Charmed: Charmed (1998-2006) Full Series
August 16, 2018 7:19 PM - Season 8 (Full Season) - Subscribe

A trio of sisters discover an ancient text in their mansion attic, revealing they possess latent supernatural powers, mischief and drama ensue.
posted by oh yeah! (11 comments total)
I'm sure I'll watch be watching the Charmed reboot when it launches, but, I feel like it would be an injustice for Original Flavor Charmed not to get a Fanfare thread first.

I watched Charmed as it aired, and have fond memories of the Television Without Pity recaps, as the increasing suckitude of season 8 drove the recapper to madness. Then I watched it again when it showed up on Netflix, and just tonight finished re-watching the whole series again.

I just have such love for the show. Considering what horribleness was going on offscreen what with Brad Kern being another terrible man in Hollywood[TM], and whatever the hell went down that made Doherty leave the show so abruptly as to be killed off over summer hiatus, the actresses all did a pretty terrific job at playing believably loving sisters. And no matter how bad the writing gets, Holly Marie Combs always sells it.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:49 PM on August 16, 2018

Charmed was like Gilmore Girls or Buffy. Not by the quality of writing--heavens no!--but that they were on the same network and are a lot more popular than their Nielsen rating would indicate. I disagree with the AV Club stating Charmed never had Buffy's 'acclaim' or 'influence'. I think Buffy wins if your social circle is "hip", but Charmed would probably be more popular with America as a whole. Rose McGowan said there was a time when it was the most watched show on Netflix.

Not to brag, but I myself can identify most episodes by what outfit Alyssa Milano is wearing.

The progression of the series was interesting. The first season was way darker than the following seasons. You could tell they were trying to copy Buffy's tone, except an Aaron Spelling joint can't pull that off. The show got better as they lightened up and had leprechauns and mermaids and all that. Which is why I prefer McGowan to Doherty. Rose was a better fit for the campiness.
posted by riruro at 11:40 AM on August 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

John Cho played a guy who got murdered (and flirted a lot with Piper, as a ghost) in the first season. Look it up, you're all very welcome.

Even as a child, I knew Buffy was a better show. this day, I'd still be willing to watch an episode of Charmed if it is on. (Much like Supernatural!)
posted by grandiloquiet at 6:34 PM on August 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

I watched Buffy & Angel as they broadcast, bought all the dvd sets as they were released to listen to the commentary tracks, on the assumption that I would go back and watch them all from the beginning. But by the very end, most every character I cared about died or had their loved one(s) die, and the prospect of a rewatch just seemed like an exercise in masochism. Whenever I happened upon a rerun on cable, I might get sucked in briefly, but could never watch wholeheartedly again.

When I started watching Charmed, I don't know that I thought of it as 'Buffy-lite' per se, but I think I had it slotted away as 'fun/junk food' category genre. I felt like it lost its way a bit after the Cole arc ended. And Season 8 was a real slog what with the slashed budget and the awfulness of Billie - badly written, seemingly brought on as the new younger hotness as part of Kern & Co.'s ludicrous attempt to appeal to a new male demographic, and the cause of Leo's absence for the majority of the season (because they couldn't afford to add Kaley Cuoco as a regular without demoting Brian Krause to recurring) - but I remember how joyfully weepy I got at the finale. Grams & Patty from the past, Chris & Wyatt from the future, happily ever afters for everyone, group hug montage. I couldn't ask for anything more.

John Cho played a guy who got murdered (and flirted a lot with Piper, as a ghost) in the first season. Look it up, you're all very welcome.

That episode had such a beautifully sad song in the original broadcast - "Sand and Water" by Beth Nielson Chapman, replaced with something generic/cheaper on the Netflix run, presumably on the DVDs too.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:34 PM on August 17, 2018

I apologize if this sounds creepy, but it's something I've genuinely wondered about. Like, was I imagining this, or was it really as weird as I remember...

I think the only episode I ever watched was the one where Shannen Doherty turned herself into man, and I remember the plot being cute and funny but the display of cleavage was... kind of overwhelming. Like, in every scene we were seeing LOTS of boob, lingering shots of low necklines, to the point that it got weird and Russ Meyer-y almost. I think maybe Alyssa Milano's character also had some disease that made her horny and sweaty all the time. I remember lots of sweating. So, was the whole series kinked-up like that, or was it just that one episode? Or am I remember it all wrong?

Oh, here's the episode in question. No mention of Milano having some horny-making disease, so maybe that was another episode. Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me, but it's a really vivid recollection. I remember thinking, "Jeez, I'm an unabashed kink freak, and this is a bit much even for ME."
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:22 PM on August 19, 2018

Like, was I imagining this, or was it really as weird as I remember...

Oh, no, I doubt it was your imagination. This was an Aaron Spelling production, after all, the man primarily responsible for 'Jiggle television' as a genre, and, Brad Kern is a garbage human, so, the show showed off as much skin as they could. Sometimes because of magic (getting turned into a vampire, a Fury, a comic-book super heroine, mermaid, you name it), sometimes just interesting fashion choices.

As far as Milano getting a disease that made her horny and sweaty, she definitely got hit with the horny-making whammy from time to time (ghost possession, backfired spells), but I don't recall them being particularly sweaty.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:11 PM on August 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

So, the Milano character got hit by a horny-making spell on multiple occasions? Wow.

I guess maybe I did see more than one episode. I just remember Milano working at a bar, maybe, and she was gushing sweat and dabbing at her cleavage with a bar napkin and complaining about how the endless magical horniness was driving her out of her mind, and I was like, "WTF, show?"
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:10 PM on August 19, 2018

To be fair, Phoebe was turned evil more often then she was turned horny.
posted by riruro at 10:43 PM on August 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Sometimes she was evil and horny.
posted by riruro at 12:48 PM on August 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

I mean, the visual shorthand for female-character-turned-evil most often is skimpier/black clothing and dramatic makeup. Not a lot of frumpy femme fatales in cinematic history.

An endearing thing about Charmed was how often they would poke fun at themselves for their own tropiness, usually by Piper making a meta reference. Like during the Ladyhawke-ripoff episode, I think Prue says “This reminds me of a movie”. So there were definitely some jokes in-show about the outfits-of-evil.
posted by oh yeah! at 1:13 PM on August 22, 2018

The absolute perfect (especially if a marathon) show when home ill enough to mostly sleep but need something on during those barely aware periods, wicked leprechauns then the eyes deblur and it's evil wizards or sneaky faeries.
posted by sammyo at 6:29 PM on September 2, 2018

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