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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Reboot Charmed?

Sorry, about last week's skip.  Between birthday celebrations and house cleaning that needed to be done, I kind of put my blog on a back burner.  But I am typing and I promise to attempt to release a blog post each week, preferably on Sundays.

Now, for the thoughts running through my head recently.  First, I only recently read about the Charmed reboot.  I saw it posted on Facebook and haven't really looked into it other than to learn that it's supposed to be set in the 1970's.  While I have great hopes for anything that is remotely related to Charmed, this post is not going to be based around the reboot and my hopes for it.  Saying that, I should most emphatically admit that there are likely to be things that I hope or have thought of being added to the Charmed series.  Sometimes I'll be writing about something or thinking of something and it'll be another thing I'll be like "Ooh, I wonder how this would translate in the actual universe," or "You know, I really wish they would expand on this..." such as the Prudence Halliwell and Andy Trudeau friendship.  Some other things would be various events that are referenced but never truly explained or explored during the series, including Phoebe's rebellious phase and how that may have been changed because of going into the past and changing Grams' personality.  I should also admit to doing my best to stick with the television series since I haven't been able to read the comics continuation and only a few of the books that were written.  I don't have easy access to said books, however.

Thinking on Charmed and all of the things they did in a period of eight years, there were things that annoyed me, like how the sisters made a pact to never give up their magic in season 1, and then, at the end of season 4, Phoebe and Piper consider it once again, seeming to have forgotten the pact they made with Prue.  Speaking of Prue, it always annoyed me that they never brought her back.  They referenced her a number of times, but in the final season, she's hardly ever even alluded to and the iconic picture of Prue, Piper, and Phoebe is conspicuously absent.  If it weren't for the marriage counseling episode, I wonder if Prue would have ever been mentioned or in the series again.  I always thought we were dealt a bit of a disservice to her character in that respect.

So one of the things that keeps popping up in my head is how in All Halliwell's Eve when the sisters are transported on Halloween to colonial America to aid in the birth of one of their ancestors, Phoebe plays along with one of the practices to find a person's true love.  This practice is to breathe on an apple peel with only thoughts of love before dropping it in water.  For Phoebe, the letter that is first in her true love's name is "C".  At the time she believed it to mean Cole and throughout the seasons he did pop up numerous times.  There were also other lovers for Phoebe that didn't always begin with "C" like Jason and Drake.  Despite hints toward her living with them, such as her premonition of marriage, her true love ends up being a cupid named Cupid or Coop for short.

It was nice that this return to an old occurrence became fact before the series ended even if others did not ( the premonition of Prue owning her own company with blonde hair ring a bell?).  It was something that sometimes annoyed me since some of their travels could and would affect their future.  It was also aggravating that the sisters, while considered the strongest witches of the Warren line, were never given the understanding or respect from certain others that they probably should have had.  I mean, they saved the world from magical creatures and when Piper is at death's door, Leo is not supposed to try to heal her, despite the fact that her death would ruin her sisters.  In fact, the saving of Piper and Phoebe but not Prue always upsets me when I think about it, but perhaps that was because Prue's true love had already died.  It's a thought that has always plagued me about Charmed.

Think about it for just a moment.  Prue and Andy Trudeau were best friends in their childhood.  Such best friends that Grams was willing to risk him learning their secret to allow the girls to play with him.  This is proven in the episode they travel back to the seventies to save themselves from an enchanted ring that would kill them.  Grams unfreezes a young Andy after the older Piper and Prue manage to "kidnap" their younger selves.  After Andy's death at the end of season 1, it felt as though Prue had lost herself.  In fact, to me at least, it seemed as though she had lost the one thing that mattered most to her.  After his death, she quits her job and just seems to be unsure of what she wants anymore.  By the time Piper is infected with a fatal disease contracted by smuggling in tropical fruits, it seemed as though the only reason Prue had stayed was for her sisters' sakes and she would otherwise have gone to the "dark side".

This leads me to believe that even if Grams claimed that Prue hadn't taken her own death well, it was likely not for the reasons so many others would have thought.  No, it wasn't that she hadn't wanted to die, but rather that she felt her sisters still needed her, especially Piper.  After all, it was Piper, Phoebe, and Prue who were "summoned" to colonial America as the "most powerful good witches of all time" (Eva, All Halliwell's Eve), not Paige.  It's Prue who managed to handle an empath's power that was never meant for her and Prue who managed to counter the sins.  It was also Prue who managed to channel enough hate to destroy a dark lighter so as to save their white lighter and his charge while they were power-switching in one episode.  You know, Piper and Leo have switched powers/bodies numerous times.  I wonder if there were many side effects as Chris and Wyatt were growing up hearing about their parents' misadventures?  I digress, though.  Everything indicates that Prue was the most powerful witch of the three, even if when it becomes Piper, Phoebe, and Paige, they are still powerful as the Charmed Ones.

On that point, I seriously have to disagree.  In fact, there are any number of hints that Piper is actually the strongest of the Charmed Ones.  It's not a bad thing, it's just something that when it seems as though Phoebe is being portrayed as strong or that Paige has an inferiority complex in regards to her taking Prue's place in the sisterhood, I can't help but think about.  Piper has during the course of the eight season series died a decent number of times, fallen in love with warlocks, ghosts, and white lighters, been turned into a veritable zoo of magical beings and still puts up with being a witch even if most of the time, she hates it.  But these aren't why I think she's the strongest of the trio - I mean quartet.

No, it's something much different than an overview of what has happened to her or how she's reacted.  It doesn't even have anything to do with being the Lady of the Lake to Wyatt's King Arthur.  It's the fact that when she thinks of Grams - the matriarch of the modern day Halliwell's - she is taken to her future self.  There's a lot more to it than just that, and I'll put it in its own post.  But something else to think of: Piper has had to fight to control her power, often at awkward times.  She's had to fight even harder than any of the others for her true love, and yet she's always been the most motherly of the sisters.  How could she be relegated to almost a side-note in so much of the series?  Even when they tried to focus on her journey, it felt almost more focused on Leo or Phoebe or Paige or Prue; even Cole had his own journey of "This is me, deal with it.  I'm the one who's got a story to tell!"

Charmed was largely about the sisterly bond between the three but in the monkey episode (Sense and Sense Ability) the trio found that they had an innate bond that when they focused on each other they could use it to utilize each other's abilities and heighten them.  As far as I can remember, at the time of typing this, they never again show the capability to do so.  In fact, family was such a big thing that it only made sense that the final acts of the series would be for another bond very similar to the Charmed Ones be turned to use against them.  In that case, meet Billie and Christie.  Don't worry too much.  The Ultimate Power was separated at a young age and the kidnapped one turned against anything that we would typically perceive as good.  The other had to hunt for her sister alone while also learning to use her own powers which didn't really manifest until she was older.

Despite everything, I hope that reboot doesn't focus too much on the actual Charmed Ones even if they are born in the 1970's.  It feels like almost a cop out.  References to them and spotlights with guest stars would be wonderful.  So would the truth of Patty and Victor and Sam's love triangle, but I think it would be much better if they focused on a different branch of the Halliwell tree...maybe that drunk cousin they mentioned in the pilot episode?  Well, whatever they do, I hope they keep in mind the reason the original Charmed was as well-liked as it was.

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