Well, fuck me gently with a chainsaw. Ever heard the expression “don’t mess with perfection?”
Of course you have. Everyone has. It’s a fairly ubiquitous axiom. And yet: we never, ever listen. 1988’s pitch-black cult comedy HEATHERS is a near-perfect film–so inevitably Hollywood (or in this case, TV Land) was going to regurgitate and repurpose it for the next gen audience. But how are they possibly going to improve on a film featuring a young Winona Ryder and Christian Slater in the throes of an underage love affair/popular kid murder spree?
Per Flavorwire, the TV network famous best known for GILLIGAN’S ISLAND reruns and Betty White vehicle HOT IN CLEVELAND has just greenlit a pilot for a HEATHERS TV show–but with a hip (and potentially problematic) millenial twist. Following the AMERICAN HORROR STORY anthology formula, each season of HEATHERS will focus on the destruction of a different high school’s reigning posse of bitches.
But here’s the rub: the first clique on the chopping block isn’t your prototypical gaggle of lipglossed bimbos, but a group of misfit teens who somehow came to rule the school with an iron fist. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the new Heathers don’t conform to dominant gender or beauty norms:
Heather McNamara (originally played by Lisanne Falk) is a black lesbian; Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty) is a male who identifies as gender-queer whose real name is Heath; and Heather Chandler (Kim Walker) has a body like Martha Dumptruck.
So does this mean Veronica is going to take down a group of marginalized minorities? As Flavorwire points out, this concept sounds…very icky. Is this the ultimate case of power corrupts? When outsiders become insiders, do they become hyprocrites too?
Lots of questions. Lots of reservations. But I’ll admit: a healthy dose of excitement, too. HEATHERS was so fucking great, and if the show manages to capture even a fraction of its appeal, then we’ll have a pretty watchable show on our hands.
So what’s our damage?