Why Are Fans Angry About the ‘Clueless’ Reboot?

Another day, another reboot on the way. This time, it’s a TV reboot of a film that was already made into a series nearly 25 years ago. That’s right, we’re talking about Clueless. Here’s why fans aren’t exactly pleased with the news.

‘Clueless’ came out in 1995

Alicia Silverstone in a scene from the film 'Clueless', 1995
Alicia Silverstone in a scene from the film ‘Clueless’, 1995 | Paramount Pictures/Getty Images

The Clueless phenomenon began in 1995. That was the year that the film came out. Starring Alicia Silverstone as Cher Horowitz, the movie (which is loosely based on the Jane Austen novel, Emma, follows the main character and her friends at their Beverly Hills high school as they learn about love and growing up.

The movie, directed by Amy Heckerling, was a surprising box office hit, and received generally positive critical reviews. It wasn’t until years later that it became a cult hit. The stars of the film, especially Silverstone and Paul Rudd, began to receive a lot of attention in Hollywood.

A TV series followed shortly after

Clueless TV series
Sean Holland, Elisa Donovan, Rachel Blanchard, Stacey Dash, and Donald Faison of the TV comedy series ‘Clueless,’ 1996. | CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

Due to their rising star status (and previous contracts), Silverstone and Rudd weren’t able to reprise their roles in what is likely the quickest turn over from film to TV to this day, in what is now a time of endless reboots. Regardless, we then got the Clueless TV show.

It began at ABC as part of TGIF — a rare feat for a brand new show, but given its film success, that’s not too surprising. However, Clueless, which brought back the film’s stars Stacey Dash, Donald Faison, Elisa Donovan, and more, quickly lost steam, switching to UPN for two more seasons before its cancelation in 1999.

There was also a ‘Clueless’ musical

After the TV show and the century came to a close, so did Clueless fever. That is, until recent years, when nostalgia for all things ’90s became a cultural and entertainment reality. Thus, Clueless: The Musical was born.

The Off-Broadway production ran for a very short time, from Nov. 2018 through Jan. 2019. Former Disney Channel star Dove Cameron starred as Cher, and popular music from the era was sung, including TLC’s “No Scrubs” and Aqua’s “Barbie Girl.”

What we know about the new show

There have been murmurings of a new film in the works, but there’s little word as to how that’s shaping up. However, we have quite a bit of intel about another project, a Clueless TV series reboot. Here’s what we know.

According to Deadline, the series will be “Mean Girls meets Riverdale meets a Lizzo music video.” So, a mystery drama with comedic sensibilities, one would assume. Cher will go missing, and Dionne will have to take her place and solve her disappearance. Oh, and it will be a modern setting.

Why ‘Clueless’ fans aren’t happy

So are fans unhappy? Well, for one thing, the full description is — odd. Or “deeply upsetting,” as Nylon’s Editorial Director Alyssa Vingan Klein puts it. And the continued need to demonize Adderall as a teen party drug as opposed to what it actually is isn’t helping matters.

Of course, it’s hard not to see what they’re going for here. This sounds perfect for the CW, which, since female-driven comedies like Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend came to a close, has officially become the home of all things “gritty.” We’ll have to see how it pans out.