August 6th, 2020

Illuminati

Misunderstanding The Cuckoos Nest

There's going to be a TV series about Nurse Ratched (from One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest).

Before I start, I should say that I have no problem with reimaginings, recreations, reboots, etc. I _loathe_ the phrase "We didn't need this" when applied to any media. I am all in favour of people trying new approaches to things, and I am really looking forward to Batman, Superman, and others falling into the public domain in a decade or so, and seeing what people do with the characters without DC's supervision.

But this one annoys me, because it's giving an "Evil Supervillian" type of backstory to a character who should be an archetype of the banality of evil.

Nurse Ratched is not an exceptional evil, some kind of psychopath out to cause death and destruction for her own entertainment. She's every teacher, health professional, or other supervisor who can't cope with any kind of challenge to their authority. The terrifying thing about her is how normal she is. The awful thing about her is how many of us have had teachers like her, or doctors like her, or bosses like her. Who have had to deal with people with some kind of power over us who want everything to be *their way*. Who don't see themselves as evil, or out for revenge - they just need things to run smoothly, and everyone to be in their place so that the world can be the way it's "supposed" to be*.

And while this TV show looks gorgeous (the trailer looks great, and I can see it being very enjoyable if you like that kind of thing), I do feel that turning an archetype of this kind into a Hannibal Lecter type is a loss.


*Which is why Dolores Umbridge terrifies me more than Voldemort does, on a visceral level.
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