By Kristen Baldwin
October 12, 2018 at 09:00 AM EDT
Credit: Jordon Nuttall/The CW

The Power of Three still packs an entertaining jolt in the CW’s (weirdly controversial) reboot of Charmed. The characters are new, but the fundamentals remain intact: Three very different sisters — scientifically minded Macy (Madeleine Mantock), fiercely feminist Mel (Melonie Diaz), and fun-seeking Maggie (Sarah Jeffery) — discover they are powerful witches known as the Charmed Ones. The premiere leans heavily into the #MeToo movement: Mel speaks out against rape culture at college parties, and the first monster the sisters fight is a demon (a deliciously sleazy Robert Pine) who feeds on “strong women.”

But showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman (Jane the Virgin) and her team save Charmed (premiering Sunday, Oct. 14, at 9 p.m. ET) from feeling heavy-handed and preachy by keeping the dialogue sharp and witty — as when a women’s studies professor compliments Mel’s essay: “It really made me feel as if my penis had been torn from my body.” Yes, there are changes from the original — one sis is a lesbian! Their last name is Vera! No one wears midriff-baring shirts! — but the ladies still live in a colorful Victorian house (this time in Michigan) and have the guidance of a handsome Whitelighter (Rupert Evans). Surely the new Charmed — which speaks to younger viewers in a language they’ll appreciate while honoring the original’s themes of sisterhood and female empowerment — can coexist peacefully with the old Charmed. The only things I really miss are the alt-rock theme song and those bad ’90s bobs. Grade: B

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Charmed -- "The Replacement" -- Image Number: CMD118b_0367.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Melonie Diaz as Mel, Madeleine Mantock as Macy and Sarah Jeffery as Maggie -- Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW -- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Charmed (2018 TV series)

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