When it was announced that Charmed was being rebooted there was a mixed response.
And that was just from the original’s cast-members, as Holly Marie Combs, who played the middle sister/witch to Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano, was particularly aggrieved that it was being reimagined. Although both Doherty and Rose McGowan and a tidal wave of fans were much more positive about the possible impact of the show today.
But why exactly was “Charmed” rebooted?
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I recently had the chance to ask that very question to Madeleine Mantock, who portrays the newly discovered older sister to Melonie Diaz and Sarah Jeffery’s character in the supernatural fantasy, who all start exhibiting magical powers when they are together and soon learn that they’re witches.
At first, though, Mantock heaped praise on the script, saying that she was “excited” and “so pleasantly surprised by it in a way that I didn’t expect to be.”
“It seemed really current and conscious and we were using this magical wish fulfillment, which is fun to watch on a TV show anyway. I mean, who doesn’t want to have powers? But we were using it to entertain and talk about issues that are really prevalent in most people’s lives day to day now,” she continued.
“Whether that’s the positives and negatives of social media. Or bigger issues like Me Too and Time’s Up and how we are trying to foster this narrative that people need to be believed and heard and we have to give them their place in society.”
“So it was really fun to see that balance. Plus the balance of the fun and the horror. I was surprised at how much humor there was in the pilot. It is in the rest of the season, too.”
“But specifically for the pilot, we have these moments for the scares and we have made our demons scary and there are those horror elements. But also it is really funny.”
“There is so much stuff that makes it feel like a breath of fresh air. It was like nothing that I had read before."
"In terms of it being the right time that we reboot it, I am only an actress.I have never sat in a board meeting and been involved in such discussions."
"But when it came to the script I just didn’t second guess it. I loved the characters and the script and I could see where they were going with it. I just saw the positives.”
Mantock also went into detail about exactly how “Charmed” reflects 2018, insisting, “It is down to the character’s lives.”
“We talk about being able to be a female scientist and be brilliant and then finding out you are a witch, that’s a work/life balance that a lot of women, who are CEOs or are at school or are running their own businesses and are trying to have a family, all struggle with.”
“With this we have an opportunity to tell a lot of different stories, for men and women, from different perspectives. That’s not just our show. That’s where we are at with TV now.”
“And that is partly because of social media. Which has given us a window outside of stereotypes.”
“It is important to have such visual representation and show different types of people to the world and prove there are many different ways to be a human being.”
“Outside of different cultures, people can just be put into little boxes. I think that’s where negative stereotypes come from.”
“We explore different people. We have the character of Mel, who is very interested in politics, she would describe herself as a feminist. But in the pilot she is angry and grieving, and we allow herself to be that way.”
“Maggie is young and bubbly and a vivacious spirit, who really cares deeply about what people think.”
“I mean, the level of insecurity that young girls face today, I can’t even wrap my head around. If I had had social media at 10 it would have ruined me.”
“So we have these windows into what it is like to be a girl today. So that’s why we say it is rooted in 2018 because we are trying to reflect what it is like to live in this time.”
Being involve in "Charmed" has already changed Mantock, too. As she admitted that its exploration and handling of these subjects and characters has made her much more confident when it comes to tackling and discussing the best way to include them in the show, too.
“I find it liberating to work on a show where we all know that we are trying to be conscious and forward thinking.”
“As an actor and as a woman it gives me the confidence to speak up about things that I might not have done about on other jobs.”
“I can say, ‘I know we are trying to be mindful about these kind of things.’ Whether that is little script tweaks that day, so it feels nice to work with people that genuinely care.”
“Charmed” will premiere on The CW on October 14.