Let me tell you about my Harry Potter activities of the past year:
1) I attended a Harry Potter party that coincided with the beginning of the school year at my local library. There was a wide range of ages from students of Hogwarts to Alumni. We drank butter beer (caramel soda with syrup and ice-cream), made crafts (wands, spell books and tote bags), and watched a local improv comedy group preform themed skits.
2) I read “Beedles the Bard,” the collection of Wizard Fairytales written by JK Rowling.
3) I listened to “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” on audio book. Let’s just say that Voldermort still scares the crap out of me. I barely slept the night after listening to the final chapter. Funny how my bathrobe on the back of my chair looks exactly like Voldermort with the lights out. Oh my god.
4) Sometimes I wear a Ravenclaw pin on my button-down shirt. I know it’s more trendy to be Hufflepuff or Slytherin, or some weird combo like Griffinpuff, but. I just can’t. I’m a Ravenclaw thorough and thorough.
5) I’m rewatching Harry Potter movies 4 (Daniel Radcliffe has the best hair in this one), and 7 parts 1 and 2 just for the feels.
I tell you guys. The magic’s still going strong even with the muggles.
But I wanted to talk about another item on the list entirely.
5) I read the play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”
Yep. I did it. Out of peer pressure from my YA book club.
Harry Potter has always been a franchise, but this latest creation really demonstrated how low it could go. People tell me “Scorpius! Such an original character!”
I say, “Puh-lease. The whole thing’s a rehash of book 4.” (And I just listened to book four, so I know.)
It didn’t knock me off my broomstick to say the least. And I was disappointed. Very disappointed.
There were so many directions the play could’ve gone in. A whole new year at Hogwarts, a whole new threat to conquer, a whole new cast of characters that didn’t involve the golden trio. And some of this happened, but it wasn’t exploited to the fullest extent. Instead, the writers relied on one thing above all others: fan service.
Fans want more official Potter in any shape or form. It doesn’t matter about the quality, it just matters that it exists. It doesn’t matter how many times people joke about Voldermort’s lack of a nose. It’s still funny… or is it?
Let me just say it: Watching Harry, Ron and Hermione in office jobs with greying hair, parenting problems, and developing guts is not magical. It’s *bloody* depressing.
“But they’re just like us!” You cry. “There’s nothing wrong with offices, aging, parenting, and obesity!”
No, there’s nothing wrong with it, but I like Harry Potter to stand for hope. For light in the midst of darkness, for extraordinary among the mundane. And to see the hero of my youth reduced to someone more muggle than wizard, that was very depressing indeed.
As for the plot involving the kids, it was a tired rendition of the plot from the fourth book. Bringing the threat of Voldermort back in the running killed the satisfaction of the seventh book’s resolution. Can’t there be other dark wizards? Must we always rely on Voldermort? Why can’t Voldermort stay dead where he belongs?
Harry Potter is the Iliad and Odyssey of our time. We know the myths inside and out. We don’t need a rehash, because the original work is timeless onto itself.