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As a child of the 90s, I grew up watching Charmed, even though my grandmother didn’t want me to. I think she thought it would lead me astray. I continued to watch it anyway, but I did so in secret. There was just something about the series that drew me in. Besides being about witches, Charmed was about family, sisterhood, and girl power. And I think that stuck with me more than who they were dating or the monster of the week. When I first heard about the reboot, I was excited because I wanted to see what they would do, but it’s simply not something we need.

The new series advertised the line, “tearing down the patriarchy.” That seemed to strike a chord with Charmed star Holly Marie Combs, who felt that the original series was just as feminist. Her argument is that there’s no need for the CW to renew a show they cancelled and put new everything on it and call it the same thing — especially disrupting the legacy of the women who worked to make the show better. 

It’s lazy to call it a reboot, especially if it’s a reboot in name only and none of the original cast is involved. If Full House and Roseanne can do it, why can’t Charmed do the same? It seems like the CW just wants to use the popularity of Charmed to cash in and ride the current wave of nostalgia.

But as an adult, I realize that there were problematic aspects to the series, despite how progressive it was for its day. It’s a product of the time, and to bring it into modern times requires a lot of work than even the reboot is calling for.

Charmed was a pinnacle of white feminism — as much as I love the show, it wasn’t very intersectional. We rarely saw people of color (or witches of color), LGBTQ or anyone that fell out of their cookie cutter mold. While Charmed was a tale of empowerment and sisterhood, it seemed to be one only for white women. Even with the reboot also adding an LGBTQ “twist” — a phrase Holly Marie Combs took umbrage with — unless the show is serious about casting non-white women as the witches or other major changes, the show won’t be much more progressive than it’s 90s counterpart. But then it’s just a whole new show. 

I think instead of revisiting an old property, the CW should try something new. They could option Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova or Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older. Both of those books target the CW’s demographic and they center black and brown witches and supernatural beings, which is something we don’t see very often. I hope that changes because I’m tired of seeing white witches depicted as the pinnacle of feminism and sisterhood and no one else.

Kristen Carter was born, raised, and still resides in Philadelphia, PA. Currently, she’s working toward a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. In addition to being a full-time student, she works as a freelance reviewer and writer. In her spare time, she enjoys reading Young Adult fiction, watching TV, and sleeping in late. You can read more of her writing at Hey Kristen Writes and follow her on Twitter @kncwrites.

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