Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was released as a published script on July 31, 2016, and Jeff and I are diving in for this week’s episode of The Pop Cult Podcast. Spoiler alert time. We’ve divided our chat into two parts so if you haven’t read the book, you can listen to the first part, and then when you hit the 8:00 minute mark, skip ahead to 22:10 for the rest of the episode, where we talk about the phenomenon of the Legacyqual and pitch a couple of our own. Kool-Aid picks close out the show as usual.
In our discussion of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Jeff and I first focus on the form of this part of the Harry Potter world. It’s weird to read a script of a play, not written by J.K. Rowling, and still have the feeling you are in the Potter universe. We discuss whether or not this qualifies as fan fiction, and whether or not that binary is a useful one. If The Empire Strikes Back isn’t fan fic, is this? I bring up Gilmore Girls, and Jeff brings up Buffy the Vampire Slayer, because we are who we are.
In the post spoiler part of the podcast, we talk about whether or not this iteration of Harry Potter works in the universe; Jeff is skeptical about its usefulness. I like the structure the story takes, and the time travel element gives us great fan service (if not stellar plot moments). Jeff wonders if being almost 30 instead of almost 20 affected his surprise at the mysteries contained in Cursed Child, which is problematic as we also conclude that this book is really aimed at people like us who already love the subject matter.
Hermione was a real treat in this book, and both of us are HERE for a black Hermione who is also, Hermione Prime, Spinster Hermione, and Warrior Hermione. If this is a fan fiction move, SIGN ME UP. Also are Albus and Scorpius going to be gay together? In our minds, yes.
In our second segment we talk about the phenomenon of Legacyquals, coined by Matt Singer of Screencrush. Ghostbusters, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Creed, the Star Trek reboot, Jurassic World and others all fit this category, and it’s clearly a winning strategy for studios right now. It’s a storytelling trick that can work for certain stories that are dealing in nostalgia for a generation that has had an increasing access to re-watchable content.
Given that we are a major part of this target audience, Jeff and I decide to tackle Legacyqual pitches of our own. Jeff is all for reviving the critically slashed 1991 Steven Spielberg joint, Hook. Here’s the 25th anniversary photo of the cast that Jeff talked about. Isn’t it weird and great? Rufio…Rufio…..Ru….Fi….OOOOOOO!
I’m pitching something from the back catalogue of Cheal Family Classics™, and hoping that Meryl Streep and her daughters (Mamie Gummer, who played Nancy Crozier on The Good Wife) will agree to go back to the rapids in The River Wild(er). It’s a matriarchal wild ride, and instead of Kevin Bacon as the villian, Mother Nature will be trying to best the Streep Clan. We’re both eagerly awaiting calls from studios and agents, and we’re pretty sure these are going to take off.
Pop Culture Kool-Aid Picks
I’m still drinking in every damn moment the Olympics has to offer (full podcast on Rio 2016 is here), and I’m just thrilled with how well our Canadian Women have fared. At the time we recorded, they had won all 5 of our medals, and in the end they won 12 medals before a Canadian Man won one. You probably know by now that I’m a fan of Lady Badasses, and seeing many of those in action on my screen has been an absolute delight.
Jeff is very into the Cartoon Network show Steven Universe. He’s really impressed with the world-building, and the things the show is doing with female characters makes it one to watch.