Heathers,” as many people of a certain age remember, was a 1988 dark comedy about High School cliques, murder and madness that made stars of Wynona Rider and (for a while) Christian Slater. The movie depicted a pair of young lovers who go on a murder spree against the popular kids in their school, including three first-class rhymes with witches all named Heather. One did not know whether to root against the Heathers and a pair of jocks as they were being picked off or against the mad, bad and dangerous to know J.D. played by Slater.

“Heathers” is coming back as a ten-episode TV series on the new Paramount Network. The show reworks the premise of the movie in some unexpected and highly controversial ways for the 21st Century.

The fresh hell that is high school

The high school of 1988 was hellish enough, with its cliques and popular kids lording it over the outcasts. The high school of 2018 is a fresh hell that resembles something out of the Soviet bloc or Nazi Germany during the Cold War. The students live in terror of saying the wrong thing or even wearing the wrong t-shirt and having it splashed all over social media, ruining their young lives forever as bigots.

A different sort of Heathers

The Heathers in the movie were a trio of snotty white kids lording it over a student body of primarily other white kids. The Heathers of the TV Show are a little different. Political correctness is both a target and is turned on its head.

Heather Chandler is a corpulent monster, who refers to herself as “body positive,” who wields a smartphone like a weapon of war, keeping the students in terror.

Heather Duke is actually anatomically a boy but is somewhat gender fluid in his/her lifestyle. Heather McNamara is African America and presents herself as LGBT but gets caught making out with a boy at one point.

The controversy

The controversy that accompanies that show stems from the fact that Veronica and J.D. remain a pair of white kids. The idea of people from marginalized groups being the villains has raised some eyebrows, to put the matter mildly. The idea that a white cis couple set out to murder the formerly oppressed, now oppressors, has triggered quite a few people on social media. On the other hand, isn’t the real villain of the story the psychopathic J.D.?

In fact, “Heathers” the TV show demonstrates that power can be corrupting and that whatever and whomever one identifies with doesn’t matter. The show also goes down twisty paths where the movie did not venture. The first episode is available for previewing, but the show starts on March 7.