‘Heathers’ is Borderline Sexy, Full on Psychotic

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Published October 30, 2018
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The Montclarion
The seemingly cancelled show is available to stream on the Paramount Networks app. Photo courtesy of Paramonts Network

“Chaos is what killed the dinosaurs darling.”

In early 2018, Paramount Networks pulled the plug on their television series “Heathers,” deeming it too triggering in light of the recent shootings across the United States. On Oct. 25, Paramount finally released the show in its entirety as part of a five-night “Heathers” marathon, but it was quickly taken off air in the wake of the anti-Semitic Pittsburgh shootings that took place over the weekend.

However, viewers can still catch the series on Paramount’s website, which was made available to stream Monday night.

The present day “Heathers” reboot stems from the movie of the same name that acquired a cult following upon its 1988 release. It is about three high school queen bees, all named Heather, who garner a friendship with unsuspecting classmate Veronica Sawyer. The longer Veronica hangs around the Heathers, the more pent-up anger she has inside. This leads her to harbor internal hatred for the ring leader of the trio, Heather Chandler. The Heathers are evil in their own way, but Veronica and her newfound love, JD, join forces and go on a bit of a killing spree.

Think “Mean Girls” but with a killer twist.

Despite what most people assumed would happen, “Heathers” sticks to the original script but adds modern and exaggerated twists to what was already present in the prior film. Instead of Heather Chandler reaping the social benefits of her alleged suicide via pen and paper, she does it by way of social media.

The TV show borrows dialogue from the film in an attempt to literally stick to the script. It works to the benefit of the writers behind the scenes as they find ways to offend while still gaining a few laughs.

Veronica, the main character but not necessarily the protagonist of the show, is in cahoots with her boyfriend JD who takes bad boy to a new level. In the film, she was more resistance toward JD and his abusive behavior and serial killer antic. During the show, Veronica was all for it, caving in and succumbing to her urges. The dynamic between the evil duo was more passionate and consensual than concerning this time around.

With ’90s icon Winona Ryder missing as the lead, it was pretty hard for “Heathers” to live up to expectations. The bar was set low for the series but I was pleasantly surprised at how much effort was made to keep ties to the original adaptation.

Suicide and murder are recurring themes throughout the 10-part series, which may be taboo topics for some.

Instead of changing the concept of “Heathers” to fit with the times, the writers, producers and actors were able to take what would be considered offensive today and use it to their advantage.

The modern-day “Heathers” is darker and more twisted than the original but also allots time to touch on inclusivity. In the film, all of the Heathers are tall, white, thin and popular women. In the series, there is a gender queer Heather Duke, plus-sized ‘head bitch in charge’ Heather Chandler and ethnic Heather McNamara.

The role reversals of who was considered popular in the ’80s in comparison to who would be popular now are carefully crafted. The show is supposed to be a dramedy, but I found that the funniest parts involved Heather Duke and her tongue-in-cheek insults and quick wit.

heathers show.jpg

From left to right: Jasmine Mathews, Melanie Field and Brendan Scannell are the newest Heathers in the remake of the 1988 cult film. Photo courtesy of Paramount Network

Spewing lines like, “For old people, I prefer my pronoun to be: don’t talk to me,” “They’re making me do journalism, like the boring kind for ugly people,” and “Her favorite color is clear,” Heather Duke is a hoot.

All of the Heathers, even Veronica and JD are bonafide narcissists who act for their own self-interest.

The styling throughout the series is impeccable, exemplifying the trendy clothing options for all shapes, sizes and genders.

At the start of the five-night binge, the show felt all over the place. It was unclear whether they were making fun of millennials and deeming them self-involved or if they were trying to mock elder generations for their opinions.

As the storyline progressed, it was apparent that “Heathers” was just trying to do its job: entertain.

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