A few days ago, I heard that some media company (I don’t remember what one) is looking to remake the movie “Heathers” into a TV series.
… I’m still not sure how they would go about doing this!
For those that don’t know, Heathers is a movie that came out in the late ’80s which focused on high school cliques. The main characters – played by Winona Ryder and Christian Slater – essentially embark on a spree of killing off their fellow students and making it look like suicides. The movie culminates with a plot to bomb the school during a dance. I won’t spoil it by saying whether or not they succeed. Incidentally, this was all depicted as a comedy!
Now, the movie was entertaining at that time (and did succeed in being extremely funny), but I can’t possibly see how they could remake it and not make it stink. Events like Columbine and Sandy Hook has made the idea of guns on campus a very hot-button topic. After all, you can’t even eat a Pop-Tart without getting suspended. And many people will tell you that joking about suicide is never a laughing matter.
So why would Heathers work in the ’80s, but have “bad idea” all over it now? I think it’s because times have changed so much over the past 28 years. (Seriously? 28 years? I’m getting old….) You can see similar responses to Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn.” Back in 1885, the dialogue and situations were a lot different. Using the “n” word was commonplace, and slavery was still fresh on a lot of minds so soon after U.S. Civil War. Now, the book is one of the most banned and censored books in the country, precisely because of its depictions of race and the language used. And keep in mind that Twain wrote the book partially to focus on the problems with racial depictions of African Americans!
I see similar problems with Heathers. I don’t see how they could try and pull off an entire TV series based on the movie without sanitizing it so much that it becomes little more than another bland high school drama. When I was talking about this with one of my fellow bloggers, Reba Poland, she did mention that they could go the “South Park” route – in other words, they know that they’ll end up offending someone, so why not try and offend everyone?
I suppose it doesn’t matter too much, since I generally only watch what pops up on Netflix, anyway. But it got me thinking about how much culture and society can change over the decades. Perhaps something I write now may become a controversial, banned story in the future – not because I intended it to be controversial, but simply because that’s how society went.
It’s bound to sell some books, at least.