CORRECTION 05/28/2018: The @DontWantAReboot Twitter account was started solely by Shellie Williams on March 3, 2018. Jillian, our interviewee, joined Shellie after the #DontWantAReboot campaign and Twitter account were established.
The CW has decided to reboot popular witch drama show “Charmed” and it’s an understatement to say that A LOT of fans are unhappy about the “Charmed” reboot produced by Jennie Snyder Urman, Jessica O’Toole, and Amy Rardin. Whenever fans of any TV show are upset, they usually spread the word on social media, particularly Twitter, to express why X or Y show should not be cancelled or should not be rebooted. And let’s be honest, most fans of any classic TV show or movie rarely want reboots.
Many hashtag campaigns ignited on Twitter when we learned more about the “Charmed” reboot: #STOPCharmedReboot, #DontWantAReboot, #ThisIsNotMyCharmed, and #BoycottCharmedReboot are the most prominent Twitter campaigns composed of tweets from fans who are against the reboot. Even the original cast members Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, Shannen Doherty, and Rose McGowan have been vocal about their views against the reboot.
Jill’s Charmed experience
When did you first start watching Charmed?
I was exposed to Charmed when I was very young, around six or seven, because my mom actually was a huge fan of the show. She had a few episodes on VHS and used to watch them both recorded and on TV. Charmed was always in the background, and in my early teens, I started watching the show on my own. It was actually the first show I ever binged!
What does Charmed mean to you?
Charmed means a lot to me. Growing up, I never saw any strong female superheroes on TV. There was Batman, Iron Man, Superman–basically all these strong male figures. But there weren’t any strong female heroes that I could connect with. When I first watched Charmed, I saw these three powerful women who fought demons every episode. They have never been pushed aside, rescued, or undermined by their male counterparts.
“Charmed” showed me that women could be more than just damsels-in-distress, they could be heroes.
Because of this, my mom and I were able to bond over our love for the show, which helped add another layer to a relationship that means the world to me.
Charmed Over Time
For fans who did not grow up with Charmed but are getting into the show because it’s available on Netflix, how do you think the show has held up over time?
I think the legacy of the show has remained extremely well. Instead of dying out and disappearing like many ’90s shows have, it’s stayed pretty relevant especially in the binging community.
Unlike other shows of its time, Charmed has remained relevant and fresh. People of all ages and genders can find something to connect with, and the morals of the show have withstood the test of time.
There’s never been another show like Charmed, which is why it stands out both in the paranormal and drama category.
The #DontWantAReboot Charmed Twitter campaign
What inspired you to create a Twitter campaign? A lot of fans are against the reboot and few have taken a step further to promote why the show should not be rebooted.
I became involved in the campaign because I believe that a legacy as strong and rare as Charmed deserves to be cherished and respected. Fans have been wanting a next generation or something that continues the Halliwell line for years, and yet the network has continued to ignore these wishes. The CW deliberately doing something like this, is an insult to fans and the show. I’m passionate about the show, and that passion is what’s driven me to do all of this.
When did you first start the Twitter campaign? How did it grow over time?
Shellie and I formed the campaign around early January. When we first started out, we had about 30 follows on Twitter, no one really knew who we were. But now, we’re averaging about 5-10 retweets, sometimes more, and have over 700 followers. The passion that people have for Charmed is amazing, and it’s been so interesting to be a part of this! We decided to do the move to Facebook to reach fans of all ages across on social media platforms and most of Charmed‘s original fanbase is of the older demographic now. It’s another way to reach even more people who may not have Twitter yet!
What kind of reactions have you received since creating the campaign?
The reactions have been mixed, some people are supportive and encouraging, while others are negative and often try to silence or diminish our movement. Unlike other campaigns against the reboot, we try to run a fair and polite campaign, and for the most part, that’s the response we’ve received. But there are always haters or people who don’t understand our passion.
While it’s very nice to see that the Charmed reboot has POC as main characters, it’s just completely different with new characters and new storylines. The CW is treating Charmed like some sort of anthology. How do you think the reception will be for the reboot when/if it airs?
While I think it’s amazing that the cast is POC and that they’re modernizing the story by including an LGBT plot, that’s never really been our main concern. Our concern has always been that their story isn’t connected to the Halliwell-line. I think the reception will be mixed, but mainly poor. Especially within the original fandom, because this isn’t connected to the original show, yet the CW is using the same font, title card, and namesake.
Charmed was one of a kind, and that’s what made it so special. If they wanted to do a reboot with the original cast, I think they should go in the direction of their children.
Piper, Phoebe, and Paige’s stories are finished in my opinion. While it would be great to see a reunion that included Prue in some form, I believe that their stories have been told-they deserve to be happy. It’s time for a new generation that can connect to the present generation, and that should include their children in some form or another. There’s plenty of mythology to play with, and a lot of stories to be told. Personally, I would have been okay with a New England-themed prequel that focused on the Warren line. But, that didn’t seem to be the direction they wanted to go either.
My message to the CW is this: Stop trying to brush the Charmed legacy away. Stop trying so hard, and let the story tell itself. Instead of casting problematic actors who don’t seem to care about the original show, cast people who understand and respect the legacy. Hire writers that understand the mythology that has already been set.
Listen to the fans, respect them, and honor their wishes in some way or another.
While you don’t have to listen to everything we have to say, at least respect the rules and mythology that have been explained many times before, and expand on it instead of trying to replace it. Honor the show that was once disrespected by your network, and do it justice this time around. It’s not hard to please fans of a beloved show if you just listen and pay attention to what we’re saying. Addressing our concerns instead of ignoring them will get you much further than blocking us and attempting to silence our movements. Because the more you try to silence us, the louder we will become.