Is Out There...and It Hurts" wherein Prue accidentally casts a truth spell on Piper and Phoebe and "The Fourth Sister" where an evil spirit trapped in a mirror convinces a young girl to murder Prue to join the Charmed ones coven.

Anyway, the girls endeavor to get on with their lives and enact Macy's truth serum plan. Maggie comes up with a plan to see if gloves will stop her from hearing the thoughts of others. Great idea and the gloves actually look cute with her outfit! However, all she needed to do was touch one of her sisters to realize this isn't a successful plan. With her sorority, Maggie visits a coma victim in the hospital and discovers she's screaming on the inside. She completely ignores this for the rest of the episode. This is my biggest gripe with the series so far in terms of longevity. In the original series, the girls role as Charmed Ones, their purpose was to save innocents. And they did through the first two seasons. Then, in season 3 things got muddier, and there was more focus on their romantic lives and they saved an an innocent or two. In later seasons, they girls almost always struggling with their own issues and weren't impacting the lives of others at all. Saving innocents, or having a purpose is far more impactful than combating prophecy or fulfilling destiny. You've been given awesome powers, use them for the greater good.

In Mel's subplot, her romance with Nico is tested when, in the most cliche and avoidable mix-up ever, Nico takes the truth serum and reveals she slept with her ex fiancee during the period of time that the show established she and Mel broke up between the death of the girl's mother and the girls obtaining powers later. I am still having issues with liking Mel. I love her outfits tonight, and I like her powers, but so far her personality sucks. She ultimately comes to the "right" conclusion regarding Nico's revelation with help from Maggie, but my biggest issue is that she is a champion of women's choice and empowerment but forces Maggie to place her hand on the chamber to the prism. Literally, physically forces her. What a jerk. I also think she makes terrible faces regularly. Her sorority impression was kind of funny, although again, she's mocking women.

Macy struggles at work feeling left out of both her family life as well as the new person at the office. In all fairness, in an attempt to enact her truth serum plan and fight evil, she's not at work at all today so they do the work without her. She apologizes and I guess flirts with her coworker. She also collects a sample of demonic residue to confirms bad news later. Macy doesn't have a ton to do this episode but she reads some Latin, she TK's a knife at Harry, and she moves in and is allowed to make her mother's room her own (similar to Page in Season three's "A Knight to Remember"). There are brief but powerful emotional beats in the episode. Macy confesses she wants her mother to admit that abandoning her was a mistake. She admits she always wants to be right. She admits that she feels like an outside with these strangers who are now her sisters. The original series handled the introduction, the time to bond, and the move and making space for oneself better, at least from what we've seen so far. Also, how is it possible that both the Manor and this beautiful house only have three bedrooms? I know they are older, but this house looks huge on the outside.

Anyway, the girls travel to a parallel dimension in the multiverse (I knew it) and determine that Harry can be trusted, the spirit in the board is just an impostor who emotionally manipulated them, and that they need to all have voices and not go by majority rules anymore. Substantively, we still lack meaningful discussion about Macy's entry into their lives and it's driving me crazy. This would take up a lot of their mental bandwidth and energy even with the revelation that they are witches. Mel is charming when she makes an offering of the prism that would steal their powers to Harry, but then ruins it by saying she doesn't like him (why, Mel?). The girls apologize to each other and recognize their similarities, in a way that might have been more effective than the original. Maggie theorizes that she can control her powers better if she isn't so passive and uses her voice, but honestly, it was lost on me and I haven't seen her improve or have any control for that matter. They add a more prominent sound effect for her telepathy that is less irritating that Phoebe's empathy. Speaking of which, they call Maggie empathetic and not telepathic, I thought that was worth noting.

I still liked this episode. The story was predictable. There was only a small window wherein it was possible that the girls mother had actually returned, and it faded quickly. There were decent emotional beats and I'm buying these girls as characters, at least as individuals. They are establishing a long form narrative and that's good. On going lack of addressing pressing questions is irritating. The girls haven't relied heavily on the book in this series so far. Harry has provided all the insight which makes him more useful than Leo but mitigates an element that they introduces as important - the book.

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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by das_boot » 23 Oct 2018, 18:50

I do still think that Harry’s not on the up and up. There’s something about him that’s inherently untrustworthy and while I know that’s the narrative that they’re aiming for with him, it just seems a little... I dunno.

However— Maggie literally had hold of coma girl’s hand and heard screaming. Didn’t she think to tell her sisters that? Come on. USE YOUR VOICE YOU JUST SAID IT.

I really like Macy and Maggie as characters but really dislike Mel. She’s terribly unlikeable.
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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by medium13 » 23 Oct 2018, 21:39

If I were reworking the original series, and had the issue of what to do about Leo, I would follow a similar avenue as the reboot. At the risk of derailing this thread, Harry has to be less Leo and needs to be more Giles. Giles was informed and helpful, but sometimes untrustworthy and, occasionally dangerous. Leo was inspiration to the girls at best, but any attempts to be powerful and dangerous were kind of laughable. He was a chronically mishandled character on the show and wildly inconsistent. While I hate to diminish LGBTQ representation, I will miss a romance story line between white lighter and witch.

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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by das_boot » 24 Oct 2018, 00:08

I mean, there’s still two other sisters, and we don’t actually know anything about the fathers of the girls— other than Macy’s dad told her that her mother died when she was two...
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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by medium13 » 24 Oct 2018, 16:47

Agreed. However, with only two episodes in, oddly enough I'd say horrid personality aside, Mel has the most chemistry with him.

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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by medium13 » 31 Oct 2018, 16:07

Episode 3 : Sweet Tooth (Reading may cause spoilers)

We open the episode with the girls battling the harbinger. Maggie is impaled, Macy falters, and Mel unleashes a devastating spell that is beyond her level before it is revealed that this is a training simulation put together by Harry. It feels off from the beginning, but it's nice to see the girls actually get trained, something that there 616 counterparts never received formally, with the exception from Natalie, the most nonathletic white lighter that has ever been seen. Preparing for an impending doom, the group tries to come up with solutions to the predicament of where the harbinger may have resided. They deduce that it's possible that it took up residence in someone in any of their three respective spheres, the hospital/research lab Macy works at, the Women's Studies Department, or sorority row. They decide to bake cookies and give them to everyone because sugar can expose the harbinger. While the plan is audacious, it doesn't seem particularly practical but for the magic of TV.

Maggie flirts with an unattractive boy at the diner she works at and is embarrassed when her sorority sisters appear. I don't catch her name, but the blonde sorority leader is literally one of my favorite characters and she pulls of the sorority cliche so well. She has a few good lines here. To make up for her lack of dedication to pledging, Maggie suggests using their home as the location of a Halloween party to avoid the campus alcohol ban. She glamours the home to look amazing, make the drinks appear or appear to be drinks (I'm not sure), and glamours herself a great costume that I did not realize was supposed to be Cinderella, but just a basic princess. Maggie really dips into early season 1, likable Phoebe when she charms everyone into agreeing to host the party to suss out the demon in a pretty transparent rouse. She glamours Macy a badass goddess costume which I thought was supposed to be Athena (a better, more virginal fit if you ask me, a humble Classics minor) but it is later revealed to be Persephone, wife to Hades. Ok, that's good enough. They have a nice set of character beats while developing the costume and get to know each other better but we still have huge gaps that need to be addressed between the sisters. Throw me a bone, writers. The consequences of Maggie's personal gain are momentary fainting and a wart. The boy she's been flirting with turns out to be the star of the show's boyfriend. The prohibition of using magic for personal gain is one that I always thought was good temperance for the abundant ways I, personally would abuse magic to make life easier, but I don't think it's handled well here. Did she use magic for "gain"? She threw a party and successfully lured a demon to the home. I think I have always thought of more tangible gains, like money, fame or wealth or revenge which the original show defined much better, although they always had moments were inconsequential things that are probably good practice for using your powers was frowned upon (like decorating with streamers, or getting ice cream on your period).

Mel gets disciplined by Harry, who through enchantment will know every time she uses her powers. Mel successfully deduces that Angela, the girl in a coma since the pilot, is a likely harbinger suspect and through less convincing evidence, that all the victims of have been virgins. She gives somewhat of a compelling account of why not being able to tell Nico she is a witch is driving her crazy and hurtful, since she's never been in the closet in her life. I liked this line of dialogue but I also hated it. Mel says in sum and substance, that her mother knew she was gay before she did (fair enough, for some I guess), that she never had to hide before. This second part rings untrue as I think any LGBTQ person has had to hide or modify their behavior in some setting at some point. It's still compelling. Even more compelling if not subtle, is the last shot of Mel in the episode closing her closet door. Later, Mel and Harry bond over their feelings as Harry describes a lost witch, Fiona. Mel visits Angela, the coma student and is unsuccessful in getting her to eat the cookie, although she fakes it. I liked this scene a lot, mostly because Angela deserves an Emmy for her sass. Also, I'm not a doctor, but I think sugar would still start to decompose and be processed down someones throat even if it weren't chewed, but having Angela reach into her own body to recover it was sick and fun. It could have been grosser though. Mel dresses as a witch at the party and despite her earlier discipline unleashes a devastating spell that nearly kills Macy but knocks out Angela. She admits she's been too reckless and is going to stop. I'm starting to like her more.

Macy for the win! Macy struggles with her feelings for her coworker, not wanting to get too close and into something messy. Same girl, same. She makes a witty comment about how the girls didn't know their mother was a witch when faced with 24 candles in a cupboard and still refers to her own mother in the third person - she's not ready to accept this as her family yet. Nice touch, for me. She is tracked by the harbinger early in the episode not because she's a Charmed one or a witch, but because she dramatically reveals she's a virgin, when she cuts her hand and it gushes an obscene amount of blood for an obscene amount of time as they lay a trap for the demon after the are unsuccessful in keeping it out of the house. Her sisters don't know how to deal with the revelation that well and it's somewhat comical and weirdly refreshing to have a virginal, older character. She was so confident about it, too. Go Macy. Anyway, the spell to bind the demon fails because Maggie faints and they all split in what can only be considered bad planning. In all honesty though, Angela looks badass and scary in her Halloween costume. I might have run too. Anyway, Mel unleashes that spell, as described above, and Macy is down for the count...not breathing. Harry uses his powers to heal her and I think of Dasboot since we have a pronounced white light! Maybe that's why they are called Whitelighters! I'd be okay with that? Would you? Having faced near death, Macy lays one on her coworker and my heart is full although I'm certain Nico or this guy will probably die this season because that's good drama.

I really liked this episode. I loved the costuming. I felt every character was likable, even the bad guy. I rooted for their obviously flawed plan and I felt like the resolutions were neat enough. We heard that the elders are a council of old witches for governance (which is explored in the comics although slightly modified here). And, I think there is some development between the girls. I wonder what order this episode was filmed in or if I'm just assuming that there is more chemistry now that I like each of them better. We still need work on the girl's pasts. Like, come on. I need something because that is the part of the plot that is pushing my ability to believe in this show. ASK YOUR SIBLING WHO YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT WHO HER FATHER IS. Anyway, probably my favorite episode so far. You still have me, Charmed 2018.

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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by XtremeOne1 » 31 Oct 2018, 16:38

Hmm, I guess I'll need to watch. I've been holding it off. I love Jane the Virgin(the creator of the show is the EP of this show), so I'm sure I'll like the writing....But I also need to catch up on Jane the Virgin.

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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by das_boot » 01 Nov 2018, 00:24

@Medium— while it’s beautiful that you think of me, you know i’m no white witch, right?
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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by medium13 » 01 Nov 2018, 15:16

That's disappointing.

I also got confused. I thought you had wrote that you didn't get why they'd be called whitelighters if there were no white lights. But guess what? It was me who said that.

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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by das_boot » 01 Nov 2018, 17:36

medium13 wrote:
01 Nov 2018, 15:16
That's disappointing.

I also got confused. I thought you had wrote that you didn't get why they'd be called whitelighters if there were no white lights. But guess what? It was me who said that.
... it’s a good job you’re handsome
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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by das_boot » 06 Nov 2018, 20:42

Okay so this last episode introduced the Elders (Not angels, but senior witches), wraps up the Angela Wu stuff and I THINK starts the trio on the path to uncover more about their mother’s past as not only a witch, but an Elder.

Again, this isn’t anything mega groundbreaking, but it’s still a nice twist on the original series. I do like that they’re upping the stakes and that the forces of evil seem about three steps ahead already. What the Elder did at the end of the episode was absolutely stone cold, but serves to emphasise that the elder witches (perhaps with the exception of the sister’s mother) see themselves as so far above human morality that they can not only make decisions that confound human law, but also to tarnish the reputation of someone who isn’t around to answer questions anymore. I definitely predict that by the end of this season, Nico is going to know that the sisters are witches. I actually predict that she might die and be a whitelighter like Meghan Markle.
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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by medium13 » 07 Nov 2018, 17:12

Exorcise Your Demons: Strenuous Exorcise may cause spoilers.

6 months ago, we see that Mel encourages Angela strongly to report the Professor to authorities for harassment. The girls mother takes a kinder, more supportive approach. In the present, Macy, Mel, and Maggie are stressed about housing the harbinger in the attic and discover that despite captivity, it's powers seem to be growing as it can now kill instantly. To prove this, it kills a small mouse (which Mel and Maggie call a rat) and throws it at the girls. I like the harbinger. In addition to being a drab house, we also have a rodent infestation. They really do need to do some updating at their residence. Before any of the events of the rest of the episode, Mel already suspects that locked away inside the body, Angela still exists. I half expected the harbinger to mimic Angela's appearance or otherwise try and emotionally manipulate the girls, but this never happens. Harry advises that an Elder is on they way, and will assist with killing the harbinger, and Mel immediately opposes the idea. Macy lacks the emotional attachment to Angela, while Maggie continues to decline to mention that when reading Angela's thought while in a coma, she heard screaming. Not conclusive evidence that Angela is alive, but certainly worth a mention.

Nico and her partner...uhm Male Cop #1, arrive to question the girls about Angela's disappearance. Apparently her parents made a report and the party was the last place she was seen. I hate this scene. The girls act terribly guilty and none of them appear to be a confident liar. I suspect Macy could have evaded what little questioning there was better. The girls confirm that Angela was one of the many zombies at the party (which is a cheap joke that lacks any real humor) and say they didn't see her after. Male Cop # 1 is unconvinced, and Nico makes a quick social justice quip that the girls are afraid of guns and people of color don't like talking to cops. I thought to myself, why didn't one of the girls say "Sorry we're so nervous, we let a bunch of underage people drink here. She was at the party, along with a hundred other people and we didn't see her leave." To it's credit, the show doesn't leap to the conclusion that the girls are responsible for murder (as the original series would have), but Male Cop #1 concludes they know something.

Charity, the Elder, pops in and gives me a lot to talk about. First, I love her power and I'm disappointed it's considered "one of her many powers". The ability to remove sound or mute people is particularly effective when she psuedo-threatens Mel that without a voice, she can't case spells. I was also dying to use it on the subway today as a man ranted about Hollywood, the cost of housing in NY, how Detroit is the poorest *state* in the US, and that gold of Puerto Rico was stolen. Anyway, Charity explains that the girls mother was also an Elder, a part of the governing body of witches, and that they were close. The Elders were not aware the Charmed ones have risen, and are unprepared themselves for what this might mean. We get small nod to the Power of Three, but I think exposition around what this power is and how it works might be helpful. What did Elders do in the past without the power of three? She is certain that Angela is dead and can't be saved. The girls must kill the body to kill the harbinger. Mel makes a few emotional arguments resting on her mother's laurels to try and convince them to try and save Angela. Charity makes a very compelling, simplistic, in your face argument that she knew their mother in a different way, one that the girls clearly did not.

We also discover that the girls's mother (do we know her name?) had powers of prophecy. This feels a little corny and means that the dead hand of the girl's mother, who was omniscient in life, may rule the girls actions on the show. I don't like it although it's a archetype I've written into my own fiction pieces. It's also kind of fun that they note that the mother's powers weren't always accurate, a commonality of soothsaying in literature, although we don't know if this means her interpretation is wrong or that things she saw never came to pass. I find this particularly interesting because in the original series, Phoebe's powers were always accurate and for the most part her interpretations were correct and quite literal. Unfortunately, she became an awful character during season 5 or so. Anyway, the debate over whether or not to kill Angela, if she still exists loses important steam. Mel relies too much on her mother's memory in a repetitive way and no one brings up relevant facts that would suggest Angela is alive or really substantively address that they are opposed to potentially killing a human host.

Macy reaffirms her commitment to save the many at the expense of Angela. Again, the uses science to justify her decision making and I think that at some point the show will have to abandon this science and magic intersection. This weeks intersection was that the Harbinger's magic could act as Small Pox, but much faster based on Macy's observation under the microscope. Okkkaaayyyy. Later, Charity reveals that she didn't know about Macy, but cast a spell to remove sorrow and loss from the girl's mother. What a stupid plot point. If that's not personal gain, I don't know what is. Deal with the consequences of your decisions. However, the emotion drives Macy to make a decision to work with her sisters to try and save Angela contrary to her earlier reasoning. We also find out that at least Macy is interested in her background story even if her sisters are not. She declines a date with her coworker but fails to say, "Tonight won't work, how about tomorrow?" as the show wants to build romantic, will they/won't they tension. This irritates me because of my own emotional unavailability.

Mel uses the book to find a spell to prove that Angela is alive underneath the possession. From this scene and a few before it, the girls are capable of asking the book questions, and the book seems to come to life on it's own providing assistance. The original series used this trick sparingly and ultimately revealed that, usually, it was the family spirits stepping in. Personally, I think this new reliance on asking to book for help is going to hamper the girls ability to learn this craft. There is something about thumbing through a big book, without knowing what to look for that forces you to learn. It creates an underlying stress and struggle that shows the inexperience the girls have because they were in the dark about their abilities for so long. Points off Charmed 2018. Maggie has small but effective beats this episode. Her powers are crucial to pulling Angela's persona out, and she seems to communicate telepathically as well as vocally. She furthers her romantic triangle storyline by kissing Parker to distract him, which I haven't bought into.

The girls exorcise the harbinger using a secret spell from the book and infection resistant gloves. I thought the blank pages of the book might signify that it was time for the girls to do their own spell casting and ritual devising, but not yet. Male Cop #1 is killed accidentally, and not convincingly. Like, what happened to him? During the ritual, the area became a whirlwind of trash and debris, much like any windy day in NYC. Mel feels responsible for his death and isn't super comforting to Nico, in my opinion. We discover that in covering up the death, Charity has framed Male Cop #1 as the murderer . I like this plot development and hope it continues. It would have been even better if we had more moral debate surrounding Angela's predicament earlier. It sows discord between the girls and the Elders around ethics in a more effective way than the original show did with the vague, Whitelighter/Witch prohibition. The show ends with a mystery magical being taking the harbinger from Charity through hypnosis or suggestion. I liked this as well, and genuinely felt scared for her for a moment that she might die or betray the girls. I'm curious if this seemingly demonic entity will be a re-occurring character ala Cole Turner.

Good episode, but improvements in the gaps of the narrative need to be addressed.

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das_boot
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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by das_boot » 07 Nov 2018, 18:03

They used the name Marisol to refer to their mother this episode.

Thinking about it now, I actually like that Charity set up the Male cop as the killer. In the original series, I feel like there was very heavy reliance on white lighters using memory dust, or the sisters using spells to remove memories from people who could expose them. This tied up several problems at once although i do think that there was an inference there that Charity either killed, or allowed Trip (Male cop) to be killed.

As for Marisol’s magic for personal gain dilemma... I’m not sure I see it that way. Like in the previous series, an extra daughter was hidden due to potential danger they might face should the forces of evil know about their existence. Removing those feelings and burying the truth... I dunno. It almost implies that a demon wouldn’t be able to get the information about Macy from Marisol because she’d Buried her feelings. I also don’t think it classes as personal gain because it was for the good of the magical community.

I’d be interested in seeing whether there are other “charmed ones”. Like, are there other families of alliterative trio sisters who have been raised thinking that they’re going to be the Charmed ones only to now find out that they’re not?

As for what the Elders would have done without the power of three, I thought Harry said that their rising to power was something that would unleash hell?
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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by medium13 » 07 Nov 2018, 19:26

Marisol! Yes that's it. Thank you.

I like the Charity set up also. The male cop died by being struck by debris - I think a small pipe. The girls say he isn't breathing and he's already dead. Charity sets it up to look like a suicide and implicates him as a murderer post-mortem. That's an interesting story beat that has the potential for long term developments. It's ruthless and insensitive, and a hell of a lot more interesting that memory dust.

I assume we'll get more info about Macy's past and Marisol's motivations later, hopefully before this show is potentially cancelled before a second season. We can infer that Marisol is aware of her child because 1) she bore her and 2) she fends of a demon in the first episode with knowledge that she "ha(s) three!" I think this is a clear reference to her understanding she was bearing Charmed children. Still, it strikes me as odd to give up your first born, although statistically, that is probably accurate. In my line of thinking, bearing three daughters and having to hide one to prevent exposure as "Charmed" indicates she would hide and get rid of the third and last child, whom fulfills a prophecy. Of course, we don't know why she did this, so it's too soon to speculate. But, the original gave us much more coherent and reasoned basis for removing Paige from view. So the protection angle of this, which surely exists, isn't satisfied by her removing her feelings of loss or sorrow. To me, it's just a cheap way of getting out of dealing with your emotions, which to me, removes personal liability and therefore falls into personal gain.

I'd also be interested in seeing if there are other "charmed ones" or an exploration of what makes the Charmed Ones so important or powerful.

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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by medium13 » 13 Nov 2018, 18:36

Episode 4 : Other Women (There would be spoilers if anybody was watching)

There was a lot about this episode I did not like, but there were still redeeming moments. I think this might actually be my least favorite episode, which is unfortunate because I felt like this was getting better or at least the good outweighed the bad, for the most part. This one didn't do it for me.

We start off with Macy having a relaxing 1:30 AM bath, as one does. She is frightened by Harry and throws him telekinetically. Let me be super up front and say that the powers are my absolute favorite part of these shows, and I love moments like this even if they are contrived. However, this sets us up for some bad dialogue between the characters that will continue into breakfast. Hearing the commotion, Mel and Maggie come from their respective bedrooms and we have an awful transition of conversation to their private lives. Mel awkwardly says that Nico was there last night super late and isn't doing well. Tomorrow at breakfast, Maggie offers Harry a spot in their family but it feels strange and forced. These things are usually done through actions and not verbiage. However, Harry gives us some of the best character beats in this episode, and we feel sad for him and his loss (i.e. he doesn't remember his past life or have a family). Harry also makes a really impactful statement about death being permanent and unchangeable, which is important in this show as in the original series we got a point where death, with the exception of Prue's meant nothing. Harry immediately follows up this line with a reminder that he is in fact dead but alive now. It's a contradiction I would have missed if that line had been left out.

Mel and Niko visit the grave of Tripp, Male Detective # 1, and it's clear that Nico is becoming obsessed with the case and solving the "mystery." After they leave, a demon shows up and turns to smoke and goes into the grave. Mel picks up Nico from the police station where we learn that Niko was put on probation, in a routine your partner died type of situation. Nico was interviewed by the FBI before it is revealed that the youngest looking FBI agent ever, and the same graveyard demon is still watching Mel and Niko. At dinner, Niko spirals more and shows compulsion to solve this case and that she knew of evidence that Tripp found that links the death of Marisol to deaths in other cities. I have tried to refuse commenting on Mel's appearance, but her face bothers me. She seems to only convey thoughtfulness and concern by making a frowning face. It's overly emotive acting, distracting, and takes me out of the moment. Anyway, the FBI demon is a shape-shifter, who now has Tripp's form and is looking for DNA (mmm ok?). Niko realizes that Tripp has a fishing lodge, that the FBI couldn't find by simply looking at property records, that he keeps unlocked, that is decorated dramatically with the case info as if he is a crazed lunatic, and he has four DNA vials just hanging on the counter (mmm ok?). And like, what is the DNA exactly? It's more science that the show should drop. Taking Tripp's form, the demon knocks out Niko and unleashes hellfire (a strikingly similar fire to Game of Thrones wildfire) in the lodge after obtaining the vials of DNA. Mel gets to the cabin and gives an unconvincing "Niko! No!" before we cut to commercial break. Mel can't stop the flames as hellfire is one of the many things that have been shown to be resistant to her powers. At the hospital where Niko is being treated, a shape-shifter attacks again and Harry and Mel save Niko. This was confusing AF. Is this the same demon or another? Mel gets herself into a choke hold and the demon just throws her against a wall instead of choking her out. Harry comes to the rescue and Mel somehow is able to hurl the injection vile toward Harry when it was frozen. I just didn't follow it and didn't like it. It might have been more effective to have Harry struggle with the demon, and Mel physically plunge the needle into the demon. They move Niko into the house from the hospital (mmm ok?) to protect her from further attacks and Mel is afraid they aren't going to stop until they kill Niko. She asks Harry a very specific question if there is a spell to rewrite time, undoing her relationship with Niko and thereby saving her. Seems very specific and drastic. Mel makes another awful face when Harry's refusal to answer causes her to believe that yes, that spell exists. I forgot to mention, the elders have their sacred book and are looking for more secret spells (mmm ok?). This literally does not make sense unless no one was at all outraged by the action of the elders covering Tripp's death. I guess we have to infer that the girls aren't outraged at all by it. Despite Macy questioning Mel's decision in a supportive way, they cast a spell to undo the sands of time with Niko. I liked this but it would have been more dramatic and effective if they exposed themselves as witches to Niko, performed the spell, and then had a family moment. Instead, Mel goes into her room, freezes Niko while her sisters finish a power of three spell without her (mmm ok?). We lose a lot of the emotional resonance with the way this played out. Freezing Niko makes Mel look selfish to me. Mel discovers that without Niko she never got her job because she's lazy and overslept her alarm. I'm sure there will be more consequences.

Macy is struggling with her feelings for her coworker who has taken up with a succubus. Or at least, that's what they suspect. I'll be brief on this topic - but it turns out she's not a succubus but Macy's coworker does have a bizarre mark on him that only Macy is capable of seeing. The writers avoid a throw back to Season Two of the original series, "It's A Man, Baby!". This portion of the plot is handled well enough I guess. We get more lame excuses to cover up the magic, and it's kind of humorous but no resolution. I guess it helps move the story, but I wasn't that interested. The conflict in Macy's love life is one that could have been resolved fairly easily and I don't particularly like her coworker who comes across as a needy baby around the Halloween party and kind of a drugged up partyboi here, who's not even fun. Macy manages to copy the mark that only she can see but will others see it on the paper ? She has multiple issues of controlling her powers upon seeing her coworker also. Ha! I said I'd be brief.

Maggie meets Parker at the bar and I can't help think that the demonic FBI agent is cuter. He tells Maggie he cant' stop thinking about her. Maggie decides to tell Lucy that she was the one to kiss Parker. Lucy is mad.

The shapeshifter survives the hospital fight (and I didn't know for sure that it was him until just now) but tells the demon...who is introduced at Macy's work as a big wig that he lost the DNA . Did I miss that too? The demon has a picture of Macy on his computer screen.

Overall, we lack a lot of emotional impact in this episode and the overall movement of the overarching plot is weak. It's a transition episode and I would have liked to see other, more pressing plot developments addressed before diving into characters that I don't care about at all yet. Like, sorry I do not care about Niko or Macy's coworker, or Parker, or even Lucy who lost her edge when she lost her man.

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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by das_boot » 14 Nov 2018, 10:57

Here’s how they should have solved the issues in this week’s episode:
-glamour Harry to look like an FBI agent and tell Niko she has to stay in the house.
-Have the sisters cast the barrier spell that they used on Halloween to keep Niko and Harry safe
-cast a glamour on Mel to make her look like Niko. Go about her life with her sisters tailing her hoping to draw the demon out (we know Mel can freeze him, at least temporarily, so she’s at the least danger/can subdue him until the others turn up)
-do a vanquishing spell
-Send the message that if you come for the Charmed ones, they’ll fuck you up.

INSTEAD we get the melodrama (or Mel-o-Drama) of the memory wipe thing. Why? What does this possibly achieve? Couldn’t she have just killed the shapeshifter and if she was really that concerned about Niko, granted her some kind of special dispensation that would allow her to know the truth, load her up with some potion-grenades like in the original series, and had her run around and investigate the deaths of the Elders in tandem with the Charmed Ones?

Not just that, but for a series that’s been big on the issue of consent so far, this... it was enough to make me feel uncomfortable. They strike Niko of any kind of agency and don’t give her the option of making an informed choice.
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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by medium13 » 14 Nov 2018, 18:52

Agreed. It was such a drastic response to two relatively mild attacks, both of which were thwarted. Personally, I think the more rational (and let's face it, in character) response from Mel would be to try and protect Niko herself with arrogant confidence in her own untested abilities. They did write some throw-away line about how the shapeshifter(s) wouldn't stop until they got her, but it wasn't enough for me. This whole plot falls apart upon inspection.
1) Tripp has secret evidence hidden in a hideaway that he only told Niko about (evidenced that she hasn't seen it and has to figure out where it is).
2) The secret evidence, hidden away, that links murders across state borders which draws the attention of the FBI, who would also have to have some reason to connect the murders of Marisol and other elders, have a demonic agent in their ranks, who is stalking Niko to find the secret evidence, even though as a demon he has knowledge that these murders are connected through magic, no matter how loosely.
3) Tripp, who has collected secret evidence of murders taking place across the US, has utilized his fishing cabin to reconstruct his investigation and finding in the most cliche way, hid it from Niko, the police force, and any other investigatory agencies. Tripp suspects that the Vera sisters know something, and he knows that Niko has a relationship with Mel, and despite his desire for secrecy and suspicion about the Vera girls still confides in Niko, before his death that he has secret evidence linking the murders, including the murder of the Vera sisters mother, but does not tell her where.
4) The demon, who is posing as an FBI agent, who may have all the resources of the FBI at his disposal, doesn't know that Tripp has property that he might secure his evidence in at his fishing lodge.
5) Tripp kept his fishing lodge, with his secret evidence and secret reconstruction of multi-State serial murders, unlocked.

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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by das_boot » 14 Nov 2018, 21:55

6) Niko mentions a general location and Mel manages to find the exact cabin
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Re: CW's Charmed

Post by XtremeOne1 » 16 Nov 2018, 06:06

I'm all caught on this show. Overall, I'm enjoying it. it isn't excellent by any means but it's a fun ride. I like Macy and Maggie, but Mel grates on me as I feel her character is kinda one note. I like Harry though. He's more interesting than Leo was(even though Piper was my fav and I did like Leo, he was more interesting as an extension of Piper).

I like what they've done with the Elders and the magical world as a whole. It's more organized and darker, and a lot less corny. I definitely hope they don't go as deep into the magical realm as the OG Charmed.

The biggest drawback for me is the love interest. They're all sooooo boring. Nico is cop, Galvin is a scientist with a dumb name, and Parker is fugly and boring(I mean, of the three, Parker reaches new levels of dull). There is no chemistry with any of them, mostly because the actors are bad, and the characters stink(well, at least for Galvin and Parker).

And honestly, I hope this last episode kinda starts distancing all the relationships, because the new need to focus on the sisters. The bond isn't so solid, which makes sense given Macy is a "new" sister, which is why they shouldn't waste it on multi-episode love interest. It's the most important aspect of the show, so it should be given extra care during these first run of episodes. Ditch the love interests for at least the first season(with maybe just Nico sticking around) and let the sisters bond and grow as witches/heroes.

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