“This isn’t a witch hunt, this is a reckoning,” say Marisol Vera, played by Valerie Cruz, in the first few moments of the CW’s reboot of “Charmed” which premiered last night after months of anticipation and controversy. It’s a sentiment that touches on the show’s dabbling into #MeToo and, inadvertently or not, the debate between the original series’ fanbase and the one CW has attempted to harness by some pretty dubious means. Whether you’re with it or against it, the CW’s “Charmed” has finally made its television premiere and audiences are already doing reviews.
“Charmed” battles the punches of #MeToo in its very first episode.
It doesn’t feel like much of a coincidence that a TV show heavily marketed as a feminist reboot of the OG 90s cult classic starts its pilot episode with a pointed utterance. “This isn’t a witch hunt” comes off as a direct hit to the words of Woody Allen, Liam Neeson and Donald Trump this year in response to some of the highest profile investigations of the year including those that dove into sexual harassment claims against the now scorned Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. The opening liner does well to steep itself in a new era of feminist transitions like the witchy shows and films that came before it. “Bewitched” of the ’60s did well to subvert images of the traditional housewife, George Miller’s 1984 film “The Witches of Eastwick” debuted at the cusp of the feminist movement’s full embrace of sex-positiveness, Aaron Spelling’s original “Charmed” show came at a time when Girl Power was all the rage. CW’s new reboot does well to make sure audiences see what side of our feminist #MeToo era they stand on, immersing its story in themes involving social justice, gender identity, workplace harassment, and women’s rights. Still, despite the various positive feminist themes the show does pack in, fans of the original series and those who’d originally bought into the network’s misleading marketing of the series as a “Latina reboot” and came out jaded when they discovered holes.
Controversies surrounding the series production and cast seem to have more than eclipsed what the series’ efforts.
In the months after CW first announced the series reboot, not everyone has been so charmed by “Charmed.” Original cast members of the first show and their fans disputed intensely about claims that the new show would bring a feminist twist to the power of three and criticized the reboot’s showrunners for failing to recognize the hard work they’d put into the show. Then came reports that the cast members of the show, who were brought onto portray the band of Latina sisters, weren’t all Latina. The news sparked backlash, online protests, and criticism of the creators pointed efforts to tout the show’s diversity and representation without actually going all in on either.
Not all were displeased with the series.
Oye pues he visto la nueva serie de #Charmed y ni tan mal, me ha parecido una buena adaptación a la original.
— DifferentIsBeautiful (@AlbaWorlds) October 15, 2018
It looks like the new reboot might have some serious new fans on their hands.
Still, some proved to dislike what they saw.
Today is the last day of #HispanicHeritageMonth and @LatinxGeeks wanted to know how I feel about a certain white latinx telling Afrolatinx should just accept the half-assed representation the new Charmed reboot is trying to hand out and I've got time today. pic.twitter.com/Th1HmFnXlX
— 𝐾𝑎𝑦𝑙𝑎 𝑀𝑎𝑟𝑖𝑎 𝑑𝑒 𝑙𝑜𝑠 𝑀𝑢𝑒𝑟𝑡𝑜𝑠 (@Maria_Giesela) October 15, 2018
And were even kind of mad it.
Even fans of the show’s cast got real with the actors
I'm sorry but… after one episode it got me do frustrated that I didn't see or hear anything original. I changed the channel. #OriginalCharmedOnesForever
— Red_Chrystal_85 (@Red_Chrystal_85) October 15, 2018
What direction “Charmed” and its future is headed remains to be seen, but we’re crossing our fingers with hope that at the very least the show’s creators will ensure Latinx voices are heard and represented.