More terrible, remake-related news from the fetid, idea-sapped swamp of Hollywood: Bravo, the nation's chief purveyor of middle-aged women with drinking problems, is trying to get into the scripted television game, so they've chosen to develop the movie Heathers, the great, midnight-black cult hit 1988 comedy, into a TV series. Yes, bleak, brilliant, teen suicide-and-murder comedy Heathers could someday be a television show on the network that brought you Miss Advised. (To be fair, they also brought us NYC Prep, so.) It's a disaster! An outrage! But really, is it worth getting angry about?
For all the moaning and groaning we peons do about the showbiz system constantly recycling its own stuff, the process never seems to stop. We do it so often — why, just yesterday we were complaining about a remake of All of Me — and yet every cry and complaint seems to fall on deaf ears. So really, what's the point anymore? The particular problem here, of course, is not that we'll be forced to watch Bravo's version of a Heathers TV show; we can avoid it completely if we want, we're independent adults. The problem is that younger generations possibly won't know about the old Heathers and will see this new Heathers and think it's Heathers. And it's not Heathers! There's no way it can be Heathers. But they will think it is anyway, and there's little we can do about that. That's a justifiable thing to be angry about, that some cultural legacy will be tarnished forever by a cheap imitator carrying the once-perfect, now-tattered brand like a flag of victory. But nothing, no matter our cries of injustice, is ever really done about this Hollywood grave robbing. Nobody says, "Oh they're right, we should stop remaking and 'rebooting' and 'reimagining' things. Let's buckle down and come up with new, exciting stuff!" They just keep doing the same old thing despite us. We're helpless, I'm afraid.
This isn't always a bad thing. Sometimes a remake or whatever the hell they call it can be great, despite our initial resistance. Recent examples that spring to mind are the sexy, spirited Footloose redo and the charming Spider-Man reboot. Maybe we are rash to immediately rush to judgment on these projects. They're not always terrible! Though, then again, reading this about the Heathers series chills us to the bone:
In the updated take, Heathers picks up 20 years later, with Veronica ([Winona] Ryder's character) returning home to Sherwood with her teenage daughter, who must contend with the next generation of mean girls: the Ashleys: the daughters of the surviving Heathers.
There's no way that can be good. Good grief, there's just no way. So we're back to the moral outrage. Though, with a touch of resignation now. Maybe it's time we gave up, guys. Nobody's listening. Remakes are going to happen, the soil will be tilled and reused, there's nothing we can do. Even our own bodies will someday be remade, essentially. This is the cycle of the Earth. So when your teenage cousin or niece or God forbid child says to you in a few years, "I love that show Heathers, it's so original," don't scream and pull at your hair. Just wearily sigh and say, "OK, whatever, it's fine." You'll feel zen, at peace. Either do that or slap them upside the head and quickly run away yelling, "Christian Slater forever!!" One of the two should work.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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