COMMENT:

There's a change happening right now in film and especially TV in which creators are making a real effort to diversify for the first time ever.

And while that is excellent news for all of us who have been craving representation our entire lives, some of these attempts are the equivalent of your drunk uncle shouting about how Christmas is "gon' be lit, fam".

The latest example is the reboot of hit 90s series Charmed, which premiered on Neon this week, direct from the United States where it airs on the CW - a network known for its trashy teen dramas.

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So right off the bat I wasn't expecting greatness. I was expecting something a little better than what I got though, which was basically Uncle Dave spinning a chatter-ring in a backwards Maga cap rapping the wrong words to a Drake song.

Charmed is trying so damn hard to be woke it's just having the opposite effect.

It got some things right and it all looked fairly promising, but in the same way we can sense sincerity in the real world, we can certainly notice when it's missing on the screen.

First off, the three magical sisters - now renamed Mel, Macy and Maggie - are now all young women of colour. Check.

One is also queer and is shown in bed with her girlfriend in the first episode. Check.

One is also a scientist. Check.

There were a bunch of #MeToo and #TimesUp references. Check.

A female detective who is also Asian and also queer. Triple check.

But that's exactly the issue; you could practically picture the showrunners going through a checklist of "things we need to include so the Internet isn't mean to us".

But the fact that they still fell into the same old representation traps is what makes me think they don't truly understand what they're trying to do.

Mel is the walking embodiment of the "angry lesbian"/"angry feminist" stereotype, Maggie is the sorority girl stereotype and Macy is every bit "the scientist" because everyone needs to fit in a box.

Then there are the demons they have to fight - one of which is a jilted ex of Maggie's who meets his downfall when he tries to kiss her and she pushes him away yelling "when it comes to consent I have the right to change my mind".

Then there's another demon whose shtick is literally that he "feeds off powerful women".
I'm all for progress and I'm grateful they tried but I have to be honest I've never rolled my eyes so hard, and that says a lot considering this week I also watched Kanye monologue in the Oval Office.

What annoys me the most is that Charmed 2.0 has been heavily marketed as a "feminist reboot" - hence the desperate bid to live up to that - but the original series was already one of the most feminist shows of its time.

It was subtle; it was feminist in that Prue, Piper and Phoebe were powerful witches but they were also strong, independent women with careers, families, sex lives and responsibilities and they juggled all of it while teaching important lessons about love, empowerment and sisterhood. And they did that through their actions, not through lazily-written dialogue and nailing Time's Up posters to a wall.

I don't know if it was just a clumsy pilot or that they really thought they'd nailed the diversity enough to get away with a sub-par story, but nothing about that pilot made me want to carry on watching.

I'm sure for many, the reboot is a godsend. Checklist or not, it's certainly covered its bases in terms of representation, and no one can accuse it of being ignorant of the world's issues - it literally referred to Trump's presidency as the first stage of the apocalypse.

I just wish creators would realise that people of colour, feminists and LGBT people are still just people, not caricatures of what we stand for that you can neatly squeeze into a box.