Contemporary Witches are BACK on TV!

When I was little, I was always fascinated by any story that involved magic. However, in fairy tales, the witches are often the baddies, but growing up, I mostly saw them as powerful, good (or at least morally ambiguous) women on TV. I adored those portrayals and that’s part of why I am so happy that contemporary witches are having a real comeback on the small screen. Not to say there’s anything wrong with historic settings, but I do like to see them integrated in life nowadays – makes the daydreaming easier, if you know what I mean. Here are some of the most recent examples that you can currently find on the telly:

**Disclaimer: I haven’t seen the full season of any of these shows yet!**

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Very few people seem to know this, but The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina isn’t just a remake of the 90s sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch, it’s actually based on a series of comics that are part of the Archie universe. Yes, that means that Riverdale and Greendale are effectively in the same universe and a crossover is not unlikely. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Just yesterday, Netflix released the full first season of the show. Even a cursory glance at it will show you that it has very little to do with the 90s show some of us might still remember, but that is probably for the best. It rarely works if you try to recreate something exactly the same way (although they should have kept the talking cat – Salem was just too iconic).

The visuals now are a lot darker, with a modernised perspective on things as well as a certain touch of retro to it all – I haven’t seen so many people use landlines in a decade! You can be certain that the set designers and cinematographers took great care when they created this show, especially in terms of playing with colour. While I do appreciate the new spin on things, I can’t say I love the show. It’s hard to put my finger on what it is that I am missing, but maybe it’s just moving a tiny bit too slow for me.

Light as a Feather

Staying on a darker path, this show is for people who enjoy the horror side of it all. Based on a former wattpad story and now published book, Light as a Feather is a new Hulu show that draws on works such as Final Destination and Carrie.

I may have expected this to be even creepier and gruesome than it was, but so far there were still a couple nice twists and turns. Albeit it being a little predictable at times, it’s still interesting to see the characters react to certain situations they are put in. My main complaint for it would probably be that I really didn’t understand the why of it all after watching 2/3 of the first season. I hope it will explain things to some extent, as I am really not expecting a full on tell all in the final three episodes, but a little clarification as to what’s going on would be nice.

Having said this, putting the show in a post about witches might have been a bit of a stretch since I don’t know what’s happening. But the whole “Light as a feather …”-chant does always remind me of witchcraft, so there’s that …

Charmed

A couple of you already know this, but I was one of the biggest fans of the original Charmed show. If I had any say in this matter, the CW reboot would have never happened and we would have gotten a Next Generation kind of show instead. Alas, that’s not what happened and here we are.

I think the biggest mistake the CW made with this show is alienate some of the original fans previous to the reboot’s release by saying that the new version is a feminist spin on the original. Three powerful women living by themselves, rocking their careers and not actually being all about men despite that being part of their life sounds great to me, but apparently it wasn’t enough for the CW. Nevertheless, I really wanted to give this a try. If it could introduce a new generation to the power of three, why not? Right?

Well … I am not entirely convinced. I am glad there seem to be more inclusion in terms of casting and portrayal, I would never ever argue with that. However, to me, the charm of the original was that they had to figure out the magic on their own. Their guardian whitelighter didn’t show up in the first episode to explain everything like it happened here. Furthermore, in terms of visuals, this new Charmed just seems to draw from a lot of modern day pop culture and I think that’s a bit lazy. The first demon you see could be a Game of Throne’s Ice King doppelganger and the way their whitelighter teleports looks like apparation from Harry Potter. Why did they change that anyway?

As you can see, I am very skeptical. The second episode was better than the pilot in my opinion, but it has a long road if it wants to become a fan favourite like the original.

A Discovery of Witches

Did I save my favourite one for last? I absolutely did! So far A Discovery of Witches, based on the book by the same title, has only aired on Sky One in the UK, but it will be out in the US in 2019.

There’s a lot that is wrong with this show. In my heart and my mind, I absolutely 100% know that. People who compare it to an adult Twilight are spot on. It has the clichΓ© vampire who stalks the girl who falls in love with him anyway, the forbidden love and whatnot. But it also has an intriguing system of magic and a scientific background to support it. Combine all that with a perfect casting of Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer as the leads (their chemistry is off the charts) as well as beautiful scenery shots of Oxford, Venice and remote places in France – I was hooked immediately.

Maybe, as I get older, I am more drawn to adult shows? I feel like that’s not universally true, but little did I know that I was still craving vampire stories just like I did when I was 13 years old. Out of all the shows I mentioned, this is the one I am yearning to see the next episode of. I know that the book is a tome, so in comparison I think they are moving quite fast on the show without making it look like a rush job. This is for sure my latest obsession.

Honorary Mention – Legacies

I really only want to mention this briefly, but Legacies is CW’s latest spin-off show of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. I can’t really recommend this for anyone who hasn’t watched the previous shows at all, as they don’t really waste time explaining who’s who, but rather just assume it’s a given that you know them. Still, it does have witches, vampires and werewolves – so it definitely fits the theme and if you are into that and liked the previous shows, then it might be worth checking out. The first episode was decent enough.


What’s your take on witches? Are you glad they are back as well? Don’t hesitate to comment if you want to chat about any of the above mentioned shows!Β 

46 thoughts on “Contemporary Witches are BACK on TV!

  1. You know, I predicted a renaissance of witch-themed media all the way back in 2013. Glad to see that prediction is finally panning out, LOL. Also, I plan to watch Sabrina and Light as a Feather as soon as I can. They look like such fun.
    Happy Halloween, Kat. May monsters not chase you through the streets of Berlin. Make sure to hide your knives from wandering spirits, I hear that’s a Halloween tradition in Germany.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so, so happy you wrote this post and thank you for all of the recommendations you always give, you know how much I enjoy them! ❀
    I haven't had the chance to watch any of these – though I know I'll stay away from the first two, because I'm not really feeling them and you said the Sabrina one most likely wouldn't be for me πŸ™ˆ. I just have to note that that blonde girl in the second trailer reminds me of one actress on Gilmore Girls. I watched too many episodes lately, oops. πŸ˜‚πŸ™ˆ ANYWAY
    I'm still curious about that Charmed reboot, but it sounds so disappointing, too :/ It really could have been amazing, being a next generation show or something, it's too bad they didn't take that path. I'm happy about the diverse cast, but… I'm unsure about the show as a whole. I might give the first episode a try to see it though πŸ™‚
    And A Discovery of Witches. YES definitely trying that out soon I promise, I'm very curious about it πŸ˜€
    And YES I am glad that witches are back. I kind of loved these kind of stories as a kid, too and I'm happy to see more of them again πŸ˜€

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    • My inner witch was itching to get this post out haha I was just waiting until I had actually watched at least a couple episodes of each of the shows.
      Haha I know who you mean from Gilmore Girls. Believe me, upon closer inspection they don’t look alike πŸ˜‰
      I think you should check out Charmed. I don’t want to actively discourage anyone from watching it, I just believe it could have been so much better.
      Can’t wait for your thoughts on Discovery of Witches. I might have hyped it too much but … I actually rewatched the first couple of episodes and I could rewatch them all over again. It’s crazy! I don’t know what’s happening.

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  3. I love that we’re getting more witches back on TV. I grew up watching the original versions of shows like Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Charmed, so the reboots of both of those are two shows I do really want to watch. I’ve already heard good things about The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Like you I’m a little sceptical of the new reboot of Charmed (I don’t see why they didn’t do it as a sequel of some sorts, like with the next generation and Piper, Phoebe and Paige’s children or grandchildren) but I’ll give it a go and see what I think.
    The others I’ll probably add to my to-watch list. I do want to see A Discovery of Witches but I need to read the book first, and gods know when I’ll get around to that! πŸ˜€
    Great post Kat. πŸ™‚ ❀

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    • I’ve heard mixed things about Sabrina, especially when it comes to the treatment of the queer coded character. I personally don’t love the show, I expected to like it a lot more, but I hope you will enjoy it. And as for Charmed, it’s just a shame they didn’t go a different route with it. If they just wanted to do a magic show, they could have at least called it something else and I think I would have been fine with it.
      I am reading A Discovery of Witches right now and I like the show more. That thing is a real tome of a book and I think I just prefer the way it’s told and the things they changed on the show. But if you feel like you should read it first, go for it!

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      • Oh that’s a shame, I still need to watch it so I think my hopes are pretty high. I guess partly it’s the nostalgia (I loved Sabrina the Teenage Witch so I’m pretty hyped for The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina even though they don’t look at all similar).
        Yeah, based on the trailer it looks pretty similar to the original, so it’s like they’re doing Charmed again but nowadays you know?
        Maybe I’ll read the book and watch the show at the same time then. πŸ™‚

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      • They are definitely not similar Sabrinas whatsoever. I just feel like her character isn’t all that great anymore weirdly .. but anyways, if you do enjoy it, that’s great. If not, you are not alone.
        But this Charmed is just all copy-cat and not in a fun way of getting references from the original or anything like that.

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  4. I love shows with a good witch story!! I’ve only gotten to episode 2 of Sabrina but I loved the 90’s show and am really excited at both the similarities and differences. I’ll have to check out Light as a Feather – is that Liana Liberato I see? Cuz she’s awesome! I feel like as cool as the clips I’ve seen of Legacies is….I have a huge problem with that entire universe and the writers. Vampire Diaries is based on a book series and not only did they change like 99% of the original story, but they made more money making a bunch of spin offs off of her one original idea. Maybe I’m just bias because I love LJ Smith’s work dearly but that’s always been a reason whenever I’ve tried to watch Originals, I’m left with a sour taste in my mouth xD Maybe I’ll check it out anyways!

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    • I think I just finished episode 7 of the new Sabrina and it’s just really not my thing. I will continue to watch it, but I kind of expected to like it a whole lot more.
      And yes, that is absolutely Liana Liberato! She is the main character on the show πŸ™‚
      I read all the LJ Smith books too, although I always preferred the Secret Circle over the Vampire Diaries. I just disassociated the books from the show at some point because they were so vastly different. You might be able to watch Legacies without TVD, but not without Originals. But without TVD, you don’t get the major Caroline-Klaus connection on the Originals!! That was always my favourite part.

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  5. Yay witches!!! I’ll definitely be watching all of these! ( well, except Legacies. At least for a while. I’m only through 2 seasons of the Originals, and haven’t started Vampire Diaries at all, so I’m going to need to some more background before going into a series that follows Hope πŸ™‚

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    • I feel like you are missing out on my favourite ship by watching Originals before The Vampire Diaries haha but you might be able to watch Legacies without TVD. It’s mostly Hope centric and you’ll just miss out on the backstory of Alaric and the twins. It’s up to you!

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    • I have to say, I am not a huge fan of the new Sabrina. I expected something more or different from it. I do love Ambrose though. At the beginning I was icky about the fact that they still had Salem but put the 90s show Salem character into Ambrose, but now I am cool with it.

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  6. I just watched the first episode of Legacies a few minutes ago and I was about to start The Chilling Aventures of Sabrina so I guess I’m reading your post at the right time kind of xD
    Anyway, I haven’t finished The Originals or The Vampire Diaries (but I’m close enough, though I’m not sure I ever will in TVD’s case anyway – it was fun in the beginning but the last few seasons are a bit meh…). Legacies was decent enough, yes. I liked it but it wasn’t anything special. I totally didn’t expect it to start in that way and I’m not sure I’m disappointed or not but I’ll be checking out the next episode for sure.

    I loved the original Charmed as well!! I’m not sure I even finished now that I think about it. It was airing on tv when I wasn’t really that into closely following tv shows, though I was pretty young anyway… I’m interested in this reboot even if I don’t really like the actresses they cast, but I won’t be watcing it until a few more episodes are released.

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  7. I’m so excited that witches are back on tv too and this is such a great post to do!! Wow I had no idea the chilling adventures of Sabrina were in any way connected to Riverdale! I think it makes sense that it’s very different to the original- it doesn’t seem right somehow to just recreate it, so it’s good that it’s got a darker makeover. I’m curious about light as a feather πŸ™‚ It’s a pity charmed isn’t living upto the charm of the original (no pun intended πŸ˜‰ ) I’m absolutely loving discovery of witches too. I know there’s a lot wrong with the story- I wasn’t even hugely keen on the book cos of it’s similarty to Twilight- but now I’m totally hooked! Wait though- there’s another spinoff from vampire diaries!!

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    • Witches are THE best!
      I am honestly very confused as to what time Sabrina plays in. Because everyone uses landlines and they dress like they are in the 50s sometimes and I don’t really get it … but at the same time, they want to do a crossover with Riverfail … so they’d have to be somewhere temporally close to each other. Overall, I really didn’t enjoy the new Sabrina. Maybe I was too attached to the sitcom after all.
      I AM SO OBSESSED WITH A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES!!! I cannot even begin to explain how much I adore the show. I started reading the book and definitely prefer the TV version, but I am still happy to just get more Diana and Matthew and witches and vampires and daemons. *le sigh* I wish I could watch it all day long.

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      • YES!!
        Ach- it sounds like that show’s not off to a good start :/
        YES!!! Me too!! I absolutely love it!! Yeah I really really prefer the tv version!! Me too!! Why does it only air once a week? And why aren’t there more episodes in general!?

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      • I am so sad because I think the next episode is the finale and I cannot even fathom not having more of that show in my life. I adore it so much and the book is just meh in comparison.

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    • I am glad you are enjoying it, but Sabrina is really not for me. I tried to like it, but some aspects of it just don’t go with the image I have in my head of how she’s supposed to be. Guess the 90s version left too much of a trace haha

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  8. Awesome post, Kat! I loved growing up watching witches like The Charmed Ones, Sabrina and Buffy’s Willow – so I’m so excited that contemporary witches are having a tv-comeback. Even though I’m a little nervous about the Charmed remake, the original is so iconic! ( And highkey feminist…)

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    • Right!? The original Charmed was never not feminist, so I was a little offended with the rest of the fandom when they pretended they were more woke now. Anyway, I don’t want to condemn the show entirely, but in my book it just cannot hold up. Witches are awesome though and Diana Bishop from A Discovery of Witches is my new favourite.

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  9. I love witches!! (I’m super biased as my WIP is all about witches, so I’m currently obsessed) and I love your recommendations, as I always look out for someone to talk to me about what shows to watch πŸ’— I’m planning on watching Sabrina soon, but I have already lowered my expectations as I heard some really not so great things 😱 Your fangirling about A Discovery of Witches got me really interested in it! Did you read the book yet? I have only heard of it and was unsure if I should give it a try, because I’ve heard some not so great things about it 😱

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    • WITCHES ARE THE BEST!!! As you know, my current WIP is also about witches and I just generally believe that I have always written stories about people with powers, which basically means they were all some shape or form of witch.
      Yeah, Sabrina is very meh in my opinion. I expected so much more, but it’s just trying to be woke, while messing up constantly.
      I can’t really say I can recommend the Discovery of Witches book. I am 35% into it and I am SO annoyed with aspects of it. They handled it like 100 times better on the show. Definitely rather watch it than read it!

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      • I still haven’t read it *shame*, but I need to because WITCHES πŸ˜ƒ I love writing stories about people with some kind of magical abilities too 😍
        I have watched half the season now and it’s entertaining, but didn’t blow me away tbh. I also care about all the other characters more than Sabrina somehow πŸ˜…
        Oh no! But glad to know the show did it a lot better πŸ™‚

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      • I also cared more about all the other characters. My favourites were Ambrose, Nicholas and by the end Prudence, cause I am a weirdo.
        No rush, you are busy with your own WIP, but obviously I’d love to hear your thoughts one day.

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