A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The sisters' stated mission is to "use the power of three to protect the innocent and vanquish demons," a rather fantastical positive message but a positive message nonetheless. Consent is also built into the show: the sisters can decide whether or not to embrace their powers.
Positive Role Models
The cast is more diverse than in the original, with the main trio of leads all women of color. Each has a distinct, if somewhat stereotypical, character: the brain, the activist, the party girl. Above all, though, the sisters prize each other and each other's health and happiness, and they're always willing to help each other even at great personal cost.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is often supernatural and generally pretty mild but can disturb younger or sensitive viewers: demons emit blue lightning bolts, a friendly dog turns into a monster with black eyes and razor-sharp teeth, a woman is found dead underneath a broken window, a man is stabbed by a demon. Expect occasional blood and bodies, but no gore.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Expect same- and opposite sex kissing, dating, scenes that take place in bed before the camera cuts away and then back after implied sex. Discussions and jokes dip into #MeToo territory with Mel reminding a sorority sister making out on a couch "When it comes to consent you can change your mind at any time."
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Language: "Goddammit," "hell," "slutty," "damn." There are also some stand-ins for curses, like "freaking" and "frigging."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking is relatively common, including scenes in which underage college students sneak liquor, adults drink beer in a bar and then refer to being drunk, a sorority sister refers to being "loaded."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Charmed is a reboot of a 1990s series of the same name that involves a trio of sisters who discover they have magical powers and need to hold off world-threatening demon attacks. The show is similar to the original in setup but has some changes: the three leads are now all women of color, one of the women is an out lesbian, and feminist issues such as consent frequently play a part in plotlines. Violence is frequent, not too intense, and generally supernatural: people who turn suddenly into demons with scary makeup, otherworldly bolts of lightning, onscreen deaths with little blood and no gore. Both adults and underage college students drink, and refer to being drunk or loaded. References to sex and same- and opposite-sex kissing, including in bed, is frequent, though the camera cuts away before sex happens. Language: "damn," "hell," "goddammit" and some gendered insults: "slutty." Women are strong and powerful in this show, and often have to join together to protect others, a powerfully positive message that will resonate with teens and twentysomethings.
Is It Any Good?
Even fans of the original who are put out by the significant changes made to their cult-fave witchy TV series will have to admit this reboot has, well, charm. The retooled trio of sisters have chemistry and comic chops, particularly Mel and Maggie, who look like sisters, bicker like sisters, and have each other's back when the chips are down (and demons with giant black eyes are breaking through to your dimension), like sisters. Truth be told, the original Charmed was a silly show, a Buffy knockoff that never reached Buffy's heights of meta-storytelling. But its attraction wasn't that it was great TV, it was that it was fulfilling TV, a sweet fantasy about bad guys who weren't so bad that they couldn't be conquered by a trio of women who had to join together to be truly powerful.
In the #MeToo era, it's a fantasy that's especially attractive, and the new Charmed has particular appeal for a modern woke audience: as an out-and-proud lesbian and feminist, Mel does much of the heavy lifting here, like when she reminds a female partygoer making out on a couch "When it comes to consent you can change your mind at any time." It's a message that might make viewers want to cheer, particularly when it comes around again in the end, when Maggie's able to defeat a former boyfriend/stalker demon who tries to bully her into a fatal kiss by reminding her she'd already kissed him before, so she can't say no now. Wrong! Die, demon! As the sisters join hands and powers and always come up on top, this goofy little show becomes a potent exercise in wish fulfillment.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.