The 1990s and early 2000s television show, “Charmed” earned a legion of loyal fans, thanks in part to the strong writing skills of executive producer and scriptwriter Brad Kern – the only writer credited on every episode of the original TV show. With eight seasons, the show offers many favourite episodes for fans, and its fandom obliges with detailed episode guides, fan pages, and homages to specific episodes.
The show perhaps took inspiration from the late 1960s and early 1970s supernatural soap opera, “Dark Shadows,” which ran for 1,245 episodes. That TV show offered up a family surrounded by supernatural occurrences and built a following that crossed target audiences, capturing the pre-teen and teenage segments, a feat for the time.
Like its 1960s predecessor, the show crafted detailed characters that offered a chance for audiences to identify with a character. It did so by offering an orphaned character, two children with a single female parent, one child with a single male parent, and a diverse set of professional characters that included a female psychiatrist who served as the lead clinician of a major hospital… in 1966.
Like “Charmed,” years later, although the soap opera revolved around supernatural events, its predecessor offered a family with which everyone at the time could identify. No one was perfect. The single dad dated, even wooing the nanny at one point.
“Charmed” holds so much appeal despite its unusual premise of three sisters who all inherited magical powers because it revolves around a family. Each sister features a different personality type. You have the quiet nerd, Piper, the resilient, logical Prue, and the wild party girl, which first goes to Phoebe, then half-sister Paige, once Phoebe does a little growing up and marries a half-demon.
That kind of thing happened in “Dark Shadows,” too. Poor Barnabus married an evil witch who used a bat to turn him into a vampire.
Every episode of the show “Charmed” included a harrowing near miss, a little death, vanquishing evil, and some romance. While “Dark Shadows” features the music and dance styles of the time at a local pug, so does “Charmed.” In the case of the latter, Piper starts a nightclub that features a different hit musical act each week.
Although just as many differences exist between the two shows, the parallels become obvious upon viewing both. If you need a supernatural binge-watch show, choose both and enjoy the comparison and contrast.