"Heathers" Is A Problematic And Forced Reboot

"Heathers" Is A Problematic And Forced Reboot

All possible theories of how the story will play out aside, one thing is for sure this reboot, "looks like hell."

Subversion: the undermining of the power and authority of an established system or institution. Just as little reminder to the few people who are unaware of the meaning of the word subversion, because it seems that the Heathers reboot has used that word like a crudely written suicide note to cover up their mess (see the movie and understand the allusion).

Where to start with this awful rendition of most powerful clique in Westerburg High? I suppose the trailers for the show hold the most information, so I’ll start there. "Heathers" was a dark comedy that commented on the power dynamics of high school, and in doing this the film positions three white, upper middle class girls at the top of the high school hierarchy; However, this is thrown into the streets and hit by truck in the reboot casting its main antagonist as a plus-size girl (as the trailer so apply corrected), a genderqueer individual, and a girl of color. Three marginalized groups that in no way embody what the original source material commented on. Marginalized groups such as the ones listed are placed in a strange position in this show because sure it does subvert the expectations of who can be popular, but this mindset only goes so far.

The problem with positioning these marginalized individuals in this way is it presents them on equal stand in our society, which is far from the truth. Believing that all the oppressed groups listed have been giving the same social standing as the majority is like believing because we had a black president racism is automatically eradicated. Casting minority groups in an evil light only perpetuates the absence of their humanity in the media. Long story short, this isn’t new. Positioning marginalized groups as evil is rampant all throughout Hollywood history, why do you think that there is so many movies now where the villain is from a middle eastern country? Not to mention, the change to Veronica who now is a blonde, average sized, and soft spoken. It’s like this show was created out of a collective fever dream of suburban white kids who are upset that they can dance to rap and say all the lyrics they want (I’m looking at you Jake Paul).

"Heathers" brand of loosely satirical comedy pointed at liberal teens maybe the nail in the coffin for this program because through this comedy, the show has severely missed its possible niche target demographic, Tumblr kids who are obsessed with the original cult classic. One-liners like, "How Banana Republic" are dead ringers for awful. The Tumblr fan-base exploded with comments making the trending page, and most if not all the comments about the reboot were deprecating. I personally am not going to watch the show on the merits that I don’t enjoy content that perpetuates stereotypes and directs subversion to the wrong group.

Of course, this new take on Heathers could be commenting a subculture of weirdly problematic liberals who in their attempts to make something forward thinking, through a mentality of not caring about labels, or suggesting because someone is member of one marginalized group it gives them the freedom to reclaim slurs. All possible theories of how the story will play out aside, one thing is for sure this reboot, "looks like hell."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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