I think it is safe to say that most of us are tentatively un-excited about the Heather reboot series. The only thing that even remotely grabs my interest is problematic fave Shannen Doherty returning as Heather Duke, but the whole thing just looks … uninspired.
The original Heathers was a fun dark movie comedy written in a time before Columbine and before the Oklahoma City bombing, so its premise of two teenagers murdering their classmates and one planning a school shooting was clearly in the realm of the absurd. That’s why it could exist and not be seen as a threatening idea. No one could have imagined that in the years since 1989 the ideas in Heathers would be much harsher and prophetic in hindsight.
Which is probably why in the light of the Parkland shooting, that Paramount is reluctant to release the new Heathers. In an official statement they said:
Paramount Network’s original series “Heathers” is a satirical comedy that takes creative risks in dealing with many of society’s most challenging subjects ranging from personal identity to race and socio-economic status to gun violence. While we stand firmly behind the show, in light of the recent tragic events in Florida and out of respect for the victims, their families and loved ones, we feel the right thing to do is delay the premiere until later this year.
Despite my feelings on what the quality of this series might be, this is probably a wise move, but also let’s be real—moving this to later in the year won’t change anything. It’s only March and there have already been five school shootings this year. We are only three months in.
Heathers is a product of its time and in the remake/revival craze that exists today, I’m not surprised that people want to revisit it. The musical was a big hit, so why not a wacky, over the top-extended series? Well, because times have changed, and the concepts behind Heathers are no longer funny or outlandish. The violence has happened in real life and it keeps happening.
It’s fine for the late ’80s and I certainly love to rewatch the original film itself, but I don’t think it needs to be repurposed. Especially when we are making films like Tragedy Girls that are playing already with dark-comedy absurdity. Or Scream Queens, which while super problematic also played into that same dark-comedy satire.
As the J.D of space, Kylo Ren, once said, it’s time to let the past die.
(image: Paramount Network)
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