There’s been turmoil in the air ever since the CW announced that it’s bringing back Charmed—the beloved series about three witches using their powers to fight demons while trying to live relatively normal adult women lives—as a “fierce, funny, feminist” reboot. Those three little F-words have not sat well with at least one very vocal critic: Holly Marie Combs, who starred in the original cast.
Combs, who has been opposed to the idea since it was announced at Upfronts, went on Twitter last week to say: “I will never understand what is fierce, funny or feminist in creating a show that basically says the original actresses are too old to do a job they did 12 years ago.”
But Sarah Jeffery, one of the three new stars of the reboot, doesn’t see what the big friggin’ deal is, and just wants to be able to do her job in peace. “IM ONLY GOING TO GO HERE ONCE,” she wrote in a screenshot posted on Twitter. Then she goes there, pointing out that in a rare feat for television, the reboot (even if you hate the idea of a reboot) does star three women of color:
“I fully understand how dear the OG Charmed is to many. For very, very good reason. We are so beyond grateful to have the opportunity to bring this reboot to life and bring current, timely themes to the forefront of a show that stars not one, not two, but THREE WOC!!! We regard the foundation that was laid with great respect.”
Jeffery added that “when my character is challenged [...] I will vociferously defend myself and my sisters,” a sentence that really stresses me out given the potential double meaning of “character” here!!!!
Will this fight over good witches, feminism, reboot culture, and the ageist nature of Hollywood end well? Probably not. I don’t necessarily agree with Combs’ critique—that a reboot starring a new cast is inherently disrespectful of the original material—although, based on some of her other tweets, it seems like she’s implying that a reboot with the original Halliwell sisters was, at one point, on the table. If the appetite for a reboot was truly there among the original cast members and if producers knew that, then that raises a different set of questions around the merits of the new, so-called “feminist” show, and that could get really ugly.