Charmed on Netflix Just Isn't the Same

We’re all aware of music’s role in visual storytelling. It’s crucial for setting the tone of a scene. Without it or with the wrong music, many of my favorite movies and TV shows would feel a whole lot different. I have recently been reminded of this fact during my rewatch of the original Charmed series.

The show is now streaming on Netflix, and if you’re like me and watched it during its original run, you’re probably aware that it used a lot of music from the 1990s and early 2000s. The first season’s soundtrack alone read like a who’s who of alternative rock and Lilith Fair bands from the era, and it worked. The showrunners were right on the money about how this music would affect the Wiccan setting.

If you’ve seen The Craft, then The Smith’s ‘How Soon Is Now’ for the theme song already got you in the mood for some witchy antics. Then you had songs from the likes of Natalie Imbruglia, Paula Cole, Goo Goo Dolls, Counting Crows, Eve 6, Sarah McLaughlan, Jewel, Fuel, and Liz Phair to make you feel the time and mood.

Thanks to the loss of licensing rights all of this music has been changed on the streaming format. The edgy intro song has been replaced with a generic sound that doesn’t line up with the way the credits have been edited like The Smiths song did. While you do have to sit through this with each new episode (unless you click the “skip intro” button, which I advise doing), it has nothing on the way the change in background music has altered the tone of certain scenes.

While I admit the show is 100% cheesy at times, the boring or out-of-place music really takes away all emotional impact you should be experiencing during more serious moments. If you haven’t seen the show before, it might not be as bad, but I can’t imagine it feels natural.

Fortunately, if you are a fan of the show, the DVDs have retained most of the original music used. So, you can enjoy it the way it was intended. As for the rest of us, we just have to deal with it I guess. I mean I have the Daria on DVD without the original music, which is a crime really, and I still love it. However, if you want a remdinder of which songs are missing, check out Tunefind to hear which bits of songs played in each episode.

What shows from your past have you streamed to find the music was altered? Let me know on the recently created Discord.

Posted in TV Shows 11 Sep 2019