After the shakeup of actor Madeleine Mantock, who played eldest sister Macy, exiting the Charmed reboot series—following in the footsteps of their long-ago predecessor Shannen Doherty—a new Charmed One is coming in Australian actress Lucy Barrett. The question is: as what?
TV Line has also shared that Charmed’s fourth season will be overseen by three new showrunners: Jeffrey Lieber, Joey Falco, and Nicki Renna. None of them are Black or Latinx despite that being the ethnicity of the characters on-screen, and behind the scenes as well.
They are keeping aspects of Lucy Barrett’s character close to the chest, but we did hear a little bit about who she will be personality-wise, and it sounds like she’s gonna be Phoebe/Paige 2.0
“Her name, backstory, powers, and connection to Mel and Maggie are being kept under wraps, because… well… it’s just more fun that way. What we will say is she’s an artist with a wild, unpredictable love for life and a one-of-a-kind view of the world that serves her well in her art, which is her life’s passion. She’s fun, irreverent, impulsive, strong-willed and will bring a brand-new energy to the Power of Three,” according to the showrunners.
Ahh yes, strong-willed and impulsive. Such a unique character description.
Renna said in an interview with TV Line, “We’re so excited about this character. It’s an opportunity to bring in an incredibly fun, irreverent, unpredictable personality. She’s edgy and smart and has a wicked sense of humor, but we also like that she’s not perfect. She’s flawed. She has insecurities and fears like we all do. We’re just having a lot of fun, and we’re excited to explore how that will affect the dynamic between Mel and Maggie, as well as Harry and Jordan.”
Lieber added, “We have taken into account that we don’t want to rely on Marisol’s secrets to provide the new character. So this will be a different experience than anything that’s happened on this show or the previous one. We’re going to rethink the entire dynamic.”
That is the least of what the show has to rethink.
I have been watching Charmed 2.0 since the beginning and have covered it since the reboot was announced. My support of it has stemmed solely from the fact that it is a show with three women of color at the forefront despite it never living up to any of the standards it set for itself.
The show heavily advertised itself as a Latina reboot of the series with three Latina actresses, only to cast two mixed-race Black actresses who don’t have Latina heritage. It promised to have a major lesbian character, only to have her relationships be the most underdeveloped of the three leads. Despite having WOC at the forefront the series has been extremely colorist, something that this new casting has not changed, and it ended up spending more time making a white female antagonist more nuanced than any of our leads.
The show is a BIPOC/LGBTQ series in the most basic sense of those concepts and it is disappointing, because the actresses have also received so much racial backlash to their existence in this reboot.
OG Charmed had its problems—plenty of them–but at the very least it knew how to write and present the three leads as sisters. We can’t even get a promise of that from this series. Charmed 2.0 thus far is exactly the kind of shallow representation people think of when it comes to diverse reboots and it is a shame. The actresses deserve better. A lot better.
(via TV Line, image: Dean Buscher/The CW )
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