This is something I’ve thought about off and on for some time. This snippet from another thread encapsulates my feelings quite well.
Now obviously, there are differences between witches and wizards. And obviously, there are different magical laws in the two universes.
The Charmed storyline is quite clear that the Halliwell sisters’ strength lay in acting together–separately, they could be taken down by any of a fairly large number of other people with magical powers. But even together, they were surprisingly weak. It seems to me that the writers of the show suffered from rather severely limited imaginations.
Time after time, the three struggled to defeat a person or creature that Harry Dresden probably could have handled quite easily on his own, even in the first book. Conversely, I have grave doubts that the sisters together could have survived even a single White vampire, unless Piper got lucky with the timing of her freezing power.
In terms of raw magical power, there’s an immense gulf between the two universes. We see Dresden single-handedly pull off feats that the sisters couldn’t have even begun to accomplish–even if you discount his ability to plan ahead. And in the first several books, Dresden was at best the 40th most powerful wizard of his time.
Charmed was a delightful show, but there just wasn’t much brute-force power there. The “most powerful witches of all time” were being ranked on a very low-powered scale.
Dresden’s power was significantly toned down in the TV series (one of several reasons I thought the TV series was better then the books, and was sad to see it cancelled.) So presumably at least part of the reason the witches in Charmed were weakish was because of the constraints of a TV show. Both because special effects cost money, and because the serial nature of TV shows means you need a meaningfully challenging villain every week, and that’s harder to do when your hero is an unstoppable killing machine.
Agreed. Not many of us seem to hold that opinion; the prevailing view is that the books are better. But I thought the TV series was significantly better. Absolutely loved the realization of “Bob.”
I did notice the cut-rate special effects (or lack thereof.) A lot of things happened off camera, with only a flash of light, off screen, to indicate what had happened. I’m guessing they simply had to function on a shoestring budget, and so used “stage” tricks like that because they had to.
(In a way, it’s nifty. It’s a nod to the tradition. A show about a guy named Harry Blackwell Dresden ought to use stage magic!)
remember when Piper was pregnant with super baby and became temporarily invincible? her sister was meanwhile married to or dating what’s his name who they thought was an ex-demon but he was actually the Source (of all evil!) and when the two of them got into fights it was very hard on the furniture!