The only place where Heathers and Marthas can get along is in the comment sections of the new trailer for Heathers, the Paramount reboot of the 1989 dark comedy classic.
For those who’ve never seen the film or the musical, Heathers is about Veronica Sawyer, a popular girl who runs with a trio of girls named Heather, with Heather Chandler as the queen bee. However, Veronica falls for JD, a gloomy outsider who has a violent streak. After a blow-up at a party, Veronica and JD go to prank the queen bee…until it turns out JD actually poisons her, and the queen bee drops dead. They stage it to look like a suicide, but JD isn’t done, and Veronica is caught in a web of lies she can’t untangle.
The original story is a biting satire on the nature of teenaged cruelty, suburbia, and extremes of social structure. This new retelling, however, seems to be a little confused. Instead of showing how abusive those at the top are to the marginalized, it places the marginalized (in this case, a fat girl, an Asian girl, and a genderfluid/genderqueer person) as the villains/bullies and has the pretty blonde girl be our hero. The idea is that this is a new world, where cool and popular are not based on superficial labels but on confidence and personality. People, however, have not been taking to that message.
I feel personally attacked by the Heathers reboot.
— 𝕮𝖍𝖊𝖗 (@thecherness) January 19, 2018
Sooo… they're doing a remake of Heathers which flips it around so the liberal LGBT diversity kids are eeevil popular bullies who need to be stopped by the cool pretty white kids. 2018, folks! Taking your rebel heroes and making them an alt-right wet dream. https://t.co/ilIgCYFReA
— Stefan Gagne (@Twoflower) January 19, 2018
bye i can’t stop thinking about how someone greenlit a “heathers but the minorities are the shitty kids” show in 2018
— aristotle (@xochipiIli) January 17, 2018
the heathers reboot ignores that in the original the heathers power & cruelty hinges on privilege & instead shows marginalized ppl as evil bad guys! yikes!
— jill ʚ💗ɞ (@gamecubejill) January 20, 2018
instead of fulfilling winona ryder's dream of a sequel where veronica is a politician in d.c. and has a whole new set of heathers (actually interesting, shows character development), you give us this garbage "remake" (that nobody asked for) https://t.co/9FufoO6jtU
— – ̗̀ girl almighty ̖́- (@loquaciouslemon) January 19, 2018
— Z Brewer 💀 (@ButUCanCallMeZ) January 15, 2018
Uhhh whom asked for this Forever 21 ass HEATHERS remake
— Abbey Bender (@Abbey_Bender) January 19, 2018
Either Paramount wants to make the idea that anyone can be a Heather, or to try and diversify the cast by placing marginalized people in the seats of “power.” What it overlooks is, however, is that those same popular kids are the ones meant to be killed and victimized. It also places them in a place to be vilified, to be mocked and hated, which misses the point of the revolution that comes when those in power falls. High school, in the Heathers, is meant to be an allegory for the world at large. We’ll have to see exactly how this show plays out, and what other surprises it has in store.
Heathers premieres on Paramount on March 7, 2018.