AskDefine | Define charmed

Dictionary Definition

charmed adj
1 strongly attracted [syn: captivated]
2 filled with wonder and delight [syn: beguiled, captivated, delighted, enthralled, entranced]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

Adjective

  1. Bewitched, under a magic spell (cast by a charm).
  2. impressed
    You are very gracious, I am charmed by your personality.

Translations

Bewitched, under a magic spell
Impressed

Verb form

charmed
  1. past of charm

Extensive Definition

Charmed is an American television series that ran for eight seasons on the now defunct WB. It was produced by Aaron Spelling and is about three sisters who are the world's most powerful good witches, known throughout the supernatural community as "The Charmed Ones", but known to everyone else as the Halliwells. Each sister possesses unique magical powers that grow and evolve over the course of their lives. The Charmed Ones live together in a house they call the manor and use their supernatural abilities to battle the warlocks, demons and other evil forces that populate San Francisco, California.
The show was the longest lasting of its generation of supernatural-themed shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Roswell. It is also noted for its mixture of multiple genres (from horror and fantasy to comedy and even soap), as well as continuing after a number of archetypal jump the shark moments, most famously the departure of one of the leading actresses (Shannen Doherty) at the end of season three. It also had the highest rated debut for the WB Television Network (until the debut of Smallville at 8.40 million), with 7.70 million viewers tuning in for the series premiere, "Something Wicca This Way Comes".
The theme song for Charmed, "How Soon Is Now?" is a cover version performed by Love Spit Love. The same version was previously used in the film The Craft. The original version was written and recorded by The Smiths.
The series ended its run on May 21, 2006 in the US. The Charmed series finale, "Forever Charmed", pulled in a season high of 4.49 million viewers. The show still runs on TNT, but there are no new episodes.

Synopsis

Premise

|Caption= The Charmed Ones from Seasons 4 - 8. From left: Alyssa Milano as Phoebe Halliwell, Holly Marie Combs as Piper Halliwell and Rose McGowan as Paige Matthews. |First = Something Wicca This Way Comes |Last = Forever Charmed |Creator= Constance M. Burge |Name = The Charmed Ones |Purpose= Protecting the innocent from evil. |Powers = "The Power of Three", a prophesised collective magic of great strength. Each member also inherited a magical power from their ancestor Melinda Warrentelekinesis, stopping time, or seeing the future. |Membership= Current members
  • Piper Halliwell
  • Phoebe Halliwell
  • Paige Matthews
Deceased members
  • Prudence Halliwell
Allies }}

Main

Born October 28, 1970, Prue is the eldest Halliwell sister. Born with the power of telekinesis, she later manifests an astral projection ability. Strong-willed, feisty and intelligent, she would often take charge of situations and has always been overprotective of her two sisters, Piper and Phoebe. Having spent her childhood taking care of her two younger sisters after the death of their mother, she became responsible, with a fierce determination at whatever she did, including fighting demons. This sense of responsibility occasionally leads to clashes with the more free-willed Phoebe, however, the two grow closer as the series progresses. Though at times Prue lets pride dictate her way of handling things, she never lets her personal life interfere with her work life. On May 17, 2001, 3 years new to the craft she is killed by Shax, a demonic assassin sent by the Source.
Born on August 7, 1973 and is the middle child. Upon Prue's death, she assumes the role as the oldest. Her powers include the ability to freeze and explode objects at will. She is most concerned with having a normal life, and always has reservations about her life as a Charmed One. When she first becomes a Charmed One, she is quiet and reserved, often having to mediate between Prue and Phoebe. As the show progresses, she gains a stronger persona and takes more authority after Prue dies. She eventually becomes the mother of two sons (Wyatt and Chris) and an unnamed daughter with her husband Leo Wyatt, and goes to great lengths to protect her children. In the series finale, the final montage shows her with a granddaughter. Her love of food steers her to a career in the culinary arts, which leads her to open her own club, and as revealed in the last episode, her own restaurant.
Phoebe, born November 2, 1975 is the original baby of the family and is a spontaneous, free-spirited young woman. The power she was born with is premonitions, which grow to enable her to see into the past as well as the future. This later allows her to project herself into the future and the past. She later gains the powers of levitation, which she often combines with her martial arts skills, and the power of empathy but later loses the latter two due to misusing them for personal gain. She forces a premonition so she can leave for a date and is caught on tape by Inspector Sheridan. It is possible that she earned back levitation and empathy. She is a romantic, and later becomes a successful columnist and author. Early on, she often had a turbulent relationship with her older sister, Prue; later she mediates between Piper and Paige. Her longest relationships are with Cole Turner for over a year, and with Coop. In 2006, the Angel of Destiny marries Phoebe and Coop, as seen in the series finale, and they eventually have three daughters. She continues to work at the Bay Mirror and writes a book on finding love.
Born on August 2, 1977. After a secret love affair with her Whitelighter Samuel Wilder, the Charmed Ones' mother, Patty Halliwell, gave birth to a fourth daughter. They left Paige at the doors of a church because her parents' love was forbidden. She was adopted when she was still a baby, and grew up as an only child of a couple. While in school, Paige would often get into trouble. Her personality is bold and vibrant, adding a new dynamic to the show from season 4 onwards. Paige's birth power is telekinesis, but because she is part Whitelighter this ability combines with her natural orbing to create telekinetic-orbing. She comes into the craft quickly, aiding in the vanquish of The Source of All Evil. In Season 8, she gains the ability to heal those she loves, starting with Henry. She is driven to become a "full-time witch", and has a hard time finding a career she is content with, eventually settling with her destiny as a Whitelighter, like her father. After the death of Gideon, Paige begs the Elders to keep Magic School open. They agree only if Paige becomes the headmistress and runs the school to guarantee the students' safety. Eventually, she resigns; handing the role onto her brother-in-law Leo Wyatt. Paige marries mortal parole officer Henry Mitchell and they have twin daughters and a son, Henry Jr.

Supporting

Andy is the sisters' childhood friend and Prue's love interest. He serves as the sisters' initial connection to the police force once he learns of the girls' activities, as well as the first conflict between the girls' secret and normal lives. On May 26, 1999 The demon Rodriguez kills Andy while he is trying to protect the girls in the finale of season one. Two years after Andys death on May 26, 1999 his love interest Prue is also killed by the demon Shax, on May 17, 2001 9 days before Andy's 2nd Anniversary, this making a conclusion that they were both reunited.
Darryl, who is Andy's partner, takes over the role as the Halliwells' police connection after Andy's tragic death. He continues to cover up for the sisters once he learns their secret, even after the events which lead to him almost being executed through a lethal injection, if reluctantly, until his wife later forces him to move to the east coast. After almost being executed, he expresses his desired uninvolvement with the sisters angrily and refuses to talk to them, answer calls or help them get police files. However, he finds out the Charmed Ones were willing to give up their powers to save him and realizing how much good the sisters do for the community, Darryl forgives them and he still considers them family.
Leo is the sisters' Whitelighter in the beginning, and soon becomes romantically involved with Piper. Leo's magical promotions provide the show's portrayal of a supernatural ladder of success and struggle between career and family. His relationship with Piper is the first of many conflicts between the Halliwells and the Elders.
Dan moves into the house next door with his niece, Jenny, and instantly falls in love with Piper. They temporarily date, but Dan cannot take the place of Piper's first love, Leo. He later moves away, at the end of season two.
Jenny is Dan's niece. She was written off suddenly.
Cole is Phoebe's first husband; he is a half-demon, creating situations over which the sisters clash. He is originally a powerful villain, later taking other forms and roles throughout his character's history. After his final vanquish at the hands of the sisters, he continues to watch over Phoebe, silently and unseen.
Piper and Leo's unborn son, Chris Halliwell, commonly known as Chris Perry for the year and a half of his time with the sisters, came from the future to help defeat the Titans and save young Wyatt from turning evil. His adult form dies at the hands of Gideon just before he is born. He later reappears twice, once in Someone to Witch Over Me and again in the series finale.
Billie is Paige's charge. While at first over-confident in her abilities, she eventually becomes a student of the sisters, helping them to maintain their normal lives. After being swayed by her sister Christy to betray the Halliwells, Billie eventually sides with them in the series finale and is forced to kill her sister in self-defense.

Recurring

Notes
Only officially credited in one Season 7 episode, "Imaginary Fiends", and from the Season 8 episode "12 Angry Zen" onwards.

Billing order

The initial five episodes list the actors as follows: Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs, T.W. King, Dorian Gregory, and Alyssa Milano. Beginning with episode six, the actresses playing the Charmed Ones are always listed first. The leads are then followed by whichever supporting actors are contracted for that particular season. If one of the supporting players does not appear in a particular episode, his/her name also does not appear in the opening credits. The second episode of season two, "Morality Bites", is the only episode in which only the sisters appear in the opening credits.
In seasons one through three, the lead actresses are listed by character age: Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs, and Alyssa Milano. After Shannen Doherty's departure, the veteran leading actresses receive the coveted first and last billing with their new co-star in the middle: Alyssa Milano, Rose McGowan, and Holly Marie Combs as "Piper". Brian Krause, who became a main cast member halfway through the second season, is listed fourth in the credits from season three to season seven. During season eight, however, Kaley Cuoco took the fourth spot.

Episodes

The series began its first season on October 7, 1998 and aired for seven years until its finale on May 21,2006. During its eight seasons, 178 episodes were aired, making Charmed the longest running hour-long television series with all female leads. The series ended when its American network, The WB, was shut down in order for it to merge into a new network station. Each season consists of 22 episodes with the exclusion of the fifth and sixth seasons which contain 23 episodes including their double-episode premiers and double-episode finales. In the United Kingdom, the entire series aired on the digital network Living TV and on the terrestrial channel Five from 1998 until 2006, when Channel 4 purchased the rights to air the final season on its T4 scheduling slot. Currently, all eight seasons of the series are available on DVD, including two all-season collections (The Book of Shadows for Region 4, and The Magic Chest for Region 2). Following the series finale, the show continued in its non-canon series of novels revolving around the principal characters.

Ratings

Recurring themes

Character development struggles

The series always focuses on the constant development of its main characters; and each of the main characters has recurring problem points in their lives. As women in their late twenties and early thirties, the sisters constantly have to cope with balancing their magical lives with their everyday, professional lives (Prue's professional career, Phoebe's studies and afterwards her job, Piper's ownership of her club and then her role as a mother, and Paige's accepting magic as a general part of her life). Another returning source of personal conflict is the sisters' love lives, and the problems that arise from hiding a part of their lives from their human relationships; and hiding their forbidden relationships with members of the magical community from the rest of the magical community: Leo and Piper's conflict with the Elders, and Phoebe loving a half-demon Cole.

Deaths of main characters

As the sisters have to struggle with many forces of darkness, death is a common event in their lives. Each of the sisters die at several points in the series, with Piper dying nine times, Phoebe dying eleven times, Paige dying seven times, and Prue dying three times. Except for Prue's death in the third season finale, the protagonists always find a way to return the respective Halliwells back to life through the Cleaners, Leo's Avatar powers, changing time, soul trading etc.
However, not every death on Charmed has been so easily reversed; as several important supporting characters have died without being revived, such as Andy, Kyle Brody, and adult Chris. Although Chris, Kyle, and Cole appear in episodes after their deaths, none are revived: Kyle reveals to Paige that he became a Whitelighter, Cole is in limbo, and Chris's first appearance is as a personification of Leo's guilt, his second is a Chris from a different future.

Exposure of magic

In the world of Charmed, the existence of magic as well as benevolent and malevolent forces remains hidden from human society. A recurring problem for the protagonists during the series is finding a way to fight the forces of evil without exposing themselves as magical beings. Spanning the series run, the show's writers featured episodes that detail the dangerous consequences of magic being exposed to human society. Notably in the second season episode "Morality Bites", which sees Phoebe's execution in an alternate future; the third season finale "All Hell Breaks Loose", which leads to the death of Prue; and the seventh season finale "Something Wicca This Way Goes", in which events lead the three witches and Leo to fake their deaths and assume new identities.
The sixth season episode "Forget Me...Not" introduced the Cleaners, a pair of magical beings capable of warping reality in order to maintain magic's secret. While occasionally tasked with cleaning up after the Charmed Ones, the sisters generally covered their own tracks. It is never explained why these characters did not intervene during the events of "All Hell Breaks Loose." Some fans claim the events (i.e. Prue's death) was destiny having its way and the Cleaners most likely would not have been allowed to intervene.

Power swapping and stealing

Throughout the show, the powers of the sisters are constantly being either swapped or stolen by demons.
In Season One, episode "Wicca Envy", Prue is framed by her boss Rex for stealing a tiara. In order to keep from going to jail, the sisters are forced to recite an incantation that will remove all of their powers and put them into a jar. When they were about to hand it over to Rex, Leo "healed" the Book of Shadows which gave the sisters their powers back. Later in the episode, the sisters decided to burn the spell and agree to always keep their powers. In Season One's episode "Love Hurts", Piper casts a spell to switch her power to freeze time with Leo's power to heal in order to save him from the arrow of a Darklighter. The spell was meant to switch only their powers, but it also caused Phoebe to obtain the power of Telekinesis whereas Prue developed the power of Premonition. The spell used to do this was
Whats mine is yours Whats yours is mine Let our powers cross the line I offer up my gift to share Switch our powers through the air
It took Piper a while to figure out that the "trigger" for Leo's Healing power was love.
In Season Two's "How to Make a Quilt Out of Americans", the sisters' grandmother's old friend, Gail Altman, and her two friends chanted to summon the spirit of a demon named Cryto. The reason for this was that they wanted to be young again, Cryto however wanted something in return and the offer of a body was not enough, he wanted the powers of the Charmed ones so Gail made a potion that would allow the Charmed ones powers to be stolen and then tricked them into drinking it. When Cryto got what he wanted he killed the other two women that had helped Gail gain youth and threatened Gail with death if she did not obey him. when the Charmed ones realized that they had lost their powers they had to make Cryto use the power he did not know he had which was astral projection. When he was forced to astral project upstairs to try and stop Phoebe (Alyssa Milano), the body that was left motionless was force fed the potion and the Charmed ones read out a spell which returned their powers.
In Season Four's "Charmed and Dangerous", the Source used the Hollow to obtain the sisters' powers. He managed to steal Piper's and Paige's, but was not interested in obtaining Phoebe's because her powers were too weak. But Cole used the Hollow against him, and with some help from the Seer, their powers were returned and Cole, unknowing to the charmed ones, obtained the sources powers.
In Season Five's "Siren's Song", Piper and Leo were having couple-problems. Piper was upset that her husband did not understand the burden of being pregnant while Leo was frustrated that his wife did not understand the importance of being a whitelighter. In order to make them understand each other's burdens, unborn baby Wyatt swapped his parent's powers, making Piper the whitelighter and Leo feel the nausea out of pregnancy symptoms. In the end, Piper and Leo learned to understand each other better and unborn Wyatt switched their powers back.
In Season Six's "The Power of Three Blondes", three evil sisters, Mabel, Mitzy and Margo Stillman, used a spell to steal the sisters' identities in order to steal their lives. After they obtained their identities, they used a spell in the Book of Shadows to steal their powers. However, since it's a spell to call a witch's powers, Paige's whitelighter powers were kept and she orbed out with Piper and Phoebe. Paige then went to get help from two gremlins to help find Chris. By provoking Mabel in front of Chris, he realized that their identities were stolen and made the three sisters use their powers against each other which in turn made the fake sisters lose their powers(as did the real charmed ones in an earlier season when Cole recruited a demon to anger the charmed ones). With their identities returned, Piper, Phoebe and Paige used a spell from the Book of Shadows to take back their powers and strip Mabel, Mitzy and Margo Stillman of their own powers, they were then arrested for the murder of the neighbors who live opposite the charmed ones.
In Season Seven's "Ordinary Witches", Phoebe is convinced that Piper must see this demon-free world the avatars promised, so she casts the same spell to switch her and Piper's powers. During the transaction, Zankou appears and causes their powers to fly out the window, into ordinary people. These two people are freaked out at first, but then decide to keep the powers and use them for personal gain. After showing the man with Phoebe's power what the future without demons holds, and the good they can do, they are convinced that the girls must get their powers back. In Season Seven's "Something Wicca This Way Goes", Zankou throws a potion to steal Piper's powers, a potion for Phoebe's, but luckily Paige is able to keep her powers as Zankou uses his potion on her astral self. They later vanquish Zankou along with the Nexus, and, knowing that everyone thinks they are dead, assume the identity of three normal women to lead a demon-free life, away from magic.
These issues also raise other questions, it is established early on that good witches do not freeze. However, in certain episodes, the Charmed Ones, even though they have lost their powers they remain good witches, and they freeze, however in "How to Make a Quilt Out of Americans", the demon Cryto freezes Prue, Piper and Phoebe, and they do not freeze, even though they have no powers.

Show changes

In its seven-year course, Charmed underwent many changes, including departure of cast and crew members, some of which had a large impact on the series as a whole. While in the case of some of the newer changes executive producer, Brad Kern, openly referred to budget cuts as the reason, most of the changes happened without the reasons being released into public, giving rise to much speculation and debates among fans.

Initial changes

  • Originally, Lori Rom was cast as Phoebe in the unaired pilot episode of Charmed. When the property was green lighted to go to series, Rom was unavailable. Producer Aaron Spelling called upon Alyssa Milano, fresh off her short-term guest appearance on Melrose Place to fill the role. Major portions of the first episode were re-shot, some scenes rewritten and new scenes added to create a full one-hour debut episode titled "Something Wicca This Way Comes".
  • The character of Andy Trudeau was originally played by another actor and Darryl Morris didn't exist in the unaired pilot.
  • Charmed was picked up for a full season after the ratings success of the first two episodes, according to the documentary The Women of Charmed produced in 1999. By then, the first few episodes had completed production. Some of the crew were then replaced, including the series' composer (thus discontinuing the use of the many chime instruments characteristic of the opening episodes).
  • Some basic story elements of the Charmed world laid down in the initial six episodes are later changed. The Book of Shadows is later established as untouchable by evil; Grams' husband and grandfather of the three sisters has his name and time frame changed, the sisters having a relationship with their father even though in the initial episodes they want nothing to do with him. In addition, the time frame of Victor Bennett leaving his wife, the girls' mother, changes occasionally throughout the series.
  • Anthony Denison originally played the girls' father in the first season episode "Thank You for Not Morphing". This episode establishes that the character's name is Victor Halliwell, which was later modified to be Victor Bennett. The family tree in "Pardon My Past" lists him as Victor Jones. Eventually, the series consistently referred to the character as Victor Bennett (two "T"s).

Changes in story structure

Between the second and the third season, creator and executive producer Constance M. Burge left the crew of the show, leaving her former position to executive producer Brad Kern. Burge continued to produce other shows, but remained as creative consultant until season four. Burge's departure resulted in changes in the story structure of the show, from a "demon of the week" system to using third- or half- season-long story arcs. In addition, more importance is given to the protagonists' personal lives.
The serial connection of episodes culminated in the second half of season four. Despite the ratings actually rising during season four's final story arc from 4.19 to 4.21, the WB asked Brad Kern to abandon the serial system in the future. This led to the largely episodic structure of season five, and resulted in the two systems being balanced from the sixth season onwards.

Departure of Shannen Doherty

At the end of the third season, Shannen Doherty left the show, resulting in her character's death, and the introduction of Rose McGowan's character Paige. While in the episode, "Death Takes a Halliwell" the Angel of Death foreshadowed Prue's death, "All Hell Breaks Loose" (the season three finale) remained as a cliffhanger and Prue's death is only established in the season four premiere episode.

Timeslot changes

The show witnessed multiple changes in its timeslot. From its initial Wednesday night, Charmed moved to Thursday nights in Season Two, and starting with Season Five it moved again, this time to Sunday nights, to anchor "The WB's Big Sunday" event. The change in broadcast day played a central role in the show's change of ratings, as from the moment Charmed moved to Sunday, its episodes had to continually compete with other strong-rated shows such as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and The Simpsons, as well as events such as the Golden Globes.

Changes in the Charmed universe

In the first three seasons, the magical world of Charmed introduces original concepts such as the spiritual nexus and the workings of the show's witchcraft, and involves creatures such as Whitelighters and Darklighters, and also a number of mythological creatures not frequently adapted to television, such as the Woogyman, the Wendigo or the Banshee. This is probably attributable to Constance M. Burge, as well as story editor Robert Masello, introduced as the show's mythology expert (as seen in the 1999 documentary Women of Charmed).
In the third season, it was revealed in order for adults to see fairies, they must cast a spell or believe in fairies and be sprinkled with fairy dust. However, after this point, the Charmed Ones were able to see fairies without the aid of the spell or the dust, including Paige, who never had the spell cast on her.
Gradually from the fourth season, besides keeping the dominance of creatures with attributes explicitly created to conform to the storylines, Charmed started to rely more heavily on using creatures from classical (i.e. Greek and Roman) mythology as well as from miscellaneous folklore items well-known in contemporary culture, such as leprechauns and dwarves.

Budget cuts

Budget cuts in the last few seasons led to many minor, and a few major changes in the show.
  • Budget cuts caused demons to become entirely human-like from the monsters with rich costumes and make-up witnessed in the first seasons.
  • One of the most notable budget-related changes was the WB's decision not to include Brian Krause and Dorian Gregory in season eight. As Brad Kern said in a number of interviews, he had to restructure the budget to include Krause in 12 episodes, to avoid abruptly ending his character's storyline. Enough money was saved to include Krause in the final two episodes of the series. However, Gregory's character was written out completely, with his final episode being the season seven finale.
  • In an interview in the eighth issue of Charmed Magazine, Brad Kern revealed that in season eight, executive producers Aaron Spelling and E. Duke Vincent and a number of crew members opted to reduce their own salaries in order to maintain the show's quality, as the budget of the season was reduced by twenty percent.

Multimedia

Main articles:

References

External links

charmed in Tosk Albanian: Charmed - Zauberhafte Hexen
charmed in Old English (ca. 450-1100): Charmed
charmed in Arabic: المسحورات
charmed in Bosnian: Charmed (serija)
charmed in Bulgarian: Чародейките
charmed in Czech: Čarodějky (seriál)
charmed in Danish: Heksene fra Warren Manor
charmed in German: Charmed – Zauberhafte Hexen
charmed in Estonian: Võluvägi
charmed in Modern Greek (1453-): Οι Μάγισσες
charmed in Spanish: Charmed
charmed in Basque: Charmed
charmed in French: Charmed
charmed in Galician: Charmed
charmed in Croatian: Čarobnice
charmed in Indonesian: Charmed
charmed in Italian: Streghe
charmed in Hebrew: מכושפות
charmed in Hungarian: Bűbájos boszorkák
charmed in Macedonian: Волшебнички (ТВ серија)
charmed in Malay (macrolanguage): Charmed
charmed in Dutch: Charmed
charmed in Japanese: チャームド
charmed in Norwegian: Charmed
charmed in Polish: Czarodziejki
charmed in Portuguese: Charmed
charmed in Russian: Зачарованные (телесериал)
charmed in Albanian: Charmed
charmed in Simple English: Charmed
charmed in Slovak: Čarodejnice (seriál)
charmed in Slovenian: Čarovnice (serija)
charmed in Serbian: Чари
charmed in Finnish: Siskoni on noita
charmed in Swedish: Förhäxad
charmed in Thai: Charmed
charmed in Vietnamese: Phép thuật (phim truyền hình)
charmed in Turkish: Charmed (dizi)
charmed in Vlaams: Charmed

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

arrested, becharmed, bewitched, captivated, castle-building, caught, charm-bound, comfortable, content, contented, cozy, daydreaming, daydreamy, delighted, dreamful, dreaming, dreamlike, dreamy, dreamy-eyed, dreamy-souled, easy, enamored, enchanted, enraptured, enthralled, entranced, eupeptic, euphoric, exhilarated, fascinated, favorably impressed with, fixed, fortified, glad, gladsome, gratified, gripped, happy, heartsmitten, held, hypnotized, in a trance, in clover, infatuate, infatuated, intrigued, magical, mesmerized, pipe-dreaming, pleased, pleased as Punch, pleased with, protected, rapt, satisfied, smitten, sold on, spell-caught, spellbound, spelled, taken with, thrilled, tickled, tickled pink, tickled to death, tranced, under a spell
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