TV: Is Charmed Pushing a Conservative Agenda?


For all its feminist butt kicking, I have noticed a pattern as I’ve rewatched Charmed over the last few months: its seemingly conservative agenda.

Sure, there are monstrous demons from throughout the ages; single, sexy, confident females kicking ass and taking names (mostly braless, might I add?!); and an on-the-surface progressive feel to the show, but there might be more at work on Charmed.

Take, for example, in season two when Phoebe tries to help Eric and his father, who have transcribed the ancient Akashic records, and are threatened with brain death by the Collectors, who want the information stored in their minds. While Eric manages to escape the Collectors with the help of the Charmed ones, his father remains in a coma in hospital. When the sisters urge Eric to leave his father to save himself, he refuses, saying his dad is still alive. If we’ve learnt anything from Grey’s Anatomy and all the other doctor dramas, it’s that people rarely recover from brain injury and, in my opinion, the humane thing to do is turn off the life support system.

Also in season two, when Prue is cursed by a Darklighter for trying to save a Whitelighter-to-be (played by Amy Adams, if you’re interested in a bit of trivia), Leo says that suicide prevents someone earmarked to become a future Whitelighter from doing so. Kind of like suicide can prevent a person from going to heaven…?

On the topic of religion, in one episode (for the life of me I can’t recall which one, I just wrote down the quote. Don’t take my word on this, but I think it may have been “Apocalypse, Not”, in season two.) Leo mentions that good and evil have been embroiled in “6,000 years of conflict”. What else allegedly began 6,000 years ago? The creation of the world. A not-very-subtle nod to the creationism theory.

Perhaps there was an especially conservative writer or producer working on season two only, as all these examples stem from that season. A quick IMDb and Wikipedia search yielded not many results supporting this theory.

What are your thoughts on the conservative nature of the series?

Related: Making a Protest Statement… with Cleavage!

Image via CharmedWiki.

2 thoughts on “TV: Is Charmed Pushing a Conservative Agenda?

  1. In fairness, I dont’ remember the last quote happening, so I can’t comment on it. If they said that, I’d support your idea of a conservative writer with an agenda.

    The first example (Collectors), I disagree with your conclusion. I think it’s very common in our society to hope that a loved one is going to recover, regardless. There wasn’t any prayer, acupuncture, homeopathy, nor “God will save him” crap, so I’m giving that one an easy pass.

    The second example, I do remember rolling my eyes when I first heard Leo exposit that. I think they needed it for their whole plot, though. I can envision the writers sitting around a table thinking, “We wanna curse Prue to try to kill herself for helping someone, we want to introduce a foil to whitelighters, okay, let’s tie the two together!” Another one chimes in, “I just watched ‘What Dreams May Come’ and there was all this anti-suicide stuff, so why don’t we have that be the focus here!” Or something like that. I’m somewhat willing to pass this example off as just picking up on popular Christian thought and incorporating it into their story for need of a plot.

    Bottom-line, though? Don’t ruin Charmed. ;)

  2. Haha, thanks for your input. For me, these examples really jarred with what is, on the whole, a pretty good show. Obviously not everyone shares my sentiments, but they really niggled in the back of my mind as I made my way through the series. And nothing can ruin the nostalgic value of Charmed!

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