« Previous : Marsters is So Vague
     Next : Iyari Limon - Kennedy »


Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ?

By Robert A. Black

Monday 17 February 2003, by Webmaster

This week marks a very special milestone for a long-running TV show. You know the one I mean - that one with the red-haired witch who dresses funny but is a quick study in the magical arts?

Of course I’m talking about the WB’s Charmed, which reaches its landmark 100th episode this Sunday. Which show did you think I was talking about?

Oh, right. Buffy.

If you’d come to me two years ago and told me that I’d ever be writing about how much better Charmed is than Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I’d probably have laughed in your face. If you’d come to me one year ago, I might not have laughed, but I still wouldn’t have believed you. I was there when Buffy first premiered. I was a fan of the show and of the creative team behind it for years. Charmed was this other show that I always described as "shamelessly goofy" - I still describe that way, in fact. But Charmed has always played for real when it mattered, and as the years have gone by and the episodes of both Charmed and Buffy have accumulated, I now believe that Charmed has emerged as the better show.

Why do I say that? Here are ten good reasons why:

1) Charmed is consistent with its witchcraft - I don’t know much about the real religion of Wicca, but I’m told that at least one expert on the subject has praised the way Wicca and magic are portrayed on Charmed. Even to my untrained eye, it looks like the people at Charmed have done their homework. Regardless of how accurate the show really is, there’s a definite "magical paradigm," a solid structure behind the stories and plot elements. The Charmed Ones’ powers follow a specific set of rules. They grow and develop along fairly logical lines. And this magical paradigm has remained more or less consistent through the course of the series. The people running the show haven’t started contradicting themselves or introducing new elements from out of nowhere.

Meanwhile, on Buffy it’s been obvious for years that when it comes to magic, the show is making everything up as it goes. Simply look at the way Willow’s powers have been treated - in Season 4 magic was a metaphor for her lesbian relationship with Tara, but by Season 6 it had instead become a blatant symbol for drug addiction. At the beginning of Season 7, Willow’s magic had changed again. It had become "a part of her," whatever that was supposed to mean. But since the start of the season, her magic has continued to change, apparently at the whims of the show’s writing staff. There’s no telling what it will be like next.

2) On Charmed, people of color survive longer than one season - There have been very few recurring African-American characters on Buffy, and most of them have died within a few episodes. At this point, the survival record goes to Season 4’s Initiative member Forrest Gates, who was killed in his tenth episode and then had his reanimated body blown up in his eleventh episode. Giles’s girlfriend Olivia made it out of Sunnydale alive, but she only appeared in three episodes - and one of those was in a dream sequence. And as for characters who were Latino or Asian or some other ethnic minority in America, forget it. There have barely been any at all, and none have remained on the show for more than an episode or two.

On the other hand, African-American character Darryl Morris first appeared in the opening scenes of the Charmed pilot, and he’s still there one hundred episodes later. Paige’s boss was also African- American, and at the time Paige quit her job he was still alive and well. Other people of color have come and gone on the show from time to time - some have been evil and some have died, but no more often than that’s been true of white characters.

3) On Charmed, Good has a role to play - Joss Whedon recently described the main character of his short-lived series Firefly this way: "He’s a guy who looks into the void and sees nothing but the void — and says there is no moral structure, there is no help, no one’s coming, no one gets it, I have to do it." This same attitude has also crept into the Buffy universe over the years. In the beginning of the series, it was established that a Slayer like Buffy has a Watcher - a whole Council of Watchers, actually - to help her in her fight against evil. But in later years the Council has been inexplicably absent, and in fact now they’ve been destroyed. But is this realistic? In Season 6, Giles simply decided to leave, and instead of sending a replacement the Council apparently thought it best to let Buffy bumble around on her own until her incompetence brought the world to the brink of destruction. Granted, Buffy probably wouldn’t have accepted a new Watcher, but couldn’t we have seen the resulting conflict on the show? Was it really better to watch Buffy turn into an aimless antihero walking around in a fog?

Meanwhile, on Charmed the forces of Good are always there and always available to provide help and guidance. Sometimes they come off looking like a bunch of slackers - how many times has Leo gone to "check with the Elders" and come back with useless information? - but the fact remains that they’re there. The Charmed Ones have a place in the grand scheme of things. They’re a part of a battle that’s much larger than they are, the struggle between the forces of Good and Evil. They’ve remained free of the conceited notion that the entire battle begins and ends with themselves.

4) On Charmed, death is real - It’s funny to say that about a show where all three of the main characters die and come back on a regular basis, but it’s true. Like everything else on the show, there’s the kind of character death where they’re just kidding and the kind of character death where they’re playing for real. When Prue died at the end of Season 3, it mattered. The characters actually grieved for an extended time. Even now, a season and a half later, there are still references to missing her, and Paige still feels the weight of having to fill her shoes. Likewise, there are still references to the Charmed Ones feeling the losses of their various parents, even though those events took place many years in the past.

Compare that to the Buffy characters who have died. Jenny Calendar was brought back only to manipulate Giles and torture Angel. Joyce only appears when Buffy is psychotic or when Buffy and Dawn need to be manipulated. Hardly anyone has even mentioned Tara’s name since her death, but plans were in the works to have her come back - so that she could torture Willow. Only Amber Benson’s refusal to play the role prevented such a scene from being filmed. The pattern on Buffy is clear - unless it’s time to inflict pain, dead characters don’t exist. It’s as if they were never there.

5) On Charmed, heroes have lives, too - All four of the Charmed Ones have had real lives that we’ve been able to see. Piper owns a nightclub, and before that she was a chef. Phoebe finished college and is now an advice columnist. Prue was an art appraiser and a photographer. Paige was a social worker before she gave it up to be a witch full-time - but even that change is something that’s been explored over multiple episodes. On Buffy, ever since the characters left school it’s been as if they existed in a vacuum. We see the people and places of Sunnydale, but we don’t really know much about them, because we rarely see any kind of meaningful interaction between the main characters and their surroundings. It’s as if all of Sunnydale is nothing but a painted backdrop to keep the audience from seeing the technical equipment backstage.

6) On Charmed, we know who the heroes are fighting for - Most of the time, the Charmed Ones are called to protect one or more "innocents," and we in the audience get to know these people in the course of an episode. We get to see how the innocents are threatened, and why it’s important to save them. We get to see how the Charmed Ones help these people with their lives. When an innocent does end up dying, the Charmed Ones take the loss hard - it’s always one of the character deaths that the show plays for real. On the other hand, we rarely get to know anything about the people Buffy and her friends save. They’re almost always generic characters that we see for no more than a couple of minutes - just more of the painted backdrop that is Sunnydale. It’s interesting to note that two of the exceptions - two "innocents" that we got to know in greater detail - were not so innocent after all. In fact, they came back to the show as Buffy’s enemies - Warren and Jonathan.

7) On Charmed, relationships can succeed, or at least can end well - On Buffy it’s a well-known fact that all romantic relationships end badly. Joss Whedon’s explanation is that if the characters are happy the story will get boring. But that’s not the case on Charmed. Piper and Leo have been together since the first season. The fact that they’ve gotten married hasn’t made their relationship boring - it simply means that they now have different challenges to face than they did when they were dating. As for other relationships, it’s true that Prue’s relationship with Andy ended with Andy’s death, but even so they were given an affirming final goodbye scene - and Andy never came back to torture Prue. And then there’s Phoebe and Cole - a relationship that’s dysfunctional, but Phoebe knows it’s dysfunctional and has been trying to move beyond it. How well she succeeds is something we’ll find out very shortly.

8) On Charmed, morality counts - Let’s take a closer look at the relationship between Phoebe and Cole, and compare it to a parallel relationship on Buffy, the one between Buffy and Spike. Cole is very much a tragic figure. No matter how much he tries to love Phoebe, the fact remains that he belongs to the forces of evil and Phoebe belongs to the forces of good. It gives him a mindset that’s incompatible with the Wiccan rules and ways that Phoebe lives by, and it causes him to do things that only drive Phoebe away. With Buffy and Spike, on the other hand, it’s hard to tell who’s the good guy and who’s the bad guy, who’s in love and who’s merely indulging selfish passions, who’s using the other and who’s being selfless. And the reason it’s so hard to tell is because there’s simply no answer to be found. Without a moral compass, anyone can be anything at any given time, with no consistency or reason to them. Even the Buffy producers have disagreed about what the relationship really means, and that leaves most viewers seeing nothing but a confused mess.

9) On Charmed, characters remain true to themselves - Continuing with the relationship between Phoebe and Cole, let’s examine another aspect of the story, Phoebe’s temptation to join the dark side. Phoebe makes her decision to be with Cole as Phoebe. She does it because she loves Cole, and she honestly believes that her love is capable of bridging the gap between them. As a result, she ends up trying to fulfill her role as a Charmed One fighting demons while at the same time refusing to vanquish those demons because they work for her husband. Since morality counts on Charmed, both Good Leo and Evil Cole tell her she has to choose sides, and she ends up choosing Good because that’s who she is.

Compare that to another witch tempted to the dark side, Willow in Season 6 of Buffy. First it looks like Willow is lured by the temptations of the power she wields. Then suddenly that power becomes a transparent symbol for addictive drugs. When Willow goes off the deep end and assumes her dark magic persona, is she willingly indulging in dark powers or is she just a junkie unable to control an addiction? Is she responsible for her actions or not? Just as with the Buffy/Spike relationship, not even Buffy’s producers were able to answer that question with any clarity. Now in Season 7, the relationship between Willow and her magic - and the character of Willow herself, actually - is something that changes from week to week according to the writing team’s whims.

10) The richer texture of Charmed provides more story opportunities - One of the big problems that Buffy has suffered from is a lack of credible villains for Buffy to fight. Once she defeated a god in Season 5, what was left for her to do? On the other hand, last season on Charmed, the Charmed Ones defeated "the Source of all Evil" not once, but three times, and yet ended the season by facing off against a completely different and very human foe.

What makes the difference? Buffy apparently knows how to tell only one story. The "Big Bad" of the year emerges and Buffy faces off against it in steadily more intense battles until the season-ending near-apocalypse leads to its defeat. The only time they didn’t try that formula was in Season 6, which has been widely branded a disaster, and even then they still couldn’t do without the season-ending near-apocalypse.

Because the Charmed Ones have more real lives, with more real relationships in a more real setting, protecting the lives of more real "innocents," there are more opportunities for interesting stories. The Charmed Ones may be able to handle "the Source of all Evil," but can they handle childbirth? They may be able to deal with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, but can they deal with a barrage of lawsuits? The richer texture means the audience is left wondering what will come next, instead of simply trying to recognize the latest version of the same old plot elements plugged into the same old formula.

Underlying these ten points, and the difference between Buffy and Charmed overall, I think, is that Charmed has never forgotten that it’s a TV show. In order for a TV show to survive in the long run, there has to be a mixture of light and dark, comic and serious. A show needs to keep developing its characters and its surroundings, bringing in new ideas, new settings, and different challenges. Charmed has done that. Buffy has not. Especially in the last two or three years, Buffy has seemed to get smaller, shrinking down around the core characters and their drawn-out internal problems while everything around them fades into a murky background. It’s as if the show is being boiled down until only the Joss Whedon message - "there is no moral structure, there is no help, no one’s coming, no one gets it, I have to do it" - is all that remains. And as Buffy has diminished, Charmed has overtaken it, so that in the end the "shamelessly goofy" show is the one that has prevailed.

So here’s to Charmed on its 100th episode. May their second 100 episodes be more successful than Buffy’s have been.

Postscript Now that I’ve seen "Centennial Charmed," I’m struck by my sense of timing, because the show has Buffy echoes everywhere. Michelle Branch appears and sings exactly the same song as when she appeared on Buffy. The cemetery where Leo takes Paige is the Rosedale Cemetery in mid-city LA, a spot Buffy has used regularly for years. And the story premise is reminiscent of the Buffy Season 3 episode "The Wish," where Cordelia wishes that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale.

Now, before you accuse Brad Kern of ripping off Marti Noxon, let me point out that I could just as easily accuse Marti Noxon of ripping off the team that wrote "Yesterday’s Enterprise" on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and I could then accuse them of ripping off It’s a Wonderful Life, etc. etc. There’s no such thing as a unique story premise. What matters is how that story premise is played out, and that’s where the difference between Charmed and Buffy becomes glaringly obvious.

In "Centennial Charmed," the three Charmed Ones reunite in the alternate universe and triumph over evil.

In "The Wish," alternate-Buffy and her alternate-friends kill each other in a meaningless fight. I say "meaningless" because Giles is the one who saves the day, and he’s off somewhere else doing something completely unrelated.

That difference says it all.

Robert A. Black was on the writing staff of Nickelodeon’s You Can’t Do That On Television in the 80s,and has won multiple online awards for his Buffy fan fiction. His first book, a children’s historical novel,will be published later in 2003.

27 Forum messages

  • > Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ?

    5 January 2004 22:16, by Shane
    ’Charmed’ is silly and tacky. It doesn’t come close to the depth of ’Buffy’ or ’Angel’. Heck, or even ’Saved By the Bell’.
    • > Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ? 22 June 2008 14:29
      charmed is not silly or tacky and it is way better then buffy.
      • > Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ? 13 December 2008 12:06, by buffy and angel forever!!

        you’re an idiot!! .. you and the person who wrote this baseless article!!

        Buffy AND Angel are better than Charmed...

        speaking as a fan of Charmed in the early years .. and Buffy & Angel (all seasons).. firstly, the shows are extremely different.. yes they’re both about supernatural themes, but they both deal with it differently ..

        i think most of the comments on this forum cover most of my digust about this article.. but one thing was left out ..

        what annoy’s me most about Charmed (especially when I compare it to Buffy) .. is that it is anti-climatic ... with Buffy episodes, you can feel the struggle reaching to the climax, in Charmed there’s never a struggle .. they just have to say a rhyming couplet and be done with it .. ooh rhyme rhyme rhyme .. the evil is vanquished ..

        and if you say Phoebe learnt karate.. c’mon .. her stunts were hardly impressive .. girl never even took a punch..

      • > Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ? 21 June 2014 00:13

        Buffy was ranked among the 101 Best Written TV Series by the Writer’s Guild of America (Charmed didn’t make the cut).

        Buffy was ranked 7th on TV Guide’s list of the 60 Best Sci-fi Shows (Charmed didn’t make top ten).

        Buffy was ranked 1st on AOL TV’s list of the 20 Best Magical/Supernatural Shows (Charmed was 10th).

        Gellar’s Buffy earned a spot on Entertainment Weekly’s list of the Top 50 Greatest TV Icons, and was ranked 3rd on TV Guide’s list of The 100 Greatest (TV) Characters of the Last 20 Years (no Charmed characters made either of these lists).

        Complex.com praised Buffy as number 9 on its list of the Top 50 TV Dramas of All Time ( . . . Charmed didn’t make the list).

        Whereas commonsensemedia.org described Charmed as having "weak story lines and poor acting,"Russel T. Davies, the executive producer of Doctor Who, said of Buffy: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer showed the whole world, and an entire sprawling industry, that writing monsters and demons and end-of-the world is not hack-work, it can challenge the best. Joss Whedon raised the bar for every writer—not just genre/niche writers, but every single one of us."

        Buffy episodes and actors have won: an Emmy nomination; a Nebula award; Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a TV Series Drama (Gellar); nominations for the Teen Choice Awards; the Saturn Award for Best Genre TV Actress, along with numerous other Saturn Award nominations; a nomination for Drama Series of the Year in the AFI Awards; a host of awards from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA; awards for Best TV Show, Best Actor, and Best Actress at the SFX Awards, UK; the award for Best Television Ensemble at the Satellite Awards, along with numerous other related nominations; and the Drama category for Television’s Most Memorable Moment at the Sixtieth Primetime Emmy Awards (beating out The X-Files, Grey’s Anatomy, Brian’s Song, and Dallas).

        In addition, Buffy has elicited a vastly larger amount of scholarship and critical interest than Charmed.

  • > Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ?

    9 January 2004 05:27, by Anonymous
    Is Charmed Better Than Buffy? um, no. you are an idiot.
  • > Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ?

    26 January 2004 10:15, by Anonymous
    Charmed in a lot of aspects is different from Buffy, the line of thought the writers go is completely different. The perspective of this author is that Buffy and Charmed are TV shows, and TV shows to convey very clear cut ideas of human reality, which Buffy doesn’t really do. Buffy probably goes the more messy way, showing life is not clear-cut and very complicated. Sometimes people love the confusion and depth of it. So if it comes down to it, it’s all in different perspectives, is all. but I still like Buffy better. So boo.
  • > Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ?

    29 January 2004 20:04, by Snow Storm

    um...where do I start?

    (1) Charmed may be ’consistent’ with its witchcraft, but is this such a good thing. Buffy shows the development of Willow’s powers in a realistic way. Let’s not forget that in Buffy, magick is something that Willow uses, not something that she was born with. 1st she experiments, then she starts to depend on the magick (yes, like a drug) and soon she cant deal without it. This was not a sudden development, but happenned gradually. It represents the old saying, "everything in moderation". And as for the use of magick as a metaphor for her lesbian relationship, firstly it is something that both girls share in common and become close through and, secondly, it was an acceptable way of showing a ’lesbian sex scene’ on television. Or that was what the metaphor was supposed to be anyway.

    2) I have to express my concern regarding people who have the need to turn everything into a race issue. Fine, so Buffy doesnt seem to have many coloured people (although Wood wasnt mensionned and he was a very important central character in the whole of season 7), but so what? Isnt it the story that counts? Obviously not.

    3)The gradual disappearance of the Watcher’s Council happenned because Buffy grew up. In the show, Buffy is THE Chosen One. Part of being that meant that she had to be able to cope on her own. Buffy shows how you need to learn to cope on your own, where as Charmed (unrealistically) shows that all the important people will always be there for you no matter what and everything will work out. Personally, I fell out of love with Charmed when they introduced Paige. It was The Power of Three, then Shannon fell out with Alyssa and chose to leave so the wrote Paige in to keep the show alive. Unplanned and annoying, it ruined the show for me.

    4) On Charmed death is not real i’m afraid. Pru died due to problems off set and you seem to forget the grieving Buffy and Dawn went through when Joyce died. And Tara’s death was still important later on when Willow had feelings for Kenedy, manefested by the curse from Amy, but in terms of the show by Willow’s physical transformation into Warren due to her guilt over her feelings. Characters in Buffy get brought back by ’evil’ to torment the characters, yes, but at least this can be interesting. Charmed on the other hand continues to bring back the sisters’ mum and gran to give encouragement, enforcing the girls’ inability to cope on their own. Death is not real to them.

    5) Willow doesnt seem to have a job, but she is a full time student. So was Buffy until Joyce died and then she had to get a job. The show portrayed their growth from children into adults. Xander goes through all sorts of crap jobs before finding what suits him. Anya ends up running the Magic box for a while, but does go back into vengence. Let’s remember that the ladies on Charmed are just that - ladies. The series starts when the are around their mid 20’s. In Buffy the main characters are 16 year old’s when the show starts and 18-20 when they start to experience the world of work. After all, you guys only get out of school when you’re 18 :S And I can tell you it’s hard to get a job when you’re in uni. I only just have. As for "Sunnydale is nothing but a painted backdrop", I could say the same for Charmed. All we see on that show are the good guys, the bad guys and the locations where they fight. Hardly any new characters are introduced for longer than an episode.

    6)You say that we know who the charmed ones are fighting for. The ’innocent/s’. How stale is that? Ooo, innocent, ooo, demon, ooo, vanquish. Yay! Everyone is happy. Everything always works out. Not very realistic is it. And kinda boring every week.

    7) several things bug me here. The Cole/Phoebe relationship is so boring now. Good vs Evil all the bloody time. It’s not that simple kids. Phoebe chooses her sisters, of course, it wouldn’t happen any other way. Spike and Buffy’s relationship is about need, lust, physical satisfaction, if you will. Cole and Phoebe’s relationship is tame. Yes, Spike is neither a the good guy or the bad guy and the same goes for Buffy. But that’s because there is no good/bad guy in the real world. The are only shades of grey.

    9) What do yuo mean "morality counts on Charmed"? Do morals only mean good and evil?

    10) The Charmed Ones faced off against a completely different and human foe did they? That sounds familiar. What was your point? If Buffy only knows how to tell one story, the same can be said for charmed. Sorry, but innocent, demon, vanquish, blah, blah, blah. As I have said. Oh, Piper is having a kid, sure, but do you think a similar plot would work on Buffy? No. She’s only 21. I think :?

    In conclusion, Buffy is far better than Charmed. With far more wit, humour and story than charmed. You say that in "Centennial Charmed," the three Charmed Ones reunite in the alternate universe and triumph over evil. Wow. How unusual for them, triumphing over evil again, eh. Black and white. No shades of grey. "In "The Wish," alternate-Buffy and her alternate-friends kill each other in a meaningless fight." Meaningless? the point of this was to show how things would be if Buffy had never come to Sunnydale. How is it meaningless? "Giles is the one who saves the day, and he’s off somewhere else doing something completely unrelated." Saving the day, yes, and making the point that Buffy saves Sunnydale every day, but Sunnydale also saved Buffy. If she had never come to Sunnydale she wouldnt have been the same girl. Giles had to sabe the day in "The Wish" because Buffy in that reality didn’t want to help/believe him. She didnt trust him.

    "That difference says it all." What exactly does it say?

    If you have any interesting arguements please voice them :P

  • > Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ?

    30 January 2004 16:25, by Anonymous
    This was a really stupid, ill-thought out article. The auther obviously has no idea what makes a good story. Since when does having different races make a good story? Aside from the monsters and super powers, Buffy is a much more realistic show. It’s also far more entertaining because of it unpredictability whereas Charmed is extremely predictable. You always know how it will end. I could go on but why bother?
  • > Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ?

    26 March 2004 01:44, by Vera

    I love both shows. I fell in love with Buffy in the first season and Charmed when it first came out. The difference is in my opinion that Buffy is more excitement, more thrilling. There’s fighting and first loves, and stuff younger people can relate to.

    Charmed in a way can be boring. But its in the way you look at it. Buffy can be seen as a kids’ show. Charmed is more....drama. Each show is fantasmic in its own way. One thing about Charmed which I find very good is that there are little hints/allegories in each episode that hint to what will happen in future episodes. And these don’t like happen accidentally and the writers write it in. THey seem to have a purpose. Like in one ep. of Charmed ’Cat House’ a demon goes back into the past to kill their familiar and accidentally in one memory steps on the wedding figurine signifying the marriage of piper and leo wouldn’t last. In the next season, piper and leo separate.

    ANother cool allegory was introducing Chris. At first I thought he was bad guy, but he kept sending mixed signals. It wasn’t till a couple weeks ago we find out he’s piper’s younger son. Plus she’s pregnant! and it doesn’t happen b/c she slept with another guy. Its b/c her and Leo sort of for one nite resolved their differences and fell in love again. Quite possible in real life.

    Buffy in my opinion does not have allegories like this. It is not consistent. The first 2-3 seasons were awesome. But around the 4th season...it started dwindling. It seemed Joss was more interested in bringing back dead characters into the season and playing off that....Spike, Drusilla, Jonathan. Nothing new. Kinda like Buffy never meets new people and stays with her same crowd forever.

    Family (like the sisters in charmed) will always be there for u. If they love u. I think mainly Buffy just got off track the very last season or so. The whole buffy/spike thing was weird. Even SMG announced that in an interview. She even couldn’t understand why the writers would write something like that. Its almost as if they tried to turn Buffy into a soap opera!!

  • > Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ?

    10 May 2005 01:23, by Izzy
    Many people didn’t understand the relationship between Buffy & Spike and thought it was just something cooked up by the writers to make the series more exciting; unrealistic. They had to deal with Buffy coming back from the dead, she was detached and didn’t feel the emotions she used to. So she turned to Spike to feel something, anything, than the nothing she was feeling before. It was a messy, confusing relationship and it was supposed to be. It was very realistic, IMO.
  • > Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ?

    10 May 2005 22:55, by BUFFY LOVER
    OMG! Why is this even posted at a Buffy fan site?!?! Charmed writers are pervs who just cant wait to put phoebe and paige and piper into another set of skimpy outfits! The story NO Substance NO Depth! Its COMPLETELY LAME!!! Buffy Rules!!!!!!!
  • > Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ?

    11 May 2005 19:04, by Pinfeathers
    Charmed started out to be very entertaining and now it is very silly and redundant each episode is lamer than the last and it is time for the show to END .................. Pheobe is so slutty and Pyper is getting fat....and Paige is just too Silly..........
  • > Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ?

    21 May 2005 05:02, by Anonymous

    Some points made are irrelevant, such as the race issue. The first point is somewhat irrelevant to the comparison also. Charmed is a show about witchcraft, of course the witchcraft must be more consistent. Buffy is not a show about witches (not primarily anyway).

    Lots of the points made about the good always be good/stay true to themselves, always clear who the bad guy is, and such, only say Charmed is a more cliched and unoriginal show, I don’t see how those make it a better show.

  • amm...

    6 July 2005 19:16, by Anonymous

    First of all - about the writer’s main point: did you even notice what you were typing? I mean, siriously, you’re basicly claiming Charmed is better than Buffy because it’s shallow. A lot of your arguments are much like saying "it’s good because you have right and wrong and there are good guys who will always be on the right side". Even Pheobe, who did become evil for a while, truned good again when it really mattered. Because she has to be good, she’s the star and she can’t have mixed feelings when it really matters. On buffy, on the other hand, it’s not that obvious. The answer to the question "why we fight" is not necessarily "because we’re good and that will never change". Willow can turn dark and Buffy can start questioning her purpose, and that’s what makes Buffy and her friends more real than charmed would ever be. They’re lives can change them. If Buffy died, got to heaven and then was pulled back by her friend, she won’t be the worrior of justice she used to be and she would question her goals. And, well, I can go on and on about that, but I think I made my point clear - the fact that Charmed is shallow, doesn’t make it a better show (obviously).

    And just a few things I have to add: 1. Buffy&Spike is the parallel relationship to Charmed’s Pheobe and Cole? huh? if you would think for a second about Buffy&Angels relationship - He’s a vampire, she’s a slayer, the love eachother, he turnes evil, she sends him to hell when she doesn’t have a choice anymore, he comes back, they know it can’t work and he Even turns human for one ep. Pheobe&Cole’s relationship - he’s a demon, she’s a Charmed One, They love, he turns evil, she sends him to this Wasteland and hey, I think I heard that one before. Oh, right, it started almost right after the Buffy&Angel story ended.

    2. You’re saying Buffy defeated a god at the and of season 5 while the Charmed Ones "ended the season by facing off against a completely different and very human foe". Well, now, two or three seasons after this article was written - they DID face a god (or at least something similar), at the end of season 5. And once more - hey, I think I’ve seen a show where on it’s 5th season they faced a god, right?

    (Or, as God-Joss once said - "a crossover with Charmed? doesn’t them doing the same plot as us the week after count?")

  • Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ?

    20 February 2008 17:43, by CHARMED SUCKS
    You idiot. You know nothing about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. You need to go back and rewatch the show. And after that, you need to go ask Joss for forgiveness and offer your life in penance. I hope the gods don’t smite you for your dumb ass-ness.
  • Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ?

    22 February 2008 02:09
    Load of bollocks. I love to read articles, even if I dont nessesarily agree, Hence the reason I read this. But this is pure crap! Not a single point is well thought out. If you are going to write a comparative atrticle then you need to actually have brains that can process the complex storylines in BtVS! Maybe re - watch both shows and then come back and write something worth while.
  • Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ?

    27 September 2008 00:22, by Anonymous
    Buffy and Angel was better than Charmed (...) - Comment removed by author
    • Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ? 28 February 2009 06:56, by Ali


      I’m just glad we had the chance to watch more than one heroine in action- they’re all gone now.

      I Like them both, not as two similar stories but as two completely different worlds to sit back and relax in front of.

      Bring back the heroines!

      Dark Angel, Buffy, Charmed, Xena, Bionic Woman, Charlie’s Angels and even the Avengers.

  • Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ?

    31 January 2010 16:11, by Phoebe Halliwell
    Charmed is the best tv show ever! Nothing could even come close to it! I agree with you completely! ;)
  • Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ?

    17 August 2010 03:14
    This is the stupidest article I’ve read. You’ve clearly thought nothing out. Come back when you get some brains, dumbass.
  • Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ?

    8 July 2011 07:13, by fyredancer911

    I wish some of you would chill. I have seen every episode of Angel, Charmed and Buffy. Many of them, more than once. I can’t decide which I like better, honestly. I think that ’Buffy’ stuck to her story more; but in my opinion the Charmed Ones had a bit more realistic lives at times. There will always be a conflict between these shows, but the honest truth, as I see it, is: What more can you really do? Turn the good characters evil? Have a love interest who isn’t "right" for you? Screw the morals of the characters? Turn them against eachother? Kill off the people who will make the audience cry? Every TV show I think I have ever seen has done all of the above. And it limits it when you have specified genres. The sisters are witches, but as the show does seem to show, they ARE sisters. They don’t let to many things get in the way of that. They do always end up "good" at the end, but I don’t find that as a problem. In Buffy, the characters don’t seem to develope until... the 6th season. This is all how it appears to me, keep that in mind. Oh and in Angel, they rocked Wes and Cordelia, but they killed off the character that they did the very best with, I believe. God, I loved Cordy by the end of her role on Angel. And do you know how cool it was when I realized that she was one of my favorite characters on Charmed, as the Seer in Season 7? Which by the way, she did after she was killed on Angel. But, and as much as I adore Angel (My oh my he is handsome ;)), they didn’t have many ideas. They mostly had Angel going postal. Like we haven’t seen that before? Don’t get mad because of this, I don’t think any are better. They are all aimed at different but similar audience, so of course they are similar. I appreciate that the person who wrote this in the first place explained why they thought Charmed is better. It’s better than a lot of people can do, trust me. I love all three, despite the plots and whatever everyone else says. I consider them all to be fairly good, I love the characters and the main ideas of each show, and that makes me less inclined to hate any of them or criticize them.

    This was all my opinion and I wrote it as well as I could at this hour, so please, do not leave anything mean in reply. Everyone has the right to an opinion, but nobody should be allowed to bash another persons opinion.

  • Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ?

    31 May 2012 00:49, by Sunny
    Whoa, all of you guys need to calm down, and calling the author a dumbass isn’t going to persuade anyone that Buffy is better than Charmed. Honestly, this article is an opinion, which you have no right to bash. Sure, you can argue against it, but when you start insulting fans of Charmed that gives a bad name to Buffy fans. I have seen both shows, and they’re undoubtly amazing. I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but Buffy brings out more emotion in the audience, and the plots are pretty creative. But I have to say in the long run, Charmed is better. After watching all the seasons of Buffy, I’ve never felt the urge to go back and watch it. While with Charmed, I’ve probably watched each episode ten times (and possibly more). It’s a very entertaining show that never gets old, it’s charm never ends ;)
  • Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ?

    27 July 2012 07:31
    Charmed is the dumbest show I’ve ever seen
  • Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ?

    21 June 2014 00:01

    For the sake of being dispassionate and fair, let’s skip ripping Mr. Black a new asshole and just lay out the facts:

    *The Writers’ Guild of America ranked Buffy on their list of the 101 Best Written TV Shows—and Charmed didn’t make the list.

    *AOL TV ranked Buffy first on its list of the 20 best Magical/Supernatural Shows of All Time, while Charmed took 10th place.

    *TV Guide listed Buffy as 7th on its list of the 60 Best Sci-fi Shows—Charmed didn’t make top ten.

    *Complex.com praised Buffy as number 9 on its list of the Top 50 TV Dramas of All Time—Charmed didn’t make the list.

    *Gellar’s Buffy earned a spot on Entertainment Weekly’s list of the Top 50 Greatest TV Icons, and was also ranked the 3rd Greatest TV Character of the Last 20 Years by TV Guide . . . while no Charmed characters made these lists.

    *Buffy episodes and actors have won: an Emmy nomination; a Nebula award; Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a TV Series Drama (Gellar); nominations for the Teen Choice Awards; the Saturn Award for Best Genre TV Actress, along with numerous other Saturn Award nominations; a nomination for Drama Series of the Year in the AFI Awards; a host of awards from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA; awards for Best TV Show, Best Actor, and Best Actress at the SFX Awards, UK; the award for Best Television Ensemble at the Satellite Awards, along with numerous other related nominations; and the Drama category for Television’s Most Memorable Moment at the Sixtieth Primetime Emmy Awards (beating out The X-Files, Grey’s Anatomy, Brian’s Song, and Dallas).

    *Buffy has elicited a vastly larger amount of scholarship and critical interest than Charmed, and while Buffy retained a level amount of viewers throughout its entire run, Charmed’s viewership drastically declined in its last three seasons.

    *Executive producer of the Doctor Who series, Russel T. Davies, proclaimed: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer showed the whole world, and an entire sprawling industry, that writing monsters and demons and end-of-the world is not hack-work, it can challenge the best. Joss Whedon raised the bar for every writer—not just genre/niche writers, but every single one of us."

    The flaw in Mr. Black’s article isn’t simply that he strives to make Charmed sound better than Buffy—he also tries to make Buffy sound trite and stupid. Which is funny, because that is exactly what Charmed is (there: I broke with impartiality).

  • Is Charmed Better Than Buffy ?

    29 November 2014 11:16

    Hi everyone,

    First I’d like to agree with the other person who said that some of you need to chill out. There is no need for name-calling. Surely, we can be more mature than that.

    I am a big fan of both shows. In fact, they’re both my most favourites. I’ve watched every episode of both, in order.

    I think it’d be cool to do my own little comparison :) So... Charmed did a great job communicating that your family can always, no matter what, be there to help you. Charmed had a clear cosmology of good and evil: there’s the goodies and the baddies, they need to be in balance and, in relation to that, the concept of free will was interesting. It’s very yin and yang, so there’s a bit of bad in the good and vice versa. There’s a constant struggle between the sides to get the upper hand but in the end balance counts. Thought-provoking. It was especially shown in the storyline on the Avatars - this was one of the best seasons of Charmed and it was Season 7. Those who parrot that the first few seasons were alright, but not the rest, didn’t even give the rest a fair chance.

    In contrast, good and evil, the powers that be — the bigger picture — is more a mystery in Buffy. But the inner world of emotions was very well done. Things are more messy and ill-defined. But this is what is so great about Buffy! It’s like real life. The deep and dark emotion of BtVS is very post-modern and really "touched" me. And it was awesome that the show went so deeply into the theme of depression and suicide.

    Charmed’s cosmology was very fairytale-ish. Yeah they mixed it up, but it was more black and white than Buffy’s. In Charmed, this allowed me to see and to think about good and evil, with the fight between them, the necessity of the bad, and also how ingrained in our psyches those concepts are. In Buffy, the main impact on me was that I was more able to feel like Buffy’s struggles were my own. She was the Self archetype.

    Another thing, I was rapt with the Phoebe/Cole thing! And the Buffy equivalent, I was so into the Spike/Buffy thing: so exciting, sexy, tragic and entertaining. I’m not a die-hard Spuffy shipper though; I really loved Bangel too. Both of the shows did a great job at exploring different types of romantic relationships, although the Charmed sisters were able to have sex without so much drama and guilt, unlike Buffy. Charmed had some happily ever afters - not just in relationships, but in general. I know in real life this isn’t often the case but it is sometimes. It’s not all doom and gloom!

    What I love about both shows are that they communicated that life is hard; women are powerful; never give up; try your best; make a positive difference; and make do. And there’s so much more too, but I’ll save it. There’s so much more to say on the topic - enough for a thesis!

    Although I haven’t completely made up my mind, I would judge Buffy the better show because it was so emotional and yes, sad, but in a good way for those who’re into that sort of thing. But I love Charmed very much also and it’s a very near second. Generally, they have different moods with different world-views. But one of the coolest things about both of them is the supernatural and powerful female leads!! :) They’re both philosophical and, imo, excellent.