Today in Bad Ideas: A ‘Gritty, Dystopic’ Reboot of ‘Little Women’
Hollywood is nothing if not consistent in their insistence on dredging up every property from the last 30 years for a reboot. Beloved comic books, cult favorites, long since dead franchises: Nothing is safe. And the second you assume that something is completely un-rebootable, that’ll be the moment Hollywood smacks you across the face, screaming “Challenge accepted, nerd.” Take for example, the latest from the CW in their proposed series adapted from 1994’s Little Women (as well as the novel by the same name in 1868). How, you ask, can they possibly take a coming of age story that was wrapped up tighter than a Christmas bow into a full order of episodes on TV? Oh ye of little faith.
The high concept is beyond anything we could have possibly fathomed had you told us to imagine what exactly a Little Women reboot would potentially look like. Presenting, the craziest series pitch ever to cross a desk at the CW, per Deadline‘s scoop:
Little Women is described as a hyper-stylized, gritty adaptation of the 1868 novel by Louisa May Alcott, in which disparate half-sisters Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy band together in order to survive the dystopic streets of Philadelphia and unravel a conspiracy that stretches far beyond anything they have ever imagined – all while trying not to kill each other in the process.
If you think that sounds insane… well, it’s because it is. Sure, our main characters will share the names of the women from the novel of the same title, and they will be related, but the similarities to the original Little Women pretty much stop there. Deadline‘s report on the proposed show reads like an Onion article making fun of Hollywood’s propensity for “gritty” reboots. But it’s real. Oh man is it real.
More than anything, it’s a show that sounds exactly like something the CW would green-light. Remember their ill-fated Beauty and the Beast adaptation? In the likely event you don’t, let us refresh your memory: The series was set in modern-day, and the “Beast” was a genetically modified Afghanistan veteran experimented on by a shady government organization, who Hulks out into a monster whenever he’s distressed. The same network that allowed that abomination of a show to happen is exactly the sort to think “yes, this is a great idea” when someone pitches a dark, dystopic reboot of Little Women.
Maybe we’re overreacting, and Little Women: Scary Future Murdertown (our working title, not theirs) will be the greatest thing this side of Arrow. That scenario though is more than a little unlikely. Unless your dream was that Beth never actually died, and instead was resurrected 100 years in the future as a murderous cyborg, there won’t be a whole lot to see here. The CW certainly made headway out of their predominant demographic of teenaged girls and into the 18-25 male demo with their superhero universe, but splitting the difference with Little Women is not the way to help that process along.
We can always count on Hollywood to continue on their warpath of resurrecting long dead properties. We have not one, but two Ghostbusters movies coming up, for some reason Gremlins is coming back, and now, we’re getting the Little Women rework we never asked for. Sure, we’ll hate-watch this monstrosity to kingdom come, but only so you don’t have to instead. The future is almost here, and the Little Women are kicking ass and taking names. Or something.
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