It’s that time of year again and new television shows are premiering but it is the recent resurgence of rebooting old hits that makes this season a bit different. The CW has chosen to revamp their 1990’s classic, Charmed. Only this time with a POC cast!
Yep, The Charmed Ones are getting reimagined this October. Madeliene Mantock (Into the Bandlands), Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station) and Sarah Jeffrey (Wayward Pines) play Prue, Piper and Phoebe under the new names Macy, Melanie and Maggie respectively. This creative remake has gotten tons of blowback from die-hard fans of the previous show who were outraged it didn’t pick up where the series finale ended. Even former stars like Holly Marie Combs who played Piper, voiced their opinions about supporting the reboot.
In essence, there isn’t too much positive excitement around Charmed circa 2018 and not many fans of the original are planning to watch it. Let me tell you why I do support this new, Charmed.
I’m a 90’s kid who grew up watching every episode, every Sunday from age 5 to 13 years of age. This show was the first I connected with, partly because it heavily featured female relationships and being raised by a community of women, I could relate. Consequently, it was the bonds of sisterhood in the series that truly gained my loyalty. I was the oldest daughter to two younger siblings, a boy and a girl. I didn’t have a big sister. I was the person my brother and sister looked up to and when I needed to see an image of what it meant to wield that responsibility, I found it every Sunday at 8pm. They were the first image of the intersection between powerful magic and the power of a strong family. No matter what personal changes came my way I always had the Halliwell sisters…until the series ended in 2006. This show was partly responsible for my choice to pursue Screenwriting & Development later in life and the reason why I’m giving the remake my full viewership now.
Charmed (1998) painted a clear picture for white women & girls to see themselves as capable and powerful. Charmed (2018) will do the same for Latinx girls & women. Representation matters. That simple and that difficult.
There weren’t many actors of color during the show’s run despite Dorian Gregory & Debbi Morgan’s regular roles. As of now, there aren’t any Black women reported in the cast but Ellen Tamaki is slated to portray Nico Hamada, the on-off Asian girlfriend of Melanie, so later changes in the season could include us. It isn’t the continued saga I envisioned but I still get to see it accomplish onscreen what the original didn’t.
There are not one or two but three Latinx women in the spotlight!
Before you roll your eyes: here me out. This is a win. No, it isn’t a win “for us, by us” like we wanted and rightly deserve but we did it. Thank the tweets, petitions, podcasts, articles written over the past year about the wide space of stereotype actors of color are relegated to occupy where opportunities for larger roles are non-existent, unlike white actors. We, the loud, unapologetically persistent, “others” got together and made Charmed (2018) happen.
This is a step in the right direction. And why you should support it too.
Don’t forget how much you matter. Stations, executives, producers and writers are attentive to you. Insider tip about the business: the most watched genres are purchase from creators in bulk. Making a statement on social media protesting for changes in diversity and inclusion have lead to the new Charmed. But when you don’t show up, for what you asked for, it sends the message loud and clear to networks that they can continue pushing whatever tired content they know sells. Content that they want that is less risky than a new story with a new face. They’ll think we will accept it because we have in the past.
Tuning into every episode is not necessary, you don’t even need to see one minute to be supportive.
What’s the solution? Don’t bash the progress.
I wasn’t aware enough back then to have a conscious vocabulary that included “feminist” “intersectional” and “diverse.” I settled watching something that didn’t represent me and could speak out loud the void, later filled by the thought that somewhere on a TV near me, there’d be a coven of melanated witches. If younger Karis could’ve seen herself, even loosely reflected in Sci-fi growing up, the possibilities for dreaming that I possessed magic of my own would have been endless.
So now years after I’ve learned about the reality of my Black Girl Magic, I can honestly say that I am 100% in support of this revival because for once, white isn’t at the forefront and letting the Hispanic community enjoy their representation doesn’t squelch one ounce of the magic Black people have.
Charmed premieres Sunday, October 14 on The CW at 9/8C.