Heathers Reboot Will Air After All — With One Big Change

Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Network.
For a minute, the Heathers TV reboot had a dubious future, but it appears to have found its path. The show was originally scheduled for January 2017, but was moved to the following March. Later, it was delayed again in the wake of the Parkland school shooting. After that, it was rumored to have been canceled, but Refinery29 can confirm that the series will now air in two-hour blocks from October 25- 29 on the Paramount Network.
The original 1989 film follows Veronica (Winona Ryder) and JD (Christian Slater), a teenage couple who decides to carry out revenge in a “plot to kill the cool kids” in increasingly complicated and campy ways. The final scene — spoiler alert, although you've had plenty of time — involves JD’s plot to blow up the school gymnasium, at which point Veronica decides he has gone too far.
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The reboot also seems to have gone too far. The final episode, which involves the plot to blow up the school, will not even air. “The producers and I felt strongly about not changing anything in [the final episode] and so, it’s been considered too controversial for U.S. audiences,” said showrunner Jason Micallef. The show has also cut a scene in the fifth episode which depicts a school shooting from JD’s perspective.
The show has been called problematic for more than its depiction of gun violence, however. The original film and the 2014 Broadway musical emphasized overcoming difference and “making things right.” The new show seems focused on portraying the vapidity of today’s youth.
The show has a diverse cast, but seems to be doing diversity in all the wrong ways. "We've got a Black Heather, a plus-sized Heather, a queer Heather," Brendan Scannell, who plays Heather Duke, said to Entertainment Weekly. “These communities still face discrimination.” The series will attempt to turn this discrimination on its head, making the marginalized characters the villains.
Twitter seems divided about the reboot, with some fans expressing curiosity about the cut episode, and others accusing the series of missing the nuance of the original.
Those involved with the show have heavily emphasized the satirical aspect, but it’s not yet clear whether Heathers is saying anything deep about modern teens — or whether it simply wants a laugh at the expense of the marginalized characters as it builds up a body count.
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