Maddie and Reese are two Hollywood dwelling friends managing the typical challenges young women and women of color face both trying to pay the bills and establish themselves in the entertainment industry. Their majestic distinction is the advantage of a natural inclination for witchcraft, but challanges abound. Because even a spell or two can't quite broom fly over "the patriarchy."
Co-creators Johanna Middleton (Reese) and Martine Moore (Maddie) developed the concept of their web series Bwitches ("like bitches and witches") to mirror their own experiences as artists living and working in the fame fishbowl of southern California. Their mundane experiences and witchy hijinks ride the waves of socially aware entertainment that's booming from independent spaces. What sells this project is the quirky chemistry that Middleton and Moore create between their characters, unfraid of exposing personal insecurities and yes, those pesky microaggressions that are in fact, not a conjuring, but a reality. The Louie style approach with a more contemporary Bewitched-like charm, Bwitches is a fun, five episode experience that was crafted on a solid foundation of mutual respect, honesty, and equity.
"The biggest challenge was making sure that we weren't beating folks over the head with a message as much as honestly representing a sample of our experiences," Middleton told me. "We hope that the series resonates with women and women of color while still being entertaining. Martine and I have a friendship where we can be open and honest with each other about the ways in which we experience sexism differently, so those conversations made it easy to transition into writing from an intersectional perspective."
Middleton furthers, "There's been so much in the media about 'white girl feminism' and the ways in which the feminist movement often ignores women of color. We have the rare opportunity to show the tangible ways in which women of different races experience sexism differently - there aren't any mainstream shows that I know of at least, that do this in the context of a friendship. Being a black woman will always mean double jeopardy and until we acknowledge that in the media, it will be hard to have conversations about that with our community."
Cast and crew are currently working on building an audience for Bwitches and I am happy to spread the word. Check out the trailer and links to episodes and social media below!
Get spellbound in these covens:
Follow Johanna on Twitter! (@johannaoflala)