Heathers was scheduled to premiere on March 7th on Paramount Network. It has since been delayed indefinitely.
By Chris Flanagan
I understood from the very beginning that Heathers, the TV show loosely based on the 80s film that shares its name but set modern times, is not for me. As I strived to put that aside and watch it from an objective point of view, it only confirmed the obvious; Heathers is a completely shallow retread of shows that have examined high school stereotypes in much better ways.
On a surface level, Heathers doesn’t even come across as entertaining. It tells the story of Veronica, a high school student suffering from an identity crisis amongst a sea of students who have all figured out how to be labeled as something and then use that to define and completely shape who they are and how they are known for the duration of high school. This leads to a completely rigid caste system in which the Heathers, or better seen as the “mean girls,” dictate the social hierarchy on a daily basis. Already this premise put me, the viewer, at arm’s length for how much it has been done already and by the end of the fifth episode, it did little to dissuade that feeling.
Heathers did manage to raise one interesting question. Misguided as it might be, the show manages to shine a light on the fact that in order to be seen or taken seriously in today’s society one must have an angle; gay, straight, lesbian, trans, religious, anarchist, rich or poor. Without a label or definition, a person cannot exist and make any progress in life, to which Veronica seeks to change by claiming that she’s not sure exactly who she is because it’s high school and this should be the time you are trying to answer those sorts of questions. Sadly, this question quickly becomes buried underneath a poorly written script and paper-thin characters. It would have been nice to see the show mine this question out more but that would almost cause it to evolve into a serious drama rather than a black comedy, which it tries to be.
Ultimately, Heathers just wasn’t for me but it might find a home for some and I’m comfortable admitting that. For me, it felt like a show that was trying too hard to separate itself from a pack of similar shows depicting the human condition in high school except it lacks any sort of heart and very little entertainment value. Heathers was a difficult watch and one that I would be hard-pressed to recommend to others.
I give Heathers a D.