“F*ck me gently with a chainsaw,” it looks like Daniel Waters 1989 cult classic Heathers (starring Winona Ryder, Christian Slater and Shannen Doherty among others) will be getting the small-screen treatment in a new anthology series on TV Land. This reincarnation will take place in present-day and feature a modern permutation on the three central “Heathers”. One is a black lesbian, another is a gender-queer male and the third is said to resemble the beleaguered Martha Dumptruck from the original film.
This is not the first cult-classic in recent years to be adapted for television. MTV’s “Scream” (largely eclipsed by “Scream Queens” in the public consciousness) is set to begin its second season May. TV Land itself has also picked up a television adaptation of The First Wives Club set to air next year.
Adaptations of movies into television series is hardly anything new. And there’s certainly precedent of it leading to a TV series that far surpasses the film its based on. Maybe “precedent” is a strong word. One shining example would probably be a more accurate assessment. The point is, for every generation-defining “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” we get about five or six middling “Dangerous Mind” or “Clueless” level retreads (remember these TV adaptations? Yikes.)
Whatever your feelings, qualitatively about high school hierarchy satire, its iconic status is hard to deny. Make no mistake—without Heathers, there would be no Clueless, no Mean Girls, probably no “Beverly Hills: 90210” whatever that means to you in any case. It’s easily the year zero of the high school queen bee sub-genre. Entertainment Weekly even teased the story with the headline “TV Land has picked up this Mean Girls-esque ‘80s cult classic.” Heresy. No one is set to reprise their original roles, which makes sense if you’ve seen Heathers. Here’s hoping that it retains at least some of the biting, note-perfect tone of the original.
Also, Martha Dumptruck did survive the original film, so maybe her return isn't out of the question. You know you're wondering what she's up to.
Will you be watching?