‘Charmed’ 1×04 Review: Dios, Sálvame!

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Okay, cat out of the bag first. If you know me, or follow me on Twitter, you know that I am a latinx woman, and I’m also pretty darn white. It’s a thing I’ve had to explain more times than I can count, and that I’m usually happy to explain as long as I’m not required to explain, because it’s not my job to educate you, and yet I will still usually gladly do it if you’re not an asshole.

Latinx is not a race, it’s an ethnicity. There are white latinx, like me, and there are afro-latinx, and Asian latinx, and people who are descendants of the indigenous tribes of Mesoamerica. We can’t be put into one tiny box, because we’re different people, even with all we have in common.

I know I’m blowing some of y’all’s minds right now. I’d apologize, but a little information never hurt anyone. And you know who could have done with a little information on what latinx people are and what it means to be part of the latinx community?

The Charmed reboot.

Last week we got the ‘lovely’ present of Mel’s Puerto Rican flag, as if a piece of fabric on a wall defined someone’s identity. This week, we got some Spanish, and a flag and some words in Spanish is all the representation we need, RIGHT? Boxes checked. Charmed can go home and call it a day.

Now, I know there are latinx in the Charmed writers room, I know this. One of them wrote this episode. But so far, and I’ve said this just about every episode, I feel like this is a white person’s idea of representation. I don’t feel any connection to these sister’s latinidad, and worst of all, THEY don’t feel any connection to it. And I don’t know if that’s because the latinx voices aren’t being allowed a say, or because they only get to throw little ‘hints’ at us, without any real understanding that those hints feel like scraps.

Did I say that was the worst part? Oh, no, the worst part is still that they hired two non-latinx actresses to play Latinas. The worst part is that they only care enough to play lip service to diversity, not to actually cast right and tell authentic stories.

But hey, they got a flag! And they spoke some Spanish. Why am I even complaining when I’m getting these lovely scraps, right?

MACY

Charmed — “Exorcise Your Demons” — Image Number: CMD104a_0009.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Melonie Diaz as Mel, Madeleine Mantock as Macy, Sarah Jeffery as Maggie and Rupert Evans as Harry — Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Macy didn’t grow up with Mel and Maggie, and sometimes, considering all the Charmed ones shit they’ve been doing, that kind of escapes not just them, but Harry. They had very different upbringings, which means, of course, their first reaction to things is very, very different.

While Mel and Maggie are way more passionate, and in touch with their emotions, Macy seems to be the kind to hold everything inside, and then explode if it becomes too much. She also seems the type to get overly rational about things, because that’s easier to understand than human emotions.

To her sisters, this is so foreign that it’s impossible to understand, but to Macy it’s just reality. And yet, hit is a reality that can change. Macy doesn’t want to come off as cold and she doesn’t want to abandon her sisters – she wants to find a middle ground. So far, we’ve been faced with moments when she’s the one who has to take a step towards being more emotional, but we’ve also been faced with moments where her Macy’s way was the correct way, like in the Pilot.

So basically, it’s all about balance. Being too emotional isn’t always the right choice, but neither is shutting down your emotions. And this is a hard balance to find in life, witch or not.

 

MEL

Charmed — “Exorcise Your Demons” — Image Number: CMD104a_0058.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Melonie Diaz as Mel, Madeleine Mantock as Macy, Sarah Jeffery as Maggie and Ellen Tamaki as Niko — Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

You know why it seems like Mel is at the forefront continuously through these first four episodes? Oh, yes, because Mel is actually the most interesting character of the three, and she’s continuously the driving force of absolutely everything that happens in this show so far.

But guilt is a bad advisor, and so far, Mel’s acting out of guilt again and again and again. She feels guilty about what happened to their mother, she feels guilty about what happened to Angela, she feels guilty about absolutely everything, and she think that guilt translates to her needing to fix everything.

She thinks that’s what her powers are for.

The truth is, Mel needs to find balance as well, and she needs to understand that she isn’t responsible for the world and her powers don’t mean she has to fix absolutely everything that goes wrong everywhere. More importantly, no one expects that of her, only herself.

MAGGIE

Charmed — “Exorcise Your Demons” — Image Number: CMD104b_0116.jpg — Pictured: Sarah Jeffery as Maggie — Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

I’m glad the show sorta addressed the fact that Maggie hasn’t really been doing this thing you’re expected to do in college: attend classes, but I have to say the whole storyline with Maggie and Lucy’s boyfriend is my least favorite thing happening on this show right now, and that’s saying a lot considering my rant to start this review.

First of all, yuck he’s a creep who was hitting on you despite the fact that he had a girlfriend. Second of all, he’s a creep who still seems to be flirting with you despite knowing you’re friends with his girlfriend. And, didn’t you break up with the last dude because you wanted to be, you know, you, outside of a relationship? Because it seems like you forgot.

So, please, Charmed, don’t go this route with Maggie. She doesn’t need a guy to find her inner strength, or whatever. She’s strong enough on her own, she’s consistently been the one to actually save the day, and if she ever needs something, she’s got her sisters.

That’s what this story is supposed to be about, isn’t it?

WHAT CHARMED COULD HAVE DONE FOR LATINX REPRESENTATION IN “EXORCISE YOUR DEMONS”

See rant above.

But, just in case it needed to be said again: I am more than a few words in Spanish and a flag.

Things I think I think:

  • So, like, the fact that we got a fashionable, feminist, nice female elder is supposed to make it so I don’t comment on the fact that she looks like the embodiment of white feminism would probably look like?
  • That green jacket is ugly AF, okay?
  • So their mom was an Elder? Boy, elders sure have changed from the original Charmed days.
  • I have found a new power I desperately need, the one to mute people.
  • Harry = Young Giles. That’s it, that’s the tea.
  • WITCH OLIVIA POPE? She wishes.
  • The whole thing about POC getting jumpy around the police is a very thoughtful comment that, considering my rant above, also feels like a scrap.
  • Oh, Elders and the greater good. That story I know.
  • A santeria-based spell. Sounds like something this show could have, you know, explored from the beginning.
  • Bye, Trip. Can’t say I cared enough for you before, but you truly were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • Niko and Mel’s relationship is doomed, isn’t it?
  • This episode ends the Charmed way, at least: fix a problem, only for an Elder to create an even bigger one. Yay Elders!

Agree? Disagree? Share with us in the comments below!

Charmed airs Sundays at 9/8c on the CW.




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