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Despite what it may say on our calendars, we may never escape the ‘80s. The latest 1980s reboot comes in the form of Heathers, based on the black comedy film that has since spawned a Broadway musical adaptation. During MTV’s Video Music Awards, Paramount Network (the near-future rebranding of Spike TV) gave a first glimpse at the new television show.
Although some may roll their eyes and see this as another symptom of our 1980s nostalgia syndrome, Paramount has made some interesting creative decisions to make this adaptation somewhat more modern. In terms of the show’s structure, Heathers will be somewhat like FX’s Fargo and American Horror Story, or HBO’s True Detective, all anthologies that tell different stories with each season. But expect this first season at least to be heavily based on the original film, focusing on the characters of Veronica, J.D., and the three “Heathers”—Duke, McNamara and Chandler.
The original Heathers were cisgender white women, while the Heathers of this show consist of a woman of color, a gender-queer person (played by actor Brendan Scannell) and a plus-size woman; what might have been “taboo” traits in the 1980s are not only the new normal in this day and age, but in the world of this anthology show, they are inhabited by the high school royalty. This show looks to recontextualize the original story’s themes of popularity, bullying and youth mental health—but expect the movie’s spirit to live on with off-color dialogue like “f—k me gently with a chainsaw.”
Eat a brain tumor for breakfast when Heathers premieres on Paramount Network in 2018.