If you ever wondered just what happened to Snow White after her prince awoke her with a kiss, The Charmings was for you. The premise of this short-lived sitcom was that Snow White and Prince Charming, now married with children, were put under a spell and transported to late 20th century America by Queen Lillian, Snow’s evil stepmother. The queen also accidentally also transported herself, her magic mirror and a dwarf named Luther to American suburbia, all of them forming a dysfunctional family of the magical kind.
Like the characters in The Munsters and Bewitched before them, the Charmings were obviously out of place in their relatively normal environment, forcing them to find a balance between adapting to their living situation while retaining their own unusual identities. Complicating matters for the Charming family was the fact that Snow White and Eric’s children were completely assimilated into the modern-day world they lived in, and were, like, totally embarrassed by their parents’ fairy tale traditions and way of life.
The fun of the show was how the family dealt with 20th century life while still maintaining their fairy tale ways. For example, Eric’s masculinity was challenged when Snow became a successful working woman, and the kids had to contend with their mother’s forcing them to wear tights to school. The Charmings found humor in portraying the history of fairy tales as a kind of generational and cultural gap between Snow and Eric and their children.
No family sitcom would be complete without an interfering mother-in-law, and none could have caused more mischief than a bitter, aging queen with magic powers. Snow’s wicked stepmother Queen Lillian, still holding a grudge against Snow White from the olden days, spent her time scheming to ruin Snow and Eric’s happiness, often with the help of her wisecracking magic mirror.
The Charmings didn’t last long enough to be remembered among the hordes of family sitcoms that aired in the eighties, but its “fish out of water” premise and fairy tale humor made it a must-watch of many a would-be prince or princess.
USA / ABC / x25 minute episodes / Broadcast 20 March 1987 – 11 February 1988
Caitlin O’Heaney as Snow White Charming (Spring 1987)
Carol Huston as Snow White Charming (Fall 1987-88)
Christopher Rich as Eric Charming
Judy Parfitt as Lillian
Paul Eiding as Don Miller
Dori Brenner as Sally Miller
Cork Hubbert as Luther
Garette Ratliff Henson as Cory Charming
Brandon Call as Thomas Charming
Paul Winfield as The Mirror