I started watching the TV show Charmed earlier this weekend. I originally found it during one of my many searches for Wiccan, Pagan and witch related media close to a year ago, but never really took an active interest in it. I might snatch part of a show here or there, but the obviously fake “magic” always turns me off. At a glance, it just looks like another inaccurate portrayal of a very real faith. But I finally decided to give it a chance.
I have to be honest, having watched the first couple of episodes, I’ve got really mixed feelings. I want to like it—I suppose just because it says it’s supposed to be about Wicca (the first episode is titled “Something Wiccan This Way Comes”) but it does a poor job. They’ve blended Wiccan and witchcraft together (surprise, surprise) and then abandon the word Wicca.
Aside from the meshing that we’ve sadly come to expect, there are a couple of other things that I have a problem with. One is the impression that you have to be born into being a witch, which is a complete falsehood. The second is how the show sets the stage for being a battle between good and evil, with the “good witches” on one side and evil, and the “bad witches or warlocks” on the other. Ultimate good and ultimate evil are Christian concepts that most Wiccans don’t accept into their practice. I’m not even going to comment on how and what they establish a warlock as.
My biggest problem with it is the most obvious of the embellishments—the magic. Why can’t people understand that magic is not supernatural? It’s not overt, it’s not flashy. It’s not freezing time, moving objects with your mind or seeing the future. It’s natural. It’s part of the world around us, and available to all for use. You just have to understand it.
My general impression of the show so far is that it’s good fun, but a bad representation of either Wicca or witchcraft. My concerns are that it’s part of a larger cultural consciousness that stigmatizes everything witch and Wiccan related, and therefore creates a climate that’s dangerous to practitioners.
A couple of positive themes do run through the episodes I watched, though they’re more general than related to Wicca and witchcraft. Striving to be wise in decisions was one, and sticking together was another.
My plan is to keep watching the show, at least until I either get bored or so fed up with the inaccuracies that I can’t stand it anymore. Anyone have any other suggestions for potentially Wiccan-related shows or movies?