There were a lot of skeptical voices when news broke that there would be a reboot of Charmed, a popular show with a feminist slant about
three four sisters who turn out to be witches. I’ll admit that I was one of them. But after speaking with the three leads at New York Comic Con this past weekend, I’m not quite as hesitant about it as I was before.
The Charmed reboot is the story of three sisters – Mel, Maggie, and Macy – who discover that they are witches after the death of their mother. Unlike the original, each sister has a different father. From the discussions we had with stars Melonie Diaz, Sarah Jeffery, and Madeleine Mantock, it seems as though this will be explored to see how different heritages affect their magical abilities. There is also plenty of opportunity for discussion as to the social stigma of having children with multiple partners, especially in non-white communities. Madeleine in particular seemed very excited about the chance to explore different mythologies; while the original Charmed had a generic European-based view of magic, with a focus on Celtic practices, the reboot has the potential to explore magic from other parts of the world – for example, Indigenous cultures, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.
If there is any criticism of the original Charmed, it can be that its stance on feminism was largely limited to white feminism. This is obviously an issue, primarily because – in America, at least – white women tend to be part of the problem. We need a fresh perspective to help us get our collective heads out of our asses and open our eyes to the issues.
Diversity on TV is still largely a novelty; in this day and age, it shouldn’t be noteworthy that all three leads aren’t white, but sadly it is. And while all three actresses may not be the ethnicity they’re portraying (Maggie is Puerto Rican but Sarah is half-black and half-Indigenous Canadian, which is actually kind of huge), they can still approach the role with a sense of familiarity, because they know what it’s like to be a minority in this country. (This is not to imply that ethnicities are interchangeable. Of course in a show branded as a “Latina reboot”, all three actresses should have been Latina. But I do believe the actresses approached their roles with as much sensitivity as they could.) Sarah spoke about the representation in the writers’ room, highlighting that there are multiple ethnicities, LGBTQ+ representation, and even a practicing Wiccan to make sure that witches are portrayed accurately.
They screened the first episode at the panel, which I wasn’t able to attend, but I have heard good things. And considering The CW just extended the show’s script order, they seem to have faith in it.
Charmed premieres this Sunday, October 14, at 9pm Eastern on The CW.
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Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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