Flashback: Charmed

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The entertainment industry is full of heroines and high-earning females. Even Disney has adapted their idea of the ‘princess’ who now hikes mountains and puts her love for her sister before her own life thank you Frozen. Nevertheless often this is through a single determination of one woman rather than a group. Even Sex and the City had its infighting and backstabbing. However, it seems if we wind back the clock and scour through our DVDs we will find a treasure that pre-dates Anna and Elsa. Perhaps one of the longest running television series where the main cast are female but is based around a supernatural premise; Charmed.

Based around three sister witches (Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, Shannen Doherty) who gain their powers after coming together because of the death of their grandmother. They become the ‘charmed ones’ and have to battle demons and warlocks alike, while protecting innocents. The classic battle of good and evil. They have to join together and overcome family problems in order to battle the evil of the world and protect the innocent. It all sounds quite cheesy and in retrospect the premise is. But Charmed promoted key morals that are powerful, no matter what time or society you live in.CharmedAmazons They promote the need for family unity, belief in yourself as well as the women around you, and trust. It’s almost impossible not to fall in love with it. Of course though, let’s not forget the amazing costumes they would get into when some spell went wrong!

Over 8 years we witnessed the power of three grow stronger and stronger dealing with love, loss and even the death of their own sister (Shannen Doherty), though they soon gained another (Rose McGowan). As the sisters battle many foes they encounter one that lasts throughout the show, the need to have their own life. The sisters battle to not only have control over their powers but also to have careers, families and independence. Piper (Holly Marie Combs) ran her own bar, married a guardian angel who liked to disappear, and had two sons! They represented the modern woman as they battled with life as a female in a male dominated world. Dealing with struggles in the workplace and dilemmas of love, dating both troublesome humans, demons alike and even a ghost, all while looking effortlessly stylish and battling evil. Supernatural and all.

This is why the franchise spanned 8 years and indeed why the series should be remembered. The show conveyed everything a modern woman had to face, though of course some demons aren’t always real. Not only was the show widely acclaimed receiving multiple awards and nominations it accumulated 7.7 million viewers at it’s peak. This represents a truly ground breaking change within television for a longstanding series featuring all female leads. Encouraging belief in oneself as well as other woman and their ability to face life’s challenges the series should be passed down through generations. Because on top of the quiet feminist agenda and family values who doesn’t love 90’s special effects and three attractive sister witches?

If you liked Buffy the Vampire Slayer or even Game of Thrones put Charmed at the top of your list of box-sets to binge watch the next time you get chance.

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BA English student at University of Southampton and Editor for The Edge (2015-16). A deep love of reading, theatre and all things entertainment.

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