Charlie Bradbury: Can We Keep Her?
Charlie Bradbury from Supernatural is a rare breed of character to see on mainstream TV. We at The Geekiary have quickly become enamored with her for her confidence, bravery, and unique representation as a queer character. And hey, she’s geeky, we’re geeky, and she’s played by Felicia Day, so I suppose our infatuation with her is not all that surprising.
One of the biggest things that’s grabbed our attention is how her sexuality is portrayed. She’s a queer woman, but that’s not necessarily a crucial aspect of her character. Her sexuality is treated as a non-issue, a thing that’s never erased and sometimes even vividly present but not particularly important to her development. Charlie is nothing if not self-confident, and she’s clearly come to terms with her sexuality and fully embraced it by the time we meet her, if she ever struggled with it to begin with. This type of representation is rare on Television and it’s definitely something we want to see more of. (See: Queer Heroes of Science Fiction and Fantasy).
In addition to being a positive representation of a queer woman, Charlie is also pretty rad representation for the geek community. Charlie is geeky and awkward but not in a mocking, caricatured way. She makes references to pop culture and considers Hermione Granger to be her role model. She’s a genius hacker, which has its benefits and detractions. None of this is treated as a novel concept, as if it’s weird for girls to like geeky things or be good at computers. Neither is she treated as a “fake geek girl”, despite the fact she’s relatively feminine, with her styled hair, makeup and sunny disposition. In this regard, Felicia Day was the absolute perfect casting choice. Felicia Day is a positive female geek role model in her own right. Even Robbie Thompson, the man who’s written every Charlie episode to date, attributes a large part of Charlie’s awesomeness directly to Felicia Day. (That’s sweet, Rob, but we love you for your contributions to her, too!)
Charlie’s relationship with Sam and Dean is another highlight of her characterization. It’s sweet and familial, and she enriches their lives more and more with every passing meet-up. Charlie is the sister they never had, who openly admits that she loves them and cares for their well being. Charlie and the Winchesters have similar family histories (basically) and their mutual loneliness and trauma at being orphans brings them closer.
Ultimately, we hope Charlie can avoid the tragic fate most of her fellow supporting characters (especially female characters) have met over the seasons. She’s one of the best things to happen to Supernatural in recent years, and we’d love to see her make it to the end.
Contributions by Angel
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