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CW’s ‘feminist’ reboot of ‘Charmed’ draws backlash for opportunist marketing
The CW announced on Thursday that it has officially submitted a pilot order for the reboot of its critically acclaimed TV series Charmed.
A few things have changed about the plot since the CW pitched the reboot almost exactly one year ago. For one, the series will now take place in the present—rather than in the ‘90s—giving past stars of the series a chance to make a cameo or two.
The CW also plans to give the reboot a “feminist” angle, as well. Whatever that means.
“This fierce, funny, feminist reboot of the original series centers on three sisters in a college town who discover they are witches,” the show description said. “Between vanquishing supernatural demons, tearing down the patriarchy, and maintaining familial bonds, a witch’s work is never done.”
Wasn’t the original series already inherently feminist? The show followed three sisters as they used their witchy superpowers to fight evil. Sounds pretty feminist to me.
Fans of the original series do not appear to be on board for the spin-off. It appears that most viewers can tell that the television network is merely trying to capitalize on the popularity of feminism in 2018.
I’m pretty turned off by the redundant need to mention a “feminist” storyline. Charmed represented feminism by nature. Why try to sell some commercialized faux narrative when sisterhood and womanhood is genuinely what the Charmed legacy is all about? https://t.co/bzgRO3BxNt— chris macc (@ChrisMcPhersn) January 26, 2018
Charmed reboot 'adds feminist storyline' ???? The original Charmed is already feminist as hell what the fuck are you on about— Susanne (@simplymaterial) January 26, 2018
Saying they're "adding" a feminist storyline is insulting to everyone who worked on the show, especially the 4 sisters, Charmed reboot up the backside is more like it— BOOry (@13arryCassidy) January 26, 2018
Even the original cast has aired their distaste for the reboot. Holly Marie Combs, who played Piper in the series, tweeted about it Thursday night.
“Here’s the thing. Until you ask us to rewrite it like Brad Kern did weekly don’t even think of capitalizing on our hard work,” she said. “Charmed belongs to the 4 of us, our vast amount of writers, crews and predominantly the fans. FYI you will not fool them by owning a title/stamp. So bye.”
Here’s the thing. Until you ask us to rewrite it like Brad Kern did weekly don’t even think of capitalizing on our hard work. Charmed belongs to the 4 of us, our vast amount of writers, crews and predominantly the fans. FYI you will not fool them by owning a title/stamp. So bye.— Holly Marie Combs (@H_Combs) January 26, 2018
Shannen Doherty, aka Prue on Charmed, said last October that she’s not on board for a reboot, either. Rose McGowan said in January she only ever agreed to do the series in the first place to gain a foothold internationally—so she’s probably not interested, either.
Hopefully, CW and other TV networks will take note from all the criticism and quit trying to use feminism as a marketing tool for their next hit series. TV shows should always uphold feminist ideals inherently.
Tess Cagle is a reporter who focuses on politics, lifestyle, and streaming entertainment. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Texas Monthly, the Austin American-Statesman, Damn Joan, and Community Impact Newspaper. She’s also a portrait, events, and live music photographer in Central Texas.