2018 Fall TV Preview – The CW (In Which I Try To Be Seethingly Polite About The Charmed Backlash)

Hey!

It’s that time of the year again. A new crop of shows are about to premiere. The CW is expanding into Sunday nights, meaning more new shows to join their superheroes, crazy ex-girlfriends and Archies.

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Never Forget.

All-American

When a rising high school football player from South Central L.A. is recruited to play for Beverly Hills High, the wins, losses and struggles of two families from vastly different worlds — Compton and Beverly Hills — begin to collide. Inspired by the life of pro football player Spencer Paysinger.

Starring: Daniel Ezra, Taye Diggs, Samantha Logan, Bre-Z, Greta Onieogou, Monet Mazur, Michael Evans Behling, Cody Christian, Karimah Westbrook

Pros:

Watching the trailer for this felt like picking out parts of all these other things in pop culture. A little bit of The OC, a dash of Friday Night Lights, a soupçon of The Hate U Give. But those are all fucking excellent things to be inspired by (The head of the CW also compared it to Everwood, which is super intriguing). During the CW Upfronts, producers acknowledged similarities to The OC but noted that since Spencer still lives in Compton, the show will be grounded in both worlds. And that’s exciting to me for many reasons but mostly because his best friend in Compton is Freda Gatz! May we never forget the time she shot Jamal Lyons because Lucious killed her father, who was both a cannibal and played by Chris Rock.

Because Empire.

Also I should mention that one of us worked on the pilot. So…be a pal. Support a ‘Cado. Go, Hoe!

Cons:

The racial abuse from that white douchebro is already exhausting and I’ve only seen the trailer.

Premieres October 10th, Airs Wednesdays 9PM EST

Legacies

Continuing the tradition of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES and THE ORIGINALS, the story of the next generation of supernatural beings at The Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted. Klaus Mikaelson’s daughter, 17-year-old Hope Mikaelson; Alaric Saltzman’s twins, Lizzie and Josie Saltzman; and other young adults come of age in the most unconventional way possible, nurtured to be their best selves…in spite of their worst impulses. Will these young witches, vampires and werewolves become the heroes they want to be — or the villains they were born to be?

Pros:

It’s CW Hogwarts! How can you not give that at least one episode?

I like how all of the VD (heh) series play with good and evil in their characters. Hell, The Originals was basically what would happen if you took all the Big Bads on TV and shoved them into New Orleans for five seasons. The idea of a prep school where monsters discover their morals or lack thereof is interesting to me. By the way, this whole thing takes place in 2029. So it’s not just a magic high school, it’s a future magic high school.

Neat.

Cons:

If you don’t recognize any of the names in the description, you could be locked out of the show completely. I was plenty knowledgeable about the Vampire Diaries when I watched The Originals and I still had to google so much information to understand what was happening. Bless you, super intricate Vampire Diaries wiki that is still kind of hard to navigate.

Premieres October 25th, Airs Thursdays 9PM EST

Charmed

After the tragic death of their mother, three sisters in a college town are stunned to discover they are witches.  Soon this powerful threesome must stand together to fight the everyday and supernatural battles that all modern witches must face: from vanquishing powerful demons to toppling the patriarchy.

Starring: Madeleine Mantock, Melonie Diaz, Sarah Jeffery, Rupert Evans, Ser’Darius Blaine, Ellen Tamaki, and Charlie Gillespie

Okay.

Bear with me here. This one is gonna take some explaining.

When it was announced that the CW was rebooting Charmed twenty years after the original aired, people took offense. And when I say people, I mean the original Charmed Ones. The fans have taken their lead. The YouTube comments on the trailer above are…definitely something. That’s not even the original CW trailer. They had to take it down because OG Charmed fans dislike button-ed the shit out of it.

So, Rose McGowan gave the show and the new Charmed Ones her blessing after some doubts. Shannen Doherty seems mostly to be upset that the marketing used the phrase “fierce, funny,  feminist reboot”, because she thinks that it implies that original wasn’t feminist. Holly Marie Combs, on the other hand, has been vociferously against the show since the pilot pickup was announced. She thinks by rebooting so soon after the original ended, the CW is implying that they are “too old to do a job they did 12 years ago.” Her main point, however, is the same problem Alyssa Milano has with the project.

In their eyes, Charmed belongs to them and they were not asked to be involved.

And they have a point. Working under disgraced showrunner, Brad Kern (which one would imagine was not a great experience), Combs and Milano produced and did uncredited rewrites on the last 5 seasons of the show. They put in the work and it’s not unreasonable that they’re upset at being left out. If the CW had communicated with them a bit better, they could have avoided this total clusterfuck.

So why should you watch it?

Here’s the thing.

Pros:

This show is being rebooted and run by Jennie Snyder Urman, the creator of Jane the Virgin. For those who are not obsessed with JtV, it is one of the best shows to have aired on The CW or either of its progenitor networks. There’s a fascinating interview/FAQ that you should read with Snyder, the cast, and the writers on Buzzfeed, written by Alanna Bennett. While fans of the original are well represented (with producers and co-showrunners, Amy Rardin and Jessica O’Toole brought on specifically because they loved the show), the reboot seems very much like it’s own thing. It boasts a cast that is mostly non-white who are backed up by an inclusive, female driven writers room. And even just from the descriptions of the pilot, it shows. Macy, Mel and Maggie are Latinx. Macy is a scientist. Mel is a queer women’s rights activist. Maggie is…rushing a sorority (but a “woke” one).

The reason this Charmed is not focused on the next generation of Halliwells is because they wanted diverse leads. Piper’s soap opera hot sons (glimpsed through time travel) and their lesser seen sister and cousins are not that. And since the writers are following rules established by the original series, the universe can only have one set of Charmed Ones. In the Buzzfeed article, the reboot writers mentioned a plan to visit alternate realities that would include the Halliwells. I can’t imagine it will happen now, given the distaste Combs and Milano have for the show.

Look, Super Pissed Off Fans of Charmed. I love the original (Well, I love the first six-ish seasons). This show isn’t going to take anything away from that. There is room enough for the Halliwells and the Veras. If you hate it and don’t want to watch it, that’s fine. But people have come at this thing so aggressively, even before we knew anything about the show proper, that it kind of makes me ashamed to be a fan of the first Charmed (and I made it through that entire arc where Billy Zane was a demon whose sole purpose was to show Phoebe that she could love again). Also a couple of y’all’s “economic anxiety” is showing and it’s not a good look.

So my advice is this: If it’s making you angry enough that you attack the actors on social media for perceived slights, just ignore it. If it’s making you angry enough that you feel the need to comment on every tweet or article that mentions Charmed about how much the reboot sucks, just pretend it doesn’t exist. Or you could just get on board and try to convince the actresses to do the alternate universe episode. I would like to seem them again. Maybe get that universe where Prue Halliwell survived.

Cons:

Jane the Virgin isn’t coming back til midseason cause Jennie Snyder Urman is doing this.

*grumbles*

I know that Charmed pairs better with Supergirl and we’ll probably get JtV when Crazy Ex Girlfriend or Dynasty is over BUT YOU CAN’T JUST DROP A CLIFFHANGER LIKE THAT AND LEAVE IT FOR MIDSEASON, JENNIE SNYDER URMAN.

Premieres October 14th, Airs Sundays 9PM EST

What More Interesting Show Did They Move To Midseason?

Roswell, New Mexico

After reluctantly returning to her tourist-trap hometown of Roswell, New Mexico, the daughter of undocumented immigrants discovers a shocking truth about her teenage crush who is now a police officer: he’s an alien who has kept his unearthly abilities hidden his entire life. She protects his secret as the two reconnect and begin to investigate his origins, but when a violent attack and long-standing government cover-up point to a greater alien presence on Earth, the politics of fear and hatred threaten to expose him and destroy their deepening romance. Based on the Roswell High book series by Melinda Metz.

I love the original. I love that they cast Godot and Cosette from Bunheads as the leads. I hope it lasts long enough to get into the whole alien backstory that the original only touched upon. The WB stayed earthbound. The CW and Carina Adly Mack will definitely take them back to their home planet if they get to season 2.

In the Dark

A flawed and irreverent blind woman is the only “witness” to the murder of her drug-dealing friend. After the police dismiss her story, she sets out with her dog, Pretzel, to find the killer while also managing her colorful dating life and the job she hates at Breaking Blind, the guide dog school owned by her overprotective parents.

…I’m just so curious about this. A lot of how I feel will depend on how cute Pretzel the dog is though.

What Show Do We Wish They Had Picked Up?

As tempted as I was to watch Pizzagirls vs. Aliens or My Brother is a Ghost Cop:

Fuckin’ Wayward Sisters, man…

That one managed to deeply wound the Supernatural fandom and convince the CW that no Supernatural spinoff would ever work.

Not even Adam’s adventures in hell.

Cause, you know:

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