Impending Heathers remake raises mixed emotions from the 80’s classic’s fans

Out of all of the iconic 80s teen films that we reminisce about today, the 1988 film of Heathers stands out.

Therefore, it is no surprise that when news of a TV series adaption came out, the film’s fans had high hopes. Although the new show’s intentions seem good, many fans are skeptical of the Paramount Network series and how it seems to be stripping the original satirical message from the cult classic.

In a generic Ohio high school, a clique of three girls all by the name of Heather run the hierarchy of the halls. The 1988 film stars Winona Ryder (our favorite Stranger Things actress) as the film’s lead, Veronica.

She is essentially in the process of being “initiated” into the Heathers clique, even though she seems to quietly disagree with the bullying and priorities that her new friends participate in.

She soon falls for the edgy new boy in school, J.D. (played by a young Christian Slater), and they both delve into a relationship filled with pessimistic observations of the Heathers and the society that haunts American high schools.

Things in the school take a turn when when the leader of the Heathers mysteriously commits suicide, and another handful of  “popular” students follow.

The movie is shrouded in dark, dry, and satirical humor about high school life and teenagers. It subtly dips into deeper topics, like how to handle suicide, depression, and bullying, while still providing an interesting and unique storyline.

The film does a great job in portraying the irony of traditional social classes in American high schools by mocking the stereotypical jocks, the “exclusive” college parties, and the snake-y friendships (or even the fact that three rich white girls with the same name deem that fact alone enough credibility to “rule” a school. Chill Heather! You’re just a random girl from Ohio!)

With all of this intricate layering of deeper messages in mind, you can understand why some fans were a little confused after watching the new spinoff shows teaser.

The show decided to switch out the classic “Barbie-esque” images of the Heathers into more diverse characters- which at first glance seems promising! It’s common knowledge that we need more diversity on our screens, and it’s always nice to see a different and modern spin on our favorite storylines.

However, when you look back at the original film’s goal of storytelling (to mock our society about the types of priorities and villains that we glorify), it starts to seem like the show is stripping the story of its satire and message without a second glance.

Fans are comparing this instance to when it was announced that an all-female remake of Lord of The Flies was in the works, with private school girls instead of boys on the island. Fans agree that although adding diversity is never a bad thing, aren’t the creators kind of missing the point of the whole “commentary on patriarchy” that the author intended?

Some fans are worried that placing more diverse characters in the place of villain roles will completely backfire from the whole goal of including diversity. That this could instead cause viewers to root against the already oppressed.

We have had our fair share of controversies on T.V. recently, and the debates on exactly how to present more sensitive messages of shows like Thirteen Reasons Why will still continue.

“Heathers is sort of like a Clueless meets horror movie in the original film, and I’m just hoping that they don’t water it down and ruin a cult classic by making it too reminiscent of Thirteen Reasons Why or Riverdale” Junior Esha Mandadi said.

But there is always a chance that the show could be a pleasant surprise, and prove some fans wrong. A couple fans promise to stay optimistic that the upcoming show’s additions to the classic storyline will add even more depth to the theme.

Whether you believe the show’s efforts to modernize the classic movie could be a hit or miss, you can catch the series premiere on Paramount Network in early 2018. Until then, you can watch the original 1988 film on both Hulu and Netflix.