Is It Time For Harry Potter To Die?
Already, Cursed Child is big—Potter big. As in the old days, fans lined up at bookstores before midnight on Saturday (July 30), and the book is already the top seller on Amazon. Yet despite having enjoyed some 15,000 pages of Potter books and 20 hours of Potter movies, I myself have no intention of reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, parts I or II.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m sure the latest addition to the Potter oeuvre is fine; perhaps it’s even great. But there’s something about current cultural trends that suggests an unwillingness—on consumers’ part? On media executives’ part?—to move on. (For more evidence one need look no further than Hollywood, where Spiderman, Batman, and Superman have been dominating at the box office for decades, and Star Wars has become more brand than actual narrative.) Our collective inability to stop clamoring for more iterations of the same story suggests, either directly or indirectly, that everything popular and new is best made from something popular and old—sometimes not even that old.
At first glance, it seems possible (joy!) to blame this on millennials. The capabilities and import of technology have grown so exponentially in the average millennial lifetime that many young people seem to feel prematurely nostalgic.