FROM THE ARCHIVES: The Girl With the Charmed Tattoo

FROM THE ARCHIVES: The Girl With the Charmed Tattoo

This post originally appeared on my long-abandoned collaborative pop culture blog The Debasers.  I’m copying it here for archival purposes, and because it’s somewhat relevant due to the recent news that CBS is working on a Charmed reboot.


September 22, 2009

I was sitting in a lecture, minding my own business, when I couldn’t help but notice the girl sitting four or five rows in front of me.  She wasn’t doing much to stand out, just sitting there, trying to pay attention, much like myself.  She had brown hair, tied back in a neat ponytail.  I think she was wearing a blue t-shirt.  But there, on the back of her neck, was a tattoo.  A tattoo of the Charmed symbol – the triquetra.  The interlocking half-circles from the front of the Book of Shadows.

And I couldn’t help but wonder whether this was a tattoo she’d regret over time.  Or if maybe she already does.

Now, I could be wrong.  She may be Wiccan, and this tattoo could be representative of her faith.  She may be of a Celtic background.  Or, I could be correct, and this tattoo may well be testament to her love of Charmed.

Once upon a time, Charmed was an okay television show.  For the first three seasons, I was a loyal viewer, and at the time I thought it was pretty darn awesome [bear in mind that I was between the ages of nine and twelve].  My favourite character was Prue, however, and once they killed her off, I could never look at the show in the same way.  A couple of years later, in maybe the sixth or seventh season, I found myself watching an episode, and I just could not comprehend how bad it really was.  Had it become worse over time?  Yes, most definitely.  But was it even that good to begin with?  Well, not really.

The basic ideas behind Charmed were quite good – the “coven” of three sisters who would work together to vanquish evil definitely had potential – however the writing was sloppy [even in the pilot – they killed a warlock by reciting “The power of three will set us free” – cheesy, much?], and too much of what they did was seemingly inconsequential [how exactly did Piper have the time to run the club and book all those bands when she spent every waking hour chasing after bad guys?].

Over those first three seasons [I’m not going to discuss the later ones] there were some great moments, episodes [or parts of episodes] that really emphasised the show’s potential.  But then, there were also some absolutely awful ones.

THE GOOD: Deja Vu All Over Again
The last episode of the first season was one of the strongest overall episodes of the whole show.  It was heartbreaking – I liked Andy’s character, and I liked the recurring storyline that had him following the Halliwells and trying to work out why they were always somehow involved with the city’s strange unsolved crimes.  But Andy’s death was well done, and it was something that could have sent the show in a much darker direction.  Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case, and after the first couple of episodes of the second season, he was never spoken of again.

THE BAD: How to Make a Quilt Out of Americans
This is just one example of an awful episode of Charmed.  Old ladies knitting together people’s skin in order for a demon to make them look younger again?  Uh, right.

THE GODDAMN AWFUL: All Hell Breaks Loose
Now, I’m not just picking this because they killed off my favourite character [even though it’s completely ridiculous, considering that the whole premise of the show was based around three sisters – and then bringing in the secret half-sister makes absolutely no sense because firstly, as if the Elders would not have known that Patty was pregnant – THEY SEE EVERYTHING – and secondly, the whole power of three thing would never have existed because there were more than three sisters.  NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT THEY RARELY EVEN MENTION PRUE AFTER SHE DIES EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS THEIR GODDAMN SISTER], but because of the way that they killed her.  Death by wall, people?  They killed her by throwing her into a wall.  A WALL.  Ugh.

I guess my main issue with Charmed was its lack of continuity.  It was as if the writers had absolutely no respect for loyal viewers.  The show, while based around an idea that would generally appeal to a cult audience, was clearly not written as such.  It’s more for the lazy viewer, as opposed to the active audience.  For the people who might not be able to watch it each week, but don’t worry too much about what they’ve missed.  Those who don’t ever wonder whatever happened to Dan’s niece Jenny.  Or Dan, for that matter.

I wonder what the girl with the Charmed tattoo thinks…


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