With the Charmed season 2 premiere “Safe Space,” the reboot series practically rebooted itself. The original Charmed ran for eight seasons between 1998 and 2006 on the now defunct network The WB. The supernatural series followed sisters Prue (Shannen Doherty), Piper (Holly Marie Combs), Phoebe (Alyssa Milano) and – after Prue’s death – Paige (Rose McGowan), who discover they are powerful witches known as the Charmed Ones. The show was a cult hit and developed a loyal fandom, so reactions were mixed when The CW confirmed a Charmed reboot was in the works.
Nevertheless, the Charmed reboot steamed ahead with Jane The Virgin alumni Jennie Snyder Urman, Jessica O’Toole and Amy Rardin at the helm and promising a “fierce, funny, feminist reboot.” Like the original show, the reboot features a trio of sisters – Macy (Madeleine Mantock), Mel (Melonie Diaz) and Maggie (Sarah Jeffrey) – although they’re less white, less heterosexual and a few years younger than the original sisters. The reboot also has familiar elements like the Book of Shadows and a Whitelighter – albeit a British one played by The Man In The High Castle’s Rupert Evans – but moved the setting from San Francisco to the fictional Michigan college town of Hilltowne.
The first season of the reboot spent time establishing the sisters’ lives and relationships in Hilltowne alongside adjusting to life as witches. The season ended with a big departure from the original series after the death of the Elders – the governing body of all things magic – saw the sisters taking their place. Before Charmed season 2 aired, showrunner Carter Covington was replaced by husband-wife writer duo Liz Kruger and Craig Shapiro, who teased even bigger changes were afoot with a new creative direction that would be “creepier, moodier and sexier.”
That proved to be an understatement when Charmed season 2 opener “Safe Space” premiered. Just as Macy, Mel, and Maggie were settling into their role as the Elders, the show pulled a massive twist by having a mysterious supernatural assassin attack the sisters and destroy the Book of Shadows. Luckily, the girls escaped the assassin but the book’s destruction opened up a portal that stripped them of their witchy powers and transported them – along with their Michigan house, somehow – to Seattle. There they found themselves at the Elders’ now abandoned state-of-the-art command center where they’re tasked with protecting witches across the globe from evil.
With a new location and the sisters losing their powers, Charmed season 2 pretty much undid everything the first season spent 22 episodes establishing – essentially, the reboot rebooted itself. Like the news of the reboot itself, fan reaction to its hard reset has been mixed but with Charmed season 2 currently only a handful episodes into its run, it’s too early to say whether the reboot of the reboot is a good or bad thing.