I’ve recently been getting back into my favourite childhood show, Charmed. I’ve got all the seasons on box set, but I still have never seen the final season! I’m aiming to get through it this time.
Despite all the midriff tops and high heels whilst fighting supernatural beings, and damaged household items, buildings and cars which seem to miraculously be fixed by the next episode, if not before, Charmed is a lesson in the work/life balance.
Prue, the head of the Charmed Ones for the first three seasons, struggles with her bosses at Buckland auction house turning into warlocks, a takeover bid by a new company determined to make several million dollars in one day, and quitting the firm to become a freelance photographer. She juggles all this with being somewhat of a second mother to Piper and Phoebe, the token dates and flings the producers throw to her every now and then, and being a witch.
In “Which Prue Is It, Anyway?”, from season one, Prue casts a spell to produce two carbon copies of herself, which carry out tasks such as dealing with her ex-boyfriend and cop on her case, Andy, whilst another one works on a spell with Piper and Phoebe, and yet another goes to Buckland’s to finish up some work. Talk about being a Superwoman!
Piper, who turns out to be the most level headed and conventionally “normal” of the sisters three (keeping in mind I haven’t seen the final season and how Piper’s life eventuates, but I do know that *spoiler alert* Phoebe gets married), gets fed up with being walked over in her season one job as manager of Quake restaurant and quits to open her own club, P3. She then gets seriously involved with whitelighter Leo, whom she marries in season three, and bores two children to him, Wyatt and Chris. They then get divorced, Piper dates other people, they get back together again… Apart from the anguish of knowing their firstborn, Wyatt, grows up to be evil, Piper’s depiction really is the most realistic of the four Halliwell/Matthews sisters.
Which brings us to Phoebe, the youngest of the sisters (until Paige comes along in season four). She enters the show as a free-spirit with a flawed perception of the future, or so we are told by Prue, who’s had her issues with Phoebe in the past. In the first season alone she works as a hotel psychic, Prue’s assistant at Buckland’s and a real estate agent. After she casts a smart spell in “The Painted World” early on in season two, Phoebe decides to expand her knowledge for good and goes back to college. After graduating in season three (wow, I wish I graduated uni that quickly!), she goes on to write a very successful advice column for “The Bay Mirror”, which fellow successful woman Elise edits. Not to forget her tumultuous personal life, which sees her intense connection with Cole/Balthazar turn her into the queen of the underworld, pregnant with demon spawn, and dealing with the death of a sister and the discovery of a new one.
Speaking of, Paige Matthews enters Piper and Phoebe’s life as a successful counsellor at the beginning of season three. She is unreceptive to being a Charmed One at first, and spends most of the first season trying to maintain a “normal life”, with a job, a boyfriend and a new family who happens to be magical. (She later quits to focus on magic full-time.)
After all, that is what Charmed is all about: sisters who just happen to be witches, and everything that goes along with both those roles. While the manifestation of three fully-groomed and immaculately dressed sister witches each morning in the Halliwell manor, who spend their days flitting about town vanquishing demons, protecting the innocent, working their day jobs, caring for their family, going on dates, maintaining a home, studying, managing their own businesses and what not, is extremely unrealistic, the sheer magnitude of what the Charmed ones have to go through each day is kind of a metaphor for what working women—especially those with an extended family who all happen to live under the one roof—go through on a day-to-day basis. And sometimes, they manage to look just as kick-ass as the Charmed ones.
Images via Wikia, CharmedP3, Fan Pop, YouTube.