The Charmed TV show was one of the recent fantasy shows that caught the imagination of the viewing audience much like Buffy and the more recent Twilight phenomenon. These shows along with others brought us into a world of magic and the occult that was very enticing for a populace that ached for relief from an increasingly stressful world. One of the appeals of this show was the idea that we, through the characters, could control elements of our world that seem more and more uncontrollable. The more of the immutable forces of the world like time, gravity, and mortality we could control on the show made us feel better about the things in our world we couldnt control: violence, nuclear war, wars in the Middle East, cancer, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural or man-made forces. The Charmed TV show gave us hope that there was something that could control the world and good could triumph if we only knew the secret to the magic.
The Charmed TV show wasnt hurt by the amazing sex appeal of its lead actresses, either. Milano and her costars heated up the screen weekly. The writers never missed an opportunity to put in a cleavage shot or bedroom scene where we could see these sexy witches in revealing lingerie. You cannot under estimate the necessity of sex on a visual medium like television. There is a certain expectation from the audience that they will be visually entertained. This is especially true if you want men to watch a show dominated by a female cast. I dont think Rosie ODonnell or some of the cast of The View could have pulled it off no matter how magical they were. The Charmed TV show did not get seduced by its own sex appeal, however. They did do a few gratuitous episodes like the mermaid episode, but the quality of the writing and the acting gave the show the balance it needed for an extended run.
The Charmed TV show brought fantasy to an increasingly reality based TV line up. The show appealed to a different aesthetic than the baser more low-brow appeal of the onslaught of reality shows. Even the quality of the Charmed TV show couldnt hold back the barbarians at the gate for long. Eventually, fantasy gave way to more and more crude form of entertainment: the reality show. Not incidentally, reality shows are much cheaper to produce than more traditional drama shows. For one, the producers dont have to pay the main actors a million dollars an episode. The Charmed TV show will exist in rerun and on DVD for many years to come. No shortage of fans will want to wax nostalgic and watch a weekend of magic to feel there is hope of good forces that can control an increasingly out of control world. And no shortage of guys will wax nostalgic for a nice weekend of sexy witches.