CS Soapbox: 5 ways to bring Harry Potter to TV without a remake
Recently we learned that Warner Bros. is in the very early stages of prepping a Harry Potter TV series, which led to many a fan of JK Rowling’s wizarding world echoing Tobias Fünke and exclaiming, “Hazzah!” Except, once the cheers died down many began pondering a very fundamental question, what in the holy f*** would a Harry Potter TV series look like?
Here’s the thing: at this point, most of the world has read the books and watched the films; and while a great number of plot points were left out of said film adaptations, none of them are interesting enough to merit a complete retelling of Harry Potter’s story.
So, where could the TV show take us that the 10 films (and counting) have not already taken us? Here are five ideas we came up with!
Saved By the Bell: The Durmstrang Years
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (aka the one where Batman dies) expanded the already expansive Potterverse by introducing two other schools into the wizarding arena, namely Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. Both schools were referred to in passing throughout the remainder of the series but had little bearing on the war with He Who Must Not Be Named — though, to be fair, Fleur, like every notable character aside from Professor McGonagall, did marry one of the Weasleys.* Since Hogwarts has been done to death, why not focus on one of these other schools? That way, the producers don’t have to worry about topping Harry’s story since the enjoyment will come from exploring a different part of the Potterverse. We could follow new kids as they begin their days at Durmstrang and learn about the school’s dark and sinister secrets, battle some bad guys and strive to overtake Viktor Krum as the greatest Quidditch champion to ever snog with Hermione.
Here’s another angle: what if this school teaches its students a false narrative surrounding Harry Potter and the events at Hogwarts, and the students eventually learn the truth and seek to upend the dogmatic leaders perched atop the Durmstrang Institute? That could make for some heavy-duty wizard drama right there.
*Side note: is Harry Potter really the story of the Weasley’s infiltration into high society? The family of 50 starts out as a poor family with little regard to their name and end up scoring the lottery when Ginny marries billionaire Harry Potter and Ron marries fairly wealthy Hermione Granger … even Bill marries up when he snags Fleur. Maybe that’s our series! Call it Dynasty: Weasley Edition during which we learn that it was Arthur Weasley who set in motion the events to bring back He Who Must Not Be Named — the man had Peter Pettigrew living in his house for over a decade! And he did it all to put his family on the map. Holy. Shit.
Harry Potter: The Next Generation
Yeah, yeah, Rowling already did the whole next-generation thing with her play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, but there is still plenty of story left for WB to
Everyone here has read Ender’s Shadow, right? Good. Imagine that concept — in which a supporting character from the novel Ender’s Game told the same story from his perspective — applied to Harry Potter. Like, we’ll watch as a supporting character who originally appeared to have no bearing on the plot retell the story from their perspective and demonstrate just how integral their actions were during the whole battle with Volde – er — He Who Must Not Be Named. Then we’ll realize just how stupid Harry really was … maybe it wasn’t even he who killed the Dark Lord
CSI: Harry Potter
Harry graduated from Hogwarts and eventually became an Auror with his pal Ron, which could make for a fun detective-style show. Imagine this — CSI: Harry Potter! Harry and Ron travel about London pursuing various villains, many of them former Death Eaters, and stumble upon a much greater plot involving the takeover of the Ministry of Magic … or, the upending of one Hermione Granger, aka the Minister of Magic. Or, the plots could center around minions of Voldemo — er — He Who Must Not Be Named and their quest to bring down Harry Potter, or something. Ron could be a David Caruso-styled character adorned in sunglasses — he’s the muscle. There could even be a darker angle as Harry struggles to find his purpose after the defeat of Voldemor — er — f*** it — Voldemort, and Ron’s continual struggle living in the shadow of the famed Harry Potter. And obviously, Hermione would serve as the chief who keeps her two friends under a watchful eye.
Hogwarts Night Lights
That title makes no sense. Yet, this show would be amazing! Picture this: Friday Night Lights, except, rather than football, we get a crazy drama surrounding Quidditch! Each year could see a new batch of recruits arrive at Hogwarts to train for the Quidditch World Cup. So, rather than follow a bunch of kids around as they try to solve increasingly ridiculous mysteries at school, we get to watch high-octane Quidditch action juxtaposed with cheesy teen romance and crazy wizarding high jinx. The show only works if it’s played completely straight. So, the main Quidditch star goes home over Christmas break and must contend with their abusive father; a Slytherin athlete gets addicted to pain killers in order to stay atop their game all the while dealing with O.W.L.S. We can see past stars struggle to integrate into normal life after their Hogwarts Quidditch career ends, and watch others go on to find great success. Full wands, er, clear brooms … can’t lose?