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Networks Are Rebooting These '90s Feminists, And Fans Aren't Happy

"Daria," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Charmed" are cult classics. So why is there backlash around their reboots?
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Networks Are Rebooting These '90s Feminists, And Fans Aren't Happy

The '90s were a big decade for grunge, plaid, Lilith Fair and more than a few on-screen icons of women's empowerment: Daria Morgendorffer, Buffy Summers and the Halliwell sisters, for starters.

Today, die-hard fans are re-binging these fictional feminists, and entertainment companies are hoping to bank on that.

This year, reboots for each of the series were announced, adding to the piles of other remakes, revivals and re-imaginings on the market. But what makes this new batch of shows different — and more contentious — is the question of whether they even need rebooting or updating.

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer," for example, has already spun off multiple times through graphic novel continuations, the series "Angel" and other narrative expansions of the "Buffyverse."

The "Charmed" universe has been similarly expanded, and it was even up for another reboot in 2013. That project isn't connected to the 2018 series, and it was canceled by CBS following backlash from the show's original stars.

"Daria" pretty much ended when it ended, and the show's main character would probably prefer to keep it that way.

Not many details are known about MTV's new reimagined "Daria" series, but the working title for it is "Daria and Jodie.

The network's president told The Hollywood Reporter the show will be about "two close friends taking on the world today and what's happening in our culture at large."

Fans of the original series are approaching the revival with caution — because let's be honest, not all reboots have panned out as well as fans have liked.

Even so, this hesitant wait-and-see approach is still more positive than the general responses to the "Buffy" and "Charmed" reboots.

Followers described the response to the planned "Buffy" reboot as a confused "meltdown" over what the show would look like. Following that backlash, the creator of the new show reassured fans that the reboot wouldn't simply recast or retell Joss Whedon's iconic original series.

That ... can't be said for the 2018 version of "Charmed," which is retelling the original series' story with completely different characters. Fans are up in arms over that (again), and so are the original stars (again).

On Twitter, actress Holly Marie Combs said: "Don't even think about capitalizing on our hard work. Charmed belongs to the 4 of us, our vast amount of writers, crews and predominantly the fans."

Others criticized the new show for billing itself as a "feminist" take, because that seemed to imply the original series wasn't. 

In response to this backlash, The CW's president said the network wanted to put the show in a "more current time." An actor on the new series says he hopes to bring new fans to the franchise.

Amid all this contention, the new version of "Charmed" will air on The CW in October. That likely won't come without even more controversy, and that could sour even more the expectations for "Buffy" and "Daria."