Updated Thoughts on “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child cover
Updated Thoughts/Mini-Rant (not a review, technically)

Sadly, I’m going to pass on this, and it pains me to say that because I love the Harry Potter series so much! But judging on several excerpts I’ve read in order to preview the story, I can honestly say I’m just not interested.

For starters, some of the dialogue here is bad. Not bad as in awful but bad as in lame. These don’t sound like the characters I’ve come to know and love at all, and the new additions just don’t have the same appeal to me as the old faces.

Also, I’ve read spoilers for the entire story to see if it’s worth checking out and…no. If you ask me, Deathly Hallows was the true end of Harry’s story and didn’t need anything further. This is akin to a Hunger Games film series spin-off (a possibility), a Divergent spin-off television series (a probable thing), or a Prison Break mini-series (a confirmed thing): it won’t initiate the apocalypse but is it truly necessary, especially since fans were already treated to a proper ending in those respective franchises? To me, some franchises are better left alone (save for Star Wars and Star Trek, which can continue until the end of time as far as I’m concerned). Endings are good. It’s okay to let some stories end so we can say goodbye for good. For me, Deathly Hallows was a perfect way to end Harry’s story, so this entry comes across as a greedy tactic (in my opinion), assuming people will buy something just because it bears the Potter name.

It kind of reminds me of the Seinfeld episode called “The Pitch” where Jerry and George trek over to NBC to pitch their idea for a show. In the course of drilling them about ideas (after George insists the show will be about “nothing”), one of the NBC bigwigs asks, “Then why am I watching it?” George responds matter-of-factly, “Because it’s on TV.”

Ergo, why should I be reading a new Potter story? Because one is in print? As a whole, it makes me feel like somebody felt people will read this just because it says Harry Potter. But in theory you could do that with anything. What about Harry Potter and the Grouchy Accountant, Harry Potter and the Cantankerous Snail, or even Harry Potter and the Walking Dead? (Actually that last one sounds kind of cool.) Thus, just because someone could write an eighth Potter story, does that mean they should have? I’ll refrain from answering because I believe to each his/her own. But for me, there just wasn’t a need for this and it seems like it exists just because somebody couldn’t let the Potter franchise rest.

My point is this isn’t what I thought it was going to be. Based on what I’ve read, I agree with many of my follower reviewers here: this is elevated Potter fan fiction. The characters aren’t true to character for the most part; the story tries too hard to work in bits and pieces from the books (or try to alter events from the books); and we see character pairings that sound like they exist simply because the writers wanted to see them exist. (And one such pairing made me shudder to even think about. No, just no.)

I’m sure some fans will love this and appreciate it for what it is – a glimpse into the future of what happened after Book 7. That’s fine if you do and I say that without sarcasm. Again, to each his/her own. But for me as a die-hard fan, this is a letdown, much like eating a box of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans and chomping on a Brussels sprout-flavored sweet.

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